Visiting all the universities of India – and perhaps India has the largest number of universities; one hundred universities – I was always going to their libraries to look at Principia Mathematica, whether anybody has read it. No – even the pages are not cut, they are joined. I inquired of the librarians, “Has anybody read this book?”
They said, “Nobody ever asks. People come once in a while, they look at one or two pages and that’s all.” And that was one of the greatest contributions to humanity. Bertrand Russell and Whitehead managed to make mathematics a solid foundation for any science to grow from.
You get easily interested…. Somebody is bicycling for twenty-four hours, and hundreds of people go to watch him. He will not eat, or he will eat while bicycling. Of course, he has a certain control over his bladder. He will not drink anything. Perhaps he has not drunk for twelve hours before he started the bicycling. It interests you; he is doing something difficult.
And he feels great. His ego is getting higher and higher. From twenty-four hours he will go to forty-eight hours, and so on and so forth. And the more he can manage, the more people will be coming to him. The people are mediocre, and these are their leaders – who are even more mediocre.
Simplicity will not attract anybody towards you. In fact, to become as simple as the child – instead of attracting people towards you and making you something great – may keep people away from you, saying, “He is only a child.” Perhaps they may become hostile to you, because your innocence can raise questions which they cannot answer. There is no answer to those questions. Your innocence will create curiosities which will be cutting the roots of their beliefs and their faith.
I used to go with my father to all kinds of discourses – religious, political, educational – and he used to take a promise from me that I was not going to ask anything, and I was not going to create a nuisance there. I always promised him, and I always did whatsoever I wanted to do. Coming back home, he would say, “You are not a man of your word.”
I said, “I am. But I wanted to go. I wanted to see that spiritual monk, to see whether he knows anything or not. Unless I promise, you will not take me. It was your fault to ask for the promise. You made me lie! After this, never ask for a promise. Why should you make me a slave? Leave me free.”
My whole town’s elders were afraid of me – and I was only a child. The man who was most respected in the town was a physician, and he was also thought to be a very learned, religious scholar. I used to visit him almost daily, and the moment he saw me I could see his face going pale, because he could not answer a single question.
I would put the Bhagavadgita in front of him, and tell him, “Put your hand on the Gita and say whether you have seen God or not.”
This was too much. If the Gita was not there, perhaps he might have lied, but to put your hand on the Gita and lie means a direct ticket to hell.