Sadhguru: There is sufficient intellect on the planet right now for us to reconsider the very fundamentals of religion on this planet. Religion is an inward step. It is something very intimate that a human being does within himself. It is not something that you organize and do on the street. It is a step towards your creator. If you just watch the body, you will clearly see that the source of creation is within you. When you say it is a step towards your creator, it is naturally an inward step, which you can only take by yourself. You cannot take a crowd of people inward.
What is needed is a universal religion. When I say a universal religion, I am not talking about one religion for all, I am talking about one religion for every one, one religion for every one of us.
There are seven billion people, so we can have seven billion religions. What is the problem? Only because it is organized, what should have been a beautiful process has become an ugly process of fanaticism.
It is from this context that Indian culture grew. We call this Sanatana Dharma, which means an eternal religion that will always be relevant. This is the only culture which allows you this freedom: you can choose your own God – a man God, woman God, animal God, tree God – whatever you want. This is known as Ishta Devata, which means a God of your own choice.
Every individual is free to see what he can relate to best at a certain time in his life. He can create a God of his own and give himself to that process because it is not about God, but about bringing a certain quality in you to make you worshipful and reverential towards life.
This is the very reason religion started in the first place. You worship a monkey and I worship an elephant. What is the problem? You are a monkey-lover and I am an elephant-lover, it is fine. And tomorrow, if we want to exchange our Gods we can do that too. This freedom was allowed in the culture. That is why it was referred to as an eternal religion because it is not rigid, you can change. God with form, without form or even no God is okay, whichever way you choose.
The important thing is that you learn to be reverential to life around you and bow down to every aspect of life which nurtures you, which is the basis of your existence right now. Only if everyone can choose his own religion and his religion is not organized by somebody else, will you see deeply religious, but not fanatical people.