Japan: The Rising Sun1Japan I like so much! When I visit Japan, I feel everything is natural there — everything. There is something in the atmosphere. It is in the culture, in the spiritual aspect of life. When I look at the Japanese people, I see something unique. I have a special feeling for Japan.
During my first visit I was there for about four or five days. An assistant editor came to interview me at the hotel. The following day there was an article in the Japanese daily newspaper. I asked a policeman if it would be possible for me to buy a copy of the newspaper. He left his post, ran one hundred metres and got me a copy of the newspaper, and he did not charge me for it! That incident I will never forget.
Then it started raining. An elderly woman saw me in the rain, and she gave me an umbrella.
The Japanese people I see are ready to mould their culture. They can give it shape, as a potter shapes a pot. Japan is not fossilised!
Some countries are now making progress in science and technology. They have their own depth, and there is a synthesis between the inner and the outer, no doubt. But some of those countries may not accept anything deeper from any other country. They feel they are self-sufficient. But with Japan, I do not feel that is the case. Japan is still hungry, hungry, hungry! Japan is like a child who is in a garden. He runs from one plant to another, and he is ready to appreciate everything.
When I think of Japan, I feel it is a fresh flower. When I think of some other countries, the flower is already fully blossomed. To me, a flower that is blooming and blossoming petal by petal is sometimes more beautiful than a flower that is already fully blossomed. Japan is blooming, and it will be blossomed.
It is like the rising sun. In the morning when the sun is rising, its beauty gives me much more joy than at noon, when the sun is fully risen. The power-aspect of the sun is there at noon; we cannot deny the power-aspect. But the beauty-aspect gives me much more joy. In the morning, such joy I get from the rising sun.
Again, the setting sun also gives me much more peace than the noon sun. The rising sun gives me boundless joy; the setting sun gives me boundless peace. In between, when I look at the sun, it is all power. The power-aspect is very difficult for human beings to appreciate. We are always afraid of the power-aspect. We admire the power-aspect at a distance, but we are afraid of nearing the power. But the rising sun and the setting sun have something very, very special to offer: joy and peace.
When we look at the rising sun in Japan, we feel something new, a new creation. We all like a new creation. The new creation in Japan is most inspiring. It is more visible than in some other countries. The rising sun in Japan is something very, very special.
I have seen the rising sun in India also countless times. And when I used to observe the Indian moon, it was not because I was young, but there was something special. When I observed and appreciated the full moon, I used to feel that everything was calling me. There also I looked at the sun and I saw that somebody was beckoning me, beckoning me. I saw beckoning hands, and something was calling me, calling me, calling me.
I am an Indian, so I think of India! One appreciates one's own country more than any other country. In my case, Japan is not my native land, but I do feel something special Japan has, and something special it is offering to mankind.
HCE 3. 22 February 2005, Annam Brahma Restaurant, Jamaica, New York↩