It is not surprising that they are arguing about me. Do you know what they are publishing in the Indian newspapers? They are publishing a story that I may be abducted by some enemies, and that my life is in danger.
I am here now and they are not really concerned about me. This is a rotten country. India has been rotten for almost two thousand years – it stinks! Nothing stinks more than Indian spirituality. It is a corpse, and a very old corpse, two thousand years old!
What stories people invent! I may be “abducted by some enemies, and now my life is in danger.” In fact for twenty-five years my life has been in continuous danger. It is a miracle that I have survived. And now they want to protect me! There are strange people all over the world; but the future of man does not belong to these strange people, but to a very new kind, and that new kind I have named Zorba the Buddha.
I was telling you that my grandfather, before he died, gave me his most cherished thing – a statue of Mahavira hidden behind a diamond in a ring. With tears in his eyes he said, “I don’t have anything else to give you because all that I have will be taken away from you too, just as it has been taken away from me. I can only give you my love for the one who has known himself.”
Although I did not keep his ring, I have fulfilled his desire. I have known the one, and I have known it in myself. In a ring what does it matter? But the poor old man, he loved his master, Mahavira, and he gave his love to me. I respect his love for his master, and for me. The last words on his lips were, “Don’t be worried, because I am not dying.”
We all waited to see if he was going to say something else, but that was all. His eyes closed and he was no more.
I still remember that silence. The bullock cart was passing through a river bed. I exactly remember each detail. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to disturb my grandmother. She did not say a thing. A few moments passed, then I became a little worried about her and said, “Say something; don’t be so quiet, it is unbearable.”
Can you believe it, she sang a song! That’s how I learned that death has to be celebrated. She sang the same song she had sung when she was in love with my grandfather for the first time. This too is worth noting: that ninety years ago, in India, she had had courage to fall in love. She remained unmarried up till the age of twenty-four. That was very rare. I asked her once why she had remained unmarried for so long. She was such a beautiful woman…I just jokingly told her that even the king of Chhatterpur, the state where Khajuraho is, might have fallen in love with her.