Chapter 4: I Mean Business Here!
One thing is certain: you have to become aware of your subtle egoistic approach towards life. Drop it. At least from your side let it disappear. And then you will be surprised: maybe the other was not demanding any surrender; it was just your ego that projected it on the other. If it is so, now you can surrender to love. If it is not so and the other is still demanding.. And you will be able to know rightly only when there is no resistance in you, when there is no fear in you, no competition in you. Then you will have clarity, you will have a transparency, you will be able to see through and through, and immediately you will know whether the other is demanding a surrender to him, or the demand is coming from something which is beyond you both. If it is from beyond you both, surrender. If it is coming from the other, avoid it - that other person is mad. He needs all compassion, pity him, but don’t fall in love, because to fall in love with an ego maniac is dangerous: he will destroy you.
This much you owe to yourself.
The third question:
You spoke of the silence one finds in the Himalayas - that it is of the Himalayas, borrowed, and will leave when one returns to the marketplace. Is this true of the silence I am finding in Your presence? Is it borrowed? Will it disappear when I leave from here?
This place is a marketplace. Can you find any other place which is more like the market? I could have made the ashram somewhere in the Himalayas. I love the Himalayas! For me it is a great sacrifice not to be in the Himalayas. But for a certain purpose I have not made my ashram in the Himalayas: I want to remain part of the marketplace.
And this ashram is run almost as part of the marketplace. That’s why Indians are very much annoyed - they cannot understand. They have known ashrams for centuries, but this ashram is beyond their comprehension. They cannot think that you have to pay to listen to a religious discourse. They have always listened free of charge - not only free of charge, but after the discourse the ashram distributes prasad too. Many go to listen to the discourses not because of the discourses but for the prasad. Here you have to pay. What am I doing?
I want it to be absolutely a part of the marketplace because I want my sannyasins not to move into the monasteries. They have to remain in the world, their meditation should grow in the world, their meditation should not become escapist. So whatsoever peace you are finding here you will be able to retain it anywhere you go. There will be no problem, not at all. I have been managing in such a way that all that can disturb you anywhere else is present here, so you need not be afraid.
Meditators have always been afraid of a few things. For example, they have been afraid of women. Can you find anywhere in India more beautiful women than here? More alive? Living here, being here, you will become completely oblivious of the fact of who is a man and who is a woman. How long can you go on persisting in making the distinction?
The future belongs neither to man nor to woman. The future will be a kind of androgyny. The distinction between man and woman is going to disappear more and more.