Chapter 7: Time Is Very Short but My Methods Are Very Quick
I am suggesting to you to use I just in a utilitarian way - not to impose yourself on others, not to project yourself as bigger than others, but as an absolutely human necessity. You have to use some word. There have been people who have tried not to use the word I for the simple reason that it may be misunderstood as being used in the same way as everybody uses the I. Or perhaps they were deep down afraid themselves that if they used the word I the ego would come following it; it would be standing just behind it. Perhaps that is the case.
I recall one person, one very important Hindu sage of this century, Swami Ramateertha. He has been to America; and he was an influence wherever he went; he was a man of charismatic personality. He never used the word I. But that makes no difference at all - he had to use something else. If he was feeling thirsty, instead of saying, “I am thirsty,” he would say, “Ramateertha is thirsty”., “Ramateertha wants to go to sleep.”
New people who had no idea what he was talking about could not understand it. They looked here and there and they asked, “Were is Ramateertha who is thirsty?” And then he would have to point to himself: “This is Ramateertha who is feeling thirsty.” But this seems to be such a stupid procedure. Rather than catching your ear directly, you go around the head and make such weird gestures, and finally you catch the ear - nothing special.
I am a lazy man, I cannot do that. If I have to catch hold of my ear I will catch it directly, rather than moving my hand around my head and then catching hold of my ear - that looks ludicrous. But Ramateertha made a great impression by this. People are foolish; if you try to see what things people get impressed with you will be surprised. That will show you what kind of humanity exists on the earth. They were very much impressed by Ramateertha: “Here is a man who is egoless.”
He was not egoless. There is enough proof in his life to show that he was not egoless. When for the first time in India I said that, there was great anger amongst Hindus because they always believed that Ramateertha was one of the greatest souls born in this century. He was respected around the world, and nobody has said anything against him. But the problem was that the Ramateertha League - it is an international organization, its headquarters are in Lucknow, India - invited me to speak on Ramateertha.
Now, it was not my fault. I even inquired of them, “Are you sure you want me to speak on Ramateertha?” And they were not aware.because nobody had spoken about him. He was a nice man, but to be nice is not enough. I went to speak at their annual conference, a world conference, and I said, “To me Ramateertha befooled himself and nobody else” - and I gave the instances from his own biography published by the league.authoritative, approved by Ramateertha himself. I said, “I will simply be quoting, there is no need even to interpret. If you are just a little bit intelligent, you will see the point.”