I have no ifs and buts in my philosophy of life. It is not a question of "if." I am not a great master but an ordinary, fallible man - it is the truth.
And to be chosen by an ordinary fallible man - I cannot conceive how it can fulfill your ego. If you were chosen by a great master, then certainly your egos would be fulfilled. But in your being chosen by an ordinary, fallible man, your egos will be completely destroyed. The fallible man will most probably choose the wrong person. The ordinary man is bound to choose ordinary people. It is impossible for you to feel extraordinary.
I want you to realize a simple thing: in existence there is nothing higher, nothing lower. There are no separate entities to be compared - it is one existence. And to be part of it you cannot remain extraordinary. You are dividing yourself from the beautiful ordinariness of existence.
The people who have called themselves the great masters, prophets, messiahs, are simply egoistic.
Naturally, these people attracted other egoistic people.
Jesus declares he is the only begotten son of God. He chooses his twelve apostles - all idiots, but their egos are tremendously fulfilled. Chosen by the only begotten son of God, they become extraordinary in their minds. The moment Jesus was departing, the last night, do you know what the disciples were asking him? They were not concerned that tomorrow he is going to be crucified, they did not ask a single question about that. They did not ask, "What can we do to prevent it?" Not a single one of them said, "I am ready to be crucified in your place."
What they asked is simply disgusting. They asked, "Lord, when you reach paradise, of course you will be sitting at the right hand of God the father. Please tell us, what will be our positions? Who will be next to you?"
Do you think these people are sane, sensible, reasonable? These people are madly egoistic. They are with Jesus not because they love him but because they are going to use Jesus as a ladder to reach paradise, to the highest possible post there. Of course, they allow Jesus to be at the right hand of God, but who will be next to him? - and then? - all twelve apostles.... I do not see any love, any gratitude.
They have not come for that. They were attracted by Jesus' proclamation that he is the messenger, the prophet, the son. And a fisherman is asking, "What will be my place in paradise?" A fisherman has no place in this world. He is trying to console himself; he is trying to believe that Jesus is the son of God, because on that belief depends his ego. Without Jesus being the only begotten son of God, he is only a fisherman. But if Jesus is the son of God, and the fisherman is by his side, naturally he becomes extraordinary, the most superior person possible. He has bypassed all the rabbis, all the saints, all the prophets, all the priests. This is the inner functioning of their mind.
You can be with me only if you don't have such idiotic ideas about yourself. To me, being a fisherman is far better than being a stupid apostle. And who cares about God? He is not even a fisherman, he is not even a carpenter - who cares to be on his right side or left side? In the first place he does not exist, so there is no left, no right.
You can be with me for a simple reason only.
They were doing business. They were all Jews, and it was a good bargain. Just to hang around this crazy man and then to gain all the glories of heaven - it was a good bargain!
With me, you have only to lose; you cannot gain anything. You are in a game where you can only be a loser. You will have to lose your ego, you will have to lose your jealousy, you will have to lose your fear. You will have to lose all kinds of crap that you are filled with. You will have to be empty - and emptiness cannot claim the ego. There is no place in emptiness, in nothingness, for the ego.
You can be with me, not for anything that is going to be profitable in the future; you can be here only for this moment.
I do not promise you anything. All your prophets and messiahs and avataras have been lying - because all their promises are simple lies and nothing else. They have been befooling you, cheating you, exploiting you, knowing your weakness. This is your weakness: the ego. Anybody can exploit you, he just has to make your ego a little bigger.
In India, we have a proverb, "In time of need one has to call a donkey 'Daddy.'" Knowing perfectly well that he is a donkey, in time of need you have to call him Daddy. Of course the donkey feels great.
It is a mutual phenomenon: you are calling him Daddy for your profit, and he is readily available because nobody has ever called him Daddy. Everybody has been, up to now, calling him donkey.
I was expelled from one of my colleges. I have been expelled many times, but this time it was very difficult for me to get into another college. The city I was living in had almost twenty colleges, but now everybody was aware that it was better not to let me in, because I made expulsion difficult, almost impossible. And the trouble was that I was always right! All their expulsions were absolutely wrong, and they accepted it.
The principles told me, "We are sorry, and we know that you are right, but what can we do? It is difficult, we are in a great fix." Once, a professor who had been in the college for thirty years, one of the most important professors of the college, known all over India, had written a letter: "Either this student should not remain in the college, or accept my resignation. We both cannot be in the college together."
The principal told me, "I know, I understand your argument. It is absolutely valid" - because the professor was teaching logic and not allowing me to argue!
"What kind of professor is he?" I asked him. "Particularly in the subject of logic, argumentation is absolutely appropriate. He is not teaching me love, he is teaching me logic. And if I find loopholes in his logic, what is wrong in it? He should correct himself."
The principal said, "I understand. He is behaving arrogantly, knowing that we cannot lose him. He is one of our best, most well-known professors; he attracts students to the college. He knows that I can be blackmailed, and he is blackmailing me; but I am sorry, I have to expel you."
No college was ready to accept me because the same was going to happen everywhere; it had happened in a few other colleges before. But I have my own way of doing things. I went to one principal who was thought to be a crackpot. And why was he thought to be a crackpot? Because in the early morning from five to seven he was praying to the mother goddess Kali. He himself was a big man, black, ugly, and he was a devotee of the mother Kali - kali means black. And the pictures or the statues of mother Kali are really unbelievable. Who is going to worship this woman?
She has in one of her hands a freshly-cut head of a man, blood dripping, and in another hand, a sword ready for anybody she comes across. And she is dancing on the chest of her husband!
Twelve skulls of human beings make her garland. She is ferocious, blood-thirsty. She seems to be more representative of death than life.
He was a devotee of the goddess Kali and he got almost in a frenzy.... When he prayed, he would pray so loudly - and his voice was not musical. The whole neighborhood was tortured. Nobody could sleep in the morning when it is so beautiful to turn over and go to sleep again. You would go on tossing and turning, and he would shout his prayers and dance.
I reached his home - I did not go to the college, to his office - I reached his home at four o'clock early in the morning. He was just coming out of his bathroom. He said, "Why have you come here?"
I said, "I wanted to meet you in your temple, not in that ordinary principal's office. Here you are your reality. There you are nothing but a principal. There are millions of principals in the country, but there is not a single other devotee of your caliber. I wanted to meet you and see you at your best."
He smiled, he put his hand on my hand. He said, "You are the first person to recognize me. Nobody recognizes what I am doing. All the neighbors are against me, all the professors are against me, all the students are against me."
I said, "It will be a great privilege for me if I can sit and just watch your devotion, your dance, your musical singing." And that day he did his best! After he was finished, I told him, "You have converted me: I have become a devotee of the mother goddess Kali. Now I will see you in the office."
He said, "There is no need. I know you have been expelled - and a person like you with such great insight! You need not bother; you are admitted to the college. You need not apply for it. You are my most respected student."
And he kept his word: he permitted me in his college, he gave me a scholarship. And whenever there was any occasion - and he used to find occasions to torture the professors and the students by his long, boring speeches - he would always mention me. He would say, "Perhaps nobody else is understanding me, but I am certain that there is one person" - and I was always sitting in front - "who understands me, and that is enough."
You cannot be close to me when I say I am an ordinary man. And it is not "if." Don't try to deceive yourself, baby. I am really an ordinary man. Unless you are also ordinary, there is no possibility of communion between me and you. If you are extraordinary you will be so high, above the roof of the Mandir. If you are also simple and ordinary, you will understand the beauty, the grace, the innocence of it. Your ego will disappear.
But because of your "if" the whole problem has arisen in your mind. Deep down you want to believe that I am extraordinary. You may be arguing within yourself that I am just being humble in saying that I am ordinary. I am not a humble man. Only an egoist can be humble. Humbleness is just the ego standing on its head. I don't have any ego - how can I be humble? There is no way.
You must be arguing within yourself that this is my way of teaching you humility, simplicity, egolessness, but I am not ordinary. Please, don't deceive yourself. I am just as ordinary as you are, with all the weaknesses, with all the frailties. This is to be emphasized continuously because you will tend to forget it. And why am I emphasizing it? So that you can see a very significant point:
if an ordinary man - who is just like you - can be enlightened, then there is no problem for you either. You can also be enlightened.
All the religions of the world have created a totally different situation. Krishna, the Hindu god, is an incarnation of God himself. You can listen to him, you can appreciate him, you can worship him, but you cannot imagine that you can become another Krishna! He is not an ordinary mortal, he comes from on high - you cannot even imagine the height from where he comes. You are ordinary creatures of the earth. He has come to give you a message, he has come to save you; he is your savior.
You know yourself perfectly well - how can you imagine yourself a savior? You know your weaknesses - you cannot drop smoking, how can you be a savior?
If you want me to prove my ordinariness.... There are a few difficulties; otherwise I would start smoking. It is just that I am allergic. That means you are in a far better position than me. I cannot smoke, I will immediately start coughing and will have an asthma attack. You are in a far better position. I can start doing everything that you do - I am just lazy. You have to tolerate me. But my point has to be understood completely, without any ifs and buts.
I belong to you.
I am part of you.
My place is amidst you.
That will destroy your egoistic trips and numbers. It will give you a great rejoicing that one need not be an incarnation of God to be enlightened; one need not be a special messenger of God, like Mohammed, to be enlightened. One need not be in direct communication, with a private line to God, and still you can be enlightened.
The ego is the barrier. I am exposing my whole heart to you. I was not born out of a virgin mother, I was born just as you were born. I was not born while my mother was standing, she was lying down just as your mother was lying down.
When Buddha was born, his mother was standing, and he dropped onto the earth, standing. I have never done anything like that. Not only did he drop from the womb standing, he walked seven feet, seven steps - symbolic, esoteric. The number seven is very esoteric. And on his last step, he stood there - just born, standing, walking - he stood there and declared to the whole universe, "I am the most supreme enlightened being!"
Now, I have not done anything like that. Even if I had been told to do it, I would have refused. It looks so foolish. Now, how can you imagine yourself walking side by side with Buddha? Impossible, he is superhuman - you are an ordinary creature.
Mohammed died, but in a special way. He is no ordinary man, he is the last prophet of God. After him there is not going to be any prophet. He closed the door because he has given the final message.
Now there are going to be no further additions, impressions, no editing, nothing has to be added.
He has given the essential and basic and the most profound, final message to the world. He cannot die in an ordinary way.
When he died, he flew with his horse upwards. People saw him going beyond the clouds, and then he disappeared. Even the horse went with him. It was no ordinary horse, it was Prophet Hazrat Mohammed's horse. You cannot even compare yourself with Mohammed's horse - you are just a donkey!
These people were pure egoists, creating stories about themselves, and then their followers went on and on creating more and more stories to make their prophet higher than other prophets. Over the centuries, so many extraordinary miracles have accumulated around these prophets - that impresses people. Becoming a Catholic, you become special.
But to be with me you have to become ordinary, you have to come down to the earth. You have to be human. And the moment you understand humanity, its frailty, its weaknesses, you will understand other human beings more clearly. You will not be so unkind if somebody commits a mistake; you know it is human. If somebody goes wrong, you will not be too hard. You will say, "So what? I am also prone to go that way." If somebody drinks alcohol, smokes cigars, plays cards....
Prophets are not allowed to do such things. Prophets are not allowed to do natural things even.
Mahavira, the Jaina prophet, is not allowed to perspire. I am very much worried about the man, because perspiration is a natural device to keep your temperature exactly the same, normal. If perspiration stops, Mahavira will explode into flames; his temperature will go higher and higher.
Perspiration is a natural way to keep the heat from entering you. You perspire, and the sunrays are prevented by your perspiration. The sunrays become engaged - they are foolish - they become engaged in evaporating the perspiration. They forget you, they leave you alone, and your temperature remains the same.
You have holes all over your body: seven million small holes, with glands ready to perspire any moment. If Mahavira never perspired, I can think only of one thing - that we should forget the idea that we have invented plastic. Mahavira's body must have been a plastic body; only a plastic body cannot perspire.
Plastic is very stubborn. Now the scientists of the whole world are worried: so much plastic is being thrown into the ocean, into the rivers, into the earth, and there is no way for plastic to dissolve into earth or into water. It is accumulating there because it is not a natural product.
If a tree falls down, soon it will disappear into its basic elements: the water will move into the water, the earth will move into the earth, the air will be released into the air, and the tree will disappear. But plastic is not going to disappear; it is going to remain there, preventing natural cycles of rejuvenation.
And each year there is more and more plastic, because it is cheap. You need not keep it: you use the content and throw the container; it has no value.
Mahavira's body does not perspire. What about other things? He does not urinate... because a man who does not perspire, do you think he will urinate? What happens to the water that he drinks? His bladder must be getting bigger and bigger and bigger - at bursting point. Any moment he can create a flood! He does not defecate. Now, he must be unique, the only person in the whole history - past, present, future - at the top of the line of those who are constipated. You cannot defeat him.
One man has tried. The greatest length known to humanity is... one man in England - of course, it has to be in England - remained constipated for eight months. This is the longest period. Only an Englishman can manage that. But what about Mahavira? - for eighty-two years!
All this nonsense, all these lies are invented for a simple reason: to humiliate you, to make you feel unworthy, to make you feel guilty, to create an inferiority complex in you. And if an inferiority complex is created in you, you start going towards something which is superior. You want to become the president of the country, you want to have all the wealth of the world, you want in every direction and dimension to be something special and higher. From inferiority to superiority is the journey of the ego.
I want you to understand that you are perfectly okay as you are. Just relax in your simple ordinariness. Don't try to change it. Don't try any discipline to improve yourself. Just relax and accept.
If the sun accepts you.... Do you think presidents get more suntan than you? Do you think trees look greener to the presidents than to you? Do you think the world is in any way different to the kings and the queens than to you? If this existence accepts you, then who is the priest to condemn you? He is against nature, against existence. And because of his continuous condemnation of your ordinariness, he goes on destroying you.
I respect you, not because you don't perspire. I respect you, not because you were born of a virgin girl. I respect you, not because you were born standing, walked seven steps and declared, "I am the most enlightened man ever!" I respect you because you are simple, ordinary, vulnerable, fallible.
If existence is ready to accept you, who I am not to accept you? All the religions have been rejecting you. And it is a strange phenomenon: they go on condemning you, rejecting you, humiliating you - and you go on falling at their feet, worshipping them.
You need not worship me, you need not fall at my feet. You need not in any way think of yourself as my followers. You are my fellow travelers.
As long as it suits you to be with me, be with me. The moment you feel it is time to depart on some crossroad, then go to Santa Fe. I have nothing against Santa Fe. Santa Fe is my commune - just a few camels have gathered there.
It depends on you, not on the gachchhamis. If you are alive, if you are full of love, if you are as curious as a child - wondering about everything in life - if you are alive, flowing, then whatever you do will remain alive. You are trying to throw the responsibility on the gachchhamis.
Please remember: everything, if you do it as a duty, will be dead. Everything, if you do it out of love, will be alive - you are pouring yourself into it.
When you wake up in the morning do you say, "Shit! Again?" Then your day is going to be what you want: it is going to be shit. But if you wake up in the morning, just the way a child opens his eyes for the first time, looks all around: such an immensely beautiful world - so many colors, so many birds singing, the sun and the moon and the stars... and the people, each individual and unique. The child makes everything alive.
See a child trying to catch a butterfly - those colors of the butterfly, the beauty of it! He is running.
Most probably he will not be able to catch it, because butterflies are clever enough. They will sit and create the desire in the child, that now is the moment; and as he reaches close by, again they are on the wing. But the child is enchanted with flowers, with seashells, with anything! Colored stones on the beach....
In my childhood, my mother had to take all kinds of things from my pockets. Now I have no pockets, then I used to have four: two on the side, two in the front - and long pockets. I harassed the tailor, "The pockets have to be as long as possible."
He said, "But that looks odd. And your father says something else to me, 'Don't listen to him.' And it is not beautiful to have that long a pocket, four pockets. And what do you do with those pockets?"
I said, "There are so many things to collect in the world - beautiful stones by the riverside. It is so challenging."
My mother had to empty my pockets before I went to sleep, because otherwise all those stones would be on the bed and I would not be able to sleep. But she had to keep them, because in the morning the first thing I would ask was, "Where have all those stones gone?" I had piles of stones, seashells; and collecting all these things I was more happy than King Midas must have been.
Midas had the blessing of gods. He had been praying for it; so remember always, sometimes prayers just by accident come true. He was praying that the power should be given to him that whatever he touches becomes gold. And then he was caught. He was the most miserable man the world has known.
He would touch his food and it would become gold. Even his own children would not come close to him, because he had touched one of his boys; he was standing there - a golden statue of course, but dead. The people of his court escaped. His own wife was not ready to sleep with him - not even in the same room, because who knows? In sleep he may touch you, and you are finished!
That man was deserted by everybody, and he was surrounded with nothing but gold. His palace was gold, his streets were gold, the trees of his garden were gold. It was all gold, and Midas was the most poor man in the world. Not a single friend; even his own wife and children finally escaped.
He died in utter misery and starvation, because water he could not drink, food he could not eat.
Whatever he touched immediately became gold. He had to carry the great weight of his clothes - because they all became gold. Now he understood what he had asked for. This was a golden poverty, golden death. But it was not alive.
Remember that: it depends on you, it is your touch that keeps things alive or dead.
The gachchhamis have to be understood. The first thing: they are not prayers, because there is no God to whom you can pray. The gachchhamis are your decision. And because you are so asleep, you have to go on reminding yourself.
The first is, buddham sharanam gachchhami: I go to the feet of the awakened one. It does not say, "I go to the feet of Jesus, Mohammed, Mahavira, Gautam Buddha" - no.
Buddham is not Gautam Buddha. Gautam Buddha's original name was Gautam Siddharth. When he became awakened, then Siddharth was dropped and the world has know him since then as Gautam Buddha. "Buddha" is nobody's property. It simply means the sleep is over, you are no longer dreaming, no longer hallucinating; you are simply awake.
Reminding yourself, "I go to the feet of the awakened one," is not worshipping, because the awakened one is not any person in particular. There are no feet of the awakened one. It simply says, and reminds you, that you are surrendered to the fact of awakening, that this is your decision, this is your commitment.
The second line of the gachchhamis is, sangham sharanam gachchhami: I go to the feet of the commune of the awakened one. Why? Because the awakened one is no longer an individual. He becomes spread over all those people who love him.
My commune is me. So anybody who tries to divide - he loves me but he does not love my commune - has not understood it at all. And he does not love me - he is befooling himself. If he loves me, then it is natural that he will love those who love me. The commune is all those people who are seeking and searching to be awakened. At least one decision they have made, that they love the awakened one and they would like to have the same quality to their consciousness. Howsoever long the journey may be, they are determined to reach the goal.
In the commune there will be all kinds of people: a few will be camels, a few will be lions, a few may have become children. It is a good hit for your ego. To go to the feet of the awakened one may again create from the back door the same ego. But to go to the feet of the commune, where there are camels.... Sometimes you will touch the feet of the camel. Sometimes the lion will roar at you when you are trying to touch his feet; he may make a breakfast of you. And the child....
No culture, no society, no religion, has respected the child. Every culture is trying to make the child behave in the ways of the old people because they know what is right; how can a child know what is right? A child has to be trained, nurtured. He is thought by all the civilizations of the world to be a savage, a primitive. He has to be cultured, he has to be made civilized. They are all cutting and pruning the child and trying to make him a good citizen.
The old man has been respected by all the cultures, all the religions, all the societies. Why?
Just because he has lived seventy years, eighty years, ninety years? All old people become cunning. Naturally their experience of life makes them cunning. The more cunning you are, the more successful you will be. They all become suspicious, mistrusting, because the more you trust, the more you will be exploited. You have to continually go on mistrusting everybody, so nobody can manage to exploit you.
The old man has learned that life is a struggle, a struggle to survive. It is a continuous war against the whole world. Everybody is at your neck - before he cuts your neck, you have to cut his. There is no time, you cannot wait; you have to be the first to cut, to destroy the other. And this old man has been respected by everybody.
I am telling you, respect the child, because the child is innocent, trusting, loving, enjoying the small things of life. He has no desire to rise higher on any ladder of success. He is utterly contented - you have not yet poisoned him. Your educational system has not yet put his mind on the way of ambition. The child has no ambition. And the awakened one regains his childhood.
The awakened one comes back to a greater childhood, to a greater innocence. The child's innocence was not his achievement, he was simply ignorant of the ways of the world; but the awakened one has passed through the whole life's experience, the whole expanse of good, bad - and still, by becoming awake, he has dropped it.
The child was going to be corrupted sooner or later. The awakened one cannot be corrupted.
The child's innocence was really ignorance. The awakened one's innocence is not ignorance, it is his wisdom. But it is a circle, complete. As a child he started, moved around the world and its experiences - miseries, sufferings, anxieties, anguishes - and has come back to the same point again. The circle is complete, he has become a child again.
So in the commune there will be many camels - the new arrivals are bound to be camels, some old stubborn guys are going to be camels. There will be lions who have dropped their camelhood. And there will be a few children - innocent.
To go to the feet of the commune simply means to destroy your ego completely. It is so easy to go to the feet of the awakened one; it is more difficult to go to the feet of the commune. More difficult, because your ego will hurt; but more important, because that ego has to be destroyed.
And the third gachchhami sutra is: I go to the feet of the ultimate law of the awakened one.
The ultimate law is just to be silent, utterly at ease, without any condemnation of any part of your being - a total acceptance.
I have been asked hundreds of times.... One day a woman came and said, "You have given sannyas to my husband. Do you know that he is a drunkard? Have you told him to stop drinking?"
I said, "Why should I tell him to stop drinking?"
She said, "But what kind of a sannyasin is he?"
I said, "Anybody who comes to me is bound to have weaknesses, frailties. I have no condemnation.
You think your husband has not told this to me? This was the first thing. With tears he has told me, 'Please let me tell you that I am a drunkard. I have tried my hardest to stop drinking before I came to you for sannyas, but it is impossible. In this life it is not possible for me to stop drinking.'"
So I said, "Let me take a chance. If you refuse, it is perfectly okay."
He said, "But if you give me sannyas knowing perfectly well that I am a drunkard, then.... You know better."
I said to the woman, "Your husband has exposed himself - that is simplicity. He was not hiding anything. And there is nothing to be worried about. Sannyas is the beginning of transformation. It does not ask you.... All the religions have asked you first to fulfill certain conditions and then you can be a sannyasin.
"I am a totally different kind of man. My approach is utterly different. I say become a sannyasin without any conditions and sannyas will transform you slowly, slowly, and will bring into existence all those qualities that other religions were asking before sannyas. Before sannyas, those qualities are not possible.
"If I say to this man, 'First you stop drinking alcohol completely, only then can I give you sannyas,' he will not be able to . He has tried his whole life - and the more you fail again and again, the more you know that it is completely useless to try. You know you are going to fail. I don't make any conditions.
"I have given sannyas to your husband. Don't be worried, because my sannyas is not renouncing the wife or the children or the house or the business of the world. I am bringing a totally new conception of sannyas into the world.
This request for sannyas is only the decision of a sleeping man. Perhaps in a moment when the sleep is not so thick, and he is just on the borderline from where he can be awakened.... You know in sleep sometimes you are fast asleep, in a deep sleep; and sometimes the sleep is thin - you can even hear voices, people talking, vehicles moving on the road. You are still asleep, but very superficially. In these superficial moments of sleep a person hears about sannyas, and the alchemy of it, and the transformation that is possible through it.
"I give sannyas without any conditions. This is enough, that the man has asked to become a sannyasin. He is far better than those who don't drink, than those who don't smoke, than those who don't gamble. He is far more courageous, and far more simple."
After a few days the man came and said, "You have created a trouble for me" - because in India if people see a sannyasin they simply fall at his feet. A sannyasin passing by, you have to touch his feet. He has done something that you also desire to do but are not strong enough to do - he has done it. But those people were not aware that he is my sannyasin. And I had chosen the red color particularly for that purpose, because in India that has been for centuries the color of the sannyasin.
The drunkard said, "I am now really in a difficulty - people touching my feet, and I am a drunkard, a third-rate man! Now I have to do something. This is just too heavy for me, that a brahmin is touching my feet! And I cannot go to the pub, because in this dress if I go to the pub.... I tried first not to go, but the temptation was too much. So one day I went there, and even the manager of the pub touched my feet. He said, 'You have become a sannyasin? It is a miracle!' I had gone to ask for alcohol, but I said that I had just come to see the old friends, and came back home without any drink!
Now what am I to do?"
I said, "Now it is your business. My business is finished. You asked for sannyas - I gave you sannyas. Now, you have to work it out."
He said, "You are dangerous! You trapped me: you said there are no conditions."
I said, "There are no conditions."
"But," he said, "all the conditions are coming in . Even my wife has stopped sleeping with me" - because no woman in India will sleep with a sannyasin; that is thought to be a sin. He said, "My wife used to quarrel with me continuously. Once in a while when I was too drunk and people carried me home, she had even beaten me. Now she touches my feet every morning. And I think, 'My God! I have lost my wife. And Bhagwan was saying you are not to renounce, but this is renunciation. I have not done anything - she has renounced me!'
"My children had never paid any respect to me. They all were against me, they were in favor of their mother. They thought that I was destroying the whole family, their future, their education, because I was wasting the money that I earned on alcohol. Now before going to school, they all touch my feet, they ask for my blessing. And just the other day a man got married in my neighborhood and the couple came to ask for my blessings. That was too much!"
I said, "Now, you try whatever you can" - and he did try. It became clear to him that in his whole life nobody had respected him, nobody has accepted him as a human being, nobody had thought that he was intelligent. Now it is difficult to go back. He has to go forward whatsoever the troubles, whatsoever the consequences.
And he turned out to be not only a lion, but a child too. He is a poor man, but somehow he managed this festival to come here. I enquired how he managed. He sold his house, he sold his land. He arranged for some other sannyasin to give the guarantee bank balance because he had no bank balance. And there is no need for him to go back, because all that he had he has sold. His children are grown-up and he had come here with his wife. He is now old.
He said, "At least once more I wanted to see you, because time is fleeing fast. I am old enough - seventy-five - any day I may be gone. But I didn't want to leave this world before I had seen you once more, so I have risked everything."
I was surprised because the wife was also a sannyasin; I had given sannyas only to him. I asked, "What happened to your wife?"
He said, "I have given sannyas to her."
The ultimate law is to be innocent, simple, incorruptible, trusting in life and existence and just floating with the river - not fighting against the current, but going with the river wherever it is going, just being in a let-go. The moment you are in an absolute let-go, the ultimate law of life is clear to you. It is let-go, totally - no conflict with existence, a merger, a communion.
The gachchhamis are not a prayer; this is simply your determination. But because you are asleep, asleep in different stages - somebody asleep in the stage of the camel, somebody asleep in the stage of the lion.... And there are more stages in between. These three are just to make it convenient for you to understand, because between the camel and the lion there will be many steps; it is a growth. Between the lion and the child there will be many steps; it is a growth. It is your whole program of sannyas.
The gachchhamis are a continuous reminder. But whether they will become dead, stereotyped or not, is not in my hands. It is up to you. You have to keep them alive, and the only way to keep them alive is to live, yourself, more abundantly, more intensely, more totally.
Your intensity, your totality will give more life to the gachchhamis. Your each single remembrance of the gachchhamis will be a step forward towards the ultimate law, when you are born again, when the child in you is back. The world had taken it away, but now you have found your lost childhood.
Now nobody can take it away.