Q.: Has Your Holiness read Arthur Koestler’s banned book, The Lotus and the Robot?
H.H.: Yes. I read it before it was banned. Now it is my turn. Let me ask you a question. What do you think of this book?
“It is readable: that is all. But Koestler’s account of his meeting with you is moving,” I reply.
H.H.: Yes, he talks about the Christ’s smile, which is conspicuously non-existent in European art, but easy to discover on the faces of the Hindu sanyasins.
“It is, he says, particularly conspicuous,” I observe, “on the face of Your Holiness.”
H.H.: I thought he had no respect for Indian seekers of Truth.
“For you, however,” I reply, “he has nothing but praise. But the judgments of these European ignoramuses are often a case of hit or miss, where India and Indians are concerned. Your Holiness, what is all this rivalry between the Sringeri and the Kamakoti Peethams? I hear the other Swamiji is not on speaking terms with Your Holiness.”
His Holiness makes no comment. But there is a binding glow on his face. It is an epitome of his inner harmony and humanism.