I used to live in a place in Raipur – not many days, just six months and the university got rid of me. The professor living next door had a beautiful flowerpot in his window and every day…I was surprised, because I could see that the flowerpot was not true: the flowers in it were not authentic, they were plastic, because I never saw them disappearing, their petals falling. And he used to water them to deceive me – I was the only one around.
I could not resist the temptation, although I was not acquainted with him and I had arrived just three or four days before. I went close to the window and I wondered: that man was watering the plant, but the plant was not real.
I said, “I just want to know who you are trying to deceive? Except yourself, nobody can be deceived and here only I am living by your side. Nobody passes by. And I have concluded already that these flowers cannot be true, because they never change; they remain just as they are.”
He used to water them just to remove the dust that gathers – and Raipur was a very dusty place, storms of dust almost every day. So he had to water – there were no roots – just to clean the plastic flowers.
I said, “You are an idiot! With this much care, watering every day, you can have real, authentic flowers which will give fragrance, which will give joy to you, which will give a living experience of a bud opening into a flower.”
When there were hundreds of authentic masters in this country, it was impossible for the pseudo ones; they would be exposed immediately because their presence would not have the fragrance. They could deceive a few people, but soon they would be exposed by their own actions.
I am reminded of a beautiful, historical incident:
Nanak, the master of the Sikhs – the word sikh simply means disciple. It is unfortunate that it became a religion. Nanak had no idea to make a religion, he was only creating disciples to become masters. He was not creating an organized religion, a church, but that’s what happened. Such is the unconsciousness of man.
Nanak was passing through Lahore, which is now in Pakistan. And there was a pseudo-mystic, a false Sufi, a pretender, and he had a great following. When he saw Nanak, he became afraid…and there was nothing to be afraid of. Nanak was alone with his one disciple Mardana, with a musical instrument. Mardana would play and Nanak would sing. They were innocent people.
They were staying outside Lahore when the pseudo-teacher was informed that “A great master has come. They are staying outside the city and many people have already started going towards them.”
The pseudo-Sufi was certainly worried. He sent a cup full of milk – so full that you could not put even a single drop more of milk in it. The disciple who took it said, “What is the meaning?”
The Sufi said, “You don’t be worried about the meaning. Take it to Nanak and let us see what happens.”