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Chapter 26: The Alchemy of Enlightenment

For example, the day Mahatma Gandhi’s father died he was with his father massaging his feet, and the doctors had said that this was going to be the last night; there was no hope that this man would ever see the sunrise, before sunrise he would be gone. In the middle of the night, Mahatma Gandhi was massaging his father’s feet, but he was thinking of his wife. The father was dying. It was an absolute certainty that this was his last night, and he had fallen asleep. Seeing that he was asleep, Mahatma Gandhi slipped silently into his wife’s room, and while he was making love to his wife, his father died. And suddenly the whole house was awake. He heard the noise. “What is the matter?” And he could not forgive himself, that even for one night he could not remain away from his wife when the death of his father was absolutely certain.

If he had not become a famous man, a world-famous man, this incident would not have carried any importance; perhaps he himself would have forgiven it, forgotten it - just an ordinary incident. But writing his autobiography, he connects it with the great mahatma that he became. And this is all fiction. He says that he became concerned about celibacy because of this incident. He started thinking of brahmacharya, celibacy, because of this incident. This is not true, but he has to fit the incident into the life of a mahatma. And it fits perfectly well; anybody reading it will feel that there seems to be a certain connection. But it is not true, because all his four sons were born after this incident. So he cannot deceive me. He is deceiving himself, he is deceiving his followers; he is deceiving the historians. But if this was the cause of his becoming a celibate, then he would have remained without any children. All four sons were born after this incident, so this incident has nothing to do with celibacy.

But in his mind - and in anybody’s mind who is reading Mahatma Gandhi - it seems relevant, that perhaps the shock was too much, as if: “I am guilty of the death of my father. I could have stayed a few more minutes, but my lust, my sexuality proved to be more powerful than my love and respect for my father. And my wife was going to remain with me for my whole life, but my father was going to disappear that very night into darkness and into the unknown and there would not be another meeting again.”

I have read many autobiographies, and I have seen how people when they look backwards look with the eyes that they have now, and with all the experience they have accumulated meanwhile. With all this experience, with these new eyes, the meaning of the incidents starts changing.

Narendra, you have been with me from your very childhood. If I had not become what I have become, you would have remembered me as loving, as friendly, but you would have never thought I was born as a buddha. That idea arises now. It is my enlightenment that gives you the feeling: “My God, he was always loving.” But it was not the same love.

In a sense, the dewdrop and the ocean are both water. But a dewdrop is a dewdrop, and an ocean is an ocean. What you had seen in me was only a dewdrop. Now that dewdrop looks like an ocean because now you are seeing the ocean. It is exactly as if you see the Ganges in the Himalayas at Gangotri - it is just a small stream. You could not even hope that it would ever reach the ocean; it is so small. Hindus have placed a marble face of a cow there, and the Ganges falls from the mouth of the cow, it is such a small stream. You will find millions of streams in the Himalayas which are much bigger.

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