Of course, the head priest of their religion could not come to the prime minister. So Jawaharlal Nehru had to go to him, just because those people were the people who would be supporting him in the next election; otherwise in the next election they would all turn to the opposite parties. And what did Acharya Tulsi do? He was going to do the same to me but I prevented him. The Jaina acharya, the head, or the Jaina monk, is above humanity, he is a superman, so when you greet him in the t Indian way of saluting, you do namaskar before him with both your hands folded. He will not answer your namaskar in the same way, as is expected from everybody else: he will just bless you with one hand. Now, Jawaharlal had no idea of what Acharya Tulsi was doing continually. He went up to him, and just as simple etiquette he did namaskar. Acharya Tulsi put his hand over Jawaharlal’s head, and the photographer who is always there with Acharya Tulsi immediately took a photograph!
A calendar was immediately published and all over India was distributed free – a beautiful colored calendar of Acharya Tulsi blessing Jawaharlal, with Jawaharlal standing with bowed down head and folded hands. I saw that calendar, and I could also see in the calendar the embarrassment on Jawaharlal’s face and the joy on Acharya Tulsi’s face. But poor Jawaharlal could not do anything – it all happened so quickly. The photograph had been taken and it would have looked odd to say something.
The same people, when I was passing through New Delhi, pestered me, saying, “You have to come to see Acharya Tulsi.”
I said, “If he wants to see me he should come. Why should I go to him? I have no desire to see him.” Then they pestered my host. He was an old man, and he loved me so much that he said to me, “They are really anxious for you to meet him, and what is the harm?”
I said, “You don’t really know me, and you have never seen me encountering such people. Don’t say anything to me later on!” – because he was also a Jaina. “I am willing to come, but what will transpire there only God knows, and there is no God. In fact, nobody knows.” When we say God knows, it means nobody knows…just a nice way of saying nobody knows.
He said, “Nothing wrong will happen. Come.”
I said, “You don’t know. I am not saying that something is expected from that person. No, I am saying that anything that happens will come from me.” But he could not understand, so we went. All Acharya Tulsi’s rich disciples were there, and he was sitting on a high pedestal. But I did not do the namaskar – I had seen that calendar before – I just held my hand over his head. Now he was embarrassed; what to do? And I told the photographer, “Go on, you are not to stop. You do your job.”
I went to the photographer’s studio; of course I could not get that negative. He said, “What to do? What you did was really a great thing! I hate this man. But you did the right thing – nobody has done that yet. And this is his whole strategy. All politicians, presidents, prime ministers, ministers, governors, ambassadors from other countries, are brought to him and told, `his is the way to approach him.’ So those poor fellows approach him that way, and then he blesses them with the photographer there.” The photographer said, “Someone did the right thing for the first time; and Acharya Tulsi was in such a confusion about what to do.”
Now, when I was giving him my blessing he could not give me a blessing: he was in shock! And when I told the photographer, he took the photograph. “But,” he said, “before I left they took the reel; they forced me to give them the reel. They said, ‘That photograph is not to go out.”‘