Chapter 16: The Psychology of the Buddhas
The body is your outer part. It is an immensely valuable instrument that existence has given to you. You have never thanked existence for your body. You are not even aware what it goes on doing for you, for seventy years, eighty years, in some places one hundred and fifty years - and in a few faraway parts of the Soviet Union, even up to one hundred and eighty years. That leads me to make the statement that the ordinary conception that the body dies at the age of seventy is not a fact but a fiction that has become so prevalent that the body simply follows it.
It happened.before George Bernard Shaw reached the age of ninety years - his friends were very much puzzled - he started looking for a place outside London, where he had lived his whole life. They asked, “What is the point? You have a beautiful house, all the facilities; why are you looking for a new place to live? And in a very strange way - a few people think you have gone senile.” Because he would go around to the villages, not into the towns but into the cemeteries, and he would read what was written on the stones of the graves. Finally he decided to live in a village where he found a gravestone where it was written that “This man died a very untimely death - he was only one hundred and twelve.”
He said to his friends, “As far as I am concerned, it is a worldwide hypnosis. Because the idea of seventy years has been insisted on for so many thousands of years, man’s body simply follows it. If there is a village where a man dies at a hundred and twelve and the villagers think he died ‘very untimely,’ that this was not the time for him to die.” He lived in that village during his last years, and he completed the century.
In Kashmir, the part that is being occupied by Pakistan, people live up to a hundred and fifty without any problem. It is just that the idea of seventy years has not poisoned their minds. In Azerbaijan, in Uzbekistan, faraway corners of the Soviet Union, people live at least one hundred and eighty years, and not just a few people - thousands of people have reached to that point and they are still young. They are still not retired, they are working in the fields, in the gardens.
I had told this to one of my professors - he did not believe me. He said, “I am a professor of philosophy and psychology, and I cannot agree with your idea that the whole humanity is dying because of a psychological conditioning.”
I said, “I will show you.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “Just wait a few days, because no argument will prove it. You will need evidence.”
One day.he used to live almost one mile away from the philosophy department in the university campus. He was perfectly healthy; he used to walk every day to the department and back to his home. I went to his wife and told her, “You have to do a favor to me. Next morning when Professor S.S. Roy wakes up you just say, ‘What happened? Could you not sleep well? You look so pale, do you have some fever?’”
And he simply refused to listen. “What kind of nonsense are you talking? I am perfectly okay. There is no fever and I have slept well. I am feeling perfectly well.” I had told his wife to write down exactly what he said in a note and later on I would collect those notes.