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Chapter 18: You Just Have to Gather Courage

Man’s mind also is only an instrument. The glasses are outside the skull - the mind is inside the skull, so you cannot turn it off every day. And you are so close to it within, that the very closeness has become the identification, so that whatever the mind sees is thought to be the reality. But mind cannot see the reality; mind can see only its own prejudices. It can see its own projections displayed on the screen of the world.

I have told you, once it happened that I was traveling from Bombay to Calcutta, and on the railway station hundreds of people had come to see me off. As the train moved, I went in. It was an air-conditioned coupe, and there was another man also in it. He simply fell flat, touched my feet.

I said, “What are you doing? You don’t even know me.”

He said, “There is no need to know you when there are so many people to see you off; and many of them are very rich people of Bombay - I know them.”

I said, “It is your joy - if it feels good, you can touch my feet - but I am a Mohammedan.”

He said, “My God! You are a Mohammedan? - you must be joking!” He tried hard to console himself for touching the feet of a Mohammedan. He said, “I am of the highest caste of Kashmiri brahmin. Are you really Mohammedan?”

I said, “There is no question about it - I am saying it myself.”

He said, “But the people who had come to see you off, they did not look Mohammedan” - Mohammedans use special caps, a special dress, a special language - “they were all Hindus.”

I said, “They were all Hindus, but because I can give you the number of the horse who is going to win the next race, those people, just to know who is going to win the race next time, were harassing me.”

He said, “My God! I will have to take a shower.”

I said, “You will have to.”

He went, he took a shower, he changed his clothes and he came back. He said, “Is it really true?”

I said, “I was just joking! I am of the highest class of Hindu.”

He fell at my feet again, and I said, “You don’t understand at all. I had told you that I am a Mohammedan..”

“But,” he said, “just now you were saying..”

I said, “I was just joking.”

He said, “It is so cold, and I have to take another shower. And why are you making a fool of me?”

I said, “I have not done anything - you started the whole game.”

He went again, took a shower, came back and didn’t say anything to me; he sat in his seat and wouldn’t even look at me. But I called the servant and told him, “From my suitcase bring the Shrimad Bhagavadgita” - that is the Hindu’s bible.

And the man jumped up from his corner and touched my feet. He said, “I have a certainty that you are a Hindu and just joking.”

I said, “The night is cold, and again you have made the same mistake. And even if I am a Hindu, you need not touch my feet.”

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