They had to agree. It was logical.
Then he asked, “Forget the whole world, look at the map of France. Which is the most beautiful and the greatest city in France?”
Now, the students started feeling a little worried that he is coming closer to the point. But they all lived in Paris, they all loved Paris, and they all were told from their very childhood that Paris is the greatest city in the world. And they said, “Of course, Paris.”
And the professor said, “Then we can drop the whole France, it is now only Paris in which, if it is proved that I am the greatest man, then as a natural consequence it will be proved that I am the greatest man in the world.”
Then he asked, “Can you tell me which is the greatest place, the wisest, the most beautiful, the most sacred in Paris?”
Naturally, the University of Paris, the seat of wisdom…
…And then he asked, “Now tell me, in the University of Paris which is the most significant, the most important department?”
Now who can compete with philosophy? And they were all students of philosophy, so they had to agree that the philosophy department is, of course, the very center of the University of Paris, it is the very soul.
And the professor laughed and then he said, “Now, do you see the point? And I am the head of the philosophy department…”
Deep down everybody is trying to prove it. If you ask the Indians, they think India is the only religious country in the world. Remember, the only. All are worldly countries; India is a sacred land, the land of the rishis, of the Upanishads and the Vedas, the land of Mahavira, Krishna, Buddha, the land of Kabir, Dadu, Nanak, Meera, Chaitanya – the land of all the great mahatmas, sages and saints. In fact, Indians believe that even the gods in paradise desire to be born in India – they are jealous of Indians.
No Indian will ever doubt it, because it fulfills some inner need of his own. This is a vicarious way of saying that, “I am the most religious person in the world – I belong to the most religious land, the sacred land.”
Just the other day I was listening to a song, a beautiful song, which says a pilgrim has gone to visit the places where Mohammed lived, Mecca and Medina. The song says that your paradise is beautiful, God, but for the moment, at least, I am not interested in it at all. I am in the city where Mohammed lived and walked. Even the dust of this city is far more valuable than your paradise. And if I have the choice, then I will live in Mecca or Medina rather than going to paradise.