Gunpowder was discovered two thousand years ago. But it was never used in war for the simple reason that the soldier is the most retarded person in society. He needs to be retarded; it is society’s demand that he should be retarded. His training is for remaining mediocre so that he never doubts anything, he never questions anything, he never says no to anything. He has no mind of his own. Orders come from above, and he simply follows.
He was accustomed to the old strategy of war; he was trained for archery and other things. Now gunpowder will be so new to him that he may not be able to use it, or he will use it wrongly. It is better to leave him alone; he is doing perfectly well with his archery….
In India it was discovered almost five thousand years ago that the elephant, in comparison to the horse, is not the right vehicle as far as war is concerned, because the horse has more mobility, quickness.
The elephant cannot move as quickly, cannot change positions as quickly. And the most dangerous thing about the elephant is that if a few elephants become afraid, then those who are in front start running over their own army. Horses never do that; horses are far more intelligent. And even if they would, it is not going to kill people. But when elephants run over people, they are finished.
And elephants are accustomed to a certain kind of warfare. For example, for archery they were ready – but not for gunpowder. When the enemy brought guns, they freaked out; they could not understand what was happening. And then they turned back and ran over their own army, killing their own people. Defeat happened again and again in India because of the elephants.
Indians knew that horses were better, but to introduce anything new was against the old mind. The elephant has a prestige, an old and long prestige, and people were trained how to use the elephant, which is not the same as using a horse.
The elephant’s skin is so thick that to move him or to change him or to turn him, you have to use a certain kind of spear; only the spear can make him change his route or movement. Whips won’t do; they won’t reach him. His skin is so thick, and he is bulky. They are good for a royal parade but not good for fighting, where you need more agile, quick movements.
A good horse is one that moves even by the shadow of the whip; you need not hit him.
The whole training was going to be changed…so knowingly they continued with the elephants and went on being defeated by each invader. But they would not change their way of life.
It was comfortable, because everything was static. Whatever your father told you was always right, and that was what his father had told him. Generation after generation the same thing was said; naturally it was bound to be true. So many people cannot be deceived for so long…somebody must have found the fault.
So belief was the basis of the old society, and it worked.
The new world is not for the mediocre.