Divinity Does Everything Selflessly
Gautama gives one sutra where he says, “It is hard to understand that by giving away your own food to somebody else and starving, you become stronger, not weaker.” How can you give away your food and be stronger?
Giving away things which are plentiful to you is not it. Giving away what one needs most, one’s very sustenance itself, is what leads you closer to the Divine. A monk is hungry most of the time. He begs for his food only once a day. Some day somebody may give a little. Another day he might get much less. Whatever he gets, the practice was that he begged only at one house per day and there would be times where he would get nothing. Over a period of time, they relaxed this ‘one house’ rule and extended it to three houses because people became more and more cautious with their giving. So monks are constantly hungry, and Gautama is saying that if you give away your own food, you become stronger, not weaker. This is hard to understand, but it is true. It is really true.
There is a very wonderful true story, which happened during World War II in Auschwitz, the ill-famed German concentration camp. Every day numbers were called out, and people were led to the extermination area, because the camp became full. Numbers were called at random, or the weak and the old who could not work were chosen. If your number was called today, you were going to your death. You were going to be shot and buried en masse.
Now there was a man whose number was called and he was terrified. He did not want to die. There was a Christian missionary, young and healthy, next to him, whose number was not called. Seeing the man’s fear he said, “Don’t fear. I will take your place.” The man felt ashamed, but at the same time could not refuse the offer. He wanted to live. The missionary was shot. It so happened that a few days later the Germans lost the war and our man was freed. For many years he lived with this sense of defeat and shame and later narrated this incident in his life. He saw that there was simply no point, because his life itself was somebody else’s charity. It was because of another man’s greatness that he was living. Otherwise, he would have been shot that day—it was his number.
The missionary, who did not know him—he was not a friend, a father, a son, or anything—just to ease his fear and suffering, he took the call. That man will know life; that man who went, not the man who stayed back, will know what life is. Only he can experience a certain strength, a certain power within himself. Somebody who is trying to protect himself will never experience this.
This does not mean you have to go sacrifice yourself or some such nonsense. The man who went to his death was not thinking in terms of sacrifice. He just did it; that is all. It was not that he was waiting to sacrifice himself for somebody else. At that moment, he saw what was needed and just did it without a second thought. That is fantastic; but if you are trying to sacrifice yourself because you are going to get strength, or you are going to go to heaven, that is not it.
If you can run your life without the offer of heaven, you are on the path; but if by taking the offer and by cutting a deal you can still run in the right direction, go ahead and do it. If such a situation comes in your life, if such a level of maturity comes to you that you do not need any deals and you can still do it, it is good. If you have grown out of this limitation that something has to be offered for you to do something, where no increments are needed and you still are willing to work overtime, then you have a different kind of strength.
The man who does only as much as is needed will only get that much. He will always remain a beggar in his life. He will never know what strength really is, he will never know what Divinity is, he will never know what Godliness is, simply because Divinity does everything purposelessly. Just see! Everything is done purposelessly.
|Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru speaks before millions annually around the globe, including to prominent leadership forums such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, TED, and the World Peace Congress. From ground-breaking yoga programs to projects for rural communities and the environment, Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation (www.IshaFoundation.org) serves as a thriving model for human empowerment, which is reflected in the Foundation’s special consultative status with the UN.
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