One was a book I read by Mahatma Gandhi. In it was a passage where he said that religion, the pursuing of the inner journey, should not be separated from the pursuing of the outer and social journey, because we are not isolated beings.
If you can kill animals, the same attitude can kill human beings. The mentality is the same which exploits nature and which creates wars.
If we remove ourselves from the world, we are pretending that we can follow our own individual enlightenment and let the rest of the world go to hell, so to speak.
So, at the age of nine, I became a monk, and from then on I was there practicing that kind of nonviolence.
I grew with it, and I used to go to see the monks, who had no possessions, even more extreme than my mother.
Kennedy had been assassinated a month or so before. So we walked to the grave of John Kennedy and ended our walking symbolically at the Arlington National Cemetery.
I and a friend of mine called Mannon talked together, and we both decided to walk this journey.
I was pursuing the inner path at the expense of the rest of my being and the rest of the world.
Monks will have three begging bowls for their food: one for water, one for liquid food, one for dry food.
This gives us more time to attend the inner need.
With slight risk of exaggeration you could say that he walked almost every mile of the Indian land.
It became extremely important that we go and see the four heads of the governments, and the message was delivered, with the tea packets, to all these heads.
That was my childhood. I grew up with the monks, studying Sanskrit and meditating for hours in the morning and hours in the evening, and going once a day to beg for food.
We then came to the Soviet Union. One day we were walking and carrying our banner and distributing a few leaflets in Russian to people, and we met two women on the road.
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