Chapter 5: The Birth of a New Man
Here, so many people request me to write my autobiography. It is very difficult because the one about whom I would write is not me. Whatever I am now has no story. There is no story after that explosion; there are no events after it. All events are before the explosion. After the explosion there is only void. Whatever was before is not me or mine.
When a person writes about himself, it is an autobiography; when a person writes about someone else, it is a biography. If I write a biography, it will not be mine. It cannot be an autobiography because the “I” is no more there. It can be a biography of a person whom I once knew, but who now is no more. It can be about a person whom I once used to be, but who has now ceased to be. Also, it would be like writing about someone whom I have known or heard about, whom I used to see, but who is now dead.
I never knew that these events which took place constituted a search for the spiritual. I came to know only later that what came about was “spiritual knowledge.” But the truth is that those who had known me from my childhood would never have believed that I and religion could ever go together. It was beyond their expectations because what they were calling or knowing as religion I had always fought against.
What they were calling worship was just so much nonsense for me. What they called a sannyasin was for me nothing but an escapist. What they called scriptures, to which they used to bow their heads in worship, were but ordinary books for me upon which I could rest my foot. Whatsoever they asserted as being beyond doubt, I dragged into uncertainty and suspicion. Their God, their soul and their salvation were all matters of joke and fun for me.
Their seriousness appeared to me as childish. When I would see them sitting with folded hands before their God, I would laugh and disturb them. All this appeared to me so childish that they could never imagine that I, of all persons, could ever become religious.
If those who had known me during those days prior to the explosion and who have since died should come alive again, and should those with whom I have long been out of touch see me today, they would not be able to even recognize my present self, nor would they be able to imagine that I can be that same person whom they had known.
They could never believe it, because whatsoever they believed as religion I believed to be anything but religion. In their minds, I was an atheist, and a total one at that. To my family members, my friends, my relatives and my associates, I was a great atheist. Therefore, those who suddenly meet me today, after a lapse of about twenty or twenty-five years, will have the shock of their lives. It has happened that those who had become atheists in my company, or because of me, are embarrassed because they have all remained atheists.
Recently I went to a village where I met a man who had become an atheist because of me. He is still an atheist, and he became very frightened. He said that what I had told him then, he had continued to believe as true even until now. So I had no idea that what I was doing then would ever lead me into enlightenment.