Thursday, May 10, 2007
I live in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. One fine evening after a light supper, I went out for a stroll. It was summer time and the gentle breeze only enhanced the lightness. After a few minutes, I came to a nearby temple called Sankata. It is a shrine for both Buddhists and Hindus. I sat down on the stone-steps of the temple and started watching passer-bys, a favorite pastime. Some were returning home after a day's work and some were simply out for a walk. I noticed a man coming in my direction. He sat down on the steps near me. He was quite an old man with many deep lines on his face. Unable to hold back my curiosity, I asked how old he was. He was ninety. He told me he had been a linguistics professor for thirty five years. We talked for quite a while about a few topics ranging from fine weather to current political scene. He was a sound old man for his age. A fine observer of things and people. We moved to deeper topics and talked about linguistics and metaphysics. He knew about Nagarjuna and Dialectics, Krishnamurti and Intelligence, Upanishads and AUM. He also talked about Socrates and Descartes, Kant and Hegel, Emerson and William James. He was a fascinating wise person. Before parting, I asked him one last question: What was the most important thing in his life of 90 years? Calmly in a slow voice, he replied, "The most important thing for me is not my academics or such, neither my wealth nor other legacies. I trust nothing, absolutely nothing but my intuition. Intuition is my God. It is everything to me. The rest is non-existent, substanceless."
I have not heard more important words uttered since.