In India – as in Arabia, China, Greece, Rome, in all old countries – all the old languages depend on memory, not on intelligence. You can become a great Sanskrit scholar without a bit of intelligence – no need for intelligence, just your memory has to be perfect. Just like a parrot; the parrot does not understand what he is saying, but he can say it absolutely correctly, with the right pronunciation. You can teach him whatever you want. All old languages depend on memory.
And the whole educational system of the world depends on memory. In examinations, they don’t ask the student something that will show his intelligence, but something that will show his memory, how much he remembers from textbooks. This is one of the reasons for your retarded mind. You have used memory as if it were your intelligence – a tremendously grave misunderstanding. Because you know and remember and you can quote scriptures, you start thinking that you are grown up, you are mature, that you are knowledgeable, you are wise. This is the problem that you are feeling.
I am not a man of memory. And my effort here is to provoke a challenge in you so that you start moving towards your intelligence. It is of no use how much you remember. What is significant is how much you have experienced yourself.
And for experiencing the inner world, you need great intelligence – memory is of no help. Yes, if you want to be a scholar, a professor, a pundit, you can memorize scriptures and you can have a great pride that you know so much. And other people will also think that you know so much, and deep down your memory is nothing but ignorance.
In front of me, you cannot hide your ignorance. In every possible way, I try to bring your ignorance in front of you because the sooner you get hold of your ignorance, the sooner you can get rid of it. And to know is such a beautiful experience that in comparison, borrowed knowledge is just idiotic.
I have heard about the archbishop of Japan. He wanted to convert a Zen master to Christianity. Not knowing, not understanding anything of the inner world, he went to the master. He was received with great love and respect.
He opened the Bible that he carried with him and started reading the Sermon on the Mount. He wanted to impress upon the Zen master that: “We follow this man. What do you think about these words, about this man?”
He had read only two sentences and the Zen master said, “That will do. You are following a good man, but he was following other good men. Neither you know nor does he know. Just go home.”
The archbishop was very shocked. He said, “You should at least let me finish the whole thing.”
The Zen master said, “No nonsense here. If you know something, you say it. Close the book because we are not believers in books. You carry the very truth in your being, and yet you are searching in dead books. Go home and look within. If you have found something inside, then come back. If you think these lines that you have repeated to me are from Jesus Christ, you are wrong.”