Chapter 19: The Gifts of the Earth
What is the need of inaugurating? The reservoir is ready, the earth is thirsty, but they are waiting because the president has too many other appointments. And they will be of the same kind - a small road and the president has to inaugurate it! I don’t see the point, except that by inaugurating that small road his photo will be printed in every newspaper and he will have a chance to deliver a lecture to the people.
And Karpatri was telling his thousands of followers, “Don’t use the water from the reservoir for irrigation.”
I had to get out of the car. I said, “This is something strange! People are dying and people are starving; the earth is thirsty, everything has become barren, all greenery has disappeared.” I wanted to understand his argument - what argument was he giving?
His argument was so hilarious. He was saying, “Don’t use the water because its electricity has been taken out, it is impotent. Electricity was the real power, and if you use it for irrigation your crops will be impotent. And whoever will eat from your crops will become impotent.”
Naturally, nobody wants to become impotent. Those thousands of people were agreeing with that man! I said to my friend and host, “I never thought that in your cultured city you would allow such stupid nonsense and call it religious discourse. This man is not only talking nonsense, but seems to be insane! Water does not become impotent. Electricity is not water’s potency; water’s potency is to quench the thirst of the earth. And the proof that it is potent is that the earth will become green.”
And Karpatri was not only a religious saint of the Hindus, he was also the head of a Hindu political party, Ramraj Parishad. He had members in parliament. What kind of people are choosing and voting? These people should be behind bars. Their basic need is not to be worshipped and respected; their basic need is a brain operation! They must have tumors in their brains that do not allow them to see a simple fact. And if this is the situation of your “great leaders” - he is a great leader, both religiously and politically - then what about the poor, uneducated, ordinary humanity?
We have been exploiting the earth. We have been taking its juices through fruit, through other crops, and we are not at all concerned to return at least an equal the amount of chemicals that we have taken out through the crops.
It is good poetry, but you cannot live on poetry alone. He is saying, It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied. He is talking about the beginnings of humanity when there was a barter system, when people were exchanging things, when there was no money as a means of exchange.