Society is not an organism. The individual is an organism – alive; and you can study only the alive, and how the alive organism reacts or responds. Because sociology has not done any of these things up to now, and the sannyasin must be becoming aware that the whole thing seems to be wrong…I can understand him very clearly, because to feel one way and then to teach exactly the opposite of it becomes a heavy load. He knows that what he is saying is wrong; still he has to teach it according to the syllabus of the university if he wants to remain a teacher in the university.
The same has been the situation with me. I was teaching religion, philosophy, logic, psychology; and with every subject there was trouble because it was not in tune with my own vision and insight. I struggled, for nine years continuously, to manage somehow – and I found a way to manage it.
The way was that first I would teach them what the syllabus prescribed. So every period was divided into two parts: half of the period I would teach them what the prescribed books said about religion, and the other half of the period I would condemn it and criticize it and tell them, “This is what I say, and I feel. Now it is up to you to decide: if you want to pass, listen to the first part; if you want to fail, listen to the second part. I am not responsible – I am making it clear to you. It is just that I don’t want to carry the burden on myself that I am teaching something which is absolutely absurd to me.”
I would teach them about philosophers with whom I do not agree – so half the time for the philosopher and half the time for my disagreement. Now the students were getting very confused, and naturally they were agreeing with the second part because the first part was only in a dead book: I was alive and I was present, and I was destroying the whole structure that was in the dead book.
And their problem was that whatever I was saying they also felt was right, but they could not write it in their examination, because the people who would be examining them would be looking for the first part; the second part was not written anywhere.
So they were getting confused: “You have found a way not to be burdened, not to feel guilt that you are teaching something which you know is wrong. So it is good for you – but what about us? Now we will be writing something that we know is not right, and we cannot write that which we think is right.”
It was a great struggle for nine years continually. Finally I thought it better to leave the university because it was creating unnecessary conflict in the minds of the students. And many who were the best failed, because they did not write what the books say; they argued according to me. But their examination copies were going to old and respected professors from different universities who had no insight, who simply looked for a repetition, an accurate repetition of the book.
So the best students were failing, and the third-rate ones were passing, because for the third-rate there was no question of conscience. It was not a question of truth; the question was how to pass. So whatever helped to pass, they were writing; and whatever prevented it, they were not writing.
They were not really interested. They were not seekers, they had just come to get a degree. Why be bothered? But the best who had really come as seekers…it was painful to me and hurting me.