Some days ago I already mentioned that many people over the course of time have come to me with the expectation that I have some supernatural powers that make me special. I also told that when they realized that I do not even support the idea of Siddhis, they often left.
I have seen many people come and go in my life. Many people were supporting us and our projects for a long time. I have of course changed with time, also that I have described extensively in my diary. With all those changes in my life, I have left religion behind. Many of those people who gave their support because of religion stopped it completely when they got to know I don’t see myself as a Hindu anymore and I am neither a religious preacher nor a guru.
The fact that these people stopped their support is interesting in itself. Think about it: they gave support not to me as a person, not for my private enjoyment, but for a charitable cause. With their support children could eat and go to school. I did not have any argument with them, there was no fight or discussion, I just changed my personal opinion. This change however made them decide to stop their support for needy children in India. How come? Are those children now less needy because I am not religious anymore?
It means that they saw it as a religious donation, not a charitable donation! They obviously did not do it for the children and to help them get food and education but for their own benefit, for their own good Karma. They gave because they believed me to be religious and it is good for one’s Karma to support religious projects and religious people. Now that I am not religious anymore, it doesn’t bring them anything to give their support. This is why they stopped.
When some people got to know that I was not a guru and preacher anymore, they left me completely and immediately. Some others retreated a little bit and were from then on not as close anymore as they had been before when I was still a religious person. When we did not have our school yet, many people gave me donations just for myself as a preacher. They gave ten times more than one child would need for a full year of food and education but they gave it for me, not for any of the children. With some of these people I still have contact from time to time but as I already said, they never wanted to support a charity project. They wanted to support themselves and secure a seat in heaven by giving to a preacher. They were giving to a guru and now the guru said he is not a guru anymore. I don’t need help for myself, the children need help!
I have actually seen a lot of people retreating from me and leaving me because the biggest part of my contacts was religious people. I got a lot of support from these people in earlier times but when I left religion, they left me and with them I lost their support, too. I know many of them still have some interest, follow the diary and read what we are doing but when I meet them, they pretend as if they don’t know anything about our charity. This has encouraged me and us to work harder on establishing a business as well so that we can support ourselves and keep our charity running without depending only on donations from outside.
In this way I lost some friends on my way, too, because of the changes that happened in my life. There are others however who have remained, who have seen the change come, who have come along on the way and remained friends and supporters. New friends joined who were happy to give their support. When I say support, I am not only talking about financial support but also about support through love. I am very thankful that I have some friends for a long time who have made this journey with me. Their love was not bound to my personal belief. They changed over the years and I changed, too. We shared our thoughts with each other and could always accept and love the other one as he was. These friends are spread in different parts of the world. Some of them I get to meet more often than others.
Thomas and Iris are two of those friends whom we meet a lot throughout the year, in Germany and in India and we are happy to see them every time. We are enjoying the time with them at the Ashram at the moment.