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Chapter 7: Life Is Not a Dictionary

When Ganto took leave of Tokusan, Tokusan said, “Where are you going?”
Ganto said, “For now I am taking leave of you, master, and going down the mountain.”
Tokusan said, “After that, then what?”
Ganto said, “I won’t forget you, master.”
“By virtue of what do you say this?” inquired Tokusan.
Ganto said, “Haven’t you heard that when a monk’s knowledge is equal to his teacher’s he has less than half his teacher’s virtue; when his knowledge surpasses the teacher’s only then is he qualified for the transmission?”
Tokusan said, “So it is, so it is. Guard it well on your own.”

Maneesha, before I discuss the anecdote placed before me, I have few a urgent things to say.

First: one of my very intimate and ancient enemies, ex-Prime Minister Morarji Desai, has been thrown out of his home by the Supreme Court. At his age - he must be more than ninety.. He has been occupying the house, Oceana, on Marine Drive, for twenty-two years illegally. When he was in power the owner of the house could not do anything, but now he is no more in power. He is weeping before the news media, “I have been made homeless.”

I would like to invite him to be part of my ashram here, on two conditions. One, he has to undergo a test for AIDS and he has to produce the negative certificate. Secondly, he has to drop the dirty old habit of drinking his own urine - that is prohibited here. He can bring his spinning wheel, it is innocent; and we will not ask him to do anything else - he can go on spinning his wheel day and night. We will provide him with every facility that is possible, even though while he was in power he tried constantly to destroy this ashram, not knowing that finally only this ashram would provide him a home.

Life takes strange turns.

Secondly: from almost all over India, all the progressive and intelligent newspapers and magazines have supported my statements against the Shankaracharya of Puri. But a few Hindu chauvinists have criticized me and I have to answer them.

One criticism has appeared in many papers by a certain man, Sharma. It is hilarious to know that people don’t even understand the meaning of their surnames. Sharma comes from sharman, and sharman was the lowest brahmin class, who used to butcher cows in their religious rituals. “Sharman” means “the butcher.” Still people go on writing under the name Sharma, not knowing that they are declaring their butcherhood and their forefathers’ ugly violence.

He has been writing against me, that I should not ask for a negative AIDS test from the Shankaracharya because he is celibate. How does he know? Because he is a religious head, that does not mean that he cannot have AIDS. In fact, particularly because he is celibate and religious head there is more possibility of having AIDS than in any other profession.

It is now a proven fact all over the world that priests have been found to be homosexuals, and many of the priests are suffering from AIDS. We cannot make any exception for anybody. In fact, the Shankaracharya of Puri has declared himself a harijan. According to his own scriptures, he should not enter into any temple - his own temple included. And if he enters into any temple, that means that harijans can enter into any temple around the country.

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