Grateful to existence
ARE YOU SURE YOU WEREN'T BORN ENLIGHTENED? YOU SEEM TO HAVE LIVED YOUR WHOLE LIFE WITH SUCH CLARITY, COURAGE AND A COMMITMENT NEVER TO COMPROMISE YOUR INTEGRITY THAT IT SEEMS SOME QUALITY OF AWAKENING HAS BEEN WITH YOU ALL THE TIME. IF FOR TWENTY YEARS YOU WERE NOT ENLIGHTENED, WAS ANYTHING A SUFFERING FOR YOU?
There has been no suffering for me. I don't know the taste of suffering. I have seen people suffer, I can visualize what must be going within them, but in this life I have not suffered a single moment.
So you are right: I was born almost enlightened.
I cannot say "enlightened" but almost... just on the verge of it as if one is standing on the boundary line: on this side is the world of darkness, unconsciousness, and suffering, and on the other side is the world of blissfulness, light and benediction. I was neither on this side nor on that side, just on the borderline.
In my past life the work remained just a little bit incomplete. That's why I am using the word "almost."
One step more and I would have been enlightened. But even to be so close to it means you cannot suffer, you cannot go through anguish, you cannot have nightmares. And your life is bound to have qualities which are not ordinarily available to every child: courage, integrity, an absolutely non- compromising attitude, a total commitment - never going back whatever may be the consequence and accepting it joyfully as if the consequence does not matter.
What matters is how you encountered the situation. You were total, you were absolutely committed, you had no doubt. Your trust was ultimate, not relative, not dependent on any condition - unconditional. This is what matters, not what happens as a consequence - that is immaterial.
The act in itself is its own reward, and that's the way I have lived. And if I am given another chance, I would like to live the same way again and again without changing anything, for the simple reason that I have enjoyed whatever has been happening - and so much has happened in such a small lifetime.
Once Emerson was asked, "How old are you?" and he said, "Three hundred and sixty years." The man who had asked could not believe it. He said, "This is too much; you must be kidding! Just tell me exactly how old you are."
And Emerson said, "I have told it. But I can understand why you are puzzled. You are counting three hundred and sixty years according to the calendar. That is not my way of counting life. I am only sixty years old according to the calendar, but in sixty years I have lived six times more than you will be able to live in the same period of time. Looking at how much I have lived, I told you my age is three hundred and sixty years - three hundred and sixty years of life compressed into sixty years' time."
Each moment has been of tremendous value. Those moments before enlightenment, those moments of enlightenment, and those moments of going beyond enlightenment - everything has been so much that I can only be grateful to existence. Out of this gratitude arises my trust. It has nothing to do with existence and whether it is trustworthy or not, it has to do with my own experience, my gratitude, that creates the trust in me.
So whatever existence is going to do to me will be absolutely accepted - even crucifixion. And it will not be like Jesus... he freaked out, he lost for a moment his trust in God.
It doesn't matter whether you call it God or existence. "Existence" is more natural, more real. "God"
is more symbolic, more metaphorical - you cannot prove it. Existence needs no proof, it is already here; we are part of it. But for a moment Jesus lost his trust, and losing trust is losing all.
He shouted towards the empty sky, "Father, have you forsaken me?" This one sentence of doubt, suspicion, distrust, is immensely significant. It shows that the trust was not total, that there was some expectation, maybe not conscious but there was an expectation that a miracle will happen and he will be saved. Nothing happened. And he had promised his disciples, "You will see what my father is going to do." This expectation that some miracle comes out of the sky, a hand comes out and takes him off the cross or changes the whole situation and he is no longer a beggar, a criminal, but is enthroned as an emperor, the prince of peace...
Nothing happened: he was dying just like the other criminal who had never thought of God, who had never prayed, who had committed every sin possible. That man was dying exactly in the same way as Jesus was dying. It seemed God was indifferent. Hence in that sentence there is anger, frustration, failure - so much in those few words. Those few words cancel his whole life as a savior, as an awakened man.
Trust has no conditions; it is simply a gratitude, it is thankfulness. If after all these experiences, loving moments, joyous, beautiful spaces, if crucifixion is the end, if that is the full point, it is perfectly okay - enjoy it.
I have always thought if Jesus could have thanked God, then my whole appreciation of him would have been different. If he had rejoiced in crucifixion... because it is not for you to suggest what should happen; but whatever happens, in deep acceptance, enjoy. That proves your integrity, your trust. And it is only in the moments when you are passing through fire... When everything is going smooth and good, one can trust very easily - but to trust on a cross is a test.
If Jesus had trusted on the cross and had not raised that voice of questioning, doubting, suspecting, he would have been in the same category as Buddha. He missed. But one misses only if one is carrying something within that at some point, some crucial point, is going to come out.
Your question is relevant. Even my parents, neighbors, teachers, had all felt puzzled for the simple reason that they could not categorize me. They knew all kinds of people but they could not categorize me.
My principal in the high school was a very strict man, a very hard-core disciplinarian. As I entered from the middle school into the high school, from the very first day my struggle began with him.
There used to be, at the beginning of the classes in the morning, a collective prayer. I remained silent. I did not participate in the prayer, which was in the praise of a Hindu god, Ganeshwar, the elephant god who has the body of a man and the head of an elephant. He called me and he said, "This will not be tolerated."
I said, "There is no need to tolerate anything. You do whatsoever you can, but remember I will do whatever I feel right. To me prayer is nonsense and particularly to this type of god, it is hilarious. I cannot pray. I can be silent."
He said, "I am a very hard man."
I said, "I don't care. You can kill me - that's all you can do; but I will not participate in the prayer, alive or dead. I don't believe in any god, and particularly these nonsensical ideas of god and images. And I am not a Hindu. You will have to come with me to the court."
He said, "For what?"
I said, "For forcing me into a religion to which I do not belong. It is against the law. You come with me to the court." And I had a good advocate who was the father of one of my friends. I said, "I have my advocate there and I have told him always that whenever I need to... remember that I will come directly to the court."
The principal said, "You seem to be a very strange person. You are taking me to the court?"
I said, "Certainly, because you are doing something criminal. I am not a Hindu: why should I participate in the Hindu prayer? This school is not a Hindu school, it is a government school. The government is secular. You come with me to the court so that I can present the case to my advocate and put you before the magistrate."
He said, "My God, I never thought that you can stretch things to such extremes."
I said, "I am not stretching... you forced me to stretch; otherwise forget all about your hardness. And this is the first day, so it is a good introduction. I have known you, you have known me - now any time anything happens remember that you are not dealing with any Tom, Dick, Harry."
I said to him, "Today I can forgive you because this is just your first mistake, but next time you will have to come with me to the court." And I went out of his office. He remained silent.
That evening he came to meet my father and said, "What kind of boy is this?"
My father said, "We cannot manage. You are a well-known hard disciplinarian and he is just a little boy, you can manage him."
He said, "He is not a little boy. He has threatened that he will take me to the court and he can do it! He has an advocate already. I know that advocate and I have seen him discussing with that advocate many times, because they just..." The advocate lived just next door to the principal. "They are friends although their ages are very different. They are very close friends; they talk as if they are of the same age. So what am I supposed to do?"
My father said, "Nobody knows. You find your way; we have found our way. Nobody comes in his way. Whatever he wants to do, let him do it - that is the easiest thing. He does not do any harm to anybody. Just don't come in his way; otherwise the thing becomes too big, unmanageable."
The second day I was again standing silent. He was very angry. I could see that he was boiling within because he felt very much humiliated. He did not call me to the office but I went to his office.
He said, "I have not called you."
I said, "You have not the courage to call me but you wanted to call me. I could see it in your face, in your eyes: you were boiling with anger so I thought it is better I should come. Why should I wait for you to call me?"
He said, "You seem to enjoy fighting!"
I said, "I enjoy everything - fighting too." He was standing, so I pulled his chair and sat on it. He said, "What are you doing?"
I said, "I am just simply sitting on the chair."
He said, "That is my chair."
I said, "Nobody's name is written on any chair. A chair is something to sit upon, and you are standing anyway. And I am a small boy. I get tired. You can stand up. You are strong enough" - he was a heavy man, very tall and muscular - "you can stand up. This seems to be more graceful and right that I should sit on the chair and you stand up."
He said, "Listen, we have to come to some compromise because this way you will destroy my whole reputation and image in the school."
I said, "But I don't believe in any compromise. I don't want to destroy your image. You can keep your image; just don't come in my way. I never want to destroy anybody's anything - I am not destructive - just leave me alone. If you promise that much you will not have any trouble from me."
He had to promise: "I will never come in your way; do whatever you want to do."
He also used to teach one of my periods. He was a scientist so he used to teach chemistry. I would go out whenever I felt to, without asking him, and I would come in whenever I felt to come in, without asking him. He said to me, "That is not right."
I said, "I have told you, just leave me alone. That has been our understanding. If I ask when I want to go out and you say no, I am not going to listen to your no, I will go out. So not to put you in any embarrassment I am simply going out without asking - just to save your image." He was at a loss.
Three years I had been under him. Even the photograph that is taken when you are leaving the school... He was very much worried whether I would appear in that picture or not, whether I would come or not. I not only came, I came with a photographer.
He asked, "But why have you brought the photographer?"
I said, "This is the photographer, the poor photographer of the town. You always call a photographer from a bigger city; that is unnecessary. This poor man needs more work, because I have seen this photographer selling umbrellas in the rainy season and in the summer he is selling ice and soda and other cold drinks. But whenever some chance arises he takes photographs - some marriage or something. He is a poor man, and I want him to be our authorized photographer from today. This school should respect him."
The principal said, "Now that you have brought him..."
The poor photographer was very much afraid because he had never been called. I had explained everything to him - how he has to do it, how he has to arrange... and he had come with his best suit and everything. The principal was standing in the middle, and the teachers and everybody, and he arranged and did everything. And then he asked, "Ready?" I had prepared him.
He said, "I have to be worthy of the position, the authorized photographer of the high school" - that was the biggest institution in the town. So he asked, "Ready?" and then he clicked his camera and said, "Thank you" and everybody dispersed. Then he said, "Wait - because I forgot to put the plate in! And the whole fault is yours," he told me. "You never told me, ?You have to put the plate in.' You told me everything else."
I said, "I thought that as a photographer you must know that the plate has to be put in; otherwise how will the photograph...? And all this ?Thank you' and ?Ready?' just went to waste. But no harm."
So I said, "Get ready again!" The principal was very angry because the school inspector was there, the collector was there, and it became such a hilarious thing when the photographer said, "I have forgotten to put the plate in, and now what to do!"
The principal called me in. He said, "This is the last day. You are leaving, but you are not leaving without mischief. Who told you to call this photographer? That idiot! That's why we have been avoiding him for years! And you have seen..."
I said, "But it was such a beautiful and hilarious scene! And everybody who has participated today will remember it his whole life. You should pay him a little more! And remember that from now on he is the authorized photographer of this school."
He said, "Are you leaving the school or are you still going to be here? This is our business... whom to make authorized or not."
I said, "That is not your business. I have told the class that is going to succeed me, the proper people, to take care that this photographer has to be brought every year, and if it is needed then they can call me from the college. It is not far away, only eighty miles. So every year on the photograph day I will be here to see if the authorized photographer is here or not."
He said, "Okay, he is authorized."
I said, "I want it in writing, because I don't trust you at all." And he had to give an authorized letter. I gave it to the photographer.
He said, "I was very nervous, but you have done such a great job - you have made me forever the authorized photographer. I can show this to other parties also, that I am not just an idiot as people think. I am the authorized photographer of the educational institute of the town."
And he asked me, "How did I do?"
I said, "You did perfectly well."
He said, "Just one mistake."
And I said, "That was not a mistake; that was the real thing, that you forgot the plate. Without it there was no joy. Photographs anybody can take, but you are really a genius!"
He said, "I was thinking that everybody will be angry."
I said, "While I am here nobody can be angry."
And he is still the authorized photographer! Whenever I have gone to the town I have enquired from him... He told me, "Now it has become established. Many principals have changed but I remain the authorized photographer. But you were right: the great joy that happened the first time has never happened again; I have not forgotten the plate."
Those people were powerful in every way, but somehow I never felt that they were really powerful.
I felt they are just pretending to be powerful; deep down they are cowards, and if you hit rightly all their power disappears. And I remained like that my whole childhood - in the school, in the college - it was an everyday thing. I have enjoyed all those moments.
I used to think sometimes that perhaps I am somehow different from other people because nobody gets into such trouble as I get. But all those troubles were giving me a certain strength and the strange experience that people who are pretending to be powerful are just suffering from an inferiority complex and nothing else.
Everybody who was concerned about me was worried every day that I may do something - and I was never planning anything. Things were simply happening.
Just my presence was enough, and something would trigger.
I would like everybody to live in that way. There will be differences of situations, of unique individualities - but I would like every child to live in this way so that he can remember every moment that has passed as really a golden moment.
I don't remember anything that I can say should not have happened or should have happened in a different way. The way it happened I enjoyed it so much and loved it so much, but everybody who was concerned was worried that I had spoiled a situation.
When I passed my graduation, one of the most well-known psychoanalysts and head of the department of psychology in Varanasi Hindu University was interested in me. He was from a very nearby village, and he used to come because he had to pass my town to go to his village. The railway station was in my town so he used to come and stay or rest for the night with my family and then go to his village. Coming back again he would stay there for the train.
So he was very much interested that after my B.A. I should come to Varanasi, which is in India the Oxford, the best university. He told me, "You should join psychology and become a professor of psychology."
I said, "That is a long project. I don't think of things that far away, but I will come."
After graduation I went and in just one day he became so angry with me that he threw my things out of his house. I said, "Why are you troubling? You can simply tell me and I will take my things and go away."
He said, "I never thought that you are so dangerous. Your father used to tell me: ?Beware of this boy, don't invite him to your university or your department.' But I used to say to him, ?I am a psychologist, I will put him right.' But you are really difficult."
The first morning... I arrived in the night; in the morning he was sitting on the terrace in the sunlight.
It was a winter morning and it was warmer there. He was sitting with twenty or thirty of his prominent disciples, a few professors. He wanted me to be introduced to them, and he also wanted to ask a few questions which must have been arising in his mind again and again about why I am thought to be so dangerous, difficult.
So he started asking questions, simple questions like "Do you believe in God or not?"
I said, "The question does not arise."
He asked, "Why?"
I said, "Because you cannot believe or disbelieve in something which is not; both are wrong. The thing simply does not exist; to believe in it is as foolish as to disbelieve in it. The question does not arise. The word ?God' has no meaning."
He was a very God-fearing person and he became tense. And each question... within half an hour he was throwing my things out of the house. And I said, "You don't need... you are old; I will take them myself."
He said, "I don't want you; you cannot enter my department."
I said, "I never wanted to enter your department. You wanted me to come, so just to pay respect to your invitation I came. Now you are throwing my things out. I cannot live without my things so I also have to go with those things. But it has been a beautiful experience! A great psychoanalyst gets so disturbed. And you started asking the questions; I was not asking."
Everybody who was present felt that this was absolutely unjust: first he invited me, and second he started the questions... and I answered and I answered clearly and absolutely rationally. And then throwing my things...
His professors, his students, everybody, came out to show sympathy to me, and they said, "We are sorry. We would not have come if we had any idea that this kind of behavior was going to happen.
And we always thought of this old man as very calm and quiet."
I said, "Everybody is calm and quiet unless you poke him, unless you hit him at the right point!"
And the psychologist got more angry because all the professors and all his students left him alone on the terrace and came with me to the road. They called a taxi and they all came with me to the railway station. And later on one of the students wrote me that the psychologist was so furious with everybody, saying "You all insulted me, going with that dangerous boy." They said, "We had to go; we felt like giving him a good farewell. The way you behaved, you disgraced the whole department!"
After that incident he became a little afraid to stay with my family. But whenever his telegram came I would go to the station to receive him and he would look at me with fear and suspicion that I may do something. I said, "You need not be worried. When you are my guest I will not throw your things out.
If I have to throw something, I will throw you, not the things, because the poor things have nothing to do... You have broken my suitcase. The suitcase was not involved in the discussion at all. If I have to throw anything, then I will throw you. So don't be worried, your things are safe."
He came to my house and told my father: "He is saying to me on the way that he will throw me if there is a need to throw something, and my things are safe! He is dangerous. In the night he may do something."
My father said, "Don't be worried, he will not throw you. He simply made it clear that what you did was wrong. Throwing things is throwing a tantrum, and a psychoanalyst who is the topmost in the whole country... It was not a question only of you. Since your behavior he is against psychoanalysis; since your behavior he is against Sigmund Freud. He has collected all the literature on psychoanalysis and he is ready to condemn every single point. And it was you who made him an enemy of psychoanalysis... not your enemy, because he does not pay attention to persons. You need not be worried, he will not be throwing you or doing anything to you."
He wanted to say to me... because three times I had to receive him after that incident and I could see that he wanted to say, "I am sorry," but he could not say it. The third time was going to be the last time because then I was moving to another city as a lecturer, so I told him, "This is the last time.
If you really want to say it, say it."
He asked, "What do you mean? What do I want to say?"
I asked, "You know, I know, and you know that I know."
He said, "That's true. I am sorry. I have been trying to say that, but somehow I could not manage to say it."
I said, "That's why I had to give you the opportunity, because this is the last time; perhaps we will never be meeting again. So you say it. If you have anything else to say, you are welcome to say it; otherwise it will remain a wound in you. It has nothing to do with me. I simply enjoyed the whole episode. I simply saw how bogus is knowledgeability, how empty are all your great degrees." He has degrees from the West.
"It was a good experience for me. I could see that even a man who knows about the mind has no understanding of being calm and quiet. The episode has been helpful to me. It has been of much more educational value than I think your two year course in the university would have been.
"I learned everything about psychoanalysis in that moment when I saw you behave in such a childish way. To figure it out I have read all the literature on psychoanalysis. And I know that the reason is that all that knowledge has nothing to do with meditation. It is not yours, you are borrowing it.
You are making great systems based on analyzing people's dreams, but it is not giving you any transformation, any new being, any new personality. You are simply the old, rotten egg."
So it was difficult for others, but for me it has been a beautiful experience all along. And I don't think anything can happen to me in the future that can make me change my feeling towards existence.
Trust is such a valuable feeling that one can sacrifice thousands of lives for it. Even then, you cannot compare it. It comes slowly as you go through life, each moment, relishing the situation, whatever it is. It may look bad in the eyes of others. It doesn't matter. If you can enjoy it, rejoice in it, it is perfectly good. The whole world may be condemning it; that is absolutely irrelevant.
So it is true that I must have been born almost enlightened.
LISTENING TO YOU TALKING TO THE JOURNALISTS THE OTHER EVENING, I FELT YOU ARE SO ASSERTIVE AND I AM SUCH A CHICKEN. IN THIS COUNTRY, FEELING LIKE A STRANGER, I AM EVEN SCARED OF GOING INTO A SHOP TO BUY SOMETHING. THE MORE I FEEL GOOD WITH MYSELF AND WITH YOU, THE STRONGER IS THIS FEAR OF PEOPLE. IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE TO DO OTHER THAN WATCH IT?
Watching is the ultimate thing one can do; everything else is lesser. It is the best thing to do.
As far as I am concerned, talking is something spontaneous. If I am talking to you, I am talking in a very soft way. There is no need to be assertive, because you are receptive. The more receptive you are, the less is the need for me to be assertive.
But when I am talking to the journalists spontaneously I become very assertive, because only then can they listen; otherwise they are deaf. Every day they are doing articles, interviews with politicians and all kinds of people who are all afraid of them - afraid because they can destroy their image in the public opinion.
Many journalists have expressed the idea to me: "It is strange that we feel absolutely in control with politicians and with other kinds of people, interviewing them. With you we start feeling nervous. This never happens with anybody else, so why does it happen that we start feeling nervous?"
I said, "The only reason is that I don't care about my image. I don't care about your article; I don't care what you write. All that I care about in that moment is that whatever I am saying reaches to you. Other than that I have no concern. For seven years I have not read any book, any magazine, any newspaper, listened to the radio, watched television - nothing. It is all rubbish."
So when a journalist is asking me a question he has to be awakened to listen to it. He should not be in the same position as when he listens to a politician - and that makes me certainly assertive! You cannot reach to these people if you are soft and humble. That would look to them like weakness, because that's how they are accustomed to take politicians and others who are very humble and very soft and very willing to say what the journalist wants to listen to. They speak with a certain idea of what it is going to create as far as their image is concerned.
I don't have any image. So when I am talking to the journalist my effort is to reach him, not to reach the public. That is secondary. If it happens, good; if it doesn't happen there is no need to be worried about it.
And why are you afraid of people?
I have never felt like a stranger anywhere for the simple reason that wherever you are, you are a stranger, so what is the point of feeling it? Wherever you are, you cannot be otherwise; we are strangers. Once this is accepted then it doesn't matter where you are a stranger - in this place or in some other place. Your strangerness remains - somewhere more clear, somewhere a little clouded.
But why should you be afraid? The fear comes because you want people to think good of you. That's what makes everybody a coward. That's what makes everybody a slave, that people should think good of you. This is the fear: that in a strange place with strange people you may do something, you may say something, and they may not think it is good.
You always need to be appreciated because you have not accepted yourself. So as a substitute you want to be accepted by others. Once you accept yourself, it doesn't matter whether people think good of you or bad of you; that is their problem. It is not your problem. You live your life your way; now what others think is their problem, their worry.
But because you don't accept yourself - from the very childhood you have been constantly bombarded, continuously hammered that you are not acceptable as you are. You should behave this way, that way; then you can be accepted. And when people accept you, appreciate you, respect you, that means you are good. But this is creating the whole problem for everybody in the world:
everybody becomes dependent on other people's opinions and everybody is dominated by other people's opinion.
Seeing this simple fact I dropped the idea of other people's opinion, and it has given such freedom to me that it is absolutely indescribable. Such a relief that you can be just yourself - you need not worry about it. And this world is so big, there are so many people. If I am to think about everybody and what he thinks about me, then in my life I will be simply collecting opinions of others about me, carrying files all around...
When I applied for the government service as a teacher in the university - this is my way and has always been my way - I simply went to the education minister and I told him, "This is my application; these are my qualifications. If you want to ask anything, any interview, I am ready."
He looked at me - a strange type of behavior! An application has to come through the proper channel. He said, "Your application has to come through the proper channel."
I said, "This is the direct channel; there cannot be a more proper channel than this! I am the applicant, you are the person who has to receive it - face to face, man to man. I don't believe in any other channel."
And he said, "For an interview some date has to be given."
I said, "You are sitting here, I am here - start the interview! Why are you wasting your time and my time? If you don't have any questions and you cannot interview me right now, I can interview you."
He looked at the application. He said, "And where is the character certificate?"
I said, "I have never come across a person whom I can give a character certificate; how can I ask him to give me a character certificate? You tell me."
He said, "Strange! You never came across a person in your life from whom you can take a character certificate?"
I said, "No. I cannot give them character certificates. There are hundreds of people who would like to give me a character certificate, but I don't care about their character certificates; they don't have any character."
He said, "You think in strange ways, but I have to function according to the rules and regulations: a character certificate is a must. It should go with the application; otherwise I will be at fault."
So I said, "Okay, give me a paper and I will write a character certificate."
He said, "You will write a character certificate for yourself?"
I said, "No, I will write a true copy of a character certificate from the head of my department, S.K.
He said, "This seems to be very strange. You don't have the original. How can you write the true copy?"
I said, "I will get the exact original and I will send you the original too so you can see that I have not deceived you." And I wrote a true copy of the original certificate which did not exist at all! And I made two copies: one I gave to him, and I said, "One I have to take to S.K. Saxena to make an original copy out of it."
He said, "This seems to be a very complicated affair! Please send me the original so I can figure out whether Saxena is willing to say..."
I said, "Don't be worried."
I went to Saxena. I told him, "Write an original character certificate exactly like the true copy; this is the true copy."
He said, "From where did you get the true copy?"
I said, "I have written it myself, but I have not written anything that you will find difficult to write about me."
He looked at the true copy and he said, "I would have written a thousandfold better certificate for you."
I said, "I have written the minimum so you cannot say that I am exaggerating or anything."
He said, "But I feel sorry that I will have to sign it... that you have made this whole thing already."
So he made the original and he said, "I will remember it my whole life - this is the first time that the original is made after the true copy!" And I sent the original to the minister.
Two years later he was not the minister and we met in a train. I asked, "Were you satisfied with the original copy?"
He said, "Strange - word for word! How did you manage?"
I said, "Saxena was very angry with me. He would have given me a really beautiful certificate, the best he has ever written, but now there was no way - I had already given the true copy, so he simply wrote it and sent it to you."
The minister said, "Since that time I have been thinking about you often, that without any interview, without any character certificate, without any proper channel being used for the application... how did you manage to get an appointment from me? I am not such a soft person or so gullible."
When he gave me the appointment he had said, "It will reach by post."
I said, "There is no need; you give it to me. I am here. You will send it by post to my address - three days are wasted unnecessarily. You give it to me here right now; I am present."
He said, "I used to think again and again that perhaps I was hypnotized - or what could have happened - because this is not the way." And that was true.
When I reached the college to which I was appointed and I presented myself to the principal he said, "But this has been issued only just yesterday! How did you get it so soon? - because through the post it will reach you in three days." He suspected; he thought there is something strange: it has just been signed yesterday, and the next day I present it - and it was a distance of one thousand miles from the capital to that college.
So he said, "I will have to phone the minister; please forgive me."
I said, "There is no problem; you phone. And I am sitting here if there is anything..."
He phoned the minister and the minister said, "Yes, it has happened. I don't know how it happened.
I should not have done it, but he simply made it so clear and so authoritative that I had to give it to him. And I knew the rules."
Politicians are dependent on public opinion. They don't have any integrity. You just be assertive and immediately they are ready to listen. If you are not assertive, then they will be assertive.
So I told the education minister when we met on the train, "There was no hypnotism, nothing. I just know that the mind of the politician is a weak mind; it depends on public opinion. It has no authority in itself, no acceptance of itself. In fact it goes on denying itself, and if somebody comes and just throws away all those public opinions and looks directly into your eyes, within you, you become afraid because you are empty there."
So if you feel afraid of going to people, meeting people, that means that you are feeling very empty, and this should not be. You should be overflowing with yourself, not with anybody's opinion or appreciation, but with your own life, with your own gusto.
And that's exactly what I mean - meditation gives you authority, power... not over other but simply a quality of power and quality of authority that nobody can take away from you. It is yours.
Public opinion can be taken away - today they are with you, tomorrow they are not with you. Today they are all appreciating you as a saint; tomorrow they are all condemning you as a sinner. It is better to be on your own - saint or sinner. Whatever you are, just be on your own so nobody can take it away.
It is better to be a sinner on your own than to be a saint on public opinion. That is borrowed, and you are empty.