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Chapter 10: Here and Now: The Only Time, the Only Place

Shiva’s wife died and he loved the woman so much, so madly, that in his madness he thought that there must be a physician somewhere in the country who could still revive her. So he carried the dead body of his wife Parvati on his shoulders and roamed around the country looking for some miracle worker, some physician who knew the secret of nectar, who could revive the woman.

Of course, the body started deteriorating; it became rotten, parts of it started falling off. But he was so mad he went on and on. The hands fell off in one place, the legs fell off in another, the head fell off somewhere else.

That’s how the Indian sacred places were born - this is the story. One part fell off in Varanasi, another fell off in Puri, another fell off in Ujjain, and so on and so forth. The body fell apart in twelve places, all over the country. By the time his tour was over nothing was left; the woman had disappeared. But wherever a part of the woman fell, a sacred spot arose - it became a teertha, a place for pilgrimage.

This is somehow very significant about each of you - a part of you fell off when you were four years of age and that part has remained there, another part fell somewhere else. You are spread all along the way. You are not one piece, you are a multiplicity - multipsychic, many minds. And one part of you may be very grown-up and another may be very childish.

A scientist may be a very grown-up man as far as his science is concerned. When he goes into his lab he is a very skillful, intelligent person, he works with great acumen, talent, genius, but another part of his life may be very childish, almost stupid. When he is out of his lab he is a totally different person.

It is said about Karl Marx that one day he brought many boxes of cigarettes to his home. The wife was a little puzzled. Women are more together than men; they are more earth-bound, more earthly and live more closely to the present.

The wife asked, “What made you bring so many cigarettes? And we are out of money!”

He said, “Don’t be worried at all. I have found a secret way of earning money, that’s why I have purchased so many cigarettes. I will tell you the secret. Just along the way, while coming back home, I thought about an economic law: that if you smoke twelve cigarettes per day and you can find cheaper cigarettes, then with each cigarette you will be saving money. The more you smoke the more money is saved. So now there is no need to worry about money, I will simply smoke and money will be saved! And I have found the cheapest brand. So much money will be saved that now you need not worry.”

The woman thought he had gone mad. He closed his door and started smoking two cigarettes at a time, because he was in such a hurry to earn money!

The woman rushed to one of his friends, Friedrich Engels, and told him the whole thing: “He has gone mad! He is continuously smoking - and two cigarettes at a time, because he thinks that the quicker the better!”

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