Chapter 21: I Am a Man Who Hopes against Hope
The politician suffers from a tremendous inferiority complex. Deep down he knows he is nothing, and he wants to prove to the world that he is huge, powerful. He wants to stand first in the line of the whole humanity. But the trouble is, humanity follows a general universal law; it is one of the fundamental laws of the universe that things move in circles. The earth goes around the sun, the moon goes around the earth, the sun itself is going around some bigger sun which we have not yet been able to discover.
But everything moves in circles, and that is true about humanity too. We are standing in a circle and moving in a circle, so there is always somebody ahead of you. This is the trouble, you cannot get out of it; somebody is always ahead of you. Yes, somebody is behind you - that gives a little satisfaction, but the person who is ahead of you kills it immediately. You are trying to pull the person back by his leg and be ahead of him. He will try his hardest not to be pulled that way, he will kick you as hard as he can.
But even if you succeed.. If you fail, you fail; but if you succeed, then too you fail, this is the trouble, because again you find that there is somebody else ahead. And you will always find that, because it is a circle.
As you go on succeeding, go on succeeding, go on succeeding, one day you will find that a man who was once behind you is ahead of you. That is the ultimate failure. When somebody becomes a president, a prime minister, then he comes to know: “My God! The man ahead of me now is the same man who was behind me when I started the journey.” And you can see it every four years in America, and in India every five years: the president is begging for the vote of the man who was behind him. Now he has to ask and beg a vote from him, now his presidentship, his premiership depends on the vote of that man; he is ahead.
I have been saying again and again that the leaders are the followers of their own followers. It is a very strange game. You have to pretend to be first, and yet you know the last man has the power to keep you there or not to keep you there.
The politician’s life is a life of constant struggle and constant anguish. He tries hard to get beyond them, but if he remains a politician this is not possible. All these sufferings, miseries, are part and parcel of his political game.
One education minister used to come to see me. He was a very rich man, very well educated. Before he became the education minister he was the vice-chancellor of a university. When he was vice-chancellor of the university there, he heard me in a conference and became my friend. Once in a while he used to come, just to relax for one or two days, away from the world of the capital and the politicians.
He would ask me again and again: “You teach people methods of meditation, of becoming peaceful, silent. And I can understand that what you are saying is right, that unless you become silent and peaceful you cannot hope to be blissful. You have to create the ground for bliss to happen. But you never tell me anything.”