Chapter 32: Freedom Brings Its Own Responsibilities
Stern magazine and ZDF-TV, West Germany
Glad to see you.
Your peaceful oasis turned out to be a haven for criminals. Today you blamed sannyasins for having created a Sheela and her gang. Isn’t that too easy? Why don’t you blame yourself as well? After all, Sheela was one of your closest sannyasins for many years.
I blame myself not only for Sheela but for Adolf Hitler too, for Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadir Shah, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible. I blame myself for all of them, because I am part of this existence. Anything that happens here, in some way or other I am connected with it.
And you are wrong that I have not blamed myself.
How did you blame yourself? Could you explain it?
No, just because I was silent. Not to be in it is not enough to be innocent. I was not in it, but it would not have happened if I was not in silence.
I was silent for my own reason. I was not silent for Sheela and her gang; I was silent for my own reasons. I always wanted to remain silent for a long period. Even then I was not ready or willing to speak again. It was just seeing the situation that I had to come out of silence.
So certainly I blame myself, but not only for Sheela. If by my being silent I am responsible for Sheela, then by not being born in Germany while Hitler was there, I am responsible. The same logic.
You mean that seriously?
Seriously? Why was I not born in Germany while Hitler was there? Then I am responsible for the whole criminal history of humanity.