Chapter 21: I Am a Man Who Hopes against Hope
I said, “I will tell you only when you drop your politics, because your politics and my teachings together will make you even more miserable. You are miserable enough. If you start trying to be peaceful also, to be silent even for a few moments, to meditate every day even for half an hour, you will become more miserable than you have ever been, because you cannot succeed in doing it. It is better for you to accept that this is all that life has in it: suffering, misery, sleeplessness, and continuous turmoil.
“It is better, in a way, that this is all life is. If you become aware that life is more and you start trying for it, you will be unnecessarily multiplying your suffering. You cannot be peaceful, you cannot meditate, you cannot sit silently. And that will be a very painful defeat; a great successful politician who has become a cabinet minister of a country like India - big, vast, the biggest democracy in the world; and you have one of the most important portfolios, education - such a great successful man cannot be silent even for one moment? That will be very disturbing.”
But he didn’t listen to me. He started meditating and reading my books. And what I had said would happen, happened - a complete nervous breakdown. He was brought to me. I said, “I told you before, these two things cannot go together. You are trying to run east and west at the same time; then one leg goes to the east and one leg goes to the west, and you will be torn apart. It is a very simple thing: if you are in politics then just be in politics. There is no such thing as religion for you.”
The politician cannot be religious while remaining a politician. Remember the condition.
The religious person is on such a fantastic journey, what does he care about being a president of a country, or a prime minister, a king or a queen? What value do these kings and queens have? In fact, there are only five kings in the world: four in the playing cards and one in England. And they have a similar value: nothing much. Do you want to be the sixth king?
Politicians for centuries have been living in hell, for the simple reason that they think that through this hell they will attain one day to the highest power and position. But what are you going to do with the highest power and position?
This education minister was one day sitting with me in his car; we were just going for a ride, and a dog started chasing the car. I said to the driver, “Slow down a little - the poor dog is huffing and puffing so much, just slow down. Let him catch the car and see what happens.”
The politician said, “What will happen?”
I said, “You will see - exactly that which happens to a politician.”
The driver slowed down the car. The dog came close to us - and looked silly, because now what?