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Chapter 25: Religiousness, Not Religion

The elephant said, “I was not even aware that you were sitting on my head. What are you doing there?” Now, in this small story the elephant is not even aware of the mosquito, but the mosquito thinks, “Me and you, together, are too much for this poor bridge.”

Each man is far smaller in comparison to this vast universe than the mosquito is to the elephant. There is not much difference between the mosquito and the elephant, but between a man and existence - the difference is immeasurable. But remember, man is doing the same thing. If you are going to get married, you go to the astrologer to ask, “Are the stars favorable?” That’s what the poor mosquito was saying, “Uncle.” trying to relate with the elephant. You are trying to relate with the stars: are they favorable for your marriage? And of course the astrologer is going to exploit you.

For a few months I was in Raipur as a professor teaching there. I have traveled all over India, but Raipur seems to be a strange place. You will be able to pass only two or three houses before you find a great board declaring that, “Here lives a great astrologer.” You pass only two, three houses, and there is somebody who knows how to bring ghosts out of you, how to drive devils out of you. That kind of man, in Raipur, is called an ojha, one who drives devils, ghosts, from people’s mind.

And in those days I used to walk at least eight miles every day, so I walked to almost every nook and corner of the city of Raipur, and everywhere there were boards on the walls, advertisements. There must be people who are suffering from ghosts and devils, otherwise how are so many people doing this business - and doing well? They seem to be the most established people.

Just in front of my house there was one astrologer who was very famous. People from faraway places used to come to him for everything, not only marriage. In India, if you are starting a business you will go to the astrologer: “On what day, at what time, are the stars favorable to me?” That is the time for the opening ceremony of your shop. If you are going traveling, first you will go to the astrologer: “What time? I am going south; is it favorable with the stars that I go south on such a day? Or should I wait?” And the astrologer will give you the date and the time.

And I saw that man is doing it the whole day. And sometimes the train leaves in the middle of the night, but you have to leave at the time the astrologer has said, so you leave your house in the middle of the day because that is the time when the stars are favorable. You leave the house at that time and then you stay at the station for twelve hours and wait for the train; but you should leave the house at the right moment, when all the stars are favorable.

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