Your sannyasins and lovers all around are concerned about your health. How are you now?
My health is good. They tried to harm me but they could not succeed for two reasons: one, the people they had appointed to harass me – to indirectly create situations in which I would be suffering – soon fell in love with me. They started saying to me, “This is something we cannot do.”
In one jail particularly, the sheriff of the jail, the doctor, the nurses and all the inmates – three hundred and sixty people…it almost became a commune. For six days I was there, and it changed the whole atmosphere of the jail.
The sheriff was an old man and he told me, “This is for the first time, and perhaps the last time, that a person like you will come into this jail. We have never felt so silent; even our criminals have never been so peaceful. And our whole staff has fallen in such love with you that they don’t want you to be released. They want you to be here.”
The head nurse said, “Tomorrow, we will be looking for you and we will miss you.” People are people. If you just have enough love, you can change their hearts very easily. So this was one of the reasons they could not harm me much.
The second reason was the freedom, the immense freedom of the press. The whole world press, except India, was focused on me. Every jail where I was, was puzzled about what has happened. Twenty-four hours a day there were telephone calls, thousands of telegrams, hundreds of flowers reaching from all parts of the world. “If so many people love this man, there must have been some mistake.”
And the press was continuously around every jail – in their helicopters with their cameras, cameras on the gate, cameras in the trees. They never left me for a single moment in twelve days. And just in my passing from one jail to another – at least I had to come out of the gate – even in those few moments they would ask me, “Are they harming you? Just one word from you and the whole world will see the real fascist face of America.” Afraid of the press, they could not do much.
So my health is perfectly good.
What is the best way to encourage people in meditation?
The first thing: for a patient to go to the doctor, you must make him realize that he is sick; otherwise there is no need to go to the doctor.