Zarathustra was coming down a hill. He was rushing downwards as if he had heard some very important news from down the hill. He reached the plains, running and panting for breath. He asked the people in the market, “Have you heard the news?”
People asked, “What news?”
Zarathustra said, “Such a big event has happened and you do not know! Did you not know that the God has died?” People were very puzzled. Zarathustra then felt that perhaps he had come too early, because the news had not yet reached the people.
I was reading this story and I felt no important news ever reaches us. Those who bring such news all feel that they have come before their time, too early.
I would also like to ask you, “Have you heard that India has died?” Perhaps you will be shocked at this news. You may not have known it. Thousands of years have passed since; perhaps that is why you don’t feel it. Perhaps the news is so old and so many events have occurred since, that you do not even remember having heard the news. But I want to tell you that India died long ago.
Iqbal has sung, “There is something about it (India), that its existence does not end.” While I was reading this song I felt that first its existence has to have been, to end. If existence has already ended, what remains to be ended? If a man is living, he can die. If a man has intellect, he can be mad. If there is no intellect, man cannot go mad. If a man is healthy, he can fall ill. But if one has no health, how can there be illness?
Could it be that the real reason for the non-ending of India’s existence is that it has long before ceased? Now nothing has remained with us to end! I begin my talk with this news.
This country has died thousands of years ago. It is necessary for this country to search for a new life, a new soul. Certainly, the teacher could have been of help in the search, but so far he has not been. Up till now the teacher has not proved to be the torch-bearer of our life. Up till now he has remained the agent of the old dead society. The teacher has remained the instrument and the medium for pouring into the mind of the new generation the customs of the old, dead, rotten society of the past.
The teacher can become the medium and the instrument of the birth of a new world, a new life and a new man, but he has not become so far. Let us understand this truth about the teacher first.