My okay is a little sad because Ashu is sad, and the membership of this Noah's Ark is so small that just one person being sad is enough to change the whole atmosphere. She is sad because her lover is gone and may not be back.
Do you remember a few days ago I asked her, "Where is your love, Ashu?" And how joyously she said, "Soon he will be here."
She may not have thought at the time why I had asked. I don't ask anybody anything without a purpose. It may not be apparent to you at the time, but it is always there. In all my absurdities there is a reason. In all my insanity there is an undercurrent of utter sanity.
I had asked her because I knew she would soon be sad. Cheer up, don't be worried. I know your lover better than you know him.
He will manage. I will manage. But in this little Noah's Ark, don't be sad. Ah! You are laughing; that is good. And it is always good to have a little separation from the lover; it makes you and your longing deeper. It makes you forget the stupidities that were happening, the conflicts. Suddenly only the beauty is remembered. Little separations bring new honeymoons. So wait for the honeymoon.
My disciples will always find a way to me, to be by my side. They want the way. He will find a way to me.
But unfortunately the word "sad" reminds me again of that German, Achim Seidl. My God, I was not going to speak about him ever again in my life, and he is there! Just because of your sadness....
Look what you have done! So never be sad, otherwise these people can enter.
I was trying to find out from his book what it is he finds wrong in me that makes him say I am not enlightened. Not that I am - just why does he feel that I am not enlightened, and why he feels that I am just illuminated. Out of curiosity I wanted to see why he had concluded in this way. What I found out is really worth laughing at. His reason that I am illuminated is... certainly what I am saying is of immense importance for the whole of humanity, but I am not enlightened because of the "way I say it." That really made me laugh. I rarely laugh, and then only in my bathroom. Only the mirror knows it. The beauty of the mirror is that it carries no memories. I laughed because it seemed that this man had met and known many enlightened people, and does not find my way of saying things the same as theirs. I would like to use an American word for him: the sonofabitch is simply intellectually constipated. He needs to start a movement; I mean he needs to eat prunes.
I say it on authority - on my own authority, of course - that Bodhidharma, if he had known the expression, would have said to Emperor Wu of China, "You sonofabitch! Go to hell and leave me alone!" but in those days this American expression did not exist. Not that America did not exist - that again is a European myth. America was discovered by Columbus? Nonsense! It has been discovered many times but was always hushed up.
May I remind you that Mexico comes from a Sanskrit word makshika, and in Mexico there are thousands of proofs that Hinduism existed there long before Jesus Christ - what to say of Columbus!
In fact America, particularly South America, was part of one vast continent in which Africa was also included. India was exactly in the middle, Africa below, America above. They were only divided by a very shallow ocean; you could walk across it! There are references to it in ancient Indian scriptures; they say that people used to pass from Asia to America on foot. Even marriages used to happen.
Arjuna, the famous warrior of the Indian epic MAHABHARATA and Krishna's famous disciple, was married to a Mexican girl. Of course they called Mexico "Makshika," but the description is exactly that of Mexico.
In Mexico there are statues of Ganesh, the Hindu elephant god. A statue of the elephant god would be impossible to find in England! It would be impossible to find anywhere unless that country had come into contact with Hinduism. In Bali, yes; or in Sumatra, and Mexico, but not anywhere else unless Hinduism had been there. In some Mexican temples there are even inscriptions in ancient Sanskrit. I am saying this by the way... if you want to know more you will have to look into the life work of the monk Bhikku Chamanlal, in his book HINDU AMERICA. It is strange that nobody pays attention to his work. Christians of course cannot pay him attention, but scholarship should be unprejudiced.
This German man, and his colleague the Dutch psychologist who wrote that I am enlightened but not illuminated, and that I am illuminated but not enlightened, should both meet to discuss matters and come to a conclusion, then let me know... because I am neither. They are so much concerned with words: "illumination" or "enlightenment"? Also, the same reasons are used by each of these men to reach totally opposite conclusions. The Dutchman wrote his book some time before the German; it seems as if he stole the theme from the Dutchman. But this is how professors behave - they go on stealing the same arguments from each other, exactly the same argument... that I don't speak like an enlightened man or like an illuminated man.
But who are they to decide how an enlightened or illuminated person should speak? Have they known Bodhidharma? Have they seen his picture? They will immediately conclude that an
enlightened or illuminated person cannot look like that. He looks ferocious! His eyes are those of a lion in the forest, and the way he looks at you is such that it seems he will jump from the picture and kill you instantly. That's how he was! But forget Bodhidharma, because now fourteen centuries have passed.
I knew Bodhidharma personally. I traveled with the man for at least three months. He loved me just as I loved him. You will be curious to know why he loved me. He loved me because I never asked him any question. He said to me, "You are the first person I have met who does not ask a question - and I only get bored with all the questions. You are the only person who does not bore me."
I said, "There is a reason."
He said, "What is that?"
I said, "I only answer. I never question. If you have any question you can ask me. If you don't have a question then keep your mouth shut."
We both laughed, because we both belonged to the same category of insanity. He asked me to continue the journey with him, but I said, "Excuse me, I have to go my own way, and from this point it separates from yours."
He could not believe it. He had never invited anyone before. This was the man who had even refused Emperor Wu - the greatest emperor of those days, with the greatest empire - as if he was a beggar. Bodhidharma could not believe his eyes, that I could refuse him.
I said, "Now you know how it feels to be refused. I wanted to give you a taste of it. Goodbye." But that was fourteen centuries ago.
I could remind the German of a few later editions... of Gurdjieff, who was alive just a few years ago.
He should have seen Gurdjieff and then he would have known how an enlightened or illuminated person behaves and speaks. There was not a single word that Gurdjieff would not say - and of course those words are not written in his books, because nobody would have published them.
Or, if he is only concerned with Indian enlightenment, which seems to dominate these idiots...
otherwise what has India got to do with it? Enlightenment has happened everywhere. If he is concerned only with Indian enlightenment, then Ramakrishna is very close to us. His words were not reported correctly, because he was a villager, and used the language of a villager. All those words which people think should not be used by any enlightened person have been edited out. I have wandered in Bengal, asking people who are still living how Ramakrishna used to speak. They all said he was terrible. He used to speak as a man should speak - strong, without fear, without any sophistication.
I have always spoken the way I like. I am nobody's slave, and I don't care what these idiots think about me. It is up to them: they can think that I am enlightened; they can think that I am illuminated; they can think I am ignorant. They can think whatever they want - is their mind. They can write; the paper is there, the ink is there. Why should I be concerned?
Just by the way, Ashu, because you were sad, you brought this idiot in. Never be sad again - because if you are I will bring this idiot in, and you know I can bring anything from anywhere, even from nowhere.
Now we are finished with this German and sadness, right? At least giggle... good! Yes, I can understand. Even if you laugh in sadness it has a different color to it, but it is natural. My sannyasins have to learn to be a little above nature. They have to learn things which, in the ordinary world, nobody cares about. Separation has its own beauty, as does meeting. I don't see that there is anything wrong with separation. Separation has its own poetry; one just has to learn its language, and one has to live it in its depth. Then out of sadness itself comes a new kind of joy... which looks almost impossible, but it happens. I have known it. That's what I was talking about this morning. I was talking about the death of my Nana.
It was a total separation. We will not meet again, yet there was a beauty in it, and he made it more beautiful by repeating the mantra. He made it more prayerful... it became fragrant. He was old, and dying, perhaps from a severe heart attack. We were not aware of it because the village had no doctor, not even a pharmacist, no medicine, so we didn't know the cause of his death, but I think it was a severe heart attack.
I asked him in his ear, "Nana, have you something to say to me before you depart? Any last words?
Or do you want to give me something to remember you by forever?"
He took off his ring and put it in my hand. That ring is with some sannyasin now; I gave it to someone.
But that ring was always a mystery. His whole life he would not allow anybody to see what was in it, yet again and again he used to look into it. That ring had a glass window on both sides that you could look through. On top was a diamond; on each of its sides there was a glass window.
He had not allowed anybody to see what it was that he used to look at through the window. Inside there was a statue of Mahavira, the Jaina tirthankara; a really beautiful image, and very small. It must have been a small picture of Mahavira inside, and those two windows were magnifying glasses.
They magnified it and it looked really huge. It was of no use to me because, I am sorry to say, even though I have tried my best I have never been able to love Mahavira as much as I love Buddha, although they were contemporaries.
Something is missing in Mahavira, and without it my heart cannot beat for him. He looks exactly like a stone statue. Buddha looks more alive, but not up to my standards of aliveness - that's why I want him to become a Zorba too. If he meets me somewhere in the other world there is going to be great trouble. He is going to shout at me, "You wanted me to become a Zorba!"
But you know I know how to shout far better. He cannot shut me up; I am going to have my own way.
If he does not want to become a Zorba, that is his own business, but then his world is finished; he has no future. If he wants a future then he has to listen to me. He has to become a Zorba. Neither can Zorba exist alone - he will end in Hiroshima - nor can Buddha exist alone. In the future there is no possibility of their being separate.
The future psychology of man needs to be a bridge between materialism and spiritualism; between East and West. Someday the world will feel grateful that my message is reaching to the West;
otherwise seekers have been going to the East. This time a living Buddha's message has come to the West.
The West does not know how to recognize a Buddha. It has never known a Buddha. It has known only partial Buddhas - a Jesus, a Pythagoras, a Diogenes - it has never known a total Buddha.
It is not surprising that they are arguing about me. Do you know what they are publishing in the Indian newspapers? They are publishing a story that I may be abducted by some enemies, and that my life is in danger.
I am here now and they are not really concerned about me. This is a rotten country. India has been rotten for almost two thousand years - it stinks! Nothing stinks more than Indian spirituality. It is a corpse, and a very old corpse, two thousand years old!
What stories people invent! I may be "abducted by some enemies, and now my life is in danger." In fact for twenty-five years my life has been in continuous danger. It is a miracle that I have survived.
And now they want to protect me! There are strange people all over the world; but the future of man does not belong to these strange people, but to a very new kind, and that new kind I have named Zorba the Buddha.
I was telling you that my grandfather, before he died, gave me his most cherished thing - a statue of Mahavira hidden behind a diamond in a ring. With tears in his eyes he said, "I don't have anything else to give you because all that I have will be taken away from you too, just as it has been taken away from me. I can only give you my love for the one who has known himself."
Although I did not keep his ring, I have fulfilled his desire. I have known the one, and I have known it in myself. In a ring what does it matter? But the poor old man, he loved his Master, Mahavira, and he gave his love to me. I respect his love for his Master, and for me. The last words on his lips were, "Don't be worried, because I am not dying."
We all waited to see if he was going to say something else, but that was all. His eyes closed and he was no more.
I still remember that silence. The bullock cart was passing through a river bed. I exactly remember each detail. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to disturb my grandmother. She did not say a thing. A few moments passed, then I became a little worried about her and said, "Say something; don't be so quiet, it is unbearable."
Can you believe it, she sang a song! That's how I learned that death has to be celebrated. She sang the same song she had sung when she was in love with my grandfather for the first time. This too is worth noting: that ninety years ago, in India, she had had courage to fall in love. She remained unmarried up till the age of twenty-four. That was very rare. I asked her once why she had remained unmarried for so long. She was such a beautiful woman... I just jokingly told her that even the king of Chhatterpur, the state where Khajuraho is, might have fallen in love with her.
She said, "It is strange that you should mention it, because he did. I refused him, and not only him but many others too." In those days in India, girls were married when they were seven, or at the most
nine years of age. Just the fear of love... if they are older they may fall in love. But my grandmother's father was a poet; his songs are still sung in Khajuraho and nearby villages. He insisted that unless she agreed, he was not going to marry her to anybody. As chance would have it, she fell in love with my grandfather.
I asked her, "That is even stranger; you refused the king of Chhatterpur, and yet you fell in love with this poor man. For what? He was certainly not a very handsome man, nor extraordinary in any other way; why did you fall in love with him?"
She said, "You are asking the wrong question. Falling has no 'why' to it. I just saw him, and that was it. I saw his eyes, and a trust arose in me that has never wavered."
I had also asked my grandfather, "Nani says she fell in love with you. That's okay on her part, but why did you allow the marriage to happen?"
He said, "I am not a poet or a thinker, but I can recognize beauty when I see it."
I never saw a more beautiful woman than my Nani. I myself was in love with her, and loved her throughout her whole life. When she died at the age of eighty, I rushed home and found her lying there, dead. They were all just waiting for me because she had told them that they should not put her body on the funeral pyre until I arrived. She had insisted that I set light to her funeral pyre, so they were waiting for me. I went in, uncovered her face... and she was still beautiful! In fact, more beautiful than ever because all was quiet; even the turmoil of her breathing, the turmoil of living was not there. She was just a presence.
To put the fire to her body was the most difficult task I have ever done in my life. It was as if I was putting fire to one of the most beautiful paintings of Leonardo or Vincent van Gogh. Of course to me she was more valuable than the MONA LISA, more beautiful to me than Cleopatra. It is not an exaggeration.
All that is beautiful in my vision somehow comes through her. She helped me in every way to be the way I am. Without her I may have been a shop-keeper or perhaps a doctor or an engineer, because when I passed my matriculation my father was so poor, it was difficult for him to send me to university. But he was even ready to borrow money in order to do it. He was utterly insistent that I go to university. I was willing, but not to go to medical college, and I was not willing to go to engineering college either. I flatly refused to be a doctor or an engineer. I told him, "If you want to know the truth, I want to be a sannyasin, a hobo."
He said, "What! A hobo!"
I said, "Yes. I want to go to university to study philosophy so that I can be a philosophical hobo."
He refused, saying, "In that case I am not going to borrow money and take all that trouble."
My grandmother said, "Don't you worry son; you go and do whatsoever you want to do. I am alive, and I will sell everything I have just to help you to be yourself. I will not ask where you want to go and what you want to study."
She never asked, and she sent me money continuously, even when I became a professor. I had to tell her that I was now earning for myself, and I should rather send her money.
She said, "Don't worry, I have no use for this money, and you must be using it well."
People used to wonder where I got all the money from to purchase my books, because I had thousands of books. Even when I was just a student in high school I had thousands of books in my house. My whole house was full of books, and everybody wondered where I got all the money from. My grandmother had told me, "Never tell anyone that you get money from me, because if your father and mother come to know they will start asking me for money, and it will be difficult for me to refuse."
She went on giving money to me. You will be surprised to know that even the month she died she had sent the usual money to me. On the morning of the day she died she had signed the check.
You will also be amazed to know, that was the last money she had in the bank. Perhaps somehow she knew that there was not going to be any tomorrow.
I am fortunate in many ways, but I was most fortunate in having my maternal grandparents... and those early golden years.