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Chapter 14: Society Crowds You Out; Religion Outs Your Crowd

He rewarded me with five rupees. In those days, in that small village, five rupees was a great reward. The man was mad at my father. He said, “You will spoil this child. You should beat him rather than giving him five rupees. Now he will cut off other people’s chotis. If he gets five rupees per choti, all the brahmins of the town are finished, because they are all sleeping outside in the night; and when you are sleeping you cannot go on holding your choti in your hand. And what are you doing? This will become a precedent.”

My father said, “But this is my contract. If you want to punish him, that is your business; I will not come into it. I am not rewarding him for his mischief, I am rewarding him for his truth - and for my whole life I will go on rewarding him for his truth. As far as mischief is concerned, you are free to do anything with him.”

That man told my father, “You are putting me in more trouble. If I do something to this boy, do you think things will stop there? I am a family man, I have my wife, my children, my house - tomorrow my house will be burned down.” He was very angry, and he said, “Especially now it’s a problem, because tomorrow I am going to perform a ceremony in the next village, and people seeing me without my choti.”

I said, “There is no need to worry - I am giving you back the choti. You can also reward me with something for giving your choti back. Just don’t ever take off your turban in the other village, even in the night keep your turban on. That’s all. It is not a big problem; it is only a question of one night. And in the night who is going to look for your choti? Everybody will be asleep.

He said, “Don’t give me advice. I feel like beating you but I know better, because that will create a whole chain of events.”

I said, “It has already been created. You have come to complain; you are not rewarding me for being so absolutely honest and sincere, and telling you that I could not resist the temptation. And I have not done any harm to anybody; no violence has happened - not a single drop of blood came from your choti. Just by complaining to my father you have already created a chain of reactions.”

He said to my father, “Look!”

My father said, “That is not my business.”

And I said to my father, “That’s what the whole brahminism teaches: the chain of reactions.”

My father said, “You keep your philosophy to yourself. And stop going to those lectures of the sadhus and the monks and mahatmas, because whatsoever you get from them, you then somehow manage to conclude such strange things.”

I said, “But this is what I am saying, and it is not strange. That’s exactly what the theory of karma is: you do one act, the reaction will follow. He has done an act of complaining against me, now the reaction will follow.”

And the reaction followed, because he had told me that he was going to the other village. He was very angry with me, but when you are angry, you are angry - and he was really completely freaked out. So he was angry with his wife, with the children. I watched everything, and he somehow managed to get his things together and went off in a horse buggy.

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