Sarito, you must have heard this comment amongst the small sannyasins in the ashram: “Why does everybody think enlightenment is a joke?” This must be coming from the small boys and girls; they must be thinking, “Enlightenment must be a joke. What is the need for enlightenment?” You need a teddy bear – you can understand that. You need a tricycle – that you can understand. You need a toy gun – that you can understand.
Just a few days ago a new visitor was seen carrying a big gun. The guards became a little bit concerned; he was continuously carrying it and even trying to hide it, but it was too big to hide. Then one woman sannyasin saw him also carrying the gun in the marketplace. The visitor was asked, “Why do you carry this gun?”
He said, “I feel so embarrassed, but what to do? I have brought my little son with me and he loves the gun! Without the gun he goes nowhere, and the gun is so big he cannot carry it himself, so I have to carry it; otherwise he won’t go anywhere, and I cannot leave him alone! His mother has not come; I was not aware that I would have to do this thing. Everywhere people are asking me, ‘Why are you carrying this gun?’ And this is only a toy gun! I feel embarrassed, I try to hide it, but the more I try to hide it the more people become curious – ‘Why?’”
Children have their own interests and they must be wondering, “Why? What is this enlightenment? And why are so many people interested in it? It must be some kind of joke!”
In fact, it is a cosmic joke. It is God seeking himself. It is a game of hide-and-seek: God hides himself and then tries to find himself! Being alone, what else to do?
When I used to travel in India – for twenty years continuously – many times it happened that I would be in a train compartment with only one passenger. And because I was not interested in talking to the passenger, he would start playing patience – a game of cards you can play alone, you need not have any partner. They would feel a little embarrassed, but I would not pay any attention to them so they would start playing cards.
One day one man said, “You must think that I am crazy playing cards alone.”
I said, “I don’t think you are crazy. This is my business too!”
He said, “What do you mean? You also play patience?”
I said, “No, but enlightenment is like patience!”
Enlightenment is a dialogue with yourself, it is a monologue. You have to ask the question and you have to give the answer. When you see the futility, you become silent. That’s how Buddha became silent! Then one sits under the tree “doing nothing, and the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.” And what to do? – when the grass grows you have to cut it and again sit silently, and again the grass grows so you cut it again. Again and again…!