Chapter 14: Beyond Science Is Knowing
I don’t like this fussiness. I don’t want to say anything against that old man because he is dead. If he were alive I would say something against him, certainly. His whole effort - and he lived long, ninety years - was somehow to prove that he was original in everything, even in expressions.
I don’t feel the necessity. If you are original, you are original. There is no need to shout it from the housetops that “I am original,” that “I am fortunate that I have not read any sacred scriptures.” And this is not true, because even to avoid samadhi, nirvana, enlightenment, you have to know those words, otherwise how can you avoid them? He may not have read them himself, somebody else may have read them, and he must have heard it.
And that’s actually what had happened: from his childhood he was being taught to become a world teacher, so others were telling him. He was just nine years old, so he was not telling a lie by saying that he had not read the sacred scriptures, but the sacred scriptures were read to him.
This reminds me of a milkman. I was a student in the university and he used to come to the hostel with his small son to give milk to the students, and everybody was suspicious that his milk was at least fifty percent water. Already the purest milk is eighty percent water; then fifty percent more. So it is just the name milk, otherwise it is all water. So everybody was telling him, “You are mixing in too much water.”
He was a very religious man, worshipping for hours in the temple. And he would say, “I am a religious man. I cannot do this. I can take an oath. This is my son” - and he would put his hand on his son’s head -”Under oath I am saying that if I lie, my son should die. I have never mixed water into milk.”
I listened many times. One day I called him inside my room and closed the door. He said, “What are you doing?”
I said, “You need not be worried, I am also a religious man. Just a little dialogue.”
He said, “But why are you closing the door?”
I said, “It has to be very private, otherwise you will be in difficulty.”
He said, “Strange, why should I be in difficulty?”
I said, “Now just tell me exactly. I have seen you mixing water with my own eyes. I had to miss one morning walk just to hide near your place to see it. Just this morning I have seen it. And if you don’t listen to me. I don’t have a son, but I can use your son, under oath.”
He said, “Wait! Don’t do that. You are a dangerous man. You can do it to your son but not to my son.”
I said, “What is the harm? Your son is not going to be harmed; truth is truth.”
He said, “That means I will have to tell you the truth.”
I said, “You will have to tell me the truth.”