In the first world war the ration card was for the first time introduced, and everybody had to go to the office to register. Obviously every office where names were registered was crowded, people were standing in queues. Edison also stood in a queue. When the man standing ahead of him gave all the information and got his ration card and went away, the clerk looking at the list called the name loudly, “Will Mr. Edison come up now?” And Edison looked here and there. He could not remember…there was a certain memory that he used to know a fellow of the name Edison, but not for fifty years had anybody called him by his name.
A man in the queue recognized that the fellow standing in front was the famous Edison, and he was looking here and there. The man said, “The one you are looking for, you are. Have you forgotten your name, Professor?”
He said, “My God, it is good that you reminded me, otherwise I would have lost my ration card. I was trying hard to remember; the name seems to be familiar, but I could not connect it with myself. For fifty years people have been calling me “Professor,” “Doctor,” but nobody has…because I don’t have any friends, I don’t have my parents.”
Buddhahood is nothing but another name of your basic nature, your essential nature. And nobody has ever pointed it out to you. On the contrary, everybody has been sticking names, degrees…creating a personality around you, and slowly, slowly you start accepting it. If everybody is saying that you are intelligent, very intelligent, you start believing it.
We are all victims of a crowd. One of my professors, S.S. Roy, did not agree with me. He said, “It is impossible to forget one’s own name. This story of Edison must be your creation.”
I said, “Please give me some time to prove it.”
He said, “What can you prove?”
I said, “You just wait.” And after two, three days, when things were forgotten, I went to his house, told his wife…Rajendra Anuragi here knows professor S.S. Roy – he was also a student in the same university at that time. I told his wife, “When Professor Roy wakes up in the morning you just do a little kindness for me.”
She said, “Whatever you want…what do you want?”
I said, “It is very small. You just ask him, ‘Why are you looking so pale? Have you been suffering from fever? Could you not sleep well? Is something bothering you? Are you having a headache?’ And whatever he says, just note it down exactly in his own words, and I will collect that note later on.”
She said, “I don’t understand what you are doing.”
I said, “It is just an experiment. Later on I will explain to you, but right now don’t ask more than that.”
Then I told his gardener, “When he comes out, you ask him, ‘What happened to you? You are looking so sick, and where are you going? Just go in and rest, and I will call the doctor.’”
And the gardener said, “But what is the purpose of all this? He is perfectly healthy!”
I said, “That is not the point. I will explain the whole thing to you later. Whatever he says, keep this card with you, write it down exactly in his own words.”