When I was a small child, one of my father’s friends was very loving towards me. He was a very well-known scholar, and I used to ask him all kinds of questions because my father used to refer me to him: “You ask Pandit Dada.” Pandit means a great scholar, dada means big brother. He was older than my father so he used to call him dada; he was known all over the area as Pandit Dada.
So I would ask him all kinds of questions, and essentially his answer was always the same: “When you become a little older then you will know; you are too young.”
I said, “Remember, because one day I am going to become older. How long can you deceive me? I know that you don’t have the answer. If you have the answer, please give me the answer. Whether I understand or not, that is my problem, not your problem. Your problem is to give me the answer. Even if it takes years for me to understand it, I will wait, but please give me the answer.”
He would say, “You will not understand – you just wait. First you have to be at least mature.”
I said, “Okay.”
Every year I went on asking the same question. I went from the school to the college, but whenever I would come in the holidays to my home, I would repeat the questions; and now he started becoming shaky. I said, “Now how long do I have to wait?”
I graduated from the university; I won the gold medal for the whole state. I came to him and said, “Now what do you want? I have come first class – first in the whole state – in my postgraduation. Is the time right?”
He said to me, “Please forgive me, I was lying all the time. But you are stubborn! I have done this to many people; they forget. They become so much involved in so many things – who bothers about childhood questions? “You are strange – the same questions you go on persisting in year after year, and I have been hoping that you will forget, but it doesn’t seem to happen.”
I said, “Now you tell me the truth: Do you have any answers? – because now you are almost beyond eighty; death is not far away. Do you have the answers?”
He said, “I don’t have any answers. I have been deceiving myself by deceiving others. People believed in me, and because so many people believed in me I started believing in myself.”
It is a reciprocal thing. When so many people believe in you, it results in a very strange conclusion: you start believing in yourself, for the simple reason that if you are not right, then how can so many people believe in you?
Each leader needs thousands of people in order to be convinced that he is a capable leader. Just take the followers away and you will see the leader disappearing; you will see just an ordinary person – perhaps below average or retarded. But when thousands of people are behind you, believing that you have eyes – they are all blind – you start believing that you have eyes because so many people believe in you.