Once it happened: I was traveling and I had another passenger in my compartment – only two persons, he and I. He was reading a book, so I asked him – he was reading one of my books, but he didn’t know me, and he started saying things about me – I asked him, “Are you certain?”
He said, “Absolutely certain.”
“Have you seen this man you are talking about?”
He said, “Yes. Not only seen, we have been class-fellows.” Once you utter a lie, you have to utter many more lies.
I told the man, “I’m the man you are talking about.” He laughed. He said, “You are joking.” He wouldn’t believe me.
Whenever a man like Jesus is there, a thousand and one rumors spread. People say all sorts of things. Why do they say them? – to show that they know.
There is a story of Gogol, the Russian master. He tells that in a small town there was a very simple man and people used to think that he was an idiot. A sage visited the town, and the idiot came to the sage and asked, “I’m in constant trouble. The whole town thinks that I am an idiot, and before I have said anything, people start laughing – before I have even said anything, so I cannot say a single word. I am so afraid. I cannot move in the society, because wherever I go people ridicule me. You are a wise man. Help me. Give me some clue as to how I can protect myself. My whole life is destroyed.”
The sage said something in his ear. He said, “Do only one thing: whenever somebody says something, immediately deny it; contradict it, negate it. Whatsoever it is, don’t be bothered. Somebody is saying, ‘Look, how beautiful the moon is!’ Immediately say, ‘Who says so? Prove it!’ Nobody can prove it. Somebody says that Buddha or Christ are enlightened people – immediately deny it; contradict it – ‘Who says so? What is enlightenment? – all nonsense, rubbish!’”
The simple man said, “But I may not be able to prove that it is rubbish.”
The old sage said, “You need not worry; nobody will ask you. They will be trying to prove whatsoever they are saying. Never say anything positively, and you will never be in trouble. Just negate. If somebody says, ‘God exists,’ say, ‘No. Where is God? Prove it!’”
The man tried the trick and after seven days the whole town was simply surprised. People started saying, “We never knew that this man was so wise!”
If you want to look wise, you have to utter nonsenses. And the best way is to deny, to say no, because life is such a mystery that nothing can be proved. If somebody says, “Look, this woman is so beautiful,” say, “Who says so? What is there about her? Why do you call her beautiful? I don’t see anything.” Nobody can prove it. All the poets of the world can stand against you, but you are going to win. Things are so mysterious – they cannot be proved; they cannot be reduced to an argument.