I am going to give three Wild Goose names now, spiritual names, to people. They are numbers 5861, 5862, 5863 (laughter) – stretching back thirty years now. I think – one day this week it is the thirtieth anniversary of the birth of the Wild Goose Company, in Switzerland, and names started to happen soon after that. But even the people who get their names now, actually it still dates back to that time. The train has been running and you have just now caught the train – this is how it works in life.
I am a great believer in spiritual destiny: so here is the train, thirty years ago, the Wild Goose train: “Puff-puff-puff.” No, not: “Puff-puff-puff,” but: “Whoosh!” It comes like this, you see (shows with his hands), and this person has never heard about the Wild Goose Company, and is dancing here and moving here, going backwards now, and forward: “Dada-dada-dada didi-didi-didi…” Then “Boing!” You see? So when I say that the people who are joining the Wild Goose Company now were there in a way when it started thirty years ago, it reminds me of a story.
When I was in Poona I had a motorbike, an old motorbike, and one day I went to a nearby village to Poona with an American girl to have a beer or two. We were driving back towards the ashram, and suddenly we saw a guy running across the fields – it was all fields, there were no houses around – and this guy was running. We were going on the bike here like this, and he was running here, and I thought: “Oh!” So I slowed down and he slowed down, and then I went faster and then he went faster. It was like this: “Boing!” and I hit him. Yes, I did. I hit him, and he collapsed on the ground. The motorbike fell over, of course, and the exhaust pipe narrowly missed my leg and my girlfriend’s leg. I got up, went to this guy, then I looked at this girl and said: “I think he’s dead.” But he wasn’t.
Within three or four minutes there were two hundred, three hundred Indians gathered around and they held on to me. They wouldn’t let me go. It turned out that he wasn’t dead, but still they held me. Then this girlfriend of mine started to beat these people holding me with our umbrella, saying: “Can’t you see this man needs to go to hospital!?” – I had a small injury, you know – “Get away, get away!” And of course the Indians and women… Well, recently it has changed a bit, they are raping women, but in those days somehow the women… So somehow they just eased off enough for me to get on the motorbike, and then the girl jumped on too and off we went, except I couldn’t get out of first gear, so: “Rrrrr,” and they were all running after me, but “rrrr,” and we slowly got away and got back to the ashram. But of course they found us.
It turned out – my luck – that the guy was drunk. You see, in India the hierarchy is that the pedestrian is the winner, then come the cyclists, then the car drivers and then the lorries – and then come the aeroplanes, I suppose – and whoever is on the lower ring gets the verdict. We are all supposed to take care of those weaker than us, you know? So immediately the motorbike hits the pedestrian they are not interested in anything else, but the driver or rider of the motorbike or the car has to support the family for as long as the guy is off work or whatever, or if he dies then of course it is a very expensive business. But he was drunk, and because he was drunk it meant that I was fairly innocent, but it took a while to sort it out, various lawyers and so on.
Anyway, the whole point of the story was that this was going to happen: no matter what I did on the motorbike – even stop, then he would have stopped – somehow it was ourdestiny to meet on that road and knock him over. So these people here, for the last thirty years you have all had the destiny to meet me here in Munich this afternoon and get a Wild Goose name. So… thank you for not resisting too much – only thirty years.(Laughter).
22nd of June 2014
6th in the series ‘Lamps Alight’