A lot -- and nothing
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU SINCE WE LAST MET ON THAT BEAUTIFUL MORNING IN CRETE, SOME WEEKS AGO?
A lot -- and nothing.
A lot on the periphery, and nothing to my being -- nothing to me.
The first thing that I became aware of was that man has not been evolving, that perhaps the concept of evolution is wrong, because for thousands of years he has been behaving in the same pattern.
That beautiful morning on the island of Crete, the people and their mistreatment of me and my friends who were with me, reminded me of Socrates. These were the same people, and strangely the crime alleged against Socrates was the same: corrupting the young minds, destroying their morality. Their allegation against me was exactly the same.
It seems twenty-five centuries have simply passed by and man is stuck, not evolving.
Their behavior was brutal, inhuman. They could have told me to leave the country -- it is their country -- there was no need for brutality, smashing the windows and the doors of the house with rocks. To me, coming from the top floor, it sounded as if bombs were being exploded. They had dynamite with them, and they were threatening that they would dynamite the whole house. It seems as if to send me out of the country was just an excuse to give expression to this brutality; otherwise it was a simple matter to tell me that I am not welcome.
The man who had given me the tourist visa for four weeks was the chief of police; and the man who canceled it after fifteen days was the deputy chief of police. That seems to be absolutely improper -- that the chief should give the permission and the deputy should cancel it.
At the airport in Athens there were at least forty police officers, just for a single unarmed man, and that deputy chief was also present. There was a huge crowd of press people from newspapers, radio, television, and dozens of cameras -- they all wanted an interview with me. And I said, "There is not much to say, other than it seems man is not going to be civilized, ever."
The press people were in front of me and those forty police dogs -- all big officers -- were surrounding me, and the deputy chief was standing by my side. When I said, "With this kind of police, this kind of government, you are destroying the very future of humanity, particularly of your own country. These people were responsible for killing Socrates...."
When I said this, pointing towards the deputy chief, he wanted to interfere.
For the first time in thirty-five years, I pretended to be angry. I could not succeed because inside I was giggling! But I told that man, "Shut up, and stand by the side where you belong. And don't come close to me."
And I shouted so loudly, "Shut up!" that he really became silent and went back and stood in the crowd. Later on I saw the reports: they thought I was ferocious, very angry -- I was nothing! But that is the only language those people will understand. And when you are talking to somebody, you have to use the language he understands.
But I enjoyed that. Anger can be acted -- you can remain absolutely silent within and you can be ferocious outside. And there is no contradiction, because that ferociousness is only acting.
On the plane I remembered George Gurdjieff, who was trained in many Sufi schools in different kinds of methods. In a certain school one method was used, and that was acting -- when you are not feeling angry, act angry; when you are feeling very happy, act miserable. The method has a tremendous implication.
It means that when you are miserable you will be capable of acting happy; when you are angry you will be able to act peaceful. Not only that, it implies that you are neither misery nor happiness. These are faces you can make: you are different, your being is not involved in it. Strange methods have been used for meditation, to discover your being, to detach it from your emotions, sentiments, actions. And Gurdjieff became so proficient in it, and the school was training him for this particular method....
Gurdjieff became so capable that if he was sitting between two persons, to one person he would appear immensely peaceful and silent -- half of his face, one side profile. And to the other he will appear to be murderous, dangerous, criminal -- the other profile, the other side. And when both persons would talk about Gurdjieff, how could they agree?
They were bound to disagree: according to one they have met -- a very silent, peaceful person, and according to the other -- a very murderous, dangerous, criminal type.
When asked, Gurdjieff would say, "They are both right. I can manage not only to divide my being and my action, I can manage to divide even my face into two parts."
I was presented a statue of Buddha from Japan -- a very beautiful statue, but very strange.
In one hand he is holding a naked sword, and in the other hand he is holding a small lamp. In the East they use mud lamps, which are just small cups of mud filled with oil.
They are almost like candles with a flame, so the flame was there. The flame was shining on one part of his face; it was lighted, silent, peaceful. And the sword was reflected on the other side of his face -- a warrior, a fighter, a born rebel, a revolutionary.
At the airport in Athens, I saw those forty police officers... they must have been the topmost people -- except the chief, because he could not gather courage to come. I would have asked him, "On what grounds has the visa issued by you been cancelled by your assistant?" -- only he was not there.
But the others... I saw a strange thing: they were behaving in very inhuman ways, but they were all cowards. When I shouted, "Shut up!" that deputy chief simply slipped back like a small child, afraid that the television would catch my words and me, and him with all the honors of the police on his coat, with a pistol hanging by his side. But inside there was a child, a cowardly child.
It was an experience -- because democracy was born in Athens.
Democracy is a Greek idea, and yet the man who created the idea of democratic values was poisoned by Athenians -- that's what history goes on saying. But that day I became suspicious of history.
Socrates was not poisoned by the people of Athens, but by the bureaucracy of Athens.
And one should make a distinction, because I was mistreated on the island of Crete by the police. But the people of the village where I was staying, Saint Nicholas, were not with the bureaucracy. And when one journalist asked me, "What is your message to the people of Saint Nicholas?" I said, "Just tell them to come to the airport, to show the police that they are with me and not with them."
Three thousand people were at the airport in the middle of the night, filling the whole terrace of the airport. They had been standing there for hours. The whole village was empty; those who were left behind had to walk because they could not get any taxi, any bus -- everything had moved to the airport. But people walked miles to reach the airport to demonstrate a simple fact: they are not with the brutality and the fascist behavior of the government; they are with me.
People have always been blamed for the bureaucracy and its brutality. I don't think Socrates would have been killed by the people of Athens. He was such a loving person, and with no egoistic idea of being holier than you.
In the morning he would go to fetch some vegetable, and he would not return even by the night -- because everywhere on the streets, in the vegetable shop, in the market, he was discussing with everybody things which are beyond the ordinary man. He was the teacher of the whole of Athens. A single man made Athens one of the most intelligent cities that has ever existed in the world -- single-handedly, just moving, meeting anybody. To say hello to him meant you were entering into a dialogue -- in spite of yourself. You may have been in a hurry -- Socrates was not in a hurry.
These people could not have killed him. The bureaucracy became afraid. The Crete experience made me look again at history. The books are lying -- the people have not killed the man. They could not have even imagined it. But the government... and why should the government kill the man? -- because the man was making the masses so intelligent, so independent, so freedom-loving, so individualistic, that the government would soon find itself in troubled waters. It would not be able to control these people, it would not be able to enslave these people.
It is better to kill Socrates than let him go on sharpening people's minds to such an extent that the bureaucrats look like fools! Before it happens, it is better to kill him. But the history books go on saying that the people of Athens killed Socrates. Now, I saw the people of Saint Nicholas come running to the airport to demonstrate that they are not with the police. And even when I had left their country, a deputation from Saint Nicholas, on their own decision, went to see the president of the country to protest about what had happened in their village.
I had been there only two weeks, and I had never gone out of the house; but they could see my people -- at least five hundred sannyasins from all over Europe had gathered.
They were well accustomed to tourists, because it is a tourist place, but they had never seen such loving people. And just because of my sannyasins, although they could not understand me -- the language was a great barrier -- still, a few of the village people started coming just to sit with me in the morning, in the evening. And that's what was hurting the religious hierarchy.
The archbishop was getting mad because nobody comes to his congregation; and I had been there for fifteen days and I had created a big congregation. In his congregation, between six to twelve old women -- who were almost dead -- they used to come to listen to him.
He was getting afraid, sending telegrams to the president, to the prime minister, to other ministers, to the police chief, giving interviews which were full of lies -- because he knew nothing about me. And his fear became infectious: the government also became afraid.
One of my sannyasins, Amrito -- who had invited me to Greece -- was a close friend of the president, of the prime minister. She was well connected with all the high-position people, because twenty years before she had been chosen as the beauty queen, "Miss Greece," and she had become famous. And since then she had been modeling, so all the film directors, businessmen... all kinds of people were related to her. She was never asked to make an appointment; she simply went to their houses -- the president or the prime minister.
But that day she went to the president and for six hours she remained there, and she was not allowed into the house. Why was the president afraid of a woman whom he knows, who has been coming to him and they have been friends...? The fear was because... what will he say? What had been done to me and my people by his government, he had no answer for.
And you will be surprised: the answer came in a very strange way. I left Athens because they wouldn't allow me even to stay for the night in a hotel under their supervision, or at the airport.
As I left, they immediately started searching for Amrito. She must have found out from some source: "Now you will be the target -- why did you invite Osho here, knowing him?" And she had to escape out of the country. And still the police went....
Amrito is a very simple and loving person. She is not rich; she has only a small juice bar.
And still the police went to the juice bar and tried to find out strange things with which the police had no concern -- that it was not clean.
Of course it was not clean, because for three days she had been out of the country. And it was not clean because for fifteen days she was on the island of Crete with me, so only the servant was running it. But that is not a crime -- at least not for the police. Perhaps the municipal authorities who look for cleanliness in restaurants, hotels may have come -- but they were not there; the police were finding faults.
But I have told her to go back and give a fight, because she has not done anything wrong.
Everything wrong is on the part of the government. Because they could not do any harm to me, afraid of its international consequences, they found a scapegoat: they can harass her, they can torture a woman who is divorced, has a little child, an old mother, and she is the only earning person. And what earning can come out of a juice bar?
These people always throw their crimes on the masses -- and the masses are dumb. And history is really bunk: there are more lies in history books than anywhere else. The incident was small, but the implications were great.
I had not stepped out of the house, I was not talking in Greek. The people of the country could not understand me. The people who were listening to me were all from outside of Greece. To say that I am corrupting the minds of youth, destroying the morality of the country, its tradition, its church, the family... but the people who were listening to me were not Greek! In what way could I have had any effect on their morality, on their religion?
But it seems bureaucracy does not think; it simply lives out of fear. And the fear is that somebody could raise questions about the very roots of their society. But it is foolish because wherever I am, I am going to do the same, and my word is going to reach everywhere in the world.
What can I do if their roots are rotten? What can I do if their morality is not morality but only a pretension? What can I do if their marriage is hypocrisy and not love? What can I do if the family has been outlived, and needs to be replaced by something better? It has done its work. It has done a few good things which can be done by a different way. It has done a few very dangerous, poisonous things which can be avoided.
The family as it has existed down the ages cannot be allowed to exist. If it exists, then man has to die. To save man we have to change the social structure around him, to bring a new man -- because the old has been an utter failure.
For ten thousand years at least, we have moved on the same lines -- reaching nowhere.
It is time to understand that we have taken a wrong route. It is stale; it leads to death. It does not allow people joy, rejoicing; it does not allow people to sing and to dance.
It makes people serious, heavy -- for themselves and for others.
In the family are the seeds of all wars, of all religions, of all nations. That's why they call the family, the "unit of our civilization."
There is no civilization -- and the unit is rotten. It creates only a pathological man, who needs all kinds of psychotherapies and still remains pathological.
We have not been able to create a sane humanity.
So on the periphery I thought what happened in Greece perhaps may happen in other countries, because it is the same structure -- and it happened.
From Greece we moved to Geneva, just for an overnight rest, and the moment they came to know my name they said, "No way! We cannot allow him into our country."
I was not even allowed to get out of the plane.
We moved to Sweden, thinking that people go on saying that Sweden is far more progressive than any country in Europe or in the world, that Sweden has been giving refuge to many terrorists, revolutionaries, expelled politicians, that it is very generous.
We reached Sweden. We wanted to stay overnight because the pilots were running out of time. They could not go on anymore; otherwise it would become illegal. And we were happy because the man at the airport... we had asked only for an overnight stay, but he gave seven-day visas to everybody. Either he was drunk or just sleepy -- it was midnight, past midnight.
The person who had gone for the visas, came back very happy that we had been given seven-day visas. But immediately the police came and cancelled the visas, and told us to move immediately: "This man we cannot allow in our country."
They can allow terrorists, they can allow murderers, they can allow Mafia people, and they can give them refuge -- but they cannot allow me. And I was not asking for refuge or permanent residence, just an overnight stay.
We turned to London, because it was simply a question of our basic right. And we made it twice legally -- we purchased first-class tickets for the next day. Our own jet was there but still we purchased them in case they started saying, "You don't have tickets for tomorrow, so we won't allow you to stay in the first-class lounge."
We purchased tickets for everybody, just so that we could stay in the lounge, and we told them, "We have our own jet -- and we also have tickets." But they came upon a bylaw of the airport that the government or anybody cannot interfere with: "It is at our discretion -- and this man we won't allow in the lounge."
In the lounge, I thought: How can I destroy their morality, their religion? In the first place I will be sleeping, and by the morning we will be gone.
But no, these so-called civilized countries are as primitive and barbarous as you can conceive. They said, "All that we can do is, we can put you in jail for the night."
And just by chance one of our friends looked into their file. They had all the instructions from the government already about how they were to treat me: I should not be allowed in any way to enter into the country, even for an overnight stay in a hotel or in the lounge; the only way was that I should be kept in jail.
In the morning we moved to Ireland. Perhaps the man did not take note of my name amongst the passengers. We had asked just to stay for two, three days -- "At the most seven, if you can give us." We wanted time because some other decision was being made, and they were delaying it, and our movement was dependent on that decision.
The man was really generous... must have taken too much beer: he gave everybody twenty-one days. We moved to the hotel and immediately the police arrived at the hotel to cancel it, saying, "That man is mad -- he does not know anything."
They cancelled the visas, but they were in a difficult situation -- what to do with us?
We were already in the land, we were in the hotel; we had passed a few hours in the hotel. They had given us twenty-one days on the passports. Now he had cancelled them, and we were not ready to go. We had to wait still a few days.
You can see how bureaucracy covers its own errors.
They said, "You can stay here, but nobody should come to know about it -- no press, nobody should come to know that Osho is here, because then we will be in trouble. And of course we cannot do anything because that will stir up problems immediately.
"If you don't want to go -- and we have given you twenty-one days' permission.... On what grounds are we cancelling? You have not done anything -- you have only slept the night here. Unless sleeping is a crime... So we are in a difficulty. The only way is, you remain silent and absolutely hidden."
Now, it was absolutely illegal to stay without a visa; and the police were suggesting to us to remain silent so that nobody knows it -- and leave silently. And they were keeping the press away; they were giving them false clues so they were looking in some different places.
But the strange thing is that these people are in direct communication with the government.
The question was raised in the parliament, "What happened? Their jet is standing at the airport. They have entered the country -- where have they disappeared to?" And the minister simply lied, saying, "They had come, and they have left." We were in the country, and the parliament was told that we have left the country....
This whole journey has been an exposure of the bureaucracies.
And just now I have received the information that all the countries of Europe, jointly, are deciding that I cannot land my plane at any airport.
How will that effect their morality -- refueling the plane? But they simply want to cut me away from humanity. That's why I had to leave India. Their conditions were clear: they wanted me to remain in India -- naturally they cannot deny me; it is my birthland. "You can remain," they said. "But no foreign disciple can be allowed to reach you, and no news media can be allowed to reach you."
That was a way to cut me off from the world, from my people, and even from news media, so nobody knows whether I am alive or dead. It was a strategy to make me almost dead -- although I am alive -- to cut me away from everybody.
I refused their conditions. I have never lived under any conditions, and particularly such ugly conditions. I left the country and went to Nepal -- because that is the only country where I can go without a visa; otherwise the Indian government had informed all the embassies that no visa should be issued to me so that I cannot leave India. They have a treaty with Nepal; no visa is needed.
But Nepal is a small and very poor country -- the poorest -- and under tremendous pressure from India.... India can take it over any moment. It has no army worth the name.
When it became from reliable sources; absolutely certain that they would compel the Nepalese government either to arrest me or to send me back to India, I had to leave Nepal.
It makes no difference to my being.
But it makes a lot of difference to my attitude about the society in which we are living. It is absolutely ugly, barbarous, uncultured, uncivilized.
That's why I said, "A lot -- and nothing."
I FOUND THE STORY YOU TOLD US ABOUT MAHAVIRA WHEN HE WENT BEGGING VERY ODD. THAT HE SHOULD STIPULATE HOW EXISTENCE SHOULD PRESENT HIS DAILY FOOD SEEMED TO ME LIKE A TRIP, AND NOT THE ATTITUDE OF SOMEONE TOTALLY AVAILABLE TO, AND ACCEPTING OF, LIFE'S WAYS. PROBABLY I HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD THE WHOLE POINT.
YOU HAVE SAID WE NEED NOT BE IN A HURRY IN OUR SEARCH; BUT AROUND YOU I ALWAYS FEEL SUCH A GREAT SENSE OF HOW PRECIOUS TIME IS, SO I WANT TO USE IT TO THE MAXIMUM. AND TO ME AT THE MOMENT THAT MEANS ASKING ALL AND ANY QUESTIONS I ONCE MIGHT HAVE HELD BACK, FROM FEAR OF APPEARING STUPID. I REALLY DO WANT TO STAND BEFORE YOU, "NAKED, EMPTY, AND ALONE."
The story of Mahavira has always been misunderstood -- it is not only you who have misunderstood it -- because we understand things according to our minds. If you were in place of Mahavira then perhaps it would be stipulating existence, but for Mahavira it is not so; it is not stipulating existence.
As far as Mahavira is concerned, he simply wants a signal from existence -- whether he should continue, or he is no longer needed. He never complains. At times he has remained fasting for three months continuously, but not a single word of complaint.
If he was stipulating then there would be frustration, there would be complaint. If he was trying to manipulate existence then there would be a certain sense of failure. For three months he had not been able even to get food -- but there was no complaint. He was one of the most peaceful, loving, silent beings.
Why did he make this decision after his morning meditation? -- simply not to be a burden on existence. Let existence decide. He is not stipulating existence; he is allowing existence to take total charge of his life, even of his breathing, of his food. Everything he is leaving in the hands of existence.
But how will he know? There is no linguistic communication between you and existence; there can be only a symbolic communication -- and that was nothing but a symbolic communication. He wanted a symbol.
One thing has to be remembered, that these people like Mahavira, Parsunatha, Buddha, are very unique beings. They have their own ways, and their ways fit perfectly with their personality.
Now I will never do that kind of thing. I am a totally different person -- but I will not misunderstand Mahavira either. I accept his uniqueness, and I respect the way he lived his life -- always undemanding. This was not a demand -- that existence should fulfill this condition -- it was simply an agreement: "Because language is not possible, I will choose a certain symbol, and then it is up to existence." He is leaving himself in the hands of existence so totally that he does not want to breathe even a single breath on his own.
But I am a totally different person, almost the very opposite of Mahavira. I will never ask such a thing from existence. My whole way is of let-go -- and why bother? Once and for all, leave it to existence, and when existence does not need you, you will be absorbed into the universe. There is no need every day to ask again and again -- that is a kind of nagging. I have done it once, and that's all. I will not do it twice, because to do it twice means that the first time you were not total; otherwise who is doing it again? Let-go can be done only once.
When I was a child we used to have many puzzles, and particularly we used to ask a teacher -- who was a little dumb -- simple things, and he would get into such a nervous state.
For example we used to ask him, "One man tried to commit suicide four times. Can you tell us when he succeeded? -- the first time, the second time.... Which time did he succeed?"
And he would start thinking about it. He would say, "How should I know?" If a man succeeds then the last time is really the first time!
In my understanding, let-go is only once. If you need it again, that means the first time...
whom were you deceiving? And what is the guarantee that the second time is not going to be just like the first?
Let-go is an understanding.
It is not something that you have to do.
It is not something that you have to say to existence; it is simply an understanding: "I will not swim against the current, because that is simply stupid." You are going to be tired soon, you can never be victorious against the current. Understanding that, you accept the current's way as your way.
That is let-go.
Now, wherever the river leads you... you don't have to check every day; you simply go with the river. Some day -- any day -- you may reach the ocean, you may disappear.
So I will not suggest to anybody to do what Mahavira used to do. But Mahavira has his own unique being.
His real name was not Mahavira; mahavira means "a great warrior." His real name was Vardhmana, but nobody remembers his real name for the simple reason that his whole approach is that of a warrior, a fighter. Even with existence he is in a constant fight. He is saying, "I can live only if I am welcome. I don't want to live even a single moment more if I am not welcome."
Deep down he was fighting, but his fighting had a beauty of its own. He was total in it -- that was its beauty. It was not a partial war, it was total. And the secret is, whatever is total transforms you; your let-go, if it is total, will transform you; your fight, if total, will transform you.
What transforms is neither let-go nor war, but your totality.
Even today there are monks doing the same, who follow Mahavira. There are not many because as soon as Mahavira died there was a division. There were people who were not ready for such a fight. And that division has many monks. They have compromised on many points on which Mahavira would not compromise.
For example, they wear clothes; Mahavira remained naked. These people stay in homes; Mahavira never stayed under a roof. It may have been raining, it may have been cold, it may have been hot -- he was always under a tree. So the people who wanted to compromise could not compromise when he was alive. He was a tremendously powerful man. But the day he died, his followers divided.
So the orthodox ones, who still follow Mahavira... There are only twenty-two of them -- there were when I was in India; a few may have died, because they were all old people.
And once one monk dies, it is very difficult to replace him.
The other party, the compromisers, have almost five thousand monks -- and they go on growing. And they go on compromising.
First they started using clothes; then they started using people's houses to stay in. Now they have started using even airplanes. Mahavira walked all his life, never using any vehicle. I have seen these compromisers hiding toothpaste; Mahavira never washed his teeth.
I know about these monks, that whenever they have a chance they take a shower; Mahavira never took a shower himself unless the sky was raining and he was standing under a tree. I have seen in one monk's place, where he was staying... he was very friendly to me, and he was not worried that I would expose him.
He said, "What you will take? -- Fanta or Coca Cola?"
I said, "What are you saying?"
He said, "Just don't tell anybody!" -- and he opened a closet and he was hiding Coca Cola, Fanta. Compromise has no limit. But what is harmful in it? -- it is absolutely nonviolent junk; you can drink it.
But those who have followed Mahavira, their number has been getting less and less; one dies and is not replaced. Even they, in an underground way, have compromised. It is difficult to be exactly like Mahavira -- that's what I say, following is impossible.
These people also make, after their meditation in the morning, a certain condition that should be fulfilled. But those conditions are limited -- six or eight -- and everybody knows, so if they are staying in a city, then they will go to all the Jaina houses and all the Jaina houses will be fulfilling different conditions. And they have made very simple conditions.
For example, if on the door of a house two bananas are hanging, then the food will be accepted. And this is known, so every Jaina is hanging two bananas, and they come and they accept the food -- the condition is fulfilled. Just such small conditions which are known, and which must be made known by the monks.
They cannot eat food from anybody other than a Jaina family, so you will be surprised to see that they have renounced their family, one family, but when they are moving... And they are constantly moving. They cannot stay more than three days in one place, because this is Mahavira's understanding -- and I feel that he is right -- that after three days some kind of attachment starts growing.
For example, for the first day you will not find the place suitable to you. You may not sleep well, you may have a certain tension in you. But after the third day, things start settling; and after the twenty-first day you become well-accustomed to the place, as if you had been born in it.
A certain amount of time is needed for adjustment, so Mahavira does not allow more than three days. And in India, Jainas are very few, so there are many, many places where there are no Jainas -- so what will the Jaina monk do? So twenty families follow him with their buses and their cars and tents, and wherever there is no Jaina family they make a small campus of tents and bananas are hanging... and all eight conditions that are known are fulfilled. And every family has prepared food -- and the man must have made one condition out of eight -- so he will get food.
Now, formally he is following, but this was not what Mahavira was doing. That was a totally different thing. It was not let-go; he was not a man for let-go, he was a warrior.
Truth has to be conquered, according to him, and to conquer it you have to fight totally.
And the story I told you is part of his fight. His whole life is the path of fight.
I will tell you one story more.
He remained for twelve years silent, till he became enlightened. Those twelve years are filled with great incidents. One day he is meditating... and his meditation is also not that of a relaxed way. The meditation ordinarily done in the East is in the lotus posture, and the lotus posture physiologically is the most relaxed once you have learnt it, because your spine is straight and the gravitation is the least, and that makes your body hang on the straight spine like a loose cloth.
Mahavira meditates standing. In his every attitude he is a warrior. There are people who meditate with closed eyes -- this is more relaxed. There are people who meditate with open eyes, just the natural way -- blinking. That too is not a fight. Mahavira meditates with eyes half closed and half open, and no blinking.
In those twelve years one day he is standing and meditating by the side of the river, and a man comes and says to Mahavira, "You are standing here, just watch my cows. I am leaving -- I have to go urgently to my home; my mother is sick and somebody has come to inform me that she is dying. So I will be back soon, but just... you are standing here for the whole day: just have a look so my cows don't get lost in the jungle."
And Mahavira, because he cannot speak, is silent. And the man is in such a hurry -- his mother is dying -- he does not bother that this man is not speaking. He simply takes his silence as a yes.
When he comes back after one or two hours, Mahavira is still standing there but all the cows are gone. Now, he gets furious. He says, "You seem to be a cunning man. So you were standing here the whole day just for my cows. Where are my cows?"
And because he does not speak, the man becomes more and more furious: "So you are trying to be dumb! I will make you speak!" And he takes two pieces of wood and forces those two pieces into Mahavira's two ears and hits them hard with a rock, so that he becomes deaf for his whole life. But still he will not speak, he will not blink.
The man thought, "He seems to be mad. Anybody would have spoken..." And he goes and looks in the forest. In the evening the cows come back, and when the man comes back, he finds they are all sitting around Mahavira where he had left them before.
He said, "You are really a man! I destroyed your ears and you did not speak! I have been going all over the forest, and the cows are sitting here! Where have you been hiding them?" And he beats him -- he is naked. And Mahavira remains standing. The man is thinking that he is really mad -- neither beating has any effect... you cannot do anything to him, he will not react. That is total silence -- that whatever happens, he will remain centered without any reaction. It is not only a question of speaking.
The story is beautiful. Up to this point it is factual, but it takes a mythological ending. In India there are many gods. India does not believe in one god -- one god seems to be like believing in a dictator; it is undemocratic -- India believes in many gods, actually thirty- three million. That was the population of India when they invented gods: one god for everyone. That seems to be right and fair.
Indra, one of the gods, feels terribly hurt and disturbed by what has happened to Mahavira -- a silent man who has done nothing. The cows moved themselves, came back again, and he is utterly innocent.
Indra came -- and gods can speak without words -- so he spoke to Mahavira, "I can give you two gods as bodyguards, because it is unthinkable, unbelievable! This should not happen." And to gods you may not speak but they can read your thought.
Indra reads Mahavira's thought: "Just leave me alone. I don't want anybody's help; I want to fight it alone. I don't want to be indebted to anybody -- forgive me. Whatever happens, I am going to fight this whole war alone until I am victorious."
Now, his victory will sound strange to anybody who has been listening to the idea of let- go, surrender to existence. But this is a good place to remind you: Be compassionate about others, their uniqueness. It does not mean that you have to follow their path; it simply means a deep understanding that people are unique; and if people are unique then their ways are going to be unique. And sometimes very opposite ways lead to the same goal.
It is very easy to misunderstand, but I would like you to understand different ways, different people, different uniquenesses. All that will help to broaden your heart, your compassion, your comprehension. And whatever path you are following, it will be helpful to it.
This is broadness -- that it can contain contradictions.