Chapter 6: Madmen and Devotees
Your father has missed. He has misinterpreted a religious inquiry. He has been thinking that it is a question of genealogy. It is not.
This question, “From where do I come?” has to be asked because unless I know that, it is impossible to know who I am.
There are two ways to know it. Either you ask, “From where do I come?” That is the way of the Christian, the Mohammedan and the Judaic religion. If you know from where you come, what the ultimate source is, what God is, then you will know who you are.
Indian religions have a different way of solving it, and a better and more scientific way. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism say it is difficult to know from where you come. There is more of a possibility that you may be lost in thinking and in philosophical doctrines. The better question is: Who am I? If you know this, you will know from where you come. So they say to forget all about God. They are not worried about who created the world, they are worried about, “Who am I?”
In a way that is more scientific, because if I can understand the quality of my being, that will immediately give me the key to understanding the whole and what it is. If I can understand myself - because the source must still be existing in some way within me. The tree still goes on existing in the seed: if you can understand the seed you will be able to know the tree; in the fruit, the whole tree exists.
If we can understand ourselves. Of course this is the closest approach possible, because I am closer to myself than anything else. Just close your eyes and you reach into yourself. The only problem is how to drop the thoughts. Then, suddenly, you start sinking into your being. From there is the door to the whole, to the source.
When you go back home, tell your father that genealogy is not going to help. He must have some religious inquiry within him which he has misunderstood. Once he is made aware of it his inquiry will be on the right lines.
It is happening in the West because religion is no longer an accepted inquiry, it is a rejected inquiry, so people go on seeking religious inquiries through vicarious ways. You cannot accept directly that you are seeking God; people will think you are mad! “It is foolish. What are you talking about? Then you are not a contemporary. God is dead, have you not heard? What are you doing?” But the desire arises to know the source, and you cannot accept it in religious ways because religious ways are no longer accepted by the modern mind. So you have to search for it in a vicarious way - then you start asking about genealogy.