They said, “In Bombay, we were living with our parents’ joint family. It was risky and we did not want to create any problem. Now, you give us sannyas – we are going to live in Pune.” It was a real surprise. The man who had been living with his wife the floor above me – both had come to be initiated, and they turned out to be beautiful people.
Americans can go to the Himalayas…. I have heard about one American who got fed up with all the money he had, all the luxuries he had – and death was coming near. So he went in search of someone to assure him that death is illusory and you are eternal. Of course, he could not believe Americans, he knew them perfectly well. He could not believe the bishop, he knew the bishop perfectly well.
He was searching, and people told him, “If you really want the taste of reality, you will have to walk hundreds of miles into the Himalayas. And there lives a grand old man. Nobody knows how old he is, but just to touch his feet is enough. He is showering bliss.”
The man – tired, tattered, because he had never walked hundreds of miles – reached the old man, touched his feet and said, “I have come in search of truth.”
The old man said, “We can talk about truth later on. There is no hurry, the whole eternity is available to talk about truth. First things first: have you got an American cigarette on you? – because I have been waiting for an American, and you are the only one who has come.”
The man was shocked. What kind of spirituality…? But he gave the cigarette – perhaps this was some device – and gave his golden lighter. The old man smoked joyously, and put the lighter in his pocket. The American said, “Any message for me?”
The old man said, “Whenever you come, bring a big lot of American cigars. Just one cigarette won’t do. Go back home, and whenever the urge, the itching arises in you for spiritual search, you can come to me. But remember what I have said.”
I have been in India for fifty years; I have not found a single man who has arrived. But millions of people from all over the world go on pouring into India in search of truth.
Indians have been coming to me, but their search is different. Somebody came to me to ask if I could arrange employment for his son, because the minister knows me. If just a hint is given, his son will get a good job. Somebody came and said, “I am going bankrupt. I do not need much, just fifty thousand rupees. And you can tell any of your disciples; it will not be difficult for them to help me.”
But not a single Indian was coming for truth, for spirituality. I don’t think there is any country which is more materialistic than India, but it has a long past and the fame of being spiritual.
I have chosen Oregon, because this is the last place where any prophet, messiah, incarnation of God would ever try to appear. I thought it would be good here, we would be left alone. Nobody will be coming in search of truth, or in search of a bigger salary, better business, a better political post; and nobody is going to bother us.