Chapter 2: Meditation: A Jumping Board to Your Being
But the wife was watching the whole thing. She came in and she said, “He has not come late, you have come late! He has finished your breakfast. I was watching, but I saw that it was getting cold anyway; at least somebody ate it. You are some scientist! How you manage your science I cannot understand.” The wife said, “You don’t even know who has eaten your breakfast, and you are asking his apology, ‘You came a little late, I am sorry..’”
Concentration is always the narrowing of your consciousness. The narrower it becomes, the more powerful it is. It is like a sword that cuts into any secret of nature: you have to become oblivious of everything. But this is not religion. Many people have misunderstood - not only in the West, but in the East too. They think that concentration is religion. It gives you tremendous powers, but those powers are of the mind.
For example, the king of Varanasi in India went through an operation in 1920 - just in this century - and created news all over the world because of his operation. He refused to take any anesthetic. He said, “I have taken a vow not to take anything that makes me unconscious, so I cannot be put under chloroform; but you need not be worried.”
It was a major operation - to remove his appendix. Now, to take out somebody’s appendix without giving him anesthetics is really dangerous; you may kill the man. He may not be able to bear the pain, because the pain is going to be terrible. You have to cut his stomach; you have to cut out his appendix, you have to remove it. It will take one hour, two hours - one never knows in what condition his appendix is.
But he was no ordinary man either - otherwise they would have forced him - he was the king of Varanasi. He said to the doctors, “But don’t be worried” - and the best doctors available in India were there; one expert from England was there. They all consulted: nobody was ready to do this operation, but the operation had to be done, otherwise any moment the appendix could kill the man. The state was serious, and both the alternatives seemed to be serious: if you left him without the operation he might die; if you did the operation without making him unconscious - which had never been done, there was no precedent..
But the king said, “You don’t understand me. There has never been any precedent because you have never operated on a man like the man you are going to operate upon. Just give me my religious book, Shrimad Bhagavadgita. I will read it, and after five minutes you can start your work. Once I am involved in the Gita then you can cut any part of my body - I will not be even aware of it; there is no question of pain.”
When he insisted - and anyway he was going to die so there was no harm in trying. Perhaps he was right - he was well-known for his religious practices. So this was done. He read the Gita for five minutes and closed his eyes; the Gita dropped from his hands, and they did the operation. It took one and a half hours. It was really serious: only a few hours more and the appendix may have exploded and killed the man. They removed the appendix, and the man was completely conscious, silent - not even a flicker of his eyes. He was somewhere else.