And this was a strange situation. For example, whenever I came to my father’s house, which was not far away from my maternal grandmother’s house, if it was a meal time they would try to force me to eat. And I was always full because in the night, before going to sleep I was eating. In the middle of the night I slept, in the morning I was eating, so I was always full; I was not interested in their lunch.
And they would force me, they would say, “Eat, otherwise how will you survive?”
I would say, “Don’t be worried. I am surviving – can’t you see I am surviving? You can weigh me against any of your children.” And I was heavier than any of their children: my father’s, my uncle’s, my other uncle’s. And I said, “That’s enough proof; you can weigh us any moment. You are starving those poor guys.” But religion imposes itself from generation to generation.
All children are born pagan.
One basic thing to be noted: you were born pagan.
A pagan means just a tabula rasa – nothing was written on you, no scripture, no discipline, no doctrine, no cult, no creed.
You were simply a human being, and then people started cutting: this side is longer, this side is smaller…stretching you and trying to make something out of you. They were not interested in you. Nobody is interested in you at all; everybody is interested in his own idea, and he wants to impose that idea on you. He thinks and believes that he is imposing it because he loves you.
To me, if this is love, then what is hate? Love must mean only one thing, freedom – and this crippling is not giving you freedom. Who are they to decide what kind of morality, what kind of character, what kind of ideology is right for you? But they decide everything.
In this whole world, everything is decided by others for others. This is a very strange place.
I am reminded of a small story. It happened in the court of Emperor Akbar – he was the great Mogul emperor of India. He and his wise men were standing in the court discussing something. He had nine wise people chosen from all over India; about every kind of specialization he had the top man in his court. They were called his nine jewels.
One of them was a man called Birbal. He was a man with a tremendous sense of humor, that’s why he had been chosen. He was found to be the best man who had the profoundest sense of humor.
Just as they were talking, Akbar, for no reason, out of the blue, slapped Birbal who was standing by his side. Birbal never waited a single moment; he slapped the man who was standing by his other side. That was the quality of that man, he was really an intelligent man. The other man could not understand what was going on. The emperor slapped him, why should he slap me?
He got stuck, and he asked Birbal, “What do you mean by that?”
Birbal said, “Don’t waste time: you hit somebody else!”
He said, “What in the world is going on?”
Birbal said, “You cannot hit the source back. You just go ahead and hit somebody else and let it pass; otherwise you will be stuck. And the world is round….”