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Chapter 4: Session 4

During the last twenty years of her life I was traveling all over India. Each time I passed through the village she would say to me, “Listen: never enter a train that has already started, and do not get out of the train before it has stopped. Second, never argue with anyone in the compartment while you are traveling. Thirdly, remember always that I am alive and waiting for you to come home. Why are you wandering all over the country when I am waiting here to take care of you? You need care, and nobody can give you the same care as I can.”

For twenty years continuously I had to listen to this advice. Now I can say to her, “Don’t be worried, at least there in the other world. First, I no longer travel by train; in fact I no longer travel at all, so there is no question of getting out of the train that has not yet stopped. Secondly, Gudia is taking care of me as beautifully as you would have liked to. Thirdly, remember that just as you waited for me while you were alive, wait for me still. Soon I will be coming, coming home.”

The first time I went to Khajuraho I went just because my grandmother was nagging me to go, but since then I have been there hundreds of times. There is no other place in the world that I have been to so many times. The reason is simple: you cannot exhaust the experience. It is inexhaustible. The more you know, the more you want to know. Each detail of the Khajuraho temples is a mystery. It must have taken hundreds of years and thousands of artists to create each temple. And I have never come across anything other than Khajuraho that can be said to be perfect, not even the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal has its flaws, but Khajuraho has none. Moreover, Taj Mahal is just beautiful architecture; Khajuraho is the whole philosophy and psychology of the New Man.

When I saw those naked - I cannot say “nude,” forgive me. “Nude” is pornographic; “naked” is a totally different phenomenon. In the dictionary they may mean the same, but the dictionary is not everything; there is much more to existence. The statues are naked, but not nude. But those naked beauties.perhaps one day man will be able to achieve it. It is a dream; Khajuraho is a dream. And Mahatma Gandhi wanted it buried under earth so nobody could be tempted by the beautiful statues. We are grateful to Rabindranath Tagore who prevented Gandhi from doing such a thing. He said, “Leave the temples as they are..” He was a poet and he could understand their mystery.

I have gone to Khajuraho so many times that I have lost all count. Whenever I had time I would rush to Khajuraho. If I could not be found anywhere else, my family would automatically say that I must have gone to Khajuraho, look for me there. And they were always right. I had to bribe the guards of those temples to tell people that I was not there when I was. It is a confession, because that is the only time I ever bribed anyone; but it was worth it, and I don’t regret it. I don’t feel sorry about it.

In fact, you will be surprised, you know how dangerous I am.. The guard who I bribed became my sannyasin. Now, who bribed whom? First I bribed him to say that I was not inside; then by and by he became more and more interested in me. He returned all the bribes that I had given him. He is perhaps the only man who has returned all the bribes given to him. He could not keep them after becoming a sannyasin.

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