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Chapter 11: And the Wheel Moves

I used to ask him, “What will you do with it? You don’t have any wife.” He never married for the simple reason that women are too interested in spending money. That would be a trouble, and he was afraid that that would create chaos in his peaceful life - it is better to avoid women. He had no children. “For whom are you collecting the money?”

He said, “I love money.”

“But,” I said, “money is meaningful only when you use it - you don’t use it! Whether you have one million rupees or two million or fifty million - it makes no difference whether you have anything in the bank account or nothing, it is the same. You never take anything out.”

He said, “You don’t understand. It gives such solace to the heart. Just to count money is such a nourishment.”

Every day in the evening he used to come to see me. Nobody liked him because everybody thought that he was mean, simply mean. But I used to inquire - I wanted to understand what kind of mind he had; he was a unique person. And he would bring his notebook and he would show me, “Now in this bank is this much, in this bank is this much, and this is the total. Do you see? The total is increasing!” And you could see the flash in his eyes. Now this man is absolutely addicted; he is no longer conscious.

He had no other worries; he was a very single-pointed person. When he died I was present. The doctors knew that I was the only man whom he used to visit every day, so they informed me that he was dying. I inquired in what number ward he was. They said, “You know him, he is in the free ward! He cannot even die in a ward where he has to pay money. He cannot withdraw money from the bank - whatever happens. And he is holding all his bank accounts in his hand.” That was his life.

When I reached there he was very happy. Putting all his bank accounts on his heart and holding them with both hands, he died. I have seen many people dying, but he died so beautifully. He had millions of rupees and property worth millions and he was dying like a beggar in a free ward. But he was absolutely happy.

There are people who can get addicted to money, people who can get addicted to power, but they are doing the same thing, in a little more sophisticated way, as simple people are doing by taking marijuana. No marijuana-taking person can become Adolf Hitler - impossible. He will not find it interesting. No opium eater would bother to become a prime minister - then who will take the opium?

I have told you about the opium addict barber, a friend of my grandfather. I had told him, “You are so much respected” - that was a lie, but he enjoyed it so I don’t think there was any harm. If somebody enjoys it and feels happy, and it costs nothing.. I said, “You are so much respected that if you stand in the elections you can have any post you want.”

He said, “That I know, but it is such a botheration; it is almost begging for votes. Moreover, when I take opium I am the emperor of the whole world. Who cares to become a cabinet minister or prime minister - with my opium I am already.”

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