Dhyan Giovanna, once you have tasted the inner silence, the noise on the outside does not matter; it is not a disturbance at all. The only disturbance comes from your inner noise, the chattering noise inside, the continuous rush of thoughts -- that is the real marketplace. What is outside, is outside; you can pass through the marketplace in absolute silence. If your inner being is not disturbed, then what is happening outside cannot have any impact on you.
The fear arises only because we are not certain of our own silence -- our silence is very vulnerable. And in the beginning, it is natural -- it is nothing to be worried about. All that is needed is that the inner silence should be more crystallized. In fact, going into the outer world can be of immense help because it becomes a test. Use it as an opportunity to test your silence. And once you start feeling silent in the crowd, then you will be overjoyed -- then you can be certain that this silence is yours; otherwise sometimes one is deceived.
In the mountains you can be silent, in the deep forest you can be silent, in the middle of the night under the stars you can be silent -- but that is not your silence. It is just the outer silence penetrating you. In fact, there is no difference -- outer silence penetrating you, or outer noise penetrating you -- both are the same; you are under the impact of the outside.
Hence I don't give any value to the silence that you feel coming from the outside. This silence will not be much help; when noise comes, you will be overwhelmed by the noise.
The silence has not to be of the mountains, of the stars, of the silence of the deep night, nor the silence of this commune. Here everybody is silent -- at least, trying to be silent!
With so many people trying to be silent, one can just become part... But it is the same:
you can become part of a commune and feel silent; in the crowd you can become part of the crowd and you will feel noisy. In fact, you are not yet. All your experiences are dependent; you don't exist as an individual. That is the fear; otherwise it does not matter.
I used to have a friend who was condemned in the whole city -- he was a thief, and you can say he was a master thief. For almost six months he would be in jail, and six months outside. Nobody in the city even wanted to talk to him.
From the jail he used to come directly to my house. He was a very lovable man. And whenever he would come from the jail to my house, naturally everybody in the family was disturbed. My father again and again insisted to me that this friendship was not good.
I said, "Why do you believe in him and not in me? Am I your son, or is he your son?"
And he said, "What kind of argument are you giving me?"
I said, "I am saying exactly the right thing. You don't believe in me, you believe in him.
You are afraid I will be affected by him -- you are not giving even a single thought that I may affect him. Why do you think I am so weak?"
He said, "I have never thought from this angle -- perhaps you are right."
Slowly, slowly that man became accepted by my family. It took a little time; there were many reasons for them to reject him. The first reason was that he was a Mohammedan; second, he was a thief.
I had to sit outside the dining room because they would not allow him in the dining room.
In a Jaina family, no Mohammedan can be allowed in the dining room. Even for guests or customers, separate plates, glasses, saucers, cups -- everything is kept, but it is kept separate; it is used only for them. And I insisted that when I invited him for food, I was going to eat with him -- I could not insult him. He may be a thief, he may be a Mohammedan, it doesn't matter; I respect his humanity. So the only way was that I would also have to sit outside the dining room. And my friend used to say, "Why do you unnecessarily continue to fight with your family?"
And slowly, slowly my respect towards him changed him. He was angry with me, saying, "Your respect prevents me from being a thief, and I don't know anything else. I am uneducated."
He was an orphan, and there was no other way for him except either to beg or to steal, and certainly stealing is better than begging. Begging degrades you very badly; by stealing, at least you are using your intelligence, your courage.
He was angry and said, "Now my life has become really a problem, and you are the cause. I cannot steal because I cannot betray your trust, your love and your respect. And nobody is ready to give me employment."
So I took him to my father and I said to him, "Now my friend wants employment. You are against his stealing, now give him employment; otherwise you will be responsible for his stealing. The poor fellow is ready to do any work, but nobody in the whole city is ready to give him work because he is a thief. People say to him, 'Bring certificates from where you have been working. Who has ever employed you ever in your whole life?' And he has no certificates."
I told my father, "Listen, somebody has to give him work the first time; otherwise, how can he get a certificate? You give him employment, and then you can give him a certificate. And I guarantee that he will not steal and he will not do anything wrong."
On my guarantee my father employed him. All other friends of my father said, "What are you doing, giving a job to a thief? He will deceive you." But my father said, "My son has given his guarantee, and I have to give the man an opportunity because my son's reasoning is right: If nobody gives him an opportunity, then everybody is pushing him towards the jail. And the whole society is responsible for pushing him towards the jail.
He wants to work, but if nobody is willing to give him work.... What do you want -- that he should commit suicide or what?"
Once a person goes into jail, then it becomes his only place, his home. Then within a few days he is back, because there is nobody outside to give him any protection, any dignity, any respect, any love. It is better to be in the jail.
He proved tremendously trustworthy, and finally my father had to accept. He said, "You are right. I was thinking that I was taking an unnecessary risk. I had not thought that your reasoning was going to work. He is a professional thief -- his whole life has been just going in and out of the jail. But you were right."
My father was a very sincere man and very truthful; he was always willing to accept his mistakes, even in front of his own son. He said, "You were right, that I trusted more in him -- I thought he would spoil your life. I did not trust that you might transform his life."
Giovanna, it all depends how much you trust your silence, how much you trust yourself, how much the silence is arising from your inner sources. Then there is no problem -- you can go in the noisy world and you will remain silent. And it is possible that you may change a few people you come in contact with. Why trust that they will be able to change you? Why accept your weakness?
Go in the world with courage and with strength, and the noise of the world will not be a disturbance. And your silence will help people to become silent. Talk about your experience of meditation to your friends, to your family. It is always helpful to provoke in people an invitation, to provoke in people a longing, that they have been missing something that you have attained. And the more you spread your experience and share your experience with people, the more you will be protecting yourself; they will not be able to influence you.
Start spreading your fragrance and your silence and your experience. That becomes a subtle protection around you, and that also becomes a tremendously transforming force.
Rather than going with fear, go with blissfulness, spreading the experience that has happened to you.
You say the present is pure poetry -- that is so valuable; share it. And trust that the higher value is always victorious. The noise cannot win over silence, and misery cannot win over blissfulness, and darkness cannot win over light. These are fundamental rules of existence.
Just follow these fundamentals and you will be enriched in the marketplace even more than you can be enriched here. Because there, you will become stronger -- you will find the challenge to become stronger. And each time you come, you will come here to refresh yourself, to go deeper, to find greater peaks of consciousness and then go into the world.
Make it a point that the world has not to be renounced. The world needs people who are silent.
In the past, the silent people have deserted the world; they have escaped to the mountains.
In my opinion, they were cowards and escapists. They have not helped the world to evolve more, to become more mature, to become more peaceful; they simply escaped just out of fear that the world would destroy them.
I want my people to go into the world and destroy the world's noisiness, the world's ugliness, greediness. It is a challenge, and it is very exciting. Always remember: the best defense is attack! Attack people with your peace, with your love, with your silence, with your joy -- that's the best defense, and that is a great service to humanity too.
Sid Levensky, aged eighty-three, goes into the confessional at Saint John's Cathedral. The priest asks him, "Have you anything to confess?"
"Yes," says the old man, "my wife died two months ago. Two days after she passed on I met another woman. She is twenty-two years old. I have been sleeping with her since the day I met her. Sometimes we do it two or three times a day."
"And how old are you?" asks the priest.
"Eighty-three," Sid replies.
"Oh dear!" says the priest, "Go home and say ten Hail Marys."
"I can't do that," says the old man, "I'm Jewish."
"Then for God's sake, why are you telling me all this?" asks the priest.
"Oh, it's not just you," replies Sid, "I'm telling everybody!"
So just go and tell everybody!
Prem Arpana, as far as I am concerned, I would suggest that you don't do anything. It is your effort, your desire that is preventing me being within you because all desire, longing, closes the doors.
And you are asking, "What can I do?" If you can do nothing, that will be the best -- you just leave this idea. What are you going to do with me inside you? I am perfectly happy wherever I am! And I can help you from the outside more easily.
And this eight months, you say, "I feel I rarely really let you in." It means sometimes, not really, but you let me in. Why are you engaged in this unnecessary mind game? There is no need. It happens, but it happens only when you are not waiting for it; it happens only when you are not making any effort for it.
It is one of the most difficult things to understand, that there are things which happen not by your doing, but by your not doing, your sleep -- if you make an effort, then it is impossible. People have been doing all kinds of things: chanting mantras, repeating numbers from one to a hundred and back, from one hundred... ninety-nine, ninety-eight, ninety-seven... to one. And again, going up, coming down, going up, coming down.
In fact, all this effort keeps them awake. But these are the suggestions of so-called wise people, who are all around, ready to give advice like, "Repeat the name of God." That will keep you awake! The only thing that can bring sleep is to forget all about it -- do something else, anything will do. Just lying down, what is the harm? Have a good rest, why be worried about sleep? And when you are at ease, with no worry, no chanting, no mantra, no God -- you are just resting -- you will find slowly, slowly sleep is coming, enveloping you. You will not know when you have fallen asleep.
Do you know exactly at what time you enter from waking into sleep? You have been sleeping every day for your whole life, but do you remember, any night, even a single time, the exact moment when you entered into sleep? Even if you look at your watch, sleep will be gone. That much effort on your part is enough to disturb it. Sleep comes only when you have completely forgotten about it.
And this is a vicious circle: people who are suffering from sleeplessness cannot forget it for a single moment, and that creates sleeplessness. And the more they are suffering from sleeplessness, the more difficult it becomes for sleep to come.
There are many things in life which need absolute relaxation on your part. They will come when the right moment is there, and the right moment means when you have forgotten them completely.
It happens often that you remember somebody -- seeing him, you know him, you know his name, it is just on the tip of your tongue. But why is it not coming out? The more you try...
It becomes a very weird experience -- you know, you perfectly know, you are absolutely certain that you know the name, you know the person. There is not the slightest doubt in you, but somehow it is stuck just on the tongue -- it does not come out. It becomes a very strange feeling.
And then you start doing something else. How long can you go on sitting with this strange, weird feeling? You just go in the garden, start digging a hole, planting a tree, or pruning the trees... and suddenly it is there. When you had forgotten completely to remember it, it suddenly comes -- surfaces to your consciousness. But it surfaces only when you have forgotten to remember it.
These eight months you must have been trying hard to feel me inside you. In the first place, there was no need. You have to feel yourself; that is the basic thing that you have not done. You don't know your own inside -- how can you feel me inside you?
Just first do the homework: feel yourself, your interiority, your inner being. And the moment you feel your inner being, you will be so overwhelmed with joy, relaxation, at ease, that there is a possibility you may feel me also within you. You may feel stars, you may feel the sun, you may feel the whole existence within you. But first, feel your within.
Let me say it this way: If you can feel your within, the without also comes within. You become so expansive, your consciousness becomes so vast, it spreads all over existence.
It is one of the most beautiful, most blissful experiences.
And I have no objection if you feel me within yourself -- from my side, I am absolutely willing to come in. But you don't know that the doors of your inner subjectivity are closed. First, get settled inside. Before you invite the guest, please become the host; otherwise, what am I going to do in an empty house? I am a lazy man. Unless you are there to take care of me, I am not coming!
Max Levensky is dragged out of bed at three a.m. one morning and is hauled before the KGB. He is accused of being anti-Soviet and is then interrogated.
"What is the definition of a communist?" demands the KGB man.
Max replies immediately, "Someone who has read the works of Marx and Lenin."
"And what," continues the interrogator, "is the definition of an anti-communist?"
Max thinks for a moment and then says, "Someone who has read the works of Marx and Lenin and understands them."
You just try to understand yourself, and then everybody will be coming in -- Marx and Lenin...! But the first thing first. The only thing that can be said is: the basic need is to know yourself, be yourself, and everything else will follow. The understanding of yourself opens the doors of all the mysteries of existence.
Kalo Shreeman, my saying that you should not judge does not mean that you cannot say to a student, because you are a teacher, "The answer you have brought is not right."
It is not judging the person, it is judging the act. And I am not telling you not to judge the act -- that is a totally different thing.
For example, somebody is a thief -- you can judge that stealing is not good. But don't judge the person, because the person is a vast phenomenon and the act is a small thing.
The act is so small a piece... that small piece should not become a judgment about the whole person. A thief may have many beautiful values: he may be truthful, he may be sincere, he may be a very loving person.
When I say don't judge a person, I am not saying that you are not allowed to say that somebody is committing a mistake. Somebody is falling into a well -- I am not saying that you should just stand silently without judging. This judgment, "Don't go that way" -- perhaps that man is blind and you have to prevent him; otherwise he will fall into the well. But preventing him, seeing that he is blind, does not mean that you are condemning him. The moment you start thinking in terms of condemnation then judgment enters, and I am against that kind of judgment.
One student is doing something which is not right. You are a teacher, your very function is to put the student on the right path. It is your love, it is not your condemnation; it is your compassion, not your judgment. But most often what happens is just the opposite:
people start judging the person rather than the action. Actions have to be corrected -- and particularly in a profession like teaching, you have to correct; you cannot allow students to go on doing wrong things. That will be very cruel, uncompassionate.
I have been a teacher myself, but I have never judged a single student as far as his person, his being is concerned. But that does not mean I have not corrected them if they were wrong. For example, I was sitting one day with the vice-chancellor. He loved to talk with me whenever he could get a chance and could find me, because I was very rarely present.
And most often I avoided passing by his office because he used to tell his peon that if he saw me, to just bring me in. He loved to talk; he enjoyed a good argument.
I was talking with him, and a girl came crying. So he said to me, "Just a moment," and he asked the girl, "What is the matter? Why are you crying?" She said a certain boy, a student in her class had been harassing her for almost the whole year. "He throws small pebbles at me in the class, he writes letters to me." And the vice-chancellor said, "Don't be worried, I will call him and put him right; such things cannot be allowed. He will be punished, you don't be worried. And if he does not stop, I will expel him from the university."
I was listening, and I said, "Just wait a minute. I want to ask the girl a few things."
He said, "Of course, you can ask. If you can help in the matter, it will be very good."
I asked the girl, "Are you really hurt by his throwing pebbles at you and writing love letters to you? Be honest! The day he does not write a love letter to you, don't you wait for it?"
The vice-chancellor said, "What are you talking about?"
I said, "You just keep quiet. When I am talking, you just be a gentleman -- keep quiet."
The girl stopped crying. I said, "Do you understand? If no young man harasses you, will you feel good? Don't you know there are girls who are not harassed by anybody, and they are suffering?"
The vice-chancellor said, "What are you saying?"
I said, "You keep quiet, I am going to solve the matter completely. I will talk to that boy also."
He said, "You need not talk, because the way you are talking..."
I said, "Now I have taken the matter in my hands." I asked the girl, "Are his love letters not written well? Then I can teach him how to write love letters! Because every girl wants love letters -- I don't see that there is anything unnatural in it."
Now the vice-chancellor was boiling! He said to the girl, "You go away."
I said, "She can go only when you answer a few questions in front of her. When you were a student, just remember those old days -- those beautiful days. Have you not written love letters to girls?"
He looked at me, he looked at the girl, and he said, "My God, what..." For a moment he was silent.
I said, "Be honest!"
He said, "Yes I have written..."
I said, "And just a moment before, you were expelling that boy from the university and you had forgotten completely."
Every young man will write letters, and if somebody does not write, the function of the teacher is to help him: "Are you a dodo or what?"
As far as my classroom is concerned, from the very first day I entered after the long summer vacations, my first thing was... because in India the girls sit on one side, boys sit on another side, and in between there is a big space. My first thing was, "Just get mixed."
They would look very embarrassed....
I said, "Just get up, and you can choose whomsoever you want, but get mixed! I cannot tolerate this stupidity because this is the cause -- you have to throw stones, you have to write letters... What is the need? Just sit next to each other, and if you want to say something, whisper. Whisper -- I can stop; I can give you time. For fifteen minutes you do whatsoever you want to do. I will keep my eyes closed and meditate, so that after fifteen minutes we can concentrate on the subject matter. This is more primary."
Students were very much afraid of me. With hesitation they would mix up; still they would sit so that they would not touch each other. I said, "What nonsense -- do you think each other untouchable? Sit relaxed. And if you want to nudge the girl, or the girl wants to nudge you, it is perfectly okay; nature demands it. And because you are prevented, then you start ugly behavior. Now, taking the air out of the girls' bicycles -- that I don't think is natural! That is sheer stupidity. Harassing them on the road, saying ugly dirty words -- I don't think that is right, nor is it worthy of you.
"If you want to say something, write a beautiful love letter. If you don't know how to write, I am here -- I am available. Anybody, male or female, can come to the common room where I sit. I will teach you how to write love letters."
My class was the most silent class, and I told the vice-chancellor, "Sometime you can come and you can see -- nobody is doing anything to anybody because they are allowed; I accept it as my responsibility that they should be allowed to be as natural as possible.
Every girl should feel that she is loved, desired, that there are people who look at her with loving eyes. Every boy wants to be loved. And this is the time when they should pass through these experiences."
I said to the girl, "What do you want? Tell me exactly. Do you want the boy to be expelled?"
She said, "No."
"Do you want him not to write letters to you?"
She said, "No." The vice-chancellor said, "Then why have you come here?"
I said, "It is very simple -- she simply wants your attention. She wants to say to the world that she is being loved, somebody is writing love letters, and without telling others there is no joy in the thing. The whole world should know that she is no ordinary girl -- exceptionally beautiful -- people are throwing stones."
The vice-chancellor said to the girl, "Now you go, because listening to such things... he can even spoil me. You just leave the room, and if you don't want to do anything against that boy, never come again." And when the girl had gone, he said, "You should not do such a thing, because if people come to know..."
I said, "In fact, you are afraid of your wife, it is not about people. And I am going to tell your wife that this old man is teaching... in front of me, he has been teaching that love letters are natural."
He said, "You were saying natural!"
I said, "You were listening silently! Do you agree with me or not?"
He said, "I agree, but don't go to my wife -- that is the only woman I am afraid of."
I said, "Then you have to behave."
Just don't judge so quickly, and don't judge the person. Judge actions, and correct them, and don't correct them according to tradition, convention, according to so-called morality, according to your prejudices. Whenever you are correcting somebody, be very meditative, be very silent; look at the whole thing from all perspectives. Perhaps they are doing the right thing, and your prevention will not be right at all.
So when I say, "Don't judge," I simply mean that no action gives you the right to condemn the person. If the action is not right, help the person -- find out why the action is not right, but there is no question of judgment. Don't take the person's dignity, don't humiliate him, don't make him feel guilty -- that's what I mean when I say, "Don't judge."
But as far as correcting is concerned: unprejudiced, silently, in your awareness, if you see that something is wrong and will destroy that person's intelligence, will take him on the wrong paths in his life, help him.
The job of the teacher is not just to teach futile things -- geography, and history, and all kinds of nonsense. His basic function is to bring the students to a better consciousness, to a higher consciousness. This should be your love and your compassion, and this should be the only value on which you judge any action as right or wrong.
But never for a single moment let the person feel that he has been condemned. On the contrary, let him feel that he has been loved -- it is out of love that you have tried to correct him.
Conrad was six years old. Although he was six, he had never spoken a word. His parents took him to the psychiatrist, but it didn't help. But one evening at the dinner table, Conrad looked down at his plate of food and said, "Take away this muck, it tastes terrible!"
His parents were elated and wept with joy. "You can talk!" cried his mother. "How come you've never spoken before this?"
"Up to now," said Conrad, "everything has been fine!"
Don't judge people -- try to understand them. Now he is saying such a beautiful thing:
"What is the need to speak when everything is going fine? Only for the first time something is terrible!"
A guy lying in a hospital bed, coming around from an anesthetic, wakes up to find the doctor sitting beside him. "I have got bad news and good news for you," says the doctor.
"Would you like the bad or good first?"
"Aaagh," groans the guy, "tell me the bad."
"Well," says the doctor, "we had to amputate both your legs above the knee."
"Aaagh," groans the guy, "that's really bad."
After recovering from the shock, he asks the doctor for the good news.
"Well," said the doctor, "the man in the next bed would like to buy your slippers!"
Just don't be serious! Don't think that you are a teacher so you are in a very serious job.
Look at life with more playful eyes... it is really hilarious! There is nothing to judge -- everybody is doing his best. If you feel disturbed by somebody, it is your problem, not his. First correct yourself.
I have my own way of looking at things.... I was a teacher for nine years, and I never judged a single student. I have never examined a single examination paper, because I told the vice-chancellor, "If I really examine, nobody is going to pass. And if I am going to pass a few people, why should the others not be passed? So things are clear -- you can decide -- either I can pass everybody, or I can fail everybody."
He said, "You always bring strange ideas! I have been a teacher my whole life; this idea never happened to me."
I said, "This is exactly what I am going to do, so you can decide."
He said, "It is better you don't take any examination papers. I will inform the in-charge that you should not be given any papers to examine."
I said, "That's perfectly right, because that saves me the trouble of judging people unnecessarily."
Only once they appointed me as a superintendent of the whole examination. I said, "You are doing something wrong -- you don't understand me." That was my first encounter with the new vice-chancellor. I said, "You don't know me. The old man knew me; he never committed any mistake like this."
He said, "What are you saying? Is it a mistake?"
I said, "It is a mistake because you don't know me. But give it a try!"
So he said, "Okay."
He came two or three times to see what was happening, and he was feeling terrible when he heard me telling the students, "Listen, if you have brought notes hiding in your pockets, I have no objection. Just don't be caught. Do it cleverly, watchfully, because it is not a sin -- but you should not be caught. To be caught is the crime."
The vice-chancellor was standing there, listening. And I said to them, "I will try my best to catch you. So you decide. I give you two minutes -- if you are afraid of being caught, just bring everything that you are hiding and put it on the table, and I will not say anything to you. But after that, if you are caught, then your whole year is spoiled."
Immediately, students started bringing their notes -- one boy had written answers on his shirt, inside. So he said, "What am I supposed to do? I have no notes but I have written many things on my shirt, inside -- should I give the shirt?"
I said, "You have to give it."
The vice-chancellor was standing there. He said, "What is going on?"
I said, "You keep quiet. I told you beforehand, if I am the superintendent things will be going according to me."
I told the boy, "You take your shirt off, put it here."
He said, "But it is too cold."
I said, "That's not my problem -- why have you...."
So he had to take off his shirt. And the vice-chancellor said, "This is too much."
I said, "I cannot help...." And nobody was doing anything -- they had even brought books, whole books. They were hiding them behind their coats, shirts, pants, everything came out!
And I said to them, "Now you can start answering your questions. And don't be worried, if you cannot answer something, I am here; I am here to help you. You can just raise your hand and I will come and try to help you."
Nobody raised his hand. I said, "What is the matter?" They were afraid, because this has never happened -- a superintendent telling them, "I will help you." I said, "This is just human. You are in difficulty, and I am sitting here doing nothing...."
That was the first and the last time.... The vice-chancellor said, "You are a strange person.
That boy is shivering -- how can he write?" It was a cold morning... the examinations used to be early in the morning, seven o'clock.... Somebody's pants had been taken, because people used to write on their pants -- people do all kinds of things.
They had their ways, and I knew. I have also been a student, and I knew all kinds of things. That was very easy, to write on your pants -- nobody will be able to see. But I told them, "It doesn't matter, even if you have to sit naked... sit naked! Next time you will not do such a thing. But I am not uncompassionate to you; if you are in need of some answer that you cannot find, I will give it to you; you just have to raise your hand. Because according to me, all examinations are absolutely absurd."
If it were up to me, I would allow the students to have all the books available. Only a very intelligent student can find out the answers from the books in three hours. And you will be able to judge their intelligence in a better way; otherwise somebody has just crammed five answers, and he knows nothing else, and he comes first in the class. And somebody else knows everything, just has missed those five questions, and he is a failure.
This is not a good examination; they should be allowed to have the whole library available to them. They can go to the library, they can find the answer, they can write it.
In three hours, they have to find as beautiful answers as possible. And only intelligent students will be able to find them.
In the Soviet Union they have changed this old idea of examinations. Now books are available -- all the books concerned are available in the hall where the students are given their examination; they can consult any book. It is far better, because the ultimate concern is to know the intelligence of the person, not his memory. So students need not memorize anything -- they have to understand things. In examination time they can either just from their intelligence give the answer, or they can look in the books. But if in a five hundred page book you have to find one answer, you need some intelligence -- mediocres will not be able to find the answer, they will become so nervous...
And there is no need that a person should have to wait for one year. I told the vice- chancellor, "If I am going to be the superintendent I will follow my ideas, I don't care what is conventional. The conventional is not necessarily the right thing. I will give them all the available material; they can find out. Only the intelligent people will be able to find out. And those who have not been successful should be given a chance again after one month. What is the problem that they should wait for one year?"
Finally, there is no need of any examinations if every teacher goes on giving marks in his diary every day to the students. And every year, all the notes from all the teachers are collected. And based on those counts the students are moved, either upward or downward. Because there are many who deserve to go back -- they have somehow slipped, they should not be allowed... they should be put back; they should earn better marks and go ahead again.
And this should remain available: if a teacher finds that an intelligent student has unnecessarily to wait six months more for examination, he should recommend that the student be moved right now to a higher class, because he has enough intelligence. There is no need for him to wait six months more. Teachers should be the decisive factors. In that situation, nobody fails, nobody passes -- people simply move. A few move faster, a few move a little slower; everybody according to his pace. Nobody is condemned as a failure, nobody is praised as first-class, nobody is praised as a gold medalist. All these things teach people unnecessary ambition, and ambition is poison.
You are a teacher; you should try in every way to change the very structure of teaching, particularly your teaching. And slowly, slowly things move. You should tell other teachers, "There are many things wrong with the education system itself, which nobody bothers about. And you are judging students; the first thing should be a right system of education." The whole system is rotten, old, out of date; it has to be completely changed.
So I am not saying don't judge. Particularly systems, conventions, traditions -- judge them! But don't judge individuals. If their actions are wrong, help them to get free of those wrong actions. If they are going in wrong directions, help them to find right paths.
And this should be your love, this should not be your judgment.
"Young man," said the judge, looking sternly at the defendant, "it is alcohol, and alcohol alone, that is responsible for your present sorry state."
"I am glad to hear you say that," replied Paddy, with a sigh of relief. "Everybody else says it is all my fault!"