Chapter 9: Truth Simply Is
Now the man had not asked anything wrong. It was a relevant question that if you talk too much of morality, why don’t you become a moral teacher? Why are you wasting your time by being a prime minister? Then lead the country morally! Because what does a politician have to do with morality? The politician is bound to be immoral. Immorality is a strategy for the politician, and morality too. He talks about morality to hide all the immoral practices that he goes on doing behind it. The morality, and the talk about it, and the religion, are just a camouflage.
The man had asked a relevant question, but Morarji became very much annoyed. And this is not a right way to answer, to say, “Do you think you are very smart? Nobody has been able to ask me such a question up to now.”
And my feeling is that the man was really intelligent: he simply said, “Thank you,” and finished the interview. He must have been really intelligent. Now there was no point in continuing. Now there was no meaning. But why did Morarji Desai jump upon the poor man and tell him, “Do you think you are very smart?” That’s what he was trying to show himself - that he is very smart, very clever.
The really intelligent person does not try to show that he is clever or smart. He is clever, so there is no need to show it. He is not even conscious of it; he is unself-consciously intelligent. Cleverness is a plastic substitute for real intelligence.
A certain man who thought that he was clever and could benefit from criticizing him, said, “If only this man would say something new! That is my only criticism.”
Now he must be, he must have been a believer in the new; the new is right. If anything is new, then it is bound to be right: that is another extreme of the same stupidity. One extreme is: if anything is old then it is bound to be right; the other extreme of the same stupidity is that if anything is new, then it is bound to be right.
Right has nothing to do with old and new. Right is right; whether old or new, it doesn’t matter. It does not add anything to it.
Bahauddin heard of this and invited the critic to dinner.
That was his way of creating a situation.
“I hope that you will approve of my lamb stew,” he said.
When he had taken the first mouthful, the guest jumped up, shouting, “You are trying to poison me - this is not lamb stew”
“But it is,” said Bahauddin,”though since you don’t like old recipes, I have tried something new. This contains lamb all right, but there is a good dash of mustard, honey and emetic in it as well.”
This was Bahauddin’s way of teaching.