Chapter 26: Enlightenment Is You Completely Gone
Nothing was wrong in their intentions; their intentions are not in question. What is in question is that they were not conscious, that the seeds they were sowing in you were seeds of poison. No well-wishing, no good intentions are going to change those seeds. And once they have got roots in you it becomes more and more difficult to get rid of them, because you are identified with the tree of poisons.
It is difficult for a Christian to put Christianity aside. He will feel he is doing something like a betrayal. Putting aside Christianity he will feel he is betraying Jesus Christ. He is not betraying anyone. He is simply trying to get out of the mess of conditioning that all kinds of people have put upon him.
My grandmother - my mother’s mother - was a tremendously beautiful woman. She loved me so much that I was more in touch with her than with my own mother. I used to come to my mother’s house to eat twice a day, and then I went to the school. But every night I was in my grandmother’s house. She lived in the same town; when her husband died, she moved there. She was alone, there was no other child - my mother was her only child.
But she was of an independent character. Everybody tried to persuade her to live with my father’s family, but she said, “That is not possible. Not that I don’t love you and don’t want to live with you, but I want to be utterly independent, on my own.”
So she lived just a few houses away, so that my father and my mother could take care in any emergency - she was old. But I was sleeping every night at her house. She had all blessings for me.
One day when I was carrying her spiritual book of Jainism, it fell. She immediately fell on the earth and put her head at the imaginary feet of the religious book. I asked her, “What are you doing? A book is a book - religious or unreligious, it doesn’t matter. It is printed on the same kind of paper, with the same kind of ink, with the same kind of words.”
She was old, but very understanding. She said, “Perhaps you are right, but my whole life is involved. The religious book falling on the ground is not a good sign; we have to ask its forgiveness. It has to be on our heads, not at our feet.”
I used to argue with her. I said, “The book is dead. Whether you put it on your head or you stand on it, it will not know the difference.”
She was shocked, and at the same time she said, “What you are saying, I can see the point of it, but now it is too late. I am so old - now to start living from scratch, now to start thinking again from the very beginning is a great task. And it is not only a question of this book; so much is involved in it - my attitude towards the religion, my attitude towards the priests, the monks, my attitude towards my parents.
“I got this mind as an inheritance, and it is all that I have. You can destroy it, but then I will feel empty. And when death is coming closer and I can hear the footsteps of death louder and louder, my son, it is too late. I don’t want to die empty.”