Chapter 14: India: The Eternal Pilgrimage
Only upon attaining wealth does man come to realize that there is nothing poorer than being a wealthy man. In spite of all the material possessions one is utterly empty inside. And an emptiness, a meaninglessness, a deep anguish, that “I have everything and yet I have nothing,” follows. America is in this same hour. America needs someone to tell it that there is a world beyond wealth, a world which only a wealthy person can attain - because to attain that world the only ladder can be wealth. It is not attained by wealth but by walking beyond it.
That’s why I had chosen America. And within five years, within a very small span of time, this dream was actualized. A desert.it was a big desert, one hundred and twenty-six square miles, where not a flower had ever bloomed. The day I arrived in that desert there was not a single bird there. With five thousand sannyasins, everyone working twelve or fourteen hours a day, within five years we transformed that desert into an oasis. Whatsoever one had - if money then money, if physical strength then the body - everything was gambled. The desert was revitalized. It became an oasis.
Birds came from far, far away. Wild animals came. Thousands of deer came to the transformed desert. We built houses for five thousand sannyasins with our own hands. We did not take support from anyone in America. We built roads, we built lakes. We invited swans: when the lakes were created, swans came. As we created the gardens, the deer came - three hundred peacocks just in my garden! With the onset of the rains three hundred peacocks would start dancing.the colors of the whole world, the celebration of the whole world!
Five thousand sannyasins would eat from one kitchen.
Because my whole understanding is that the time of the small family is over now. Now we need bigger families for man. We need communes.
Five thousand sannyasins would sit down to eat, and someone would start playing and singing on the guitar, and someone would start dancing. And in the festival days, some twenty thousand sannyasins from around the world would come. For them we had created tent accommodation with our own hands - and a kind of tent that had never been built before. Those tents could be used in rain, in snow, in summer, in winter - in all the seasons. Air-conditioning and heating could be installed in them as needed. All the houses for the five thousand sannyasins were centrally air-conditioned.
And all other possible amenities for the comfort of the five thousand sannyasins were there: there were five hundred cars for five thousand sannyasins, there were five airplanes, there were one hundred buses, our own hospital, our own doctors, our own nurses. There was a school, our own teachers, separate residential facilities for the children - the children had their own separate world.
In the morning the work would begin with meditation. After meditation, either people would all sit with me in a silent satsang for an hour, or if I was talking they would listen to me. And then came the work for the whole day, and celebrations again in the evening.