Osho says, “Neither those who are living through fear nor those who are living through greed are going to enter into the kingdom of God, but only those who are living in tremendous joy, thankfulness and gratitude.”
People live through greed or through fear. A few people are afraid of hell, hence they are worshipping; and a few people are greedy for heaven, hence they are worshipping.
A Sufi story says:
Jesus came into a town. He saw a few people sitting very sad, in deep agony; he had never seen such a lot of sad people. He asked, “What has happened to you? What calamity has fallen upon you?”
And they said, “We are afraid of hell, we are trembling. We don’t know how we can save ourselves from hell – that is our fear, that is our constant agony. We cannot sleep, we cannot rest, unless we have found a way.”
Jesus walked away from those people. Just a little further ahead he found another group sitting under a tree, very sad, in great anxiety, just as the first lot.
Jesus was very puzzled. He asked, “What is the matter? What is happening in this town? Why are you looking so sad? Why do you look so tense? You will go mad if you remain in this state any longer! What has happened to you?”
They said, “Nothing has happened to us. We are afraid that we may lose heaven, we may not be able to enter it. And we have to get it, whatsoever the cost. That is our anxiety and that is our tension.”
Jesus left those people also. Sufis say: Why did Jesus leave these people? – because these are the religious people! He should have taught them the way to avoid hell, and how to enter heaven, but he simply turned away from them.
He found a third group in a garden, a small group of people who were dancing, singing, rejoicing. He asked, “What ceremony is going on? What festival are you having?”
They said, “No special ceremony – just our gratefulness to God, gratefulness for what he has given to us. We were not worthy of it.”
Jesus said, “To you I will talk, with you I will stay. You are my people.”
This story is not related to Christians, but the Sufis have a few beautiful stories about Jesus. In fact, they understand Jesus far more deeply than the so-called orthodox church. This is a beautiful story. It says neither those who are living through fear nor those who are living through greed are going to enter into the kingdom of God, but only those who are living in tremendous joy, thankfulness and gratitude.
Osho, The Dhammapada – The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3, Ch 9 (excerpt)