Chapter 8: Knowing Nothing about Everything
The first question:
Is there something wrong with me? I feel proud to be a Polack!
There is nothing wrong to be a Polack. Polacks are as beautiful as anybody else, or a little more, a little more juicy.
A sign outside a police station read: Man Wanted For Rape. Next day three Polacks applied for the job.
But it is certainly wrong to feel proud. Whether one feels to be proud as an Indian or as a Polack or as an Englishman, it does not matter. These are just excuses. The real thing is that the ego wants some support. The ego cannot stand on its own feet; it needs crutches. It claims that “My country is the best country in the world, my religion the most superior, my culture the most evolved,” and so on, so forth.
Anything can be used as a prop for the ego, and that’s certainly wrong, particularly for the sannyasin, because the whole effort of sannyas is to drop the ego in all its possible forms, subtle or gross, manifest or unmanifest, direct or indirect.
One has to be constantly aware of the tricks of the ego; its ways are subtle. If you throw it out from one door it enters from the other door - and in a new disguise. Unless you are really alert it is going to grab you from the back.
Many times you feel the misery that is created by the ego and many times you have dropped it, but it again creates new temptations. And because the temptations are new you think it is not the old ditch you are falling in. It is the same ditch - of course painted with fresh colors, changed a little bit here and there, renovated.
Beware of the ego! Pride is not good for a sannyasin. That’s the only difference between a sannyasin and a non-sannyasin. The old idea of sannyas was to renounce the world; my idea of sannyas is to renounce the ego, because even if you renounce the world the ego will go on hidden within you wherever you go. In fact, when it starts taking on spiritual colors it becomes far more difficult to get rid of it.
Just like if your chains are made not of ordinary steel but of purest of gold, studded with diamonds - then you will not like to drop them. To you they will appear like ornaments, and if somebody says, “These are chains,” you will be offended, you will be angry.