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Chapter 2: I Call It Reverence for Life

There is nothing to see. The seer is the seen, the observer is the observed; that duality no more exists. And there is no question of thinking. There is no doubt, there is no belief; there is no idea.

Gandhi was trying to experiment with truth. The simple implication is: you know what truth is; otherwise how are you going to experiment with it? And for a man who knows truth, what is the need to experiment? He lives it; for him there is no alternative. To Gandhi everything is philosophy; to me everything is philosia. Gandhi is a thinker, I am not a thinker. My approach is existential, not mental. Nonviolence: the very word is not appealing to me, it is not my taste, because it is negative. Violence is positive; nonviolence is negative. Nobody has paid any attention to the simple fact that you are making violence positive, solid; and nonviolence is simply negating it.

I call it reverence for life; I don’t use the word nonviolence. Reverence for life - it is positive; then nonviolence happens just of its own accord. If you feel reverence for life, how can you be violent? But it is possible you can be nonviolent and still you may not have any reverence for life.

I know these so-called nonviolent people. You will be amazed to know that in Kolkatta, Jainas have a very important place. In all the big cities - Mumbai, Kolkatta - they are the super-rich people. In Kolkatta I came to know of a strange phenomenon; when I saw it for the first time I could not believe my eyes. I used to stay in the house of a very unique man, Sohanlal Dugar. He was unique in many ways. I loved the man - he was very colorful. He was old - he died seven years ago. When he met me first, at that time he was seventy years old, but he lived to ninety.

He met me in Jaipur, that was his home town, and he invited me to Kolkatta because that was his business place. From there he controlled the whole silver market, not only of India but of the whole of Asia. He was called the Silver King. I had heard about him, but I had no idea who the person was. When he came to me for the first time in Jaipur, he touched my feet - an old man dressed in the Rajasthani way with a yellow turban, very ancient-looking in every way - and took out bundles of notes from the pockets of his coat and wanted to give them to me.

I said, “But right now I don’t need them. You just give me your address; whenever I need I will inquire and if you are still in possession of wealth and in the mood to give, you can give. But right now I don’t have any need, so why unnecessarily give me trouble? I am going now to travel for thirty-six hours, and I will have to take care of these notes. I cannot even sleep - anybody may take them. So please keep them.” He just started crying, tears pouring from his eyes. I said, “But I have not said anything that hurts you so much.”

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