Family is the base for all pathology….
I was staying with a family. They had only one child, a beautiful child. I was sitting on the lawn, and the child came and sat by my side. I asked him, “What are you going to become in life?”
He said, “I don’t know. My father wants me to become a doctor, my mother wants me to become an engineer, my uncle wants me to become an actor, my second uncle wants me to become a politician. They are all driving me crazy and they are all fighting and nobody is asking me, `What do you want to become?’ You are the first person who is asking me.”
I said, “What do you want? — just tell me.”
He said, “I have not figured it out.”
I said, “Then don’t listen to anybody — your father, your mother, your uncles, your brothers. Don’t listen to anybody. Wait till the time comes when you have to choose. Go into the library and look into different subjects, see which attracts you more, which seems to be having a certain harmony with you. Only decide then — not according to anybody else but simply according to you.”
The boy stood up, smiled. He said, “I really want to become a guitarist — in my neighborhood there is a man who plays the guitar — but don’t tell anybody.”
I said, “That’s perfectly good. Forget all about being a doctor, there are enough — enough doctors to kill people, don’t be worried! And there are enough engineers whose bridges go on falling down. To be a guitarist is absolutely innocent; I will not tell anybody, but you remain firm. Those people will manipulate you in every way.”
My father loved me too much — but it was what they think is love. He wanted me to go to a science college. “Either become a doctor or become a scientist or become an engineer, but first go to the science college. First graduate in science and then move into a specialization.”
I refused. I said, “I know your love, but I also know your love is unconscious. You simply want your ambition to be fulfilled, that your son is a great doctor, a great scientist or engineer. I am going to study religion, philosophy, logic, psychology.”
He said, “Then” — it was just a threat and later he repented very much. He said, “Then I am not going to support you financially.”
I said, “That’s settled. It is obvious: I am not following your idea, why should you support me? In fact, even if you change your mind, I am not going to take any support from you.”
He was wondering how I would manage, thinking perhaps I would drop my idea. He said, “Philosophy …!” India has one hundred universities, one hundred philosophical departments, and there are many universities where the whole department is empty — four professors and not a single student. ” … So what are you going to do?”
I said, “I understand. I am not going to do anything. I am not going to use my education for any career, because I have decided to be good for nothing. I am going to relax and enjoy life!”
He said, “But who is going to support you?”
I said, “You don’t be worried. You will see.”
So I left my house after matriculation, and entered into a department of philosophy. My father thought, “How will he manage?” But I entered into a night class. The whole day I was working in a newspaper, and in the night I would go to the university class.
After six months he thought, “He must have managed somehow ….” He came to see me. The village was almost a hundred miles away. He came to see me and he found me perfectly well. I had managed. I had found a family who simply loved me. They were not my relatives; just the man had met me in the public park where I was discussing with a few students, my colleagues. Sitting by the side on a bench, he heard me discuss and he was immensely impressed. He took me to the side, and he said, “Where do you live?”
I said, “I don’t have any place to live.”
He said, “I have a big house. You just come with me.”
And when he saw the situation, what I was doing — the whole day I was working in a press and the whole night, the first part of the night in the university, and the second part with my own books, not the textbooks — he said, “You will fall sick. Don’t be worried, I have enough money.”
I told him, “Remember one thing: I am not going to return it.”
He said, “That is settled.”
I said, “Think twice. It is a question of six years. You can have time to think. I will not return a single rupee because I will not have any money anytime in my whole life. If you are giving me out of your abundance, I will accept with gratitude, but no obligation. And no bragging about it, that you have helped me.”
He said, “No, that’s not at all the question. In fact you have helped me. Since you have come in my house, a strange peace has come, a silence has come. I have never been so happy and so joyous. I have all the amenities, all that the world can provide, but there was a certain emptiness inside me. You have fulfilled it by teaching me meditation. I cannot repay it. Whatever money I spend on you is not even the interest on what you have given to me and what you are giving to me every day.”
My father came, and he wanted to help me. I said, “We have settled it. I did not follow your idea, and you simply did not arrange the financing. There is no bitterness about it. Our relationship remains the same. It was simply a disagreement, and I was at fault to disagree with you. You are just unnecessarily feeling guilty.”
But he said, “I will give you money, whatever you want to do with it.”
I said, “If you want to give without any condition, I can take as much money as you can give. I alone can use all the money in the world without any trouble.”
He used to send me money, and that money helped me to purchase as many books as possible.
Now, the library you see — it has one hundred and fifty thousand books. Most of them were purchased with his money. All the money he gave me went into purchasing books, and soon I was receiving scholarships — and all that money went into books. Soon I had friends all over India, and I was purchasing everywhere — in Poona, in Bombay, in New Delhi, in Amritsar, in Ludhiana, in Calcutta, in Allahabad, in Varanasi, in Madras. All over the country I was purchasing as many books as possible — as many as the friend with whom I was staying could manage.
The family gives you ambition, and ambition is one of the hindrances for enlightenment. It gives you desires, it gives you a longing to be successful, and all these things create your tensions, your anxieties: how to be a celebrity?
The family wants you to be a celebrity. The family wants you to be known all over the world. The family wants you to be the richest person. The family wants you to be the president of the country ….
All these ambitions the family creates, without knowing that all these ambitions are creating a mind which will remain continuously in anguish, suffering. Only one man can become the president of the country. What about the nine hundred million people in this country? — they are all failures. This is an ugly situation, to keep people feeling they are failures, unsuccessful, inferior to others.
Family is the base for all pathology.