“He was saying, ‘I don’t want to be born against my will, and I don’t want to die against my will.’ He wanted to be. He may not have been able to say it correctly, but that’s exactly how I translate what he said. He just wanted to be – without any interference, without being forced into birth or being forced into death. That’s what he was against. He was only asking for freedom.”
And do you know, the Indian word for the ultimate is moksha. Moksha means “absolute freedom.” There is no word in any language exactly like moksha, particularly not in English, because English is so dominated by Christianity.
Just the other day I received a photo album from one of the German centers. The album consists of all the pictures of that beautiful place and its opening ceremony. Even the Christian priest from the nearby church participated in the ceremony. I liked what he said:
“These people are beautiful. I have been watching them working harder than anybody works nowadays, and so joyously that it is a joy to see them…but they are a little bit crazy.”
What he said was right, but why he said, “They are a little bit crazy,” is not right. Yes, they are crazy, far more than he could conceive, but the reason why he said it was ugly – the “why” not the “what.” He called them crazy because they believe that there are many lives, lives after lives. That was his reason for calling them crazy.
In fact, if anyone is crazy then it is not my people but those who think that my people are crazy. I reserve that right for myself. I can call them crazy because when I say it, I say it out of love and understanding. It is not a condemnatory word for me; for me it is an appreciation. All the poets are crazy, all the painters are crazy, all the musicians are crazy; otherwise they would not be the poets, the musicians and the painters. If this is so about the painters, the musicians and the dancers, then what about the mystics? They must be the craziest. And my sannyasins are on the way to being the craziest because I know no other way to be really sane in this insane world.
My grandmother was right in saying I would not have friends, and she was also right in saying that Shambhu Babu would not have friends. About Shambhu Babu she was absolutely right; about me, only to the point when I started initiating people into sannyas. She was alive for just a few days after I initiated the first group of sannyasins in the Himalayas. I had particularly chosen the most beautiful part of the Himalayas, Kulu-Manali – “the valley of the gods” as it was called. And certainly it is a valley of gods. It is so beautiful that one cannot believe it, even when one is standing in the valley itself. It is unbelievably true. I had chosen Kulu-Manali for the first initiation of twenty-one sannyasins.