Courage is the greatest religious quality, everything else is secondary. You cannot be truthful if you are not courageous. You cannot be loving if you are not courageous. You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous. You cannot inquire into reality if you are not courageous; hence courage comes first and everything else follows.
But the so-called religious people have been teaching just the opposite. Rather than helping people to be courageous, they help people to be more and more afraid. They create the fear of God in people, the fear of hell, the fear of punishment; and out of fear they hope to create a love for God. That is sheer nonsense, it is impossible.
It is only out of fearlessness that love can arise. It is only out of fearlessness that one can go into the inquiry of the ultimate. It is a long voyage, and a voyage into the unknown. Cowards won’t be able to leave this shore. And religion means a great longing for the other shore, which is not visible from this side.