That’s what Kabir says in one of his songs – Jyon ki tyon dhari dinhin chadariya. Kabira jatan se odhi chadariya – “I have used the clothes of life with such care and such awareness that I have returned its gift to existence exactly as it was given to me.”
The whole society – your parents, your teachers, your leaders, your priests – they all want you to become somebody special, Alexanders. But if you want to be meditative they will all be against you, because meditation means you are turning away from all ambitions.
I was a student in the university. The head of my department was so worried about my examinations, he said, “I have taught in almost a dozen countries all over the world, hundreds of students, but I have never been concerned about their examinations. It is very puzzling to my mind – why am I so much concerned about your examination? You have to promise me that you will reach the examination hall in time.”
I told him, “This is not part of your work. Your part is to teach me. It is my business to be worried about the examination or not. If I can manage, I will reach the hall.”
He was suspicious. The old man used to stand every day with his car outside the hostel, in front of my room, to pick me up and to see me enter the examination hall. And then he would leave.
I said, “This is too much, you are taking unnecessary trouble. Your house is four miles away. You have to wake up, you are not an early riser.”
He was a drunkard. But life is a mystery. Here, the people who are nonvegetarians, drunkards, gamblers, you may find them so loving and so human that it is surprising. And on the other hand, the people who are strictly vegetarian… Adolf Hitler was strictly vegetarian. He never smoked, he never drank any alcoholic beverage, he went to bed early, he got up early in the morning – he was a saint! If you just look at his life-pattern and style, he was a monk. And he killed six million people! It would have been better if he had been a drunkard, nonvegetarian – a chain smoker, but a nice human being.
This old man, my professor, did not drink for those few days. He had to wake up early in the morning to pick me up and force me into the examination hall. The whole university knew; they all thought, “This is strange!” I said, “It is not strange. He loves me. He loves me just like his son, and he wants me to be somebody in life. That is the trouble: that love is creating the trouble. He is afraid that I am too careless about being somebody in the world.”
He used to instruct the chief examiner, “Keep an eye that he does not leave when I have left – because I cannot wait outside for three hours unnecessarily. Keep an eye on him and don’t let him go. And watch to see that he is writing and is not doing something else.”