I have seen a man who has been standing for so many years that the upper side of his body has become thin, and all the blood has gone into the legs. In medical science it is called elephantiasis; it is a certain disease. Now even if he wants to sit, he cannot sit. Those legs are so thick, and they have lost the quality of elasticity; they have become almost solid. But nobody condemns him. On the contrary, people bring sweets to him, somebody brings flowers to him…poor fellow is doing something great, suffering too much, unnecessarily. But if it is natural to him, then it is perfectly okay.
No Socrates was ever poisoned in India, and India has known more Socrates’ than any other country – thousands of them, of the same caliber, with the same logic; sometimes even a more subtle logic, very destructive to people’s prejudices. But people have enjoyed them. Whether you agree with them or not, that’s one thing, but you have to appreciate their sharpness, their intelligence.
I am reminded of Ramakrishna. He was uneducated, and you will not find another misfit like him. Yet this country has accepted him as one of the incarnations of God.
When he was nine years old he had an experience of deep meditation. He was not looking for it. He was just a boy coming back from the field to his home, and just on the way there was a lake, a beautiful lake. It was sunset time and there were black clouds in the sky. The rains were just to come. And as he came by the side of the lake, a line of white cranes, who must have been sitting on the bank of the lake, were disturbed by his coming. They flew across the black clouds.
The white crane is snow white, and twelve or fifteen cranes in a line, moving across the black clouds…and the sunset on the lake, spreading gold all over. The beauty of the moment was such that Ramakrishna could not contain it; he fell into unconsciousness. It was too much for his conscious mind, just to say that “It is beautiful” and go home.
When he was not home, people went in search. His father said, “He left the field before me.” They looked around the lake and they found him unconscious – but with such a joy on his face. When he came back to consciousness, the first words he said were, “I have known life for the first time. Up to now I have been unconscious; these few hours I was conscious.”
The parents became afraid – any parents would have become afraid – that this boy was showing symptoms which could lead him to becoming a sannyasin, a seeker. And for centuries parents have thought, and thought rightly, that it would be good to arrange a marriage. The woman will put him right.
They were afraid: perhaps he will say no. But when his father asked, “Would you like to be married?” he said, “Great! I have seen many marriages in town; it is such a joy, riding on the horse like a king.”
The father thought, “He does not understand what marriage is, he has simply seen the marriage processions. But it is good he is ready.”
So they found a beautiful girl in a nearby place, and when he was going there – it was summertime – to see the girl, his mother put three rupees in his pocket, she told him, “If you need, you use them, but there is no need to waste them. We are poor people.”