I am wondering how to address you: Mr. Camel, Mrs. Camel, or Miss Camel? Perhaps the last is the best: you have been missing continuously.
You say when you were reading my books you loved me extremely. That is dangerous, because your love is carrying, just as a shadow to it, hatred. Extreme love is going to be followed by extreme hatred. So what is happening to you is simply natural. It shows the quality of your love: you don't know what love is.
It is easy to love me reading my books, because books are dead. I am not. It is easy to love the books because you can interpret what is said in the book according to your mind. You can manage to read only that which strengthens your ego, and bypass that which destroys your ego. Books have never been known to make anyone enlightened. What can books do? You are the master of the book; it is in your hands to manipulate it in any way you want.
So if you want to continue loving me extremely, please don't come near me. Then I am almost dead for you; those books are far more valuable to you, they support you. You choose to hear, to read only that which is in tune with your mind - and your mind is the problem. Your mind has to be hammered.
All your defenses have to be destroyed. And when you come to me you are taking a risk. If you really come to me, you will return a totally different man, with no ego, no defenses.
Against whom are you creating defenses? We are one with existence. That oneness proves that there are not any real egos; all are phony. Coming close to me you will become aware that your ego is phony, that your defenses are just useless - they cannot prevent me from reaching you. And the moment I start entering you, there is great disturbance; hence you feel fear. Love disappears, fear comes in.
Miss Camel, you missed.
When there is fear, that is only a passage from love to hatred. You never fear a person you love; you cannot fear a person you love. You are absolutely open, vulnerable, without any defenses to the person you love. That's the meaning of trust. And if your love cannot create that trust it is just something phony; you are living with an idea but not with reality.
The ego is not you. And to discover yourself, the ego has to be completely destroyed. That's the only way. The master is nothing but a sculptor.
Michelangelo was asked by a shopkeeper, "In this ugly rock, a marble rock, which had been lying there for almost a decade.... First I used to keep it in my shop, but nobody bothered about it. In fact, everybody laughed at me: 'What can be made of this?' Finally I threw it on the other side of the road. How did you manage to see something in this rock?"
Do you know what Michelangelo said? He said, "Jesus called me from the rock, and asked me, 'Please, free me from this rock. I am encaged.' I saw Jesus clearly in the rock. Just a little hammering is needed - a few chips here, a few chips there - and Jesus can be discovered."
Exactly that is the work of a master. You come to him as a rock, but he goes on seeing in you something which you have not even imagined. He is dashing directly towards that which is your essential reality. He has to cut off pieces of rock here and there, and bring you to your real shape.
Books cannot do that. You have purchased those books; you cannot purchase me. You can manage to do anything to those books you want.
I never liked in my whole life to read a book from a library or from somebody else, for the simple reason that people go on doing nasty things to books. They will underline, they will make notes on the margin. You can do anything to a book; the book cannot say, "What are you doing to me?" A secondhand book is one of the most ugly phenomena in the world.
The book is absolutely in your hands. I am not in your hands; on the contrary, you are in my hands.
That creates fear, that creates a trembling inside. That makes you alert that you are coming to a dangerous place - one step more and you may be gone, and then you will never be able to find yourself again.
The real work of the master is really murder: murder of that which you are not. The master takes away all that which is not really there, and strangely, gives you that which you have always been.
Fear is natural, it is a good sign. And when you fear someone, hatred arises - a natural consequence, a simple, logical process. The person is trying to destroy you. He is changing, transforming the way you think you are. He is killing what you think is most valuable in you. Hatred, extreme hatred... you began with extreme love, and you end up with extreme hate.
But you have to understand the whole process. This happens to everybody. People who come to me either come through reading my books or listening to their friends talk about me. They come here with a certain image of me, certain expectations of me. They don't come clean, clear. And when they come here and they don't find their expectations fulfilled, great hatred arises. But this is in a way natural to the state of sleep. Nothing is wrong with it; you just have to understand the process and you will be free of it.
You meet people who have gone a little ahead of you - and that's one of the reasons for creating a commune. The gap between me and you may be too big, and you may not be able to just take a jump over the gap. The commune gives you a chance to jump in installments.
You meet somebody who is no longer a camel. He may not yet have become a lion, but certainly he is no longer a camel; he is in the process of transformation. That gives you courage that if the camel dies that does not mean your death. And in fact, with the death of the camel begins the birth of the lion.
You meet somebody whose lion is starting to roar, to declare to the whole world its freedom, courage, fearlessness. By chance you may come across a person who is just in the process of changing from a lion to a child. To see that is a miracle! The ferocious lion, the dangerous lion is turning into an innocent child. It gives you the hope that if it is possible for somebody else, it is possible for you too. And you may come across, by chance, the person who has become a child. That will give you immense trust, confidence - also a challenge.
You are meeting people here, you say, and listening to them you feel clarity, but you are afraid that when you are gone that clarity will be gone also. Remember, if you feel this clarity is going to be lost when you are gone from here, then it is not clarity; you are simply hypnotized. Not that somebody is hypnotizing you - people here in the commune are living their lives, nobody is interested in hypnotizing anybody else. Who has time?
This life is so short - to love, to live, to be - it is so short for a man who is seeking and searching for his inner truth. It is so long for those who are simply dragging, waiting deep down for death to come and release them.
All the religions are death-oriented. They are focused beyond death, they are turning their followers' eyes beyond death. They are saying to them, "Don't be bothered with life. Somehow manage to remain alive till the grave; don't fall before you reach the grave. Just on the minimum level, remain alive." That is not life, but vegetating.
If your clarity is authentic and not just the influence of a person who is a lion or a child, then it will remain with you - not only remain, it will grow. So be very alert not to be impressed, not to be influenced - those are poisons. They will give you false illusions of clarity, enlightenment.
I have a disciple in Germany who had become enlightened many times. But the trouble was, whenever he came back to see me, his enlightenment would disappear. He was very angry. He said, "Whenever I am back in Germany I become enlightened, and I feel very grateful to you. Just to pay my respects, I come here, and my enlightenment is finished!"
The enlightenment that sannyasin was having was his autohypnosis. You can hypnotize yourself.
Reading my books you can say, "This is the truth, and this is the truth I have always known. I had just forgotten it. The book has brought it back to me." But this bookish enlightenment is not the true thing. You will have to face the master.
Meetings with the camels will be very comfortable, because they are just like you. They are not strangers; you can understand their language, they can understand your language. You can see beauty in them, they can see beauty in you.
Meeting with the lion is a little difficult, but after all, a lion is also an animal. There is a certain connection between the camel and the lion. The gap is not very big, you can take the jump. But at least you will be very much impressed - even if you remain a camel, you will be very much impressed. These lions become prophets and messiahs to you, because you know that you are a camel and only a lion can save you.
And when the lion roars, you know he has power. You are getting hypnotized, but this hypnosis is of no use; it is a kind of intoxication. When you go back home to meet your family of camels there, you may start doubting whether you have really seen camels turning into lions. Your logical mind will say it is absurd: how can a camel become a lion? There is no way from being a camel to become a lion.
Lions are born out of other lions, they are not born out of camels.
It is because of this logical training of the mind that Hindus don't believe in converting anybody, Jews don't believe in converting anybody. In fact, for centuries Hindus have kept their doors closed. They say a Hindu has to be born from other Hindus.
There is no way that a Mohammedan can become a Hindu; it is simply impossible that a Christian can become a Hindu. In fact, even within the Hindu fold there are four castes; nobody can move from one caste to another. A sudra is born a sudra, and he will die a sudra - he cannot become a brahmin. A warrior, a chhatriya, is destined to remain a chhatriya, - he cannot become a brahmin.
The brahmin is the highest caste. Brahmins are born, not converted.
Jews also, for centuries, have believed that they are the chosen people of God. Now, it is up to God to make somebody a Jew. How can you convert anybody? - it is not within your power. And you are a superior race. Now, how can you change a man belonging to an inferior race? You cannot change his blood, you cannot change his bones, you cannot change his marrow, you cannot change his soul.
These are the two most ancient religions. Both have denied conversion. New religions, of course - Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism - have to convert people; otherwise, from where are they going to get numbers, congregations? If a Buddhist is only to be born from Buddhists, where are the Buddhists? Conversion is the idea of new religions to expand their empires.
Back home you will start thinking perhaps you hallucinated here, perhaps you were hypnotized: you saw things which don't happen in the natural course of things. Camels are born camels and die camels. So you start suspecting, doubting; your clarity is gone.
And it is impossible for a lion to become a child. Perhaps a camel may manage - camels are cunning and clever, very political and diplomatic. The camel may go through plastic surgery, he may go to Leeladhar and let himself be transformed into a lion. But even plastic surgery will not be able to make a child out of a lion. This is a bigger gap.
Animals - camel and lion both, howsoever different in shape - were animals, they belonged to the same category. But the child is not an animal. The jump is from animal to human being - and not an ordinary human being, but innocent, awakened, pure of heart, full of trust. No plastic surgery can do that, so you must have dreamed it.
Back home amidst camels and their scholars and their logicians, you will feel yourself stupid even to say that you have seen lions, that you have seen the child being born as a transformation of the lion. Nobody is going to believe you, they will think you have gone nuts.
The gap between the camel and the lion is not very big, but the gap between the lion and the child is very big. And unless you are a child you cannot love a master. Now comes the biggest gap, because to love a master you will need certain qualities in you.
What happens in ordinary love? Try to understand. You fall in love with a man or a woman. The qualities are in the woman with whom you have fallen in love: she is beautiful, she is young, she is juicy. You are falling in love without thinking at all about yourself, that you are not beautiful, that you are not young, that you are a completely dry bone, there is no juice. No, when you fall in love you are completely focused on the object of love, you are not thinking about yourself. This is the ordinary love which is going to change any moment into hate.
The love I have been talking about is the love where the whole structure is just the opposite of your love. You don't fall in love with a master because the master has charisma, because the master has some influence, he catches hold of your heart; or because he is convincing - whatsoever he says seems absolutely right. No, if this is the way, it is not going to last long.
The love I am talking about means you have to think of your qualities. Are you as innocent as a child, as trusting as a child, as open as a child, as silent as a child? If your love arises out of your child, your innocence, then whether the master lives or dies will not make any difference. Whether the master says this or contradicts that will not affect your love. The master may be contradicting himself continually. That will not affect your love because it was not dependent on the master's statements.
Your innocence is not an ordinary thing, it is something immensely valuable. In your innocence you will be able to see that in the contradictory statements of the master there is no contradiction, that there is a hidden connection between them, that in fact they are not contradictions but part of each other - complementaries, not contradictions.
Can light exist without darkness? Can darkness exist without light? Can man exist without woman or vice versa? Can life exist without death or vice versa? These are not contradictions, these are complementaries. They are two sides of the same coin, they are always together.
Only very mediocre minds are consistent. Idiots are absolutely consistent, they never contradict; in fact they never say anything, so there is nothing to contradict. Their whole life is a simple consistency: they remain idiotic, they keep their quality of idiocy just the same. From the cradle to the grave they are the most consistent people in the world, nothing changes in them. They are really dead; they don't have any intelligence.
The more intelligent a person is, the more he has to contradict himself, because each moment his vision is growing, each moment his insight is deepening, each moment brings new facts, new truths.
And he is not a coward who closes his eyes to that which is opening up in front of him. And he is under no obligation to the past - that which he had said in his childhood he has to repeat when he is a young man, when he is old, to remain consistent.
Intelligence is such a growing, expanding phenomenon, and each small truth discovered changes the whole map. You cannot go on keeping the old intact; the old has to be dropped and the new has to be accepted. Do you know, all the religions insist that that which is old is gold. The older it is, the golder it is. Each religion tries to stretch its oldness as far back as possible.
When Christians came in contact with Hinduism they felt very inferior, because the Christian religion says God created the world four thousand and four years before Jesus was born - there is no past beyond that. In fact, you can go back only to Jesus Christ; you cannot even go beyond him, because beyond him is Judaism. Christianity is only two thousand years old. In India Christians came across scriptures ten thousand years old. They were simply confused - what to make of it?
They had tried their best to bring everything within six thousand years. That's why they go on insisting that the Hindu religion is five thousand years old. But the evidence is not in their favor.
They may go on teaching that to the Christians - who are already convinced, there is no need to bring evidence before them - but all the evidence shows that Hinduism is at least ninety thousand years old.
In the most ancient Hindu scripture, the RIGVEDA, there is a description of a configuration of stars which, according to the astronomers, really did happen ninety thousand years ago. And since then that certain configuration of stars has not happened again. And it is described in full detail; the RIGVEDA is certainly ninety thousand years old - it may be older, but that much is certain. In no other scripture of the world is that configuration described, because they all were latecomers.
But Hinduism finds it difficult to prove that it is older than Jainism, because the Jainas' first master, Adinatha, is referred to with great respect in the RIGVEDA. Now, contemporaries are never referred to with such respect - contemporaries are criticized.
Jesus was crucified by Jews, and now the great rabbis and the pope are trying to come together and forget the past. The pope has informed all his congregations around the world, "We have to drop this anti-Jewish attitude that we have carried for two thousand years unnecessarily. One Jew, the high priest, was responsible. For his responsibility you cannot make all the generations that follow responsible."
Now, Jews are also willing - there is no problem, Jesus is no longer a disturbance. But to the contemporary Jews he was a nuisance. No contemporary Jewish scripture even mentions the name of Jesus. There is no information about his crucifixion. It was such a big event, killing an innocent man, who may have been a little bit out of his mind, but that is not a crime. Everybody has the birthright to go out of his mind, there is no problem in it. If Jesus needed anything, he needed sympathy; he needed treatment, not crucifixion.
But the contemporary Jews were very much disturbed, because he was proclaiming himself the messiah the Jews had been waiting for. "I am the one," he said, "for whom you have waited so long. Now I have come to save you all." A carpenter's son, uneducated, coming from a small village, Bethlehem.... They have seen him cutting wood, chopping wood, working with his father in his small workshop making benches and chairs, and suddenly... has this boy gone mad? He has become the messiah who is going to deliver everybody from all their sins!
Jainas say, "If Adinatha is so respectfully mentioned in the RIGVEDA even though he was against the brahmins, against the brahmin religion.... How can the RIGVEDA mention his name with such respect?" The logic seems to be significant. They are saying that Adinatha must have preceded the RIGVEDA by a few centuries, and by that time he was no longer a contemporary. Now his name can be mentioned with respect, he cannot do any harm. Jainism also does not believe in converting anybody. A Jaina is born a Jaina; you cannot become a Jaina.
Everybody is trying to take their religion as far back as possible. Why? What is the argument behind it? The older the religion is, the truer. But new religions like Mohammedanism, which is only fourteen hundred years old, and Sikhism, which is only five hundred years old, are in great trouble. They have also been trying to find something against all these old religions which prove their truth by their age - as if religion is like wine; the older it is, the better.
Mohammedans say the latest religion in the world is Mohammedanism. And of course, when man was primitive, God gave the RIGVEDA to the world, because people could not understand more than that. Its age only proves that it was given to primitives, aboriginals who were just coming out of the trees and trying to learn to walk on the ground. Naturally, God could not give them the ultimate truth; nobody would have understood it.
Now is the time, they say. Now means fourteen hundred years ago, when God decided man was grown-up enough, and he sent his last messenger - because now there will be no need to improve upon it; he has given his final judgment.
Mohammedanism, Sikhism try to prove.... Sikhism says, "Even Mohammedanism is old. We are only five hundred years old. There must have been some confusion because God has sent the latest message now with Nanak, the founder of Sikhism."
That message too, is now five hundred years old. Do you want me to say that I bring you the last message? I am not going to say it. I am not going to be in the company of all these fools who have been trying somehow to make their religion look bigger, higher, truer.
I say to you that I am not bringing anybody's message - because there is nobody! I want you to understand that I am simply trying to share my experience with you. It is always fresh, always young; it is always in the now, in the here. That is a fundamental quality of truth.
And I'm not saying that after me there will be nobody who will experience it. On the contrary, I am saying to you that if you understand me, there are going to be millions of people after me who will go on and on and on discovering more and more. Even if they have to contradict me, don't bother about it - let them contradict. Who am I? I am not closing the doors. I am not putting a lock on the door and taking the keys with me. My house is without doors. It is open from everywhere - and I want it to remain always open.
Naturally, people who will be coming will make new arrangements of the furniture in the house. They may plan a new architecture for the house, they may make new plans for the garden. I leave it to them, but the process will be the same.
This is a great jump, from the child to the master. The child is innocent, full of love. He falls in love with a master because something in his innocence, in his lovingness, in his openness, resounds with the heartbeat of the master. He in fact does not go into a relationship with the master, he becomes one with the master; hence it is a great jump. You are completely disappearing. But don't be worried, the master has disappeared long before you, and in disappearing he has found himself.
If you are courageous enough to disappear in the master, you will find yourself for the first time.
Then you can move amongst camels - in fact, you can ride on them. You can play with lions, you can commune with children. You can commune with flowers, with rivers, with mountains. Now there is no barrier for you. Now you are as big as the whole universe.
P.D. Ouspensky, in his great contribution to humanity, TERTIUM ORGANUM.... I have come across more books perhaps than anybody else in the whole world, but TERTIUM ORGANUM has a beauty that no other book has. Your bibles and gitas and korans and talmuds, all are far behind.
In TERTIUM ORGANUM Ouspensky states one thing which is tremendously beautiful for you to understand. He says, "In ordinary mathematics" - and he was one of the greatest mathematicians of this century - "in ordinary mathematics, the part is smaller than the whole, the whole is bigger than the part. It would be absurd in ordinary mathematics to say that the part is equal to the whole."
And this is coming from a mathematician. He says, "But I have discovered a new mathematics, a higher mathematics, where the part is equal to the whole - not only that, sometimes bigger than the whole."
It looks mysterious, not logical - certainly against Aristotle. But I say to you, he is talking about the mathematics of consciousness. When you dissolve, you don't become just a part of the whole, you become the whole. And there is every possibility that you go on growing and become bigger than the whole, because growth is the ultimate law of life.
It will be difficult logically to understand it. It is something to be experienced. Since the moment I found the ego evaporating from me, I have not felt part of the universe, but the universe itself. And yes, I have found many moments when I am bigger than the universe - because I can see the stars moving within me, the sunrise happening within me, all the flowers blossoming within me.
But don't believe in it because I am saying it. Take the jump from the child to the master.
Miss Camel, it is time: you should stop missing!
Everybody is. Freedom is a great risk. People talk about freedom, but nobody really wants to be free. It is pure talk. Everybody wants to be dependent, everybody wants somebody else to take the responsibility. In freedom you are responsible for every act, every thought, every movement. You cannot dump anything on anybody else.
Just watch a Freudian psychiatrist, psychoanalyst. The patient is lying down on a couch, the psychoanalyst is sitting behind so the patient cannot see him. He is sitting behind the couch; he can see the patient, but the patient cannot see him. Some psychoanalysts use curtains so that the patient feels he need not keep his secrets to himself.
And what happens - in all psychoanalysis sessions all over the world, what is happening? The patient goes on dumping everything either on the mother - mostly on the mother - or on the father.
But he is not taking any responsibility upon himself. He is trying to prove that he is absolutely innocent; everybody else is at fault and driving him to do things that he never wanted to do in the first place.
Perhaps there is some truth in it, that's how it is happening: mothers are driving their children...
mothers are trying to make their daughters real ladies - British ladies! American won't do. In fact, in America the lady has disappeared. In California there are only women, no ladies. The father is trying to make his son a real man, a gentleman. So there is some truth in it.
But when you are grown-up and you see the whole scene, what has happened, you can simply drop it - just like that! But you don't want to, because then you will be responsible. If right now you do something wrong, you can always point towards somebody who is responsible for it.
Everybody is afraid of freedom. That's why all around the world, layers of slaveries exist in you.
Every person is a multiple slave. He is a slave to the parents, he is a slave to the religion, he is a slave to the state, he is a slave to the neighbors - all kinds of slaveries which are not visible.
When I was a student in the university, I had a roommate with me for the whole year, and I had never thought that something was wrong with his speech. Then his father came to meet him and he started stuttering. I was amazed; I said, "What is the matter with you? Since your father has come you have been stuttering, you cannot speak the way you have always been speaking."
He said, "From my very childhood he has been teaching me how to speak, what to speak, what not to speak, whom to speak to, when to speak. He confused me so much that I lost my own sensibility, and stuttering started." He said, "I was amazed myself when I came to the university: leaving the house behind, my stuttering disappeared. And whenever I go to my house and to my family and to my town, the stuttering starts again."
I asked him, "When you go to the temple and pray to the father, God, what happens?"
He said, "The same thing, stuttering comes in. The very word "father" is enough - any father-figure."
When he was called for something by the vice-chancellor of the university, I went with him. He asked me, "Why are you coming?"
I said, "You don't be worried. I will be just outside the room waiting for you."
"But," he said, "there is no need."
I said, "I will explain it to you afterwards."
And inside the room of the vice-chancellor, he was stuttering. I had to enter without asking permission. Both were shocked. He was shocked because he was stuttering. The vice-chancellor was shocked also: "Don't you know that you have to ask permission? And I am talking to somebody."
I said, "The situation was such that I had to come in suddenly. I wanted to catch him stuttering before you for two reasons: I want to make it clear to him that it is not that something is wrong in him. Any father-figure, any authoritative figure causes his stuttering. And you are the highest authority in the university, so I wanted you also to know: please come down, don't make poor students stutter; you are not a big daddy. That's why I had to come in without asking, and suddenly. And I have caught you both red-handed. You are being authoritative, and that is ugly. You are imposing something on the poor student, who is already burdened with his daddy."
The vice-chancellor said, "Perhaps you are right - I was shouting at him. I will never do such a thing to anybody again; I don't want my students to stutter. When he started stuttering I was puzzled, 'What is the matter? Perhaps this is his habit.'"
I said, "It is not his habit. He has been living with me for the whole year, and he has not stuttered a single time. But when his father came, immediately things changed. Since then I have been watching: in the temple when he prays to God the father, he stutters. I wanted to see what happens between you and him. He is stuttering - you must have been behaving authoritatively. There is no need. You have to be more human, you have to be more friendly, you have to be more loving. You are not his father."
Now this student came out with me, and he said, "My father is responsible."
I said, "No, you are a coward. Every father is trying to improve upon the son, because the son is going to take his place sooner or later. That does not mean that the whole humanity is stuttering.
You are a weakling, and you are avoiding that responsibility. Just accept that you have been a coward; otherwise, what is so great in your father? I have seen him. In fact, you are taller than your father. If you wrestled with him you would win, because he is getting old and you are in your prime, healthy and young.
"And that old, small man makes you stutter! Still you throw the responsibility on him. This is slavery, mental slavery. But it gives you a relief that you are not the cause of it."
Who is forcing you to go to the church, to the temple, to the synagogue? Yes, when you were a child you were taken, but now? Still you are continuing the old routine. And if you are forced to explain, you will say, "It was my father who dragged me to the synagogue. It was my Jewish mom who dragged me to this or that."
You don't see it as a slavery. It is a slavery. You have not been fighting against it. Yes, I know, small children are dependent on the parents, and the parents take every advantage of your dependence.
They know you cannot rebel, they know you cannot go anywhere else.
I figured out in my very childhood what makes them so authoritative: "Perhaps they think I cannot rebel. Perhaps they think I cannot get food if I go against them. Perhaps they think I will be lost in this vast world without their protection." So I had to do all these things; only then would they understand that authority was not going to work with me. I made it clear to my father, "One thing is absolutely certain: if you want me to do something, please don't say it authoritatively."
He said, "Then in what way has it to be said?"
I said, "You have to ask me, 'Will you please do it?'"
He said, "This seems to be too much. I have to ask my own son, 'Will you please do it?"
I said, "You will have to say this. If you say to me 'Go and do it!' I am the last person to do it. I would prefer to die hungry, but I will not do it. And if you ask me, 'Will you please do it?' I can even climb Everest - there is no problem. I am doing it, it has not been forced upon me. I don't want to live like a slave in my life."
One day my father was not at home. My uncle told me, "Lately I have been seeing that you come in at any time of the night. You have to be back home before nine o'clock" - because in India nine o'clock is really night. It is not evening; the sun-sets at six, and then suddenly everything becomes dark.
I said, "You don't know the contract between me and my father. You can be certain I will never enter the house unless nine o'clock has passed."
He had no children; he was just married and he was very cocky. In fact, the Indian word for uncle is kaka - and he was trying to be the master of his wife. He said, "I repeat it again. If you don't come before nine, then I am not going to open the door."
I said, "That is settled. I will remain outside the door the whole night, but I am not going to accept authority in any way." And that's what happened. He was thinking that in one hour, two hours, I would drop the idea of remaining for the whole cold night outside.
In fact he became worried. My father was not in the town, and if I became sick or something happened to me... The night was really cold and it was getting colder. And he could not sleep either, because he was waiting for me to knock. Finally, nearabout twelve, he opened the door and he said, "Forgive me, just come in. Don't create trouble for me."
I said, "I am not creating trouble for anybody. I am simply keeping myself trouble-free."
In the school, in the college, I always loved to be a little mischievous. I felt those students who were not mischievous to be just dull and dead. So I would do something.... Just sitting in the class I might start what you do in darshan or satsang - I might start "Om-m-m" with closed mouth. Now "Om" is a religious, sacred word to the Hindus. Nobody can say that this is wrong to do; but in the class when the teacher was teaching, and he was writing on the board and his back was towards us....
He turned suddenly, looked all around - everybody was silent - and he asked, "Who was making this sound of Om?"
And I would always stand up. I would say, "I did it. It is a sacred sound."
He said, "I know, but in a class when I am teaching you something...."
I said, "You cannot teach anything higher than Om! And why are you getting so freaked out? You should have continued your work. Om would have remained in the background; it is not a problem."
He would drag me to the principal - it was almost an everyday ritual. The principal would say, "So you have come. Can't you leave these professors at ease even for a single day?"
I said, "Today I was doing such a spiritual thing. And I could have remained silent when he asked who had done it. I know perfectly well that nobody in my class can point his finger towards me, because they all know that I will create trouble for them, they are perfectly aware of it. There was no way for him to find out. I stood up myself. In fact, he should be respectful towards me: I did it, I accept it."
Many professors have asked me, "Why...? You are such a nice guy in every possible way, we cannot find a better student. But once in a while, what goes on? You start doing something which is unexpected."
I said, "It is not unexpected, at least as far as I am concerned. It is absolutely prepared."
"But why do you do it?" they would ask.
I would say, "For a single reason, that I don't want to become a slave in any way. I want to keep my freedom intact whatsoever the cost. If I feel like chanting 'Om', then I don't care what happens to me. I chanted it, and I have not harmed anybody; I have simply saved my freedom. And I take the whole responsibility for it!"
In the school, the headmaster stopped even asking why I had been brought, because it was an everyday affair - sometimes twice a day - that I would be brought to the headmaster. In the beginning he used to enquire, "What has he done? What happened?" - this and that. After a few days he stopped enquiring, he simply gave me the punishment.
He would say, "Go around the whole building seven times."
I would say, "Yes, that's okay, but I will go nine times - not less than that."
He said, "Are you mad? This is a punishment, we are not rewarding you!"
I said, "That is my way of changing the quality of the punishment. I am enjoying it - the wind is cool, the trees are beautiful. Why seven? At least I cannot accept your order. I will go nine times; then I am free of your authority, I am doing it on my own, and I'm enjoying it! And you should remember that to be authoritative is ugly - you have to understand me, why I did it. You don't care to understand.
You simply listen to the teacher, you don't even give a chance for me to explain."
That day he said, "Okay, what do you have to say? You were keeping your hand on a boy's shoulder in the class. In the classroom some discipline has to be maintained, and you know it. The classroom is not some place of entertainment - a park, a cinema hall. There you can walk with your hands on someone's shoulders, but not in the class."
I said, "I walked in the class with my hand on another student's shoulder simply to make this teacher freak out - because in the class he continually says smoking is bad, and I have caught him red- handed, smoking. Now this man should apologize to the whole class, because he was lying to them when he said, 'Don't smoke.' He himself smokes. He says to the students, 'Don't go to the movies,' and one day when I was entering the movie house for the second show, he was coming out from the first show.
"When I asked, 'What are you doing here?' He said, 'I am your teacher, you are not my teacher.
You have no right to ask what I am doing here.' Is this a human way of behaving? I deny all kinds of authoritativeness. And still he goes on telling the students, 'Don't go to the movies, don't waste your time. Don't destroy your eyes' - this and that. And he is a regular visitor to the movie house."
The movie house belonged to one of my friends' father, so I had told the friend, "Keep me informed how often he comes to the movie." He was a regular visitor, and a chain-smoker outside the class.
"I had to do something so that he can bring me to you, and I can expose his reality. Now what do you say? Should I do nine rounds around the school or he? As far as I am concerned, we both can go together, it is perfectly good."
Since that day, that headmaster stopped punishing me. He would always ask, "Why? What was the reason?" And he was always satisfied with the reason. In fact, teachers stopped sending me to the headmaster, because there they found themselves guilty of doing something wrong. By and by, they stopped preventing me from doing anything, because if I am doing something, that means there must be much more to it - what can a teacher do?
My headmaster changed and a new headmaster came into the school. And the first day I went, he took his cane and he said, "I am a strict man, and from the very first day I make it known to the school that I am going to beat you badly."
I said, "You can do it - but can you see, just there on the other side of the road is the police station.
And corporal punishment is illegal - you start beating me and you will be behind bars! The court is not far away, and I am a great friend of an old advocate who is the best advocate in the town. And I have told him that this is going to happen: 'I have heard about this man, that he beats students.' And he has promised me, 'Let him do it - you come immediately to me and we will file a suit against him in the court.' So I have made my position clear to you. Now, start beating."
His cane fell from his hand. He said, "Are you a student or some government agency?"
I said, "I am a simple student, but I don't want any authoritativeness over me. If I do anything wrong, I am ready for any punishment. But just punishing me to prove your authority? I am the last one to accept it."
"And I was not wrong - the teacher has brought me to you.... It is revengeful, because the other headmaster had stopped punishing me. Rather, he had started telling the teachers, 'It was not right on your part.' And today I have not done anything. Just when the teacher called me, I was sitting on the bench with my legs on top of it. I don't see that it is a crime, I was simply relaxed. In fact, children should be provided with chairs which are comfortable, with foot-rests so they can relax."
When you are relaxed you can understand things more easily. But in Indian schools the benches are hard - it is just a copy of British benches; in British schools the benches are hard. You have to sit on those hard benches for six hours and it starts hurting.
"Something is wrong with you people. You are not teaching us but torturing us, and under torture no teaching is possible. So I want to know what wrong I have committed. Have I given a wrong answer to his question? No, I was just keeping my feet on top of the table. These are my feet. If I drag his feet and put them on the table, you can punish me. But if you think this is a crime, you start punishing me, and I will see you in the court."
One has to understand one thing: What can happen? At the most, death can happen. Remember a simple maxim: Hope for the best, and wait for the worst. Then nobody in this life can disappoint you. Nobody can make you a slave, physically or psychologically.
A Hindu is a slave, a Christian is a slave, a Mohammedan - all these religions are psychological slaveries, because they give you consolation that if you follow and believe and have faith, then nothing wrong is going to happen to you. They give you all kinds of strategies to remain dependent.
They teach you prayer - prayer is just begging.
I don't teach you any prayer. To whom are you praying? You have not even asked the people who have taught you prayer. Kneeling down on your church floor, you are humiliating yourself. I am not for egoist assertion, but neither am I for humiliation to be accepted as humility, humbleness. I want you to be simple, without any ego and without any humbleness - straightforward, clear.
And freedom is such a great value - perhaps the greatest value in life. It cannot be lost for anything.
Even if death is the consequence - I would rather accept death than accept anything that goes against my freedom.
India was under the British Raj for almost three hundred years. My whole family was in the freedom movement; they all have been in jails. I was too young, but I was continually arguing with my father, with my uncles, "Don't blame Britain for your slavery. Such a vast country, almost a continent, cannot be made a slave by a small country like England. Somewhere deep down you are afraid of being free, somewhere deep down you are ready to accept slavery. And still you go on throwing the responsibility on Britain. But you have been a slave before too" - India has been in slavery for two thousand years. Masters changed, slavery remained.
"It is such a simple thing to see that if anybody wanted to make you a slave, you became a slave, as if you were just waiting for it, for somebody to invade you, somebody to come and enslave you."
I told my family, "I don't accept the idea of Mahatma Gandhi, that Britain is responsible for India's slavery. India itself is responsible for its slavery; otherwise, just in a single hour, all the British people can be thrown into the ocean. India just has to understand that freedom is our birthright. How many Britishers are there? Not many."
Is your mental slavery somebody else's responsibility? No. You don't want to be responsible for your own acts, you don't want to be responsible for your way of life; that's why you are afraid of being free. Drop this fear. This fear is worse than anything that can happen to anybody.
I teach you responsibility. But remember, don't misunderstand me, because all around you people are using the word "responsibility" with an absolutely different meaning - in fact, diametrically opposite to the meaning I see in the word responsibility.
They say, "Be responsible to your parents." That is not responsibility, that is slavery. They say, "Be responsible to your church, to your religion, to your faith." That is not responsibility, that is slavery.
They say, "Be responsible to your nation." That is not responsibility. These are all beautiful words to cover up an ugly fact: slavery.
When I use the word "responsibility," I use it the way it should be used. Responsibility means that whatever you do, it is your response. If I ask you, "Does God exist?" and you say, "Yes, because it is written in THE BIBLE," your answer is not a responsible answer. It is out of your Christian slavery.
But if you say, "I don't know. I have never come across God yet," this is your response. You are not repeating some catechism - Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish - no. You are facing the question directly and responding to it. Responding on your own is the meaning of responsibility.
Freedom brings responsibility. Responsibility helps you to become more and more free. And only a person who knows the taste of freedom, who knows the beauty of responsibility, is worthy of calling himself a human being; otherwise, you are camels and nothing more.