When he drank phenol, and those fifteen days of diarrhea and vomiting, somehow by an accident his system got purified, his stomach got purified. He could not eat for those fifteen days – the vomiting was too much – so he had to fast. He rested in bed for fifteen days. That rest, that fasting, that purifying helped – it was an accident – and he became sane. He went to the doctors, told them “I have become sane”; they all laughed. They said, “Everybody says so.” The more he insisted, the more they insisted, “You are mad, because every madman says so. You simply go and do your work. You cannot be released before the court’s order comes.”
“Those three months were impossible,” he said, “nightmarish!” Many times he thought about suicide. But he is a man of strong will. And it was only a question of three months, he could wait. It was intolerable! – somebody was pulling his hair, somebody was pulling his leg, somebody would simply jump upon him. All that had been going on for six months, but he had also been part in it. He was also doing the same things; he was a perfect member of that mad society. But for three months it was impossible because he was sane and everybody was insane.
In this neurotic world, if you are sane, sensitive, intelligent, either you have to go mad, or you have to commit suicide – or you have to become a sannyasin. What else is there?
The question is from Jane Ferber; she is Bodhicitta’s wife. She has come to me in the right time. She can become a sannyasin and avoid suicide.
In the East suicide does not exist so much, because sannyas is an alternative. You can respectfully drop out; the East accepts it. You can start doing your own thing; the East has respect for it. Hence, the difference between India and America is of five times: for one Indian committing suicide, five Americans commit suicide. And the phenomenon of suicide is a growing phenomenon in America. Intelligence is growing, sensitivity is growing, and the society is dull. And the society does not provide an intelligent world – then what to do? Just go on suffering unnecessarily?
Then one starts thinking, “Why not drop it all? Why not finish it? Why not give the ticket back to God?” In America, if sannyas becomes a great movement, the rate of suicide will start falling, because people will have a far better and more creative alternative of dropping out. Have you watched it happen that hippies don’t commit suicide? It is the square world, the conventional world where suicide is more prevalent. The hippie has dropped out. He is a kind of sannyasin – not yet fully alert to what he is doing but on the right way; moving, groping, but in the right direction. The hippie is the beginning of sannyas. The hippie is saying, “I don’t want to be a part of this rotten game, I don’t want to be a part of this political game. I see things, and I would like to live my own life. I don’t want to become anybody’s slave. I don’t want to be killed on any war front. I don’t want to fight – there are far more beautiful things to do.”
But for millions there is nothing; the society has taken away all possibilities for their growth. They are stuck. People commit suicide because they are feeling stuck and they don’t see any way out. They come to a cul-de-sac. And the more intelligent you are, the sooner you will come to that cul-de-sac, that impasse. And then what are you supposed to do? The society does not give you any alternative; the society does not allow an alternative society.