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Chapter 4: Understanding the Mind

So the fakir said, “In the days when I was searching for God, I wanted to steal God. I was feeling the walls and knocking on doors but I could not find the way. I was tired and disheartened and I thought, ‘It is hopeless. Just drop it.’ But that thief saved me - just by saying, ‘It did not happen today, but maybe it will happen tomorrow.’ And I have made this into a maxim: if not today, maybe tomorrow. And then one day it happened - the thief managed to steal something and I also found the divine.”

So it is not that you can learn only from a realized man. You have to have the intelligence and understanding to learn, and then for you the whole world is full of realized people. If they are not available, then..

For instance, there were people who passed by Mahavira and thought that he was just a scoundrel, a naked man: “Who knows who this man is? Maybe he is a madman!” There were many people who did not recognize Mahavira. You may have heard people say that a man is a nangaluchcha: this word was first used to describe Mahavira because he was naked, nanga, and he used to shave his head, luchcha. People used to say, “He’s a nangaluchcha.” Nowadays this word is considered to be an insult. In India, if someone calls you this you will get angry. But it was first used for that naked and shaved sage, Mahavira. So there were people who passed by Mahavira and thought, “Who knows what kind of person he must be?” There were people who hit him and beat him. They thought that he was a fraud, a scoundrel, some kind of infiltrator. These were people who did not understand Mahavira.

There were people who crucified Christ thinking that he was a liar. There were people who poisoned Socrates. And don’t think that such people were only around in those days; they are present inside each of you. This is how people are. Even now, if you had the opportunity you would poison Socrates, and given half a chance you would crucify Christ again. And if you had the opportunity you would look at Mahavira and laugh at this madman.

But since they are dead and you revere the dead, they are not a problem. It is difficult to revere someone who is alive. It is difficult to accept him and to understand him. So if you are really seeking for truth then the whole world is full of enlightened people. It has never happened and it will never happen that there are no enlightened people available. And the day it happens that the chain of enlightened people stops, from that day on no one will become enlightened anymore because the very stream itself will have come to an end. It will have become a desert. Wide or narrow, the stream has always been flowing. Be familiar with it, be connected with it. It is not that when you find an enlightened person you will immediately understand. But if you keep your eyes open, understanding will come through small things.