Chapter 32: Life Consists of Small Things
I said, “These people come to listen. They dropped their classes; they love to be here. This class is a dialogue. I am not superior to them, and I cannot refuse anybody who comes to my class. Whether he is my student or not, it does not matter; if he comes to listen to me, he is my student. In fact you should allow me to have the auditorium. These classrooms are too small for me.”
He said, “Auditorium? You mean the whole university to gather in the auditorium? Then what will the other professors be doing?”
I said, “That is for them to think out. They can go and hang themselves! They should have done it long before. Seeing that their students are not going to listen to them was enough indication.”
The professors were angry, the authorities were angry. Finally they had to give me the auditorium - but very reluctantly, because the students were forcing them. But they said, “This is strange, students who have nothing to do with philosophy, religion or psychology, why should they go there?”
Many students told the vice-chancellor, “We love it. We never knew that philosophy, religion, psychology can be so interesting, so intriguing; otherwise we would have joined them. We thought that these are dry subjects; only very bookish kind of people join these subjects. We have never seen any juicy people joining the subjects. But this man has made the subjects so significant that it seems that even if we fail in our own subjects, it does not matter. What we are doing is so right in itself, and we are so clear about it, that there is no question of changing it.”
Against recognition, against acceptance, against degrees.but finally I had to leave the university, not because of their threats, but because I recognized that if thousands of students can be helped by me, it is a wastage. I can help millions of people outside in the world. Why should I go on remaining attached to a small university? The whole world can be my university.
And you can see: I have been condemned. That is the only recognition I have received.
I have been in every way misrepresented. Everything that can be said against a man has been said against me; everything that can be done against a man has been done against me. Do you think this is recognition? But I love my work. I love it so much that I don’t call it work even; I simply call it my joy.
Everybody who was in some way elder to me, well-recognized, has told me, “What you are doing is not going to give you any respectability in the world.”
But I said, “I have never asked for it, and I don’t see what I will do with respectability. I cannot eat it, I cannot drink it.”
Learn one basic thing: Do whatever you want to do, love to do, and never ask for recognition. That is begging. Why should one ask for recognition? Why should one hanker for acceptance?
Deep down in yourself, look. Perhaps you don’t like what you are doing, perhaps you are afraid that you are on the wrong track. Acceptance will help you feel that you are right. Recognition will make you feel that you are going towards the right goal.