Chapter 25: Freedom Is Your Inner Nature
Just today I was reading an anecdote. A man enters a train which has written on it that it is going to London, but he asks a person in his carriage, “Is this train going to London?” The person says that it is, but he is interested in reading his newspaper, so the answer sounds rather indifferent, not certain, so the man is not convinced. He asks again of the same person, “Sir, is it really going to London?” The other man replies, “Yes, it is really going to London,” but now he is angry because he has been disturbed.
Another person asks the questioner if he can read or not, because it is written everywhere that the train is going to London! Finally the questioner is convinced. Just then they stop at a station, and another passenger enters the compartment and asks the first man, “Is this train going to London?” He replies, “My God, goodness, you have made me uncertain again!”
This is what you are doing with yourself, mm? Anybody can make you uncertain whether you are good or beautiful. This is not a true being; it is a false one that you have gathered from other people’s opinion.
The whole purpose of sannyas is to drop it, to be on your own - good, bad, or whatever - but to be on your own, to live a true life out of your own source. Soon you will see who you are, and once you do, by and by you forget what others say. It simply shows that they are approving or disapproving of you because they are living in the same approval-disapproval world.
Maybe, just looking at your orange, your difference, your nonconformity, they become afraid. Here is a man who can make them uncertain. You create a suspicion in people. They start thinking that perhaps there is another way of life; maybe they are not living and leading a right life. So to defend themselves they criticize you. You have brought a new window to their world. They don’t want to see from this window because they have investments in their way of life, have lived a certain life according to certain rules. Now you come with a different world, and different rules. That means there was an alternative, and the alternative may have been better. Maybe they have missed the real thing.
They have been missing the real thing, that’s why the uncertainty. So they are simply trying to defend their own way of life. If they can make you miserable they will be happy, and again certain about themselves. Then they know the train is going to London.
But if you remain laughing and are not disturbed by their opinions, sooner or later they will start asking you what you have gained. If you persist in your way of life, they will start asking you how they should live their own lives; and that if you have found a way not to be miserable, then show them. First they will laugh and mock you, criticize you, but if you persist, if you have the courage and the strength, by and by they will start following you.
But that is not the point - whether they criticize or follow. The point is, are you going to live your life, or are you going to follow others and their idea of what life is? And it is simple. There is nothing to be done, only an understanding is needed. Try, from this moment. Good!