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Chapter 5: Understanding Emotions

Impure emotions are those which are influenced by the outside. The winds from the outside give rise to impure emotions within you. And pure emotions are those which come from within you; the winds from outside don’t influence them. We don’t think of Mahavira or Buddha in this way, that they loved - but I tell you that they were the only people who loved. But there is a difference between their love and yours. Your love is in relation to someone; their love is not a relationship, it is a state of being. It is not a relationship - their love is not in relation to someone else, it is their state of being. They are compelled to love because they have no other choice.

It is said about Mahavira that people insulted him, they threw stones at him, they put nails into his ear and he forgave everything. I say that this is not true: Mahavira didn’t forgive anyone because only people who get angry can forgive. And Mahavira did not have pity on them because only those who are cruel can have pity. And Mahavira didn’t think that he shouldn’t behave badly with these people because only people who behave badly think like that.

So what did Mahavira do? Mahavira was helpless, he had nothing to give except love. No matter what was done to him his only answer would be love. If you throw a stone at a tree full of fruit you will get only fruit as an answer, there is no other way. The tree is not doing anything, this is its helplessness. And if you drop any kind of bucket into a river full of water, whether the bucket is dirty or clean, made of gold or iron, the river has no choice but to give you water. There is nothing great about the river, it is helpless to do otherwise. So when love is a state of being it is a kind of choicelessness - one has to give, there is no other way.

So the emotions which come from within, which don’t pull you from outside, which cannot be pulled from the outside, are pure emotions. And the waves of emotion that the storms outside create within you are impure emotions. Emotions created by the outside will cause restlessness and worry inside you, and the ones that arise from within you will fill you with bliss.

So remember this first thing about pure and impure emotion: pure emotion is a state of being, impure emotion is a distortion of being, not a state. Impure emotion is the result of outside influence on being, pure emotion is an inner expansion of being. So think about this: do the emotions that move you come from within you, or do other people create them in you?

I am walking on the street and you insult me: if I get angry this is impure emotion because you have created it in me. I am walking on the street: you show me respect and I am pleased - this is impure emotion because you have created it in me. But if my inner state remains the same as it was before the insult or the praise, whether you swear at me or you praise me, this is pure emotion because you did not create it in me, it is my own. That which is my own is pure. That which is my own is pure and that which comes from the outside is impure. What comes from the outside is a reaction, an echo.

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