“Once a religion is organized, it is dead,” says Osho. From our series 1001 Tales, compiled by Shanti.
Let me tell you one anecdote:
A junior devil has been sent to Earth to look around and see how things are progressing.
He quickly returns to Hell, horrified, and obtains an interview with Beelzebub, the chief devil himself.
“Sir,” he sputters, “something awful has happened! There is a man with a beard walking around on Earth, speaking Truth, and people are beginning to listen to him. Something has to be done immediately.”
Beelzebub smiles pleasantly, puffing on his pipe, but making no comment.
“Sir! You don’t realise the seriousness of the situation,” continues the distraught junior devil. “Pretty soon all will be lost!”
Beelzebub removes his pipe slowly, taps it out on the ashtray and sits back in his swivel-chair, hands behind his head.
“Don’t worry, son,” he counsels. “We will let it go on a little longer and, when it has progressed far enough, we will step in and help them to organize!”
And once a religion is organized, it is dead – because you can organize a religion only when you compromise with the masses. You can organize a religion only when you follow the desires of the common mass.
You can organize a religion only when you are ready to make it a politics and you are ready to lose its religiousness.
A religion can be organized only when it is no more a religion. That’s to say: a religion cannot be organized as religion. Organized, it is no more religion. A religion basically remains unorganized, remains a little chaotic, remains a little disorderly – because religion is freedom.
Quoted from Osho, The Discipline of Transcendence – Discourses on the forty-two sutras of Buddha, Vol 3, Ch 5