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Chapter 6: Absolute Love, Absolute Freedom

It is a very strange world! You don’t know people’s real lives; all that you know is their masks. You see them in the churches, you see them in the clubs, in the hotels, in the dancing halls, and it seems everybody is rejoicing, everybody is living a heavenly life, except you - of course, because you know how miserable you are within. And the same is the case with everybody else! They are all wearing masks, deceiving everybody, but how can you deceive yourself? You know that the mask is not your original face.

But the parents go on pretending before their children, go on deceiving their own children. They are not even authentic with their own children! They will not confess that their life has been a failure; on the contrary, they will pretend that they have been very successful. And they would like the children also to live in the same way as they have lived.

You ask: “My parents are so disappointed in me.”

Don’t be worried at all - all parents are disappointed in their children! And I say all, without any exception. Even the parents of Gautam the Buddha were very much disappointed in him, the parents of Jesus Christ were very much disappointed in him, obviously. They had lived a certain kind of life - they were orthodox Jews - and this son, this Jesus, was going against many traditional ideas, conventions. Jesus’ father, Joseph, must have hoped that now he is growing old the son will help him in his carpentry, in his work, in his shop - and the stupid son started talking about kingdom of God! Do you think he was very much happy in his old age?

Gautam Buddha’s father was very old and he had only one son, and that too was born to him when he was very old His whole life he has waited and prayed and worshipped and did all kinds of religious rituals so that he can have a son, because who is going to look after his great kingdom? And then one day the son disappeared from the palace. Do you think he was very happy? He was so angry, violently angry, he would have killed Gautam Buddha if he had found him! His police, his detectives were searching all over the kingdom. “Where he is hiding? Bring him to me!”

And Buddha knew it, that he will be caught by his father’s agents, so the first thing he did was he left the boundary of his father’s kingdom; escaped into another kingdom, and for twelve years nothing was heard about him.

When he became enlightened he came back home to share his joy, to say to the father that, “I have arrived home,” that “I have realized,” that “I have known the truth - and this is the way.”

But the father was so angry, he was trembling and shaking - he was old, very old. He shouted at Buddha and he said, “You are a disgrace to me!” He saw Buddha - he was standing there in a beggar’s robe with a begging bowl - and he said, “How you dare to stand before me like a beggar? You are the son of an emperor, and in our family there has never been a beggar! My father was an emperor, his father was too, and for centuries we have been emperors! You have disgraced the whole heritage!”

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