Anyone can see the difference between real and imaginary riches. He can inquire. You can inquire – and always inquire! Let this be a criterion to find out whether your riches are imaginary or real: “Do I feel rich when all by myself, or do I constantly need others to reassure me?” Go on asking this question. If you can feel rich when just by yourself, alone – and you don’t need anybody else to reassure you, you don’t need anybody else’s opinion, anybody else’s certificate that you are rich – if you can be rich when all by yourself, then your riches are real. If you need constant reassurance from others, then your riches are unreal, imaginary. Then you are just depending on others’ opinions. Remember this.
Many times people come to me to be reassured. They ask, they say, “I’m feeling very happy and blissful. What do you say?” What is the need to say anything? The very need shows that the happiness is unreal and imaginary.
If you are really feeling happy, you are feeling happy even if the whole world contradicts you. If the whole world agrees that you are not happy, then too it doesn’t matter. Your happiness is real. It cannot be canceled by anybody’s opinion. But if your happiness is unreal, it can be canceled by anybody. Even a small child can cancel it. You will be constantly looking towards people. You will be smiling, trying to show that you are happy so that they can say, “Yes. You are very happy. You look very happy.”
Always remember this criterion: only the false needs support; the real is self-evident. Only the false needs certificates; the real is self-evident.
People used to ask Christ, “From where is your authority?” The authority is his.
When I came out of the university, I applied for a government job. The education minister called me for an interview and asked for some character certificates.
I said, “I am here; you look at me. I can sit here; you can watch me. I can live with you for a few days if you like. But don’t ask about certificates. Who can give me a character certificate?”
He couldn’t understand. He said, “You can bring one from your vice-chancellor, or at least from the head of your department.”
I said, “If my vice-chancellor asks for a character certificate from me, I am not going to give it to him. So how can I ask for a character certificate from him? I cannot give one to him. So that is impossible. I can ask for a character certificate only from a man whom I can see is a man of character. But that will be absurd. That means that first I give him a character certificate – only then his character certificate becomes meaningful.”
But he couldn’t follow me. He said, “Then it will be difficult, because at least two character certificates are needed.”
So I wrote a character certificate in the name of my vice-chancellor. And I went to the vice-chancellor later on and said, “I have given in the true copy, the original I don’t have. This is the certificate I have given to myself. You have to sign it.”
He said, “But this is absurd.” He said, “How can you give a character certificate to yourself?”