Chapter 7: The Caravan Became Bigger and Bigger
They were surprised to find out that in the ordinary old-style examinations - as they do all over the world - certain students come first. With the same class, with the new methodology - where all books are available - a different kind of student comes first, not the same old ones who were coming first, because now it is an examination of intelligence not of memory. Now memory is not of much help. You need a sharpness, an understanding of what is being asked, and you need to be well read so that either you know the answer by yourself or you can consult the books. But the time is limited; if you are not sharp enough, within three hours you may not be able to answer even one question.
And the phenomenon that a different category of students comes first and the category that was coming first gets a second class rating, a third class rating, definitely proves that intelligence is a totally different phenomenon from memory. Memory can create servants, slaves, computers, not intelligent people.
So my classes were totally different. Everything had to be discussed, everything had to be looked into, in the deepest possible way, from every corner, from every aspect - and accepted only if your intelligence felt satisfied. Otherwise, there was no need to accept it; we could continue the discussion the next day.
And I was amazed to know that when you discuss something and discover the logical pattern, the whole fabric, you need not remember it. It is your own discovery; it remains with you. You cannot forget it.
My students certainly loved me because nobody else would give them so much freedom, nobody else would give them so much respect, nobody else would give them so much love, nobody else would help them to sharpen their intelligence.
Every teacher was concerned about his salary. I myself never went to collect the salary. I would just give my authority to a student and say, “Whenever the first day of the month comes, you collect the salary, and you can bring it to me. And if you need any part of it you can keep it.”
All the years I was in the university somebody or other was bringing me my salary. The man who was distributing the salaries once came to see me just to say, “You never appear. I have been hoping that sometime you would come and I would see you. But seeing that perhaps you will never come to the office, I have come to your house just to see what kind of man you are - because there are professors who start early in the morning, on the first of each month, lining up for their salary. You are always missing. Any student might appear with your signature and authority, and I don’t know whether the salary reaches you or not.”
I said, “You need not be worried, it has always been reaching me.” When you trust someone, it is very difficult for them to deceive.
All the years I was a teacher, not a single student to whom I had given the authority had taken any part of it, although I had told them, “It is up to you. If you feel like having it all, you can have it. If you want to keep a part of it you can keep it. And it is not lent to you so that you have to return it, because I don’t want to be bothered by remembering who owes how much money to me. It is simply yours; it doesn’t matter.” But not a single student ever took any part of the salary.
All the teachers were interested only in the salary, in the competition of getting higher posts. I have seen nobody who was really interested in the students and their future and particularly in their spiritual growth.