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Chapter 20: Session 20

I said, “Look at this school - you call it a school? Look at this gate! And you are here to force me to enter for at least four years.” That was the beginning of a dialogue that lasted for many years; and you will come across it many times, because it runs crisscross through the story.

My father said, “I was always afraid.” and we were standing at the gate, on the outside of course, because I had not yet allowed him to take me in.. He went on “.I was always afraid that your grandfather, and particularly this woman, your grandmother, were going to spoil you.”

I said, “Your suspicion, or fear, was right, but the work has been done and nobody can undo it now, so please let us go home.”

He said, “What! You have to be educated.”

I said, “What kind of a beginning is this? I am not even free to say yes or no. You call it education? But if you want it, please don’t ask me: here is my hand, drag me in. At least I will have the satisfaction that I never entered this ugly institution on my own. Please, at least do me this favor.”

Of course, my father was getting very upset, so he dragged me in. Although he was a very simple man he immediately understood that it was not right. He said to me, “Although I am your father it does not feel right for me to drag you in.”

I said, “Don’t feel guilty at all. What you have done is perfectly right, because unless someone drags me in I am not going to go of my own decision. My decision is ‘no.’ You can impose your decision on me because I have to depend on you for food, clothes, shelter and everything. Naturally you are in a privileged position.”

What an entry! - being dragged into school. My father never forgave himself. The day he took sannyas, do you know the first thing he said to me? “Forgive me, because I have done so many wrong things to you. There are so many I cannot count, and there must be more which I don’t know at all. Just forgive me.”

The entry into school was the beginning of a new life. For years I had lived just like a wild animal. Yes, I cannot say a wild human being, because there are no wild human beings.

Only once in a while a man becomes a wild human being. I am now; Buddha was, Zarathustra was; Jesus was - but at that time it was perfectly true to say that for years I had lived like a wild animal. But it is far superior to Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Napoleon, or Alexander the Great. I am only naming the worst; worst in the sense that they thought they were the most civilized.

Alexander the Great thought himself to be the most civilized man of his time, of course. Adolf Hitler, in his autobiography, My Struggle.. I don’t know how Germans pronounce the title - all I can remember is, Mein Kampf. It must be wrong, it has to be. Firstly it is German: M-e-i-n K-a-m-p-f. Whatever the pronunciation, it does not matter to me.

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