It has been said that in times of great stress – social, economic, religious – that great good is possible. Is this formulation reflective of what we are in Pune experiencing in your presence?
Yes, a time of crisis is a very valuable time. When everything is established and there is no crisis things are dead. When nothing is changing and the grip of the old is perfect, it is almost impossible to change yourself. When everything is in a chaos, nothing is static, nothing is secure, nobody knows what is going to happen the next moment – in such a chaotic moment – you are free, you can change. You can attain to the innermost core of your being.
It is just like in a prison: when everything is settled it is almost impossible for any prisoner to get out of it, to escape from the prison. But just think: there has been an earthquake and everything is disturbed and nobody knows where the guards are and nobody knows where the jailer is, and all rules have dissolved, and everybody is running on his own – in that moment if a prisoner is a little alert he can escape very easily; if he is foolish, only then will he miss the opportunity.
When the society is in a turmoil and everything is in crisis, a chaos pervades – this is the moment, if you want, you can escape from the prison. It is so easy because nobody is guarding you, nobody is after you. You are left alone. Things are in such a shape that everybody is bothering about his own business – nobody is looking at you. This is the moment. Don’t miss that moment.
In great crisis periods, always, much enlightenment has happened. When the society is established and it is almost impossible to rebel, to go beyond, not to follow the rules, enlightenment becomes very, very difficult – because it is freedom; it is anarchy. In fact it is moving away from society and becoming individual. The society doesn’t like individuals: it likes robots who just look like individuals but are not individuals. The society doesn’t like authentic being. It likes masks, pretenders, hypocrites, but not real persons because a real person is always trouble. A real person is always a free person. You cannot enforce things on him; you cannot make a prisoner out of him; you cannot enslave him. He would like to lose his life, but he would not like to lose his freedom. Freedom is more valuable to him than life itself. Freedom is the highest value for him. That’s why in India we have called the highest value moksha, nirvana; those words mean freedom – total freedom – absolute freedom.
Whenever society is in a turmoil and everybody is tending his own business – has to tend – escape. In that moment the doors of the prison are open, many cracks are in the walls, the guards are not on duty…one can escape easily.