If you are suddenly caught in the rain and don’t want to spoil your clothes, the bodhi tree protects you longer than any other tree. But the other beauty – which was more important for me – is that when the rain has stopped, then under the bodhi tree, rain starts! – because how long can it contain all that water? Sooner or later it becomes weightier, and leaves start…. So when the whole world is silent, under the bodhi tree it is raining.
I used to go to the end of the street and rest under the bodhi tree. That was another madness to the people of the house. Only in the beginning few minutes of rain can the bodhi tree protect you; after that is dangerous, the most dangerous. The rain has stopped, but it will not stop under the bodhi tree for at least one hour.
The children of the house, the wife, daughters, sons – they will all gather in the verandah and look at me. And it became an absolute thing to them, that both things happen together – rain and my coming to their house.
The house was given to one of the most important physicists, the head of the physics department and he was very much interested in me because once in a while I was making statements which were bringing physics and mysticism closer than ever. Perhaps the same statement can be made by the physicist as is being made by the mystics.
He was a very humble man. He had been teaching all over the world in different universities. Whenever I was giving a lecture in the students’ union – which was once or twice a week, almost every week – he would certainly come. Many other professors used to come, but he was absolutely regular. We became friends.
He was very old. He had worked with Albert Einstein, and after Albert Einstein’s death he went to America in his place – because he was his closest colleague, and nobody could have taken that place except him.
We became such great friends that he said, “Sometime I would like you to come to my house; I would like to introduce you to my wife and my children.” I had no idea that those were the people who knew me already, and I knew them already.
When I reached their house they all started giggling, and he was very angry. He said, “I have brought a friend. Accepted that he is very young and I am very old, and the friendship looks strange, but our conceptions about reality are very close, and you should not behave like this – you have never behaved like this.”
But the wife said, “You don’t know this man.”
I said to him, “She is right, we have been well-acquainted for almost two years.”
He said, “What! You are acquainted with my wife and children?”
I said, “Not actually, but a sort of acquaintance is there.” Then I told him, “I come here on this street when it is raining; I love rains, and these people love to see me – a madman. And don’t think they are unmannerly…that you are introducing me and they are laughing and giggling…even your wife cannot contain herself.”