I want to emphasize the point that he went to different religious saints, but the answer was the same. The strategy was the same: “You have committed some sin, this is the result of it. Now, repent! Now, do something good, be virtuous.” Of course the virtue prescribed by all these saints was different. One Hindu monk suggested, “From now onward stop eating salt completely.”
He asked, “But how is that going to help?”
The monk said, “That is going to help because when you don’t eat salt, your whole food becomes tasteless” – particularly Indian food will become absolutely tasteless without salt – “and to eat not for taste is a virtue; to eat for taste is a sin. To eat for taste is to follow the body, and your soul is being manipulated, enslaved by the body. That’s what sin is, the body on top of your soul; the body is the master, and the soul is functioning like a slave, so wherever the body takes it, it goes.
“Just turn it the other way round: whatsoever your body says, don’t do it. Your body will ask for salt – don’t eat salt. Slowly stop eating sugar. Slowly make your food absolutely tasteless, so you just eat it to keep the life that God has given to you, somehow alive – then you are not interested in this life, you are preparing for the future life.” Now, salt is a need of the body. You need a particular amount of salt in your body, otherwise you will become weak. Your body, whatsoever it asks, is not wrong. It asks because it is its need.
These people are making your physical needs into sins. Naturally your body will continue to ask for salt. You will force the body not to eat salt, but the body will be continuously asking and hankering for it. That will make trouble: either you will torture your body or you may start eating the salt and committing the sin. In both ways, just a simple thing, salt, has turned you into a sick man. Now your psychology is not healthy.
Meeting many of these people…and Seth Govinddas was a famous person, so any saint was ready to meet him, happy to meet him, and always ready to suggest ideas to him. I had lived in his own city for twenty years – he had never bothered to come to me. In fact, any politician in India was afraid to be seen with me or to be known to come to me. The masses will turn against the politician – and not just small politicians. This man was a very established person, fifty years, more than fifty years a member of parliament. Then what had he to fear? But he had never come to see me.
He used to hear about me. People were talking about me, even the prime minister. While he was in parliament, many prime ministers changed. One prime minister, Lalbahadur Shastri, inquired about me. Seth Govinddas said, “I have heard his name, but I don’t know him personally.” Lalbahadur told me, “It is strange: this man is a member of parliament from your constituency, and he does not know you.”