AND WHAT IS FEAR OF NEED BUT NEED ITSELF?
Almustafa is entering into the world of man, and particularly the man who is rich. Before I say something about his magnificent statements, a few remarks are absolutely necessary.
Life up to now has been corrupted by ambition. There is no other poison which is more potent than ambition because it kills you and yet keeps you breathing. Ambition turns you into vegetables, and the lure of ambition is given to every child with the mother's milk. From the very first moment, his whole life is being based on principles of destructiveness. Nothing destroys more than ambitiousness.
You have all been told - by the parents, by the teachers, by the priests, by the neighbors, by all these so-called well-wishers - that you have to become somebody special, important, powerful.
And money gives more power than anything else, because even the politicians are commodities in the market - you can purchase them.
In fact, every politician is sold into the hands of the super-rich. But the super-rich is the poorest person on the earth. He has succeeded in being important, in being powerful, but he has lost his soul. Inside, there is just emptiness and darkness.
Why does it happen? What is the mechanism of its happening?
Ambition is a ladder, and you always see somebody ahead of you. It is competitive. Your whole mind is continuously thinking of ways and means, right or wrong, to reach higher than others. And if you are cunning enough, you may succeed, but in the world of ambition, success is the ultimate failure. But one becomes alert and aware about the failure only when he has reached the last rung of the ladder. He has wasted his whole life in search of being higher than others, holier than others, richer than others. And now, his desire is fulfilled.
Cursed are those people who reach to the final stage of their ambition. This ambition has been their dream day and night - and it is not easy, because everybody else is also trying for the same success. But by the time you have reached the last rung of the ladder, you are in for a great surprise and a shock because there is no longer anywhere to go and your whole training in life has been just to compete, to fight. It is no ordinary competition, it is cutthroat; it does not matter how many people you destroy. Your eyes are fixed on a faraway fulfillment.
You have heard the saying - it must have been created by the idiots - that "Nothing succeeds like success." It is not the saying of a man who has really succeeded. Because I say to you: Nothing fails like success. You have reached the goal but your whole life has slipped by. There was no time for anything - not even to breathe properly, not even to smile, not even to love. What kind of life have you lived? It was like a robot, mechanical, and now that you have arrived at the desired goal there is tremendous frustration in your being, because nothing is there.
But very few have been courageous enough to say that it is a strategy of the society to keep people away from living. The whole society is against life, against love, against songs, against dances.
Trees are far happier, flowers are more joyous. Those who are sensitive can even hear the sermons in the stones... but these are not the people who are after some goal, because the goal is always tomorrow. Meanwhile, you are miserable. Who knows whether you are going to succeed or not?
You have staked your whole life for success, but even if you have all the wealth of the world, you cannot eat it. It cannot be a nourishment to your life and your spirit. On the contrary, it has made you a rich beggar, surrounded by riches but at the very center of your being there is just a begging bowl.
I am reminded of a small story, very ancient. A king, a great king has come out of the palace just to have a little walk in his beautiful, vast garden. As he is stepping out, he faces a beggar with a begging bowl. And the beggar says, "I am fortunate to find you directly. Otherwise... I have been waiting for months for an appointment, but who cares to give an appointment for a beggar?"
The king said, "What do you want?"
He said, "My longing is not for much. Just this small begging bowl - fill it with anything that you think, as a great king, is worthy of you. Don't think about my worth, I am a worthless beggar. Think about yourself - fill it with something that you think you are worthy of."
The king had never seen such a beggar - who is not asking because he is hungry, because he is thirsty, because he has nothing to live on. On the contrary, he is saying, "Think about yourself. Your gift should have the signature of a great king... anything will do."
This was a great challenge, and the king called his prime minister. Before he could say anything to the prime minister, the beggar said, "But remember one thing, one condition: the bowl has to be filled completely."
The king said, "Don't be worried. I have so much, such a vast empire, and your begging bowl is so small. Are you worried that I cannot fill it completely with something?" And just to show the beggar, he told the prime minister that, "Fill his bowl with diamonds, rubies, emeralds - the most precious stones - so that he will remember for his whole life that he has met with an emperor."
There was no problem because the king's palace was full of diamonds and all kinds of precious stones. But immediately there was a problem: the prime minister filled the begging bowl, but the moment anything went into the bowl, it disappeared. The question of filling it completely seemed to be impossible.
But the king was also adamant, an egoist, a conqueror of many lands. He said, "Even if my whole empire is needed, I have given my word and it has to be fulfilled."
Slowly slowly, all the precious stones disappeared. Then gold, then silver... but they went on disappearing. By the evening, the king himself was a beggar, and the bowl was as empty as it had been in the morning.
The beggar said, "I am amazed. Such a great emperor and you cannot fill a poor beggar's bowl?"
People had been watching the whole day, the rumor spread all over the country. The whole capital had gathered. People from faraway places had rushed to see. The king fell at the feet of the beggar and asked, "I have failed to fulfill my promise; forgive me. But I will think that you have forgiven me only if you tell me the secret of your begging bowl, where the whole empire has disappeared. All my wealth - where has it gone? Is it a magic bowl? Are you a magician?"
The poor beggar laughed. He said, "No, I am not a magician. By accident, because I don't have any money even to purchase a begging bowl, I found this skull of some dead man. I polished it, cut it in the shape of a begging bowl. The secret is, man's skull is so small... but even the greatest empire is not going to fill it. It will go on asking for more. I am not a magician, the magic is in the human head. And because of this bowl, I have been hungry for days. Everything disappears and the desire remains the same."
When a man reaches the highest rung of the ladder, his whole life is gone. and what does he find there? Nothing - but it needs courage to say it to the others who are behind him, struggling to reach the top.
Gautam Buddha renounced his kingdom, not without reason. Mahavira renounced his kingdom, not without reason. The twenty-four teerthankaras, the great masters of the Jainas, all renounced kingdoms. They cannot all be mad. But they have seen the reality: their fathers were successful, but successful only in the eyes of others. Others could not see inside them. Inside, they were still beggars, bigger beggars than when they started this journey of ambition. There comes a point when you start feeling that your whole educational system, that your well-intentioned parents, have all been fast asleep.
And there is no way of going back; there is no way of having your youth again. There is no way to let the flowers of love grow in you - you have become dry and hard and dead, because the competition is tough and to be successful you have to be tough. That toughness destroys all your beautiful values - love, joy, ecstasy. You never think of meditation. Money is your only meditation.
The first question comes from a rich man:
THEN SAID A RICH MAN, SPEAK TO US OF GIVING.
He's asking: "I have struggled and destroyed myself in getting more and more and now I see that my life began from the very beginning on the wrong track. Please, speak to us of giving.
"I don't want to get anything more. This whole stupid idea of getting and getting, more and more, has been suicidal. Perhaps by giving I may start feeling a little more alive again. Perhaps a breeze of love may enter into my dark soul, perhaps a ray of light. Getting and getting I have tried - teach me about giving; perhaps that is the right way."
The people in the East who renounce the whole world have inherited a wisdom of centuries: If you want a dance in your heart and peace in your soul; if you want to become more conscious and awake, give it all. It was not against the world. as so-called religious teachers of all religions go on teaching people. They do not understand the basic psychology of it. They have seen the great masters renouncing everything, all their possessions, and they have logically concluded that perhaps there is a secret in renouncing. So for centuries they have been teaching against riches, against life, against the world. The ultimate result you can see in the East. It has become poorer and poorer, because if you are going to renounce, then what is the point of collecting first? The East has become a beggar.
But I say unto you: Unless you have, how can you renounce?
So Mahavira was immensely blissful, Gautam Buddha was in constant ecstasy - but don't think that a beggar who has nothing to renounce outwardly... he may look like a religious person, but deep down those desires for more - for pleasure, for being special - will go on lurking in the darkness.
Gautam Buddha and the people of his type were not wrong. But seeing their joy, their peace, their serenity, an absolutely wrong conclusion has been derived by the scholars, the priests. They go on teaching anti-life values.
This is a simple arithmetic: you can renounce only if you have it. If you don't have it... apparently both persons look alike - one has renounced, one does not have it - both are in the same situation, but not in the same psychology, not in the same spiritual space. Hence, I have been misunderstood all over the world, because I have been teaching people: first have. And then if you are intelligent, you are bound to renounce it.
Religion is not for the poor. The poor can pretend to be religious but inside, all those desires for more go on growing. He talks about renouncing but he knows nothing of renunciation. Renunciation is a second step.
Rejoicing is the first step. Religion happens only to those who have come to the point where they can see that their desires are absurd, they lead nowhere. It has to be your own experience. In that very experience, the psychology of possessiveness disappears; then there is beauty.
Twenty-five centuries have passed and the East has not been able to produce another Buddha.
Why? - a tremendously misunderstood logic. The rich man - and only a rich man - can ask, "Teach us of giving." A poor man can only ask, "Teach us of getting." In other words, as long as you are asking for more and more, you are poor.
The day the awakening happens to you that this insane idea of getting more and more is not leading you anywhere and your life is slipping out of your hands, then only the question has an authenticity:
speak to us of giving.
AND HE ANSWERED:
YOU GIVE BUT LITTLE WHEN YOU GIVE OF YOUR POSSESSIONS.
The words of Kahlil Gibran should be written in pure gold. If you are thinking of giving your possessions, there is not going to be a revolution in your life. Think of giving up your very desire for possessiveness. Possessions are not a problem: you can live in a palace, the palace is not going to disturb you. The palace is not even aware of you. The problem is that "It is my palace!" That possessiveness has to be given up; whether you give up the palace or not is irrelevant.
YOU GIVE BUT LITTLE WHEN YOU GIVE OF YOUR POSSESSIONS.
IT IS WHEN YOU GIVE OF YOURSELF THAT YOU TRULY GIVE.
Ambition is the way of the ego. It makes you more and more yourself.
It happened: The first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, had gone to the West for a Commonwealth meeting. His number two in the cabinet was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was given the number two position not because of any special quality, but because he had political power in his hands. Mohammedans had divided into two parts: the majority was following Muhammadali Jinnah and asking for a separate land, Pakistan. Maulana Azad remained with the Nationalist Congress, and because of his religious scholarship - a maulana is the highest degree as far as Mohammedans are concerned - and because of him, a great number of Mohammedans were not following Muhammadali Jinnah.
Maulana Azad was a great orator, but he knew only Urdu, Arabic. And it is a strange craziness of human beings - the thing that you cannot understand, you think must be of a very high order. All the priests of the world have tried that. The rabbi will speak in Hebrew and the Jews are impressed, although they do not understand anything of it. Translated, it is rubbish. I always have the feeling that the word "rubbish" must have come from "rabbi," I cannot find any other source. The Hindu pundit will speak in Sanskrit. Neither do you know what it means nor perhaps does he know what he is repeating, because translated, it looks so stupid.
All religious teachers have been against their scriptures being translated because once they are translated into the languages which people understand, the power of the priest is gone. If you listen to a Hindu priest reciting from the VEDAS, you will be impressed, but look into the translations and you will feel as if you have awakened from a sleep. Perhaps two percent of the sentences in all the four VEDAS are significant. Ninety-eight percent are simply crap. And the same is the situation with Buddhism, Jainism and other religions.
Maulana was highly respected, and because of him, India is still the largest Mohammedan country in the world, even after the partition of Pakistan. No other country has as great a number of Mohammedans as India has. Certainly, his power over Mohammedans was great. But he himself was as stupid as every priest needs to be.
He was put second, and he was very much annoyed; he wanted to be the prime minister of India. It was so difficult to convince him - "It will look very awkward that the country is being divided in two parts because Hindus and Mohammedans don't want to live together, and then both countries have a Mohammedan prime minister? And Hindus will not tolerate it either. You have taken a large part of the country in the name of religion; now leave Hindustan for those who are in the majority - the Hindus."
He became - reluctantly - ready to be number two because he knew that in Pakistan he would not even be anywhere. At least here he is number two. But the desire to be the prime minister of the country was such that when Jawaharlal went away, he immediately ordered Jawaharlal's chauffeur:
"Now, as long as Jawaharlal is outside the country, I am the prime minister. I am number two in the cabinet - acting prime minister." So the prime minister's car with the prime minister's bodyguards, with the prime minister's flag on the car... other cars ahead, a few other cars behind... the whole prime minister's show - and one day he managed it.
Other cabinet ministers suggested to him, "There is no such thing as acting prime minister because the prime minister is not the formal head of the government. If the president goes out, then the vice-president becomes acting president for the time being, but the prime minister remains prime minister wherever he is. In no country's constitution is there a provision for an acting prime minister.
So it is stupid, don't do it."
But he was not ready to listen. Jawaharlal was informed in London. Immediately, he phoned to Maulana to say, "Don't do such a stupidity, the whole world will laugh. Such a thing does not happen.
If you are acting prime minister, then what am I doing here in the prime minister's conference? And the president, who is the nominal head of the country is there. Just go back to your own bungalow and behave intelligently."
But it is very difficult to behave intelligently if your unconscious mind is filled with desires, with ambitions.
A Gautam Buddha is empty of any ambitions. He has seen the show. But because twenty-four teerthankaras of the Jainas, Gautam Buddha, the Hindu reincarnations of God - Rama, Krishna - were all coming from royal families, the richest in the country, it proved a calamity to the whole land.
People became poverty-worshippers. If the East is poor, this misunderstanding is the reason. And for centuries, they were conditioned with this stupid logic.
So I say that to be really religious you should live totally and intensely the life of the world, so that you can see one day that it is just a dream. When it is your OWN understanding that it is just a dream - futile, meaningless - the very desire to possess will disappear. You will not ask about giving, because in giving, there is still the ego and ignorance present. Who are you to give?
Almustafa is pointing to a very significant fact:
LITTLE YOU GIVE IF YOU GIVE OF YOUR POSSESSIONS. IT IS WHEN YOU GIVE OF YOURSELF THAT YOU TRULY GIVE.
The moment you are non-possessive, the ego disappears. You have given yourself.
FOR WHAT ARE YOUR POSSESSIONS BUT THINGS YOU KEEP AND GUARD FOR FEAR YOU MAY NEED THEM TOMORROW?
All possessiveness - "this is mine, that is mine" - is rooted in your fear, because what about tomorrow? If you don't cling to possessions, tomorrow you may be in difficulty.
AND TOMORROW, WHAT SHALL TOMORROW BRING TO THE OVER-PRUDENT DOG BURYING BONES IN THE TRACKLESS SAND AS HE FOLLOWS THE PILGRIMS TO THE HOLY CITY?
The same is the situation of all those who cling to their possessions. A dog following the pilgrims hides bones in the sand, without being aware that tomorrow he will not be able to find them because the pilgrims, the caravan will have moved and he's moving with the caravan.
Today is enough unto itself.
And tomorrow will take care of itself.
This is trust - not believing in this god, in that god, in this holy book, in that holy book.
The day the police commissioner sent his people here, unauthorized - they entered into my bedroom. I was asleep. I had reached here nearabout four in the night. It was still dark and half-asleep, I could not figure out - what is all this noise going on? because they were forcing their way, violently.
My people were saying, "He has come late, he's asleep. And what is the reason to see him? His powers of attorney are with Neelam; his legal advisor, Tathagat, is present. If there is anything, it can be settled. Don't disturb him. And you don't have any search warrant, you cannot enter a private bedroom."
But power is blind. They forced their way violently into my room. Hearing the noise, I could not believe - since when have ghosts started dressing like policemen? I had to rub my eyes to see exactly what was going on. These are ugly days.
I had no idea that they were serving a notice to me, because they simply threw a piece of paper over me in the darkness of early morning. Only later on I came to know that it was a notice for me to leave the city in thirty minutes, from the police commissioner. A police commissioner is just a servant of the people - they started phoning him again and again, and the same reply: "He is in worship." I wonder what kind of worship he does? because all worship is stupid, and particularly in this country.
Perhaps he may be worshipping the elephant god, Ganesh. And do you know how Ganesh came into existence? A man with an elephant's head - with such a big belly, as if he is pregnant - riding on a poor mouse. The mouse must have been dead long centuries ago, the day he was caught by Ganesh as his vehicle.
And how was Ganesh created? It is not only Christians who are foolish in saying that Jesus was born of a virgin Mary.... It is absolutely unscientific; it is not possible. Without a man, the woman alone cannot give birth to a child. But Ganesh's story is even more outlandish. Shiva, the father of Ganesh, was out. And Parvati, the mother of Ganesh, was taking a bath. Rubbing her body, she collected so much dust... it seems Parvati took only one bath in her whole life, because to make with that dust a statue of Ganesh with such a big belly, the woman must have been covered with layers of dust. And it is certain that she never had another son - simple logic, that she never took another bath again.
This Ganesh is the most-loved god in this part of India. And when she saw that she had made a beautiful statue out of all the dust collected from the bath.... In the first place, one wonders what kind of woman this Parvati was. And then by her divine powers, she made the statue alive. And because she was still cleaning herself, she told Ganesh: "You sit outside and don't allow anybody to come in."
Shiva came back. Ganesh had no idea that he was his father, so he stopped him. And just think of these gods - just because of being stopped, he became so angry that he cut off the head of Ganesh. Parvati came running - "What have you done? This was our son!"
So he rushed around to find out... they lived in the Himalayas. The head could have rolled down thousands of feet, and it was just mud. Finding nothing, he came across an elephant so he cut off the head of the elephant. He glued it.
And Ganesh is the most-loved god in this part of the country. Most probably, this police commissioner was worshipping Ganesh. He can worship such a stupid idea but in the notice, he cannot write my full name. He writes, "Dearest Rajneesh" - just to avoid "Osho."
Nowhere... I have been around the world - no magistrate, no judge, no police officer has been so discourteous. They have all addressed me the way my people address me. But in my own country, where all kinds of stupidities and idiotic ideas are worshipped as "Osho".... Ganesh is the most important one. Whenever you start a new thing, the first thing is to remember Ganesh - Shree Ganesh Namah. And nobody bothers - who is this fellow? And how is it possible?
And he orders me not to criticize any religion. It must be his own fear: if I come to know what kind of god he is worshipping and what kind of holy book he believes in, I will criticize both and destroy them both. And I am ready to argue with him - these fictitious stories, not even reasonable... and people are worshipping.
The real religious person does not worship, he trusts in existence. Worship is a poor, plastic substitute. He trusts in existence: he knows, "If existence has taken care of me today, tomorrow will also be the same. It will come as today, and if existence needs me, it will take care of me." This is real giving.
AND WHAT IS FEAR OF NEED BUT NEED ITSELF?
IS NOT DREAD OF THIRST WHEN YOUR WELL IS FULL, THE THIRST THAT IS UNQUENCHABLE?
THERE ARE THOSE WHO GIVE LITTLE OF THE MUCH WHICH THEY HAVE - AND THEY GIVE IT FOR RECOGNITION AND THEIR HIDDEN DESIRE...
All the religions have exploited your hidden desires.
I was participating in a religious conference in Prayag. I heard one shankaracharya speaking to thousands of people, saying, "If you give one rupee in donation, in the other world you will get one thousand rupees." A good bargain! Good business! But all Hindu scriptures are full of such promises - "Give a little here and you will get much as a reward in heaven."
This is not trust. This is not getting rid of your mad desire for possessions. Here, you are giving one rupee - people will see: this man is a very religious man, he gave one rupee to a beggar. But they don't know his hidden desire. He is giving it as a guarantee so that he can get one thousand rupees after death. He is depositing in God's bank. But the interest rate seems to be absolutely absurd!
People give just a little to make sure that in the other world they will get much. And in this world, they will get recognition, respectability; people will think of them as religious people.
One of the successors of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, went around the country asking people to donate land, just one-sixth of their land to the poor. And he was given millions of acres of land in donation for the poor. Only later on it was discovered that almost all of that land was useless, unfertile. But those people got recognition, got seats in the assemblies and the parliament. Not only did they give the rotten land which had no use, they simply said it; actually they never gave it. It has not been transferred to the poor. And what is the poor man going to do with that land? It has no value at all. But this is the way man's ego has invented to get recognition, respectability, honor.
... THEY GIVE IT FOR RECOGNITION AND THEIR HIDDEN DESIRE MAKES THEIR GIFTS UNWHOLESOME.
Kahlil Gibran is truly a religious man with a sincerity, authenticity which is rare. He is saying, "These gifts are not religious. They are unwholesome."
AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE LITTLE AND GIVE IT ALL. THESE ARE THE BELIEVERS IN LIFE AND THE BOUNTY OF LIFE, AND THEIR COFFER IS NEVER EMPTY.
These are the people who trust. If God or existence or whatever name you give it, can give you life...
its bounty, its abundance will be always available to those who trust.
When I left and resigned from the university, naturally my father was very much concerned. He came rushing from the village which was one hundred and twenty miles away from the university and asked me, "Have you thought of tomorrow? Have you thought of sickness? Have you thought of old age?"
I said, "I never thought of my birth, I never thought of my youth. The same source of life that has taken care, will take care. And if I am not needed, then there is no need to care for me; then I should be removed and a place should be made available for someone who is needed. Don't be worried."
But it is very difficult. He could not convince me, but he did whatever he could. I told him, "Remember, I will not take a single rupee in inheritance from you. You have given me enough - your love, the freedom that you have given me is rare." But a father is a father. He immediately went home and transferred much property into my name, without informing me, because he knew that I was not going to accept it. I came to know about it only when he died. Taxes have to be paid on the property, and for the first time I received a letter saying that "You are not paying taxes."
I said, "Have I to pay taxes on my body? Even my clothes don't belong to me. Nothing belongs to me; I don't possess anything, they have come to me from my sannyasins. And I never accept them forever. I accept them only to use - they can take them back any time, they are theirs. I don't use the watch twenty-four hours a day - only for the lecture time, because I don't have any sense of time. I may go on speaking... and once in a while, when I forget to look at the watch, I do go on speaking.
My people have asked, "Should we give you some indication?" I have told them, "Never do such a thing, because I don't like any interference."
I told my father, "I trust existence." And I have proved that existence has taken care of me better than I could have managed myself.
THERE ARE THOSE WHO GIVE WITH JOY, AND THAT JOY IS THEIR REWARD.
All the religions have been lying to you - and the police commissioner says to me that I should not criticize any religion. They have lied to you. They say that if you give here, you will be rewarded in heaven. Neither do they have any evidence of heaven nor do they have any evidence from millions of people who have gone before - just a single letter, a postcard - that "Yes, what these priests are saying is right."
All that money that you give goes to the priests. But the desire to be rewarded blinds you to a simple truth: In the very giving, you feel so joyful... what more reward is needed?
This is one of the principles I insist on most: that each act comes with either its reward or with its punishment. There is no need of any God who is twenty-four hours noting things into his books about millions of people of this earth... and scientists say there are at least fifty thousand planets where life exists.
Have mercy on poor God, don't burden him unnecessarily. Life has an autonomous mechanism of its own. Your very act is either a reward or a punishment. And that can give you the criterion, too:
if it is a reward, it is right; if it is a punishment, it is wrong. If it is a reward, it is virtue; if it is a punishment, it is sin. There is no need to go to anybody to ask. Each act, twenty-four hours a day, is teaching you.
THERE ARE THOSE WHO GIVE WITH JOY, AND THAT JOY IS THEIR REWARD.
AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO GIVE WITH PAIN, AND THAT PAIN IS THEIR BAPTISM.
This is so beautiful of Kahlil Gibran, that even pain becomes a religious transformation. Even if you give not with joy but with pain, that pain will purify you. That pain is a fire, it will burn all that is wrong in you. You will come out of it more sincere, more human, more religious. This is the meaning of baptism, not the baptism of the Christian priests.
And I am going to criticize it - dropping a little water on small babies' heads is not baptism, it is simply foolishness.
I have heard a story. One great bishop lived opposite a great rabbi, and naturally there was continuous competition. Even in religious people, the same thing continues.
One day the rabbi came out in the morning and saw that in the bishop's garage there was sitting a beautiful Chevrolet, the latest model. And the bishop came out and sprinkled water on it. The rabbi could not resist his temptation - what is this idiot doing? He went and asked, "Dear sir, what are you doing?"
The bishop said, "Baptism; now the car is Christian."
The rabbi was very much offended by the new Chevrolet, but a rabbi is a Jew, intelligent as far as money is concerned. He managed that night to collect enough money to purchase a beautiful Lincoln Continental, a much higher-class car than the Chevrolet. The Chevrolet in America is the poor man's car. The Lincoln Continental is their best car - the rich man's car.
The bishop saw it from his house. He said, "My god, this rabbi is something!"
He went to the rabbi's house and asked, "Whose car is this?"
The rabbi said, "Whose? I have purchased it. It is the latest model Lincoln Continental."
And the bishop said, "What are you doing?" With garden scissors he was cutting the exhaust pipe.
He said, "I am doing the circumcision; now it is a Jew."
And these idiots are not only in stories, they are realities spread all over the world.
A real baptism is the fire through which you pass, the pain through which you pass. You don't escape it. You still trust in existence: if it gives you pain there must be some reason in it, something in your heart has to be burned so that you can become pure.
AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO GIVE AND KNOW NOT PAIN IN GIVING, NOR DO THEY SEEK JOY...
These are the purest, the most religious.
... NOR GIVE WITH MINDFULNESS OF VIRTUE.
They don't give because giving is taught by every religion as virtue.
THEY GIVE AS IN YONDER VALLEY THE MYRTLE BREATHES ITS FRAGRANCE INTO SPACE.
They give just like flowers give their fragrance to the winds, to take it wherever the wind is going.
They never come to know to whom they have given. They are not concerned. They simply give out of their love, for no reward, for no virtue. These are the highest givers. They are not even aware of giving.
THROUGH THE HANDS OF SUCH AS THESE GOD SPEAKS, AND FROM BEHIND THEIR EYES HE SMILES....
They have become one with existence. Their hands are God's hands and their eyes are God's eyes....
THROUGH THE HANDS OF SUCH AS THESE GOD SPEAKS, AND FROM BEHIND THEIR EYES HE SMILES UPON THE EARTH.
These are the highest peaks of consciousness, beauty, love. Everybody has the potential to become the hands of God, the eyes of God. And unless you become that, you have missed the very point of your life.
IT IS WELL TO GIVE WHEN ASKED, BUT IT IS BETTER TO GIVE UNASKED, THROUGH UNDERSTANDING.
Why humiliate a person and force him to ask? That is ugly. When you see that some need exists and you are able to fulfill it through your own understanding, fulfill it.
When I was a student in the university, I used to receive two hundred rupees per month from someone, I knew not who. I had tried every way to find out who the person was. On the first day of each month, the money order was there but there was no name, no address. Only when the person died... and he was no one other than the founder of the university in which I was a student.
I went to his home. His wife said, "I am worried - not because my husband has died; everybody has to die. My concern is, from where am I going to get two hundred rupees to send you?"
I said, "My god, your husband has been sending it? I never asked, and there was no need because I am getting a scholarship from the university, free lodging, free boarding - everything free."
The wife said, "I also asked him many times: Why do you go on sending two hundred rupees to him? And he said, ???He needs it. He loves books but he has no money for books. And his need for books is greater than his need for food."'
But he was a rare man. In his whole life, whatever he earned he donated to create the university in his town.
India has almost one thousand universities. I have seen many. His university is small; it is a small place. But his university is the most beautiful - on a hilltop surrounded by great trees, and below it such a big lake full of lotus flowers... the lake is so big that you cannot see the other shore. And I came to know that he had given everything to the university. Nobody was asking, nobody was even expecting that in that small place there would be a great university.
He was a world-known legal expert. He had offices in London, in New Delhi, in Peking; he was continuously on the move.
I had asked him, "Why have you chosen this place?"
He said, "I have gone all over the world and I have never seen such a beautiful small hill, with big trees, with such a beautiful lake, with so many lotuses...." The whole lake is covered with flowers and lotus leaves. In the early morning, on all the lotus petals... dewdrops gather in the night... in the morning you can see - that lake is the richest in the world because each dewdrop shines like a diamond.
He had taken me around the place and he said, "It is not a question of my town, it is a question of the beauty of this place."
But I had never imagined that he would be sending me two hundred rupees per month, unsigned.
So I cannot even send him a thank you note.
IT IS WELL TO GIVE WHEN ASKED, BUT IT IS BETTER TO GIVE UNASKED, THROUGH UNDERSTANDING; AND TO THE OPEN-HANDED THE SEARCH FOR ONE WHO SHALL RECEIVE IS JOY GREATER THAN GIVING.
What can we give? Everything is mundane.
Almustafa is right when he says that the true giver is not concerned to attain some joy by giving. His joy is in searching for someone to whom he can give - who is receptive, who is open, who will not feel offended.
AND IS THERE AUGHT YOU WOULD WITHHOLD?
ALL YOU HAVE SHALL SOME DAY BE GIVEN; THEREFORE GIVE NOW...
Death will take everything away. Hence, never be worried about giving. Life has given to you, life will take it away. Why miss the chance of the joy of giving? Why miss the chance of becoming the hands of God, and the eyes of God?
... THAT THE SEASON OF GIVING MAY BE YOURS AND NOT YOUR INHERITORS'.
People collect for their inheritors. This is wrong for two reasons: one, you miss the chance of giving; secondly, whoever is going to inherit your money will miss the chance of earning it himself. You have destroyed two persons - yourself and your children.