He said, “My father never allows me. He never meets me anywhere where people can see – because if people come to know I am the son of a beggar it will be difficult: difficult in the college, difficult for getting further admission into new colleges. It will become impossible, and my father will be exposed: he can educate his son to become a medical doctor and still he is continuing to beg. He brings me the best of clothes….” I used to see him: out of the whole class, he had the best clothes, the best shoes, everything the best.
That day I asked the old man, “How much of a bank balance do you have?”
He said, “Now I cannot hide it from you, and I trust that you will not expose the fact that he is my son. I have thirty thousand rupees in the bank.”
I said, “With thirty thousand rupees you can start a shop, a small factory. Why do you go on begging in your old age?”
He said, “Begging is so comfortable. Everything else can make me bankrupt, but begging can never make me bankrupt. And my earnings are more than any shopkeeper or small factory owner. I earn nearabout fifty rupees per day.” Even a doctor in India does not earn that much, nor a professor. And he said, “I have my customers, and why should I unnecessarily go into something new about which I don’t know anything? Begging is my heritage: my father was a beggar, my father’s father was a beggar, and they were all rich men.”
For the first time I became aware of a new dimension of the human mind. It does not matter what condition you are in: slowly, slowly you settle down. And once you have settled down you don’t even want to budge – because then again you will have to start from ABC. Again you will have to start learning, again you will have to start facing problems. Right now there are no problems: you know all the answers to all the questions that can arise in a certain situation in which you have become completely enclosed.
It is cozy and it is comfortable to live in the old, but it will not bring the flowers of freedom and it will not open the whole sky for you to open your wings and fly. It will not allow you to have aspirations for the stars; it will not allow you to move in any direction or dimension. You will remain just like a dead grave where nothing moves.
The new is scary, but the new is what I teach you. You will have to drop your fears, you will have to drop your ugly coziness, you will have to drop your small comforts. These are the things with which you have to pay for the greater joys, the higher realms of being, tremendous possibilities of ecstasies. You will not be a loser, but in the beginning you have to risk something.
It is good you are aware that the new makes you scared, because for centuries man, animals, everybody has been living with the old. Only man has risen once in a while to have a glimpse of the new. Think about buffaloes: can you conceive that at any time in the millions of years of evolution, buffaloes have eaten any other grass than they eat today? The same grass…can you conceive that one day buffaloes will be different? They are so settled, so utterly settled and so contented. You cannot make a buffalo a buddha. They are perfectly at ease. Why should they bother?