Sending his father to the mental asylum

A young boy was doing his homework, and his father was sitting beside him reading the newspaper. At one point, the boy grew tired and asked, "Father, why do you read the newspaper? Do I have to read the newspaper when I grow older and reach your age?"

The father said, "Definitely you will have to read the newspaper."

"Why?"

The father replied, "The newspaper gives world information. If you are in the world, then you have to be aware of the world situation.

"But father, I have heard people saying that the newspaper is all falsehood. Its reports exaggerate everything. So why do we have to read this?"

The father answered, "Please, please do not argue with me! In the newspaper, there are many encouraging things and also many things which are discouraging. There are many things true and many things false. Our heart will tell us what to accept and what to reject."

The son replied with another question. "That means people who do not read newspapers are all fools?"

"Yes, they are all fools! They do not care for the world," answered the father emphatically.

"Father," continued the little boy, "there are many spiritual people who do not read the newspaper at all. Are they also fools?"

"Again you are bothering me," said the father, looking up from his newspaper. "No, spiritual people are not fools. They are dealing with God. I do not know what they are thinking about God and what God is thinking about them. But I know that they are thinking of God."

"So they are not wasting time?" asked the son.

"It is up to God to decide whether He is wasting His time or His devotees are wasting their time."

"Father, can I ask you one more question?"

Now the father was really frustrated with his son.

"No!" he shouted. "You are talking too much, too much! You are destroying my concentration. Too much talking is not good!"

Then the son asked, "Too much talking is not good? You send me to school. The teacher talks and talks and talks! Nobody can stop him. Since he talks and talks, we cannot talk at all. We show him such respect. Then afterwards the teacher blesses us and says, 'Why do you not talk? Why are you acting like a silent wall?' Look at this teacher!"

Finally the father said, "You are impossible! The teacher is giving you such wisdom. So you should listen even if he talks for an hour."

The son asked, "Then why does the teacher blame us when we do not answer his questions?"

"Of course you are supposed to answer his questions!" said the father. "Now I have had enough. I do not want to hear any more — not even one word from you! If you go on talking to me, you are going to send me to the mental asylum."

The boy enquired, "Father tell me, in the mental asylum, are people allowed to read the newspaper?"

"You idiot! Do you think the authorities will allow patients to read the newspaper there? They want to keep what is happening in the world a secret from the patients. So many bad things are happening. They do not want the patients to know, because the patients are already having so many problems!"

"Then, father, when you will be in the mental asylum, you will have no newspaper, so I will go and chat with you!" said the little boy triumphantly.

Sri Chinmoy, The Master and the circus clown.First published by Agni Press in 2005.

This is the 1517th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The Master and the circus clown, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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