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Let children choose their faith

Wednesday, September 05, 2018
By Osho

In a better world, every child should be allowed to grow without any religious teaching. Love your children, but never give your ideologies. Love your children, let them feel that Jesus has done something for you, or Mohammed has done something for you, Or Mahavira -- let them feel, but don't force.
Let them grow in freedom. Let them see when you pray, let them see your tears rolling down on the cheeks and the beauty of it. Let them see when you bow down to Jesus, let them watch... and children are very very watchful, very sensitive -- if things are not forced on them, they will move on their own.

When they see you crying beautiful tears, when they see you bowing down before Jesus and they feel the vibe... suddenly everything has become quiet, suddenly the father is no more the father and the mother is no more the mother, suddenly they have become luminous beings... he will also start bowing down. Maybe in secret when you are not watching, he will go and he will also bow down. He would like to know what happens when one bows down to Jesus or Buddha, when one prays. Let them catch it -- don't teach it, don't force it. Everything becomes ugly when forced.

Freedom is the basic thing. Consciousness grows in freedom and starts dying, becomes paralyzed and crippled, when things are forced. And up to now, this has been done. This is the greatest crime that parents have always committed against children. They go on forcing the child -- they are afraid, they don't trust their own prayer.

When I was a child, I used to go with my father to his temple. In the beginning, he would tell me to do this and that. I told him, "If you tell me, I will do -- but from the very beginning, I will be against it. So please, don't enforce. Let me come, let me watch. If I feel something has happened to you, that will be the decisive factor." And he is a simple man. He allowed me. He said, "That's right." And he would go and pray, and I would simply sit and watch. Prayer, meditating, I would see how he changes, how his face suddenly goes through a transformation, how his face becomes luminous, how silent and graceful he becomes. That became an enquiry... one has to know these spaces too. Then the child is enchanted. Then a great desire arises in him to know what it is, what it is all about.

Good, that you were brought up in an unreligious home. That may be the cause that whenever I mention the name of Jesus you cry and something deep inside you is moved. Good -- because you are not a Christian, Christ can still mean something to you. And because you are not a Christian, soon you will see that Buddha also is meaningful, and so is Patanjali and so is Kabir and so is Nanak. When one is not conditioned, one remains available to all the sources, to all the great masters.

One should claim the whole heritage of humanity as one's own -- we are unnecessarily poor. Somebody says, "I am Christian." He is saying, "I claim only Jesus. I don't claim Buddha, I don't claim Zarathustra, I don't claim Lao Tzu." How poor a man! The whole humanity, the whole history of man, is yours. Jesus is as much yours as Lao Tzu, as Buddha, as Mohammed. They are all yours: claim them all together, that is your heritage. But that is possible only if you are not conditioned to be a Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan.

Excerpted from The Divine Melody/ Osho Times International/ courtesy Osho International Foundation

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