I chose this couple, just simple villagers. I could have chosen kings and queens. It was in my hands. All kinds of wombs were available, but I am a man of very simple tastes: I am always satisfied with the best. The couple was poor, very poor. You will not be able to understand that my father had only seven hundred rupees; that means seventy dollars. That was all he possessed, yet I chose him to be my father. He had a richness which eyes cannot see, a royalty which is invisible.
Many of you have seen him and must have felt the beauty of the man. He was simple, very simple, you could even call him just a villager, but immeasurably rich – not in the worldly way, but if there is an otherworldly way….
Seventy dollars, that was his sole possession. I would not have known it. I came to know only later on when his business was going bankrupt…and he was very happy! I asked him, “Dadda…” I used to call him that; “dadda” means father… “Dadda, soon you are going to be bankrupt, and still you are happy. What is the matter? Are the rumors false?”
He said, “No, the rumors are absolutely true. Bankruptcy is bound to happen, but I am happy because I have saved seven hundred rupees. That’s what I started with; and I will show you the place.”
Then he showed me the place where he had hidden the seven hundred rupees and said, “Don’t be worried. I started with only seven hundred; nothing else belongs to us – let it go to hell. What belongs to us is hidden here, in this place, and I have shown it to you. You are my eldest son, remember this place.”
This I know…I have not said anything to anybody about that place, and I am not going to either, because although he was generous in showing me his secret, I am neither his son, nor is he my father. He is himself, I am myself. “Father and son” is just a formality. Those seven hundred rupees are still hidden somewhere under the earth, and will remain there unless found accidentally by someone. I told him, “Although you have shown me the place, I have not seen it.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “It is simple. I don’t see it, and I don’t want to see it. I don’t belong to any heritage, big or small, rich or poor.”
But from his side he was a loving father. As far as my side is concerned, I am not a loving son – excuse me.
He was a loving father; when I left my university post, only he was worried, nobody else. None of my friends were worried. Who cares? – in fact, many of my friends were happy that I had vacated the chair; now they could have it. They rushed. Only my father was worried. I told him, “There is no need to worry.”
But my saying it was not of much help. He purchased a big property without telling me, because he knew perfectly well that if he had told me, I would have hit his head. He made a beautiful little house for me, exactly as I would have liked it to be. You will be surprised: it was even air-conditioned, with all modern facilities.
It was near my village, with a garden on the bank of the river, with steps leading down so that I could go swimming…with ancient, old trees and absolute silence surrounding, no one else for miles. But he never told me.