Chapter 7: Nothing Unnatural, But Something Unique
Ronald Reagan is visiting India and is met at the airport by Rajiv Gandhi. As they are driving away in Rajiv’s limousine, Reagan notices a lot of people shitting by the side of the road. He is disgusted and asks Rajiv if this is common practice in India. Rajiv is very embarrassed and replies that he is trying to educate the people to use a proper toilet, but it will take time for the program to be one hundred percent effective.
On a return visit, Reagan and Gandhi are driving through Washington to the White House when Rajiv notices a man shitting in the street. He points this out with some satisfaction to Reagan. The president is furious and orders his secret service agents to arrest the man. A few minutes later the agent returns.
“Well,” snaps Ronald Reagan, “did you arrest him?”
“No, sir,” replies the agent, “we could not.”
“Why the hell not?” bellows Reagan.
“Well,” says the agent, “it was the Indian ambassador.”
Is the master coming to the disciple or is it the other way around? I would like to be more open to you, to open my heart to you more, to feel you more, but no effort from my side seems to work out. So I console myself that it’s you who will enter me somewhere, suddenly. Is this an illusion?
It is always the master who comes, but it is not necessarily so that he will find the disciple’s heart open. Most often it is closed. So your question is really not a question but two sides of the same coin.
The master comes but the disciple has to be ready to receive, the disciple has to be open. If you are hoping that whether you are open or not the master will come suddenly, somehow, you are hoping in vain. Even if he comes he will have to return. You will not give way; you will shut your door and lock it from inside.
People are very much afraid of opening their hearts. The fear has reasons rooted in our upbringing, because whenever we have opened our hearts, we have been punished or we have been exploited or we have been deceived. Naturally, we have learned to be on the defensive, to keep the heart closed so nobody can deceive us, nobody can come close to us. It is a defense measure. And in a society where everybody is competitive, it is natural to defend yourself, otherwise you will be exploited. Somebody is going to step on you and go beyond you, use you, misuse you in all possible ways.
There is a place in India - one of the biggest junctions. I was waiting in my compartment: the train would leave in one hour; it was waiting for some other trains to come..
A man, a beggar, came to me. Seeing me alone he said, “My father has died. I need some help.” I gave him one rupee and I told him, “If somebody else dies, you can come back. At least for one hour I am here.”
He looked at me very much surprised, but he could not resist either. After ten minutes he came: “You were right. My mother died.”