You are all infinitely, infinitely better at acting than your Guru! When I was five or six years old, I had one line in a play, but I became nervous. I was playing the part of Sahadeva, and I had to appreciate Arjuna. My problems started in the dressing room. We had to wear a type of dhoti that they wore in Mahabharata times. It was almost like a girl’s sari. It was too much for me! I cried and cried.

My cousin was playing the role of Arjuna. He was older than I was. He was so fond of me. Alas, on the stage I had to say something to Arjuna, but I forgot the line. Arjuna was prompting me. He was even telling me the line, but I could not hear what he was saying because of my nervousness.

At the Ashram, when I was fourteen or fifteen years old, I wrote a play about Sri Ramakrishna in Bengali. I played the role of Sri Ramakrishna and did very, very well. In that play, I had many, many lines, plus I had to sing two songs: Sundara Hate and Tamasa Rate. At that time there was no nervousness. What happens when you are five or six years old, and then when you are fifteen years old — this is the difference.

OGT 52. 21 January 2002, Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam