The world-experience-tree-climber, part 6

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A crook

While I was shopping in Washington, D.C., I went into a restaurant and asked the man at the counter for a glass of orange juice. He said his cash register was broken and he could not make change.

The orange juice cost 59 cents and all I had was a dollar bill. So I said, "That's all right. Please give me the orange juice and just keep the change."

The man said, "No, I can't do that." Then he looked at me and said, "But you are a nice man, so I'll do it." Then he gave me a doughnut and said, "Here, you eat this. Then it comes to almost a dollar."

I said, "No, I don't want a doughnut." But he insisted that I take it.

While I was there another man came in — a nice-looking gentleman, tall and stout, wearing glasses. He also only had a dollar bill. But the man at the counter wouldn't give him anything. He pointed to me and said, "I only did it for him because he's a nice man."

As the stout gentleman was leaving, the man said to me, "I think he's a crook!"

— 18 July 1987

The nice man

The story never ends. I was shopping and shopping and shopping —- in other words, just getting lost. People told me to go to 14th Street and F. But did I know where F or G was? When you ask people, usually they give wrong information!

Finally I got back to the hotel and was about to enter the elevator when I saw the same tall and stout gentleman with glasses. I couldn't believe my eyes.

He looked at me and said, "So, you are a nice man and I am not a nice man!" What could I do? I just smiled at him.

— 18 July 1987

The boxer

I went into a restaurant for a salad and onion rings. An elderly couple happened to be beside me. As I was about to leave, the lady said to me, "Are you a boxer? You look like a boxer."

I said, "No, I am not a boxer, but I do lift weights."

The lady said, "I thought you were very strong."

Her husband didn't say anything, but he was very amused that his wife was such a talker.

— 18 July 1987

The useless receipt

The hotel where I stayed in Washington is so bad! No matter when you go, the hotel is always under construction and the rooms are so undivine. The people are also very undivine.

When I checked into the hotel, I paid the bill and got a receipt. Normally I do not keep receipts, but this time I did.

When I was ready to check out, they said to me, "You have not paid for your room."

I said, "I gave you three twenty dollar bills and you gave me four dollars change. I have the receipt."

They said, "This receipt is no good. It wasn't stamped."

I said, "But how could I get the receipt if I didn't pay?"

For ten minutes this went on. The girl who had originally taken the money from me was not there. Finally, the assistant manager came and said, "There is no indication on the receipt that you have paid."

Meanwhile, Lord Chidananda was on the street waiting for me with the car.

Then out of the blue a young girl behind the counter said, "I think he did pay." She had been there at the time and she remembered me.

— 19 July 1987

The Sri Chinmoy

When I went to get radiation treatment for my knee, the technician said to me, "Are you the Sri Chinmoy from the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team?"

I said, "Yes."

He couldn't believe it. He was showing me such love and such respect.

He asked, "Can I take your picture?"

I told him to take it and gave him a nice smile.

When I went back the following day, the technician asked, "Can I have a picture taken with you?"

His name was John. I gave him a T-shirt and he was so happy. He has run two marathons and now wants to run our marathon.

— 20 July 1987

The Frenchman

As soon as I sat down on the plane for my trip to India, a Frenchman was so kind to me. My handbag was a little big, so he took it from me and put it under the seat in front of him to give me more legroom. Then he asked me if I needed a blanket and a pillow. Who will do this kind of thing?

He asked me if I am interested in Indian culture. Being an Indian, I had to say that I am. O God, then he asked me what kind of Indian dancing I prefer. I am the right person!

He said he was learning to play the piano and was just a beginner. Then he asked me if I am also interested in piano.

I said, "I am also a beginner, although I have made a tape." I promised to send him my piano tape.

Then he gave me his card and asked for my card. Luckily, I was carrying some Centre envelopes with me, so I gave him an envelope that had my return address.

— 30 July 1987

Meeting Ramesh Krishnan

When I was waiting in line at immigration at the Madras airport on my way back to New York, India's foremost tennis player, Ramesh Krishnan, was just behind me.

I congratulated him on winning the Davis Cup and invited him to come to our tennis ground in New York. I made a spontaneous request, and he gave an immediate acceptance.

By the time we passed through immigration, he was way ahead of me. So he came back to where I was and asked for my card. In the future I have to carry a card!

Luckily, I still had a Centre envelope. But I also wanted to give him my phone number. I had brought six or seven ballpoint pens with me; but now that I needed one, none was available. I searched and searched and finally found one. So I gave him Annam Brahma's phone number.

Then some officials came and took him through customs. He was a great man so he got special treatment. Poor me, I had to wait on line.

On the flight from Madras to Bombay, God alone knows where he sat. But on the flight from Bombay to London, we both happened to be on the upper deck in Clipper Class. He was sitting very near me and we could see each other clearly.

He knows how to sleep! He slept through two or three meals. While he was sleeping, like a rogue I was observing how strong his wrist and arm were.

— 30 July 1987

Bus ride to Niagara Falls

During the children's bus ride to Niagara Falls, Joanna did an excellent, excellent job as leader and Ragu composed a super-excellent song. I also composed a song for each and every individual on the bus.

Sanatan and Rupantar were driving. Ketan and Sagar were supposed to be their helpers and keep them awake, but they were lying down on the floor of the bus sleeping. Ketan had brought a big teddy bear, but instead of holding the teddy bear, he was holding Ragu.

— 5 August 1987

Turning night into day

In Milan the audience showed me utmost devotion. After each instrument they clapped and clapped. After the girls sang, they also clapped. It was sincere appreciation.

Afterwards, four hundred seekers came onto the stage to pick up a flower petal. With such devotion they picked it up, and with such sincere and loving devotion they passed by me. Many were folding their hands, and some knelt down and gave me sweets or flowers.

I had quite a good experience in Milan. But the performance was absolutely useless because the acoustics were so bad. It was not Dhanu's fault at all. Everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong. Also, it was raining cats and dogs outside. But the seekers' sincere oneness with my aspiration-heart saved me! Their aspiration and devotion turned that night of frustration into a day of satisfaction.

— 10 October 1987

Playing on the Vatican organ

I was supposed to play the organ at St. Peter's Basilica, but at the last minute Kulai cancelled the appointment because he thought that I would not get there on time. Fortunately, they were able to reschedule the appointment.

People were already gathering for the mass when I started to play, so there was no time for me to meditate or anything. I was fighting against the clock.

While I was playing, sunlight was shining on a framed picture of a dove. It was very beautiful.

The priest who was observing me was stiffness incarnate. He was watching to see if I was going to break the organ. After five minutes he placed his hand on my shoulder, indicating that it was time for me to stop so they could begin the mass. The mass lasted for an hour and a half.

The man in charge said I could play for as long as I wanted when the mass ended. He was so kind to me. I played for fifteen minutes. Afterwards, he thanked me and said, "Bravo, bravo!"

— 16 October 1987

A very great man

I was on the podium to give the opening meditation at the World Veterans' Games in Melbourne. Behind me were six or seven most distinguished persons and speakers. A lady came up and stood between them and me. She said that she had to stand there because I was a very great man.

— 4 December 1987

Two immortal Australian runners

John Landy was very, very nice to us at the World Veterans' Games. They say he was looking and looking at me while I was in a meditative consciousness.

Then, after he gave his speech, I went over to shake hands with him. He was the second man to break the four-minute mile. I said that I had always admired him.

He said he was very grateful to me for bringing a moment of peace to his country, and he thanked me deeply.

Earlier, I had met Herb Elliott. He holds twenty-seven records. He also was very, very nice.

So two immortal Australian runners I have met!

— 4 December 1987

The Missing Kishore

One of the organisers of the games was angry at Kishore because he could not find him the whole day.

Kishore was also one of the organisers, but he was with his Guru all day. That is why the other organisers couldn't find him.

— 4 December 1987

Meeting the President of the Veterans' Games

The President of the World Veterans' Games, Don Farquharson, is a Canadian. At the Melbourne airport, he came up to me full of kindness and appreciation and said, "Do you recognise me? I saw you at the Games in Puerto Rico." He talked to me about this and that for quite a while; he was so happy to see me.

When I was at the stadium, again the President came up to me. At that time I was in a meditative consciousness.

He said, "Sorry to disturb your meditation. I have come to introduce my son to you. My son and his new wife are enjoying their honeymoon here. I want them to meet you and see your meditation."

So he introduced them both to me. Then he said, "Can we have a picture taken with you?"

I said, "Of course."

Then he, his daughter-in-law and his son all stood next to me for a picture.

— 4 December 1987

A 'Ten' for the Guru!

A member of the Melbourne football team came to our 10-kilometre race. While I was walking, he came up to me and said, "This is for you." Then he gave me a jersey with the number 'ten' on it. That is his number on the Melbourne football team.

— 4 December 1987

The ex-joker

Shivaram's younger brother used to work with me at the Indian Consulate in New York. With Shivaram I was always serious; we talked all about spirituality. But with his brother there was no spirituality — only jokes and mundane things. We were two jokers.

I couldn't believe he was the same person when I saw him yesterday at the Los Angeles airport. How much respect he showed me! He prostrated himself right at my feet.

All credit goes to Shivaram. He has changed his brother's attitude completely.

— 4 December 1987

Night and day

When I went to New Zealand, I received VIP treatment. An officer came onto the plane and escorted me through Customs.

But in Victoria, Canada, I had such a deplorable experience. The lady working in Customs said that fifteen years ago she had heard a talk I gave at the university in Seattle when she had been a student there. "I know everything about you," she said.

But unfortunately our Peace Mile she didn't understand. Our Peace Concert she didn't understand. She was harassing me like anything!

When it is a matter of service, I have rendered much, much more service to Canada than to New Zealand. So many times I have given talks and concerts there! So this is what happens: New Zealand was so kind to me and Canada was so bad. It was like night and day!

Not only I but also my Canadian students have done so much for the heart and soul of Canada. My Canadian students have really awakened and illumined the consciousness of Canada. Nobody will believe how much they have helped Canada spiritually.

— 6 December 1987

What a privilege

During our stopover in Japan, an American and I were waiting on the same floor for the elevator. He pressed the down button and I also pressed it and moved away. After a little while the elevator stopped and somebody came out. Then I started to go in.

The American said, "No, this elevator is going up."

So he prevented me from making that mistake. Then we went down together.

In the lobby he bought a newspaper and I went into the shops. A few minutes later he and I were again in the elevator together, this time going up. Several others got out on the third, fourth and fifth floors, so that finally we were only two together going up to the seventh floor.

Then out of the blue he said, "What a privilege it is to be with you!"

I did not know him at all. Perhaps he had seen the disciples looking at me devotedly, or perhaps someone had spoken to him about me.

My life is filled with stories like this — good and bad. This one was very good.

— December 1987

Saved by Tanima

In the Samudra Beach Hotel in Indonesia, Tanima and I got into the elevator together. As we went inside, all of a sudden the lights went out and the doors started to close.

Tanima understood what was happening and she forced the doors open before they could close. So we were able to escape. Otherwise, we would have been stuck in the elevator, and the electricity was off for a half hour or more.

So Tanima saved me!

— December 1987

Visiting souls

The souls of many disciples who have not come on the Christmas trip with us have visited us while we were here. I have seen Madhuri's soul quite a few times and also the souls of a few German girls. But Hiranmoyi's soul has come the most!

Again, some disciples whose bodies are here have left their souls in America or Europe or Africa. They have brought their body here, but the soul is not functioning!

— December 1987

The horse and carriage ride

In Bukittinggi I took a horse and carriage to the market.

If you go one way, it takes only two minutes. But the driver was such a rogue; he took me all the way in the other direction so that it would take a long time. Still, he was very nice and I gave him 2,000 rp., so he was very satisfied.

After I did my shopping and was ready to go back, I saw that he was still there. There were ten or twelve other carriages in the market as well, but I went to him because he had been nice.

We came back to the hotel in three minutes. When I gave him 1,000 rp., he was grumbling and fumbling because the previous time, when he had brought me the long way, I had given him 2,000 rp. Later, everybody told me the price should have been only 1,000 rp.

— January 1988

The full carriage

I saw Malati, Jamuna and Kiran in a carriage. How could three persons sit in one carriage? The horse was still alive? When I sit all by myself, I find it so uncomfortable!

I saw them get in the carriage and I saw them get out again a few moments later. For such a short distance they took a horse and carriage!

— January 1988

Interview with a Muslim

The sales manager of the Ambarrukmo Palace Hotel was begging me for an interview. I said that I would give him one at two o'clock the following day. I asked him, "In your office?"

He said, "No, I don't want anybody else to be there."

So we went somewhere else for the interview.

A Muslim wanted to have an interview with a Hindu —- very good!

— January 1988

The portrait

When we came out of the Garuda Hotel, I went shopping while Savyasachi and Alo ate. In the first shop I visited, two boys were begging me to let them draw my portrait for 3,000 rp. I said, "No, I don't want it."

Then I felt sorry for the younger one and said, "All right!"

They asked me to sit down on a little bench that was not even a foot long. They were very amused. When I sat down, the older one started to draw very seriously, but the younger one began to laugh. Then I said in English, "Don't laugh!" and he kept quiet.

They said it would take only five minutes. But after ten minutes they said it would take five minutes more. When I looked at what the older one had done so far, I was simply amazed that he had captured the right side of my face a little. I thought, "I will be able to show my disciples. It is so nice."

Then somebody came in smoking a cigarette. It was their boss. The boss snatched the picture away and began to finish it. In two minutes the boss redid what the boy had done and ruined the picture completely. The boy was doing it so nicely, but the boss was a hostile force. It didn't resemble me at all anymore, but I took it anyway.

When you sit to have your portrait drawn, people laugh at you as though you are doing something silly. Two French girls came and watched me. They were laughing and laughing.

— January 1988

Visiting Borobudur

All of you have visited Borobudur with me. People who go on the Christmas trip may spend lots of money but they also get many inner experiences.

Those who have seen Borobudur have really seen something. It is so beautiful and it has such spiritual grandeur! I also like Kamakura.

Borobudur is the Buddha in the process of blossoming. Kamakura is the Buddha who has already blossomed. Borobudur has simplicity in purity and purity in simplicity. Kamakura has silence in power and power in silence. Both are totally different.

— January 1988

The half-blind driver

I have been to the main town of Yogyakarta three times. The first time I went, the man driving my horse and carriage was blind in one eye. The disciple who got the carriage for me chose him out of compassion.

Once or twice we almost met with an accident because the man could barely see. At one point he went against a red light. It was an experience!

— January 1988

The tennis audience

When I play tennis at the Ambarrukmo Palace Hotel, about fifteen or twenty children always stand outside the fence behind me and watch. And they always take my side.

When Mahiyan makes a good shot, they don't say anything. But when I do well, they are so happy.

Those children are more attentive than some of my disciples. Some of the disciples lie down or chat while I am playing, but the children watch attentively.

— January 1988

A fellow Hindu

Today we have been allowed to use the tennis court at the Bali Beach Hotel. Why? Because the ballboy is a Hindu!

At first when we asked if we could play, he said, "No can play. Last night, many, many rain!"

He told us that his name is Jana. He was very proud that he was a Hindu.

I said, "I am also a Hindu."

Then he was so moved. So he went to the higher authorities and got us permission to play on the court, even though it was still a little bit wet.

— 12 January 1988

Heaven on earth

Of all the places I have visited in the last 15 or 16 years, Bali is undoubtedly the best. It has everything: sincerity, simplicity, purity, humility and peace. Is there any divine quality missing here?

Even outwardly it is so beautiful. You can see how beautiful the little cottages and villages are. They have such simplicity!

Bali has maintained most of its pristine purity. You don't even have to meditate here; nature will meditate on your behalf. Early in the morning if you walk around the villages, their divine qualities will enter into you and you will become a different person. Here in Bali, nature herself will accelerate your inner progress!

This place is Heaven on earth. If a businessman wants to make money here, he may have a problem. But in terms of consciousness, Bali is by far the best — both inwardly and outwardly. In many aspects it is even better than India. I am an Indian, but sincerity has to speak!

— 12 January 1988

Mango lassi

Today we went to a smaller than the smallest restaurant. I asked for mango lassi, but instead the girl brought me a mango juice.

I said that it couldn't be a lassi, but she said it was. After ten minutes another girl came. She smiled and said that they had made a mistake.

Then they brought me a mango lassi. So I got two drinks. Because they made a mistake, they didn't want to charge me for both. But I became generous and said, "No, no! I will pay."

— 12 January 1988

The bamboo chair

As soon as I sat down on the bamboo chair at that restaurant, I liked the chair so much. It was very large and comfortable, and I was taking lots of exercises on it.

I said jokingly to myself, "Since I am a multi-millionaire, I am going to buy the chair."

Savyasachi went to ask about buying the chair, but the boss was not there and the workers said they couldn't sell the chair. So we waited and waited for the boss. After about half an hour he came in, and Savyasachi offered him 20,000 rp. for the chair.

The boss looked at the workers and the workers looked at the boss. They didn't understand why we wanted this particular chair and they weren't sure what to do.

The boss said this chair was old, but we could buy a new one at another place. I said, "No, I want to buy this one."

Again they hesitated. The boss looked at us and the two girls looked at us, but nobody said anything.

Then Savyasachi took the 20,000 rp. and touched the hands of the two girls and the boss together. Finally they agreed.

What a crazy thing to buy a chair in a restaurant! But I had gotten such good vibrations from the chair while I was taking exercise on it that I said, "I am not going to leave this chair here."

— 12 January 1988

The Jakarta reporter

Many reporters came to our press conference. Most of them were so nice. But the man from Jakarta was bad. Such nasty questions he asked!

First he asked why I was not going to Russia, China and North Korea. What kind of question is that!

I said that the time has not come for me to go to those places.

Then, when I was meditating before doing my lifts, he said, "Is there any special reason why you are looking towards the East?"

I said, "Here I don't know where East or West is."

Most of the reporters were so nice, but always there is someone to challenge and annoy us.

— 13 January 1988

Three spiritual figures

The day before yesterday the manager of the Bali Beach Hotel said that he had seen three holy men in his lifetime.

He saw the Dalai Lama from a distance when he came to Indonesia. He also saw the Pope from a distance.

Then he said that I was the third spiritual figure he had seen. Only with me he could talk and take pictures!

— 20 January 1988

Everybody recognises me!

Since the television programme and the newspaper articles about me have come out, so many people recognise me.

Yesterday five young girls jumped up when they saw me. One pretended to play the flute and another pretended to lift a weight over her head. Then they sang "Bali, Bali," imitating our singers.

At another place three young men all pretended to lift weights overhead when they saw me.

— 20 January 1988

Genuine receptivity

About a thousand people came to our Belgium Peace Concert. They were so receptive!

After the performance, about three hundred seekers passed by me. Many showed most sincere devotion. About a hundred of them prostrated themselves at my feet, according to Indian tradition. They were not showing off; they did it with utmost sincerity.

For years and years we have been offering Peace Concerts here, there and everywhere. God knows how much light the seekers have actually received. But here some seekers definitely and wholeheartedly received peace, love and joy from me. So I was very happy and grateful.

— 19 March 1988

The organ Mozart played

When I was in Haarlem, Holland, for a television interview, I also played an organ that Mozart had played on when he was 16 years old or so. The keys were so difficult to press! That organ was harder than the hardest to play!

— 19 March 1988

You are very close to God!

After my television interview, a man from the Dutch radio station also wanted to interview me.

We were sitting face to face, and he was asking me many spiritual questions. At one point he stood up and came over to me and said, "There are some people who are very, very close to God, and I can see you are one of those."

— 19 March 1988

Three important meetings

For the first time, I met with the President and Prime Minister of a country and the head of their spiritual community, all in a matter of two hours. This happened in Iceland.

First I met with the Prime Minister for about ten minutes or so. He had agreed to meet with me because some Members of Parliament had requested it. But he did not know anything about me. He asked so many questions!

The room where we met was simplicity incarnate. Even the mayors' offices that I have been to are all decorated very gorgeously. But this room was simpler than the simplest.

— 19 March 1988

Heart-to-heart talk

Next I met with the President of Iceland. Her office was just next to the Prime Minister's. In the beginning she allowed the newspaper photographers and television people to take pictures, but then she asked everyone to leave. She knew all about me, and she wanted to have a very private talk, with no tape recorders or photographers. So we had a very soulful heart-to-heart talk for about half an hour.

We spoke about peace, and both of us understood one another. Towards the end she was telling me that she wants to lead a spiritual life like us, but right now it is simply impossible for her.

She is very simple, very kind-hearted, very intelligent and quite dynamic. She is also mature, tolerant and self-giving. I was extremely pleased with the interview.

— 19 March 1988

Such affection from the bishop!

The Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Reykjavik was so nice from the beginning to the end. He showed me such affection. We had an interview for over an hour.

At first he said he wanted a private interview and that nobody could accompany me. But then he changed his mind and invited all the disciples to come in.

He was begging everyone to drink tea or coffee and to eat the bread and cheese that he had provided. It was like a family gathering.

He could not understand why I do not drink tea or coffee, so I had to give a long explanation. Then, when he heard that I am a vegetarian, he had a volley of questions.

He knew all about prayer but had no idea what meditation is. He could not imagine how anybody could meditate without thought. So we had a long discussion about prayer and meditation.

I told him that when I was in India I used to meditate for six or seven hours at a time. He believed what I told him, but he said that it was impossible for him to keep his own mind quiet for more than a few minutes.

At the end we meditated for a minute or two and prayed with our heads down. Then he stood up and said, "You know, I am 86 years old." Then he placed his hands on my shoulders and pressed down on them with utmost affection! He was so sweet, so kind and so full of affection, love and wisdom!

— 19 March 1988

The Jefferson Memorial

When I went to Washington, D.C., I spent a long time inside the Jefferson Memorial. The design I liked so much, but the statue of Jefferson really disappointed me.

They showed him as a military man — with a heroic spirit. But his so-called outer heroism was nothing in comparison with his inner vision and wisdom-light. These were his main qualities. America loves dynamism, and the outer dynamism of a soldier this statue has. But the inner wisdom of a statesman or true world leader the statue does not show.

On the wall were some significant statements by Jefferson. Unfortunately, he came long before the world, especially America, was prepared for his beautiful and powerful wisdom-light. Always prophets come at least one minute before the world is able to appreciate them. When they are here, they are not accepted. They have such wisdom, but they are not taken seriously. Only afterwards does the world accept and appreciate them.

— 9 July 1988

I also need blessings

On our way to Hawaii, many disciples came to see us off and I gave out prasad. As soon as I passed the first security check, a lady came up to me and said, "I also need blessings from you."

Then Alo told her who I was. The lady said, "I know, I know. That's why I need blessings from him!"

— 14 September 1988

The lucky ones

Then a man recognised me and said, "Sri, Sri, Sri Chinmoy! Your disciples are so lucky!" He had a little mustache and was drinking coffee on the way to the plane.

I wanted to say that I was the lucky one, but it didn't come out. So I just said "Thank you."

— 14 September 1988