The whole neighborhood was tortured…but he enjoyed it. He would purchase fruits and sweets and say, “You can come to my shop and get your money.” Naturally – Narendra was very small, his other brothers were even smaller – even the smallest children were watching him, that he does not steal the money. But whether they watched or not, he would go on distributing fruits and sweets to people and saying to them, “Rejoice! Why are you sitting so sad?” Naturally, they had to pay money to all kinds of people.
It was a very strange situation. Children steal money, and fathers, grandfathers, prevent them. In Narendra’s house, the situation was just the opposite: the father used to steal money, and the small children would shout for the mother: “He is taking money again!”
And by the time the mother was there, he was gone – gone to the market to purchase sweets, fruits, or anything whatsoever, wholesale! He was not concerned with small things – just wholesale purchase and distributing. And everybody loved it, but everybody was tortured, also.
Once it happened that he escaped while he was insane. He had just gone to the station, and the train was there, so he sat in the train. One thing just led to another…and he reached Agra.
In India there is a sweet; its name is such that it can create trouble, and it created trouble for him. He was feeling hungry, so he went to a shop and he asked what it was, and the man said, “Khaja.” Khaja in Hindi means two things: it is the name of that sweet, and it also means, “Eat it”…so he ate it.
The man could not believe it. He said, “What are you doing?”
He said, “What you said.”
He was dragged to the court because, “This man seems to be strange. First he asked the name, and when I said ‘khaja,’ he started eating it!”
Even the magistrate laughed. He said, “The word has both meanings. But this man seems to be insane – because he seems so happy, so healthy.” Even in the court he was enjoying everything – no fear, no sign of fear. He was sent to a madhouse for six months, and he asked happily, “Only six months?”
He was sent to Lahore – in those days Lahore was part of India – and just by coincidence…. There was some cleaning stuff for bathrooms; after four months in the Lahore madhouse he drank the whole drum of that cleaning stuff and it gave him vomits and motions. For fifteen days he could not eat anything…but it cleaned his whole system – so he became sane!
And then began a great period of difficulty. He went to the superintendent and said, “Just because of drinking that stuff, for fifteen days I could not eat anything, and my whole system has been cleaned. I have become sane.”
The superintendent said, “Don’t bother me, because every mad person thinks he is sane.”
He tried his best to convince him, but the superintendent said, “This is the whole business here every day – every madman thinks he is sane.”
He was telling me that those two months were really very troublesome. Those first four months were perfectly beautiful: “Somebody was pulling my leg, or somebody was cutting my hair – it was all okay. Who cares? – somebody was sitting on my chest…so what?