Naturally it was difficult for him to sleep. And when I would go to sleep at three it was difficult for me to sleep. Just by my side, in the next room, he was playing his electric instruments – the guitar, sitar, and other instruments. In two days we were both tired.
He said to me, “You live in this house – I am leaving!”
I said, “You need not leave – and where will you go? I have at least a place in the hostel. I will leave.”
But he said, “I cannot say to you to leave. I love you, I love your presence here. But our habits are dangerous to each other. I have never interfered with anybody; there has never been anybody with me to interfere with. And I know you – you will not interfere with me. But this will kill both of us! You will not say, ‘Change your time.’ I will not say, ‘Change your time.’ I cannot say that you should leave the house; that’s why I said that I am leaving – you live in the house.”
I persuaded him, “I cannot live in the house. Once you leave the house, the university cannot allow me to live in this house – this house is meant for you. I have to go to my hostel.” With tears in his eyes he came to lead me to the hostel.
I remembered him at this point because I have never seen anybody else in my life who was so responsive, so sensitive. Even if by mistake he had hit the chair, he will apologize – to the chair. I told him, “Dr Biharidas, this is going too far!”
He said, “That’s how I feel. I have hit the poor chair. She cannot speak; otherwise she would have been angry. And she is part of this whole cosmos, and she has served me, and I have not been friendly towards her; I have hit her. I have to apologize.”
People in the university thought that he was mad – a man who asks forgiveness from a chair in this world cannot be thought to be sane. I have watched him closely; he was one of the sanest persons. His responsibility was tremendous.
He could not say to me…it was his house. He could have said to me, “You can read silently,” or “You can read at some other time,” or “You can read while I am playing my instrument.” But that he would not do. It would have been easy – that’s what everybody else is doing in the world. But his sensitivity and deep respect for the other person – even his reverence for things – was impeccable.
People have looked at his behavior and have thought, “He is not in the right state of mind.” But nobody bothered to think that the right state of mind makes people responsible, so responsible that they start looking – to others – mad.
For example, Mahavira slept his whole life only on one side. He would not change his side in the night. Asked why, he said – because he was living naked, having nothing, lying down on the bare floor – if he changes his side, some ant, some small insects may be crushed by his turning, and he will not do such a thing. His responsibility towards very small things simply shows his integrity with existence.