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Chapter 12: All Buddhas Are Gamblers

And slowly, slowly I persuaded those people.. A few of them jumped, and they said, “Really there is no problem. But it looked so fearsome.almost like death. But you are so persistent that we started feeling that we must be very cowardly, afraid, that we don’t have any life in us. So we thought that at the most, death can happen - and who bothers once death has happened? There is no problem.we will not be here.”

But once they jumped.then they started jumping from even higher peaks. The railway bridge was the highest on the bank, and a policeman used to stand there twenty-four hours a day with his machine gun, because that place was used for committing suicide. After examinations, when people failed, they would commit suicide; somebody would go bankrupt and he would commit suicide.

When we had jumped from all the other heights, I went to the policeman and I said, “I am not committing suicide, so don’t stop me. If you stop me, I will commit suicide!”

He said, “This is strange. Then what are you doing, if you are not committing suicide?”

I said, “I am simply enjoying the jump. This is the highest place.and I have brought my friends with me. You can see.”

He said, “But remember, nobody should know. And I am worried - you may not be jumping to commit suicide, but suicide may happen. Even though I have been here for years, I could not think of jumping.”

I said, “If you start by thinking.nobody can jump. This is the whole secret: we don’t think first; first we jump, and then we think.”

He said, “Then what is the use of thinking? When you have jumped, you have jumped.”

So I told him, “You need not bother. And you need not use your machine gun - that may kill unnecessarily.”

He became curious and he allowed me to jump. I jumped while the others were reciting the Hanuman Chalisa and trembling, because this was the highest place. It was summertime, and the river had become shallower and the height had become greater. But when I jumped and the policeman looked and saw that I was perfectly happy, and I waved to him, he said, “My God! Then what happens to those people who commit suicide?” And he asked my other friends, “What are you doing?”

They said, “We are reciting the Hanuman Chalisa! First we will invoke the Hanuman Chalisa.because that guy is mad. We don’t follow him; we have our own ritual: first we will do the Hanuman Chalisa and pray to God to save us.” And then one by one they jumped. And you will be surprised: when the last boy had jumped and the policeman saw that we were all alive, he put his gun away, recited the Hanuman Chalisa, and jumped. And he said, “This is strange, nobody died. And I have seen people dying..”

I said, “.because they wanted to die. To us, it is a challenge of life; to them it was not.”

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