From where does their authority come? From Jesus Christ. And all down the line – the cardinals, the bishops, the priests – they all derive their authority from above. It is not their own experience.
I used to live in a neighborhood in Raipur, and a priest – a Catholic priest – also lived there. We used to go early in the morning for a walk. I was very new; he had no idea who I was. I suddenly took hold of his collar and asked him, “Tell me truly: Do you know God?”
He said, “My God! This is a strange situation. So early in the morning, in the darkness – I can’t even see your face, who you are. I don’t know, but those who know, they have taught me.”
I asked him, “Have you asked them if they know? The same reply would have been given to you. ‘Those who know have taught us.’” That is the authority derived from others. And when you derive your authority from others, you start being authoritative over others. You have to take revenge.
If you have to believe in others, you will force others to believe in you. It is simply a question of who is more powerful.
A beautiful story is related by a great Indian emperor, Akbar, in his autobiography, Akbarnamma. One day in the court – and he had in his court the wisest men of the land…. He was always in search of wise people. And certainly he had great poets, painters, musicians, philosophers – all kinds of geniuses. Just by his side was standing the court joker. Every court used to have a joker – just to keep things from becoming too hard, once in a while, to bring them down to a human level, to laughter…. It was a very basic insight into psychology.
Birbal was the name of the joker. Akbar, just being playful and also wanting to know what was going to be the response of Birbal – he was a very responsive person, immediate – Akbar slapped him hard. Not waiting even for a moment to think what to do, Birbal slapped the person who was standing by his side.
While this was going on, people were seeing…. It went all over the capital; everybody was slapping everybody else. And in the night, Akbar asked Birbal, “Why did you act in this way?”
He said, “Wait, in the morning you will know the answer.” And in the morning he knew the answer. In the night when he entered the chambers of his queen, she slapped him.
He said, “My God! You are also in this game? Who told you?”
She said, “Nobody tells anybody. Things are moving, the whole city is in a deeply hilarious mood. The only question is that you should hit the person who is weaker than you. I was waiting for you.”