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Chapter 20: Ordinary Love and the Love of a Buddha

And lastly: if you are struggling against attachment, you have taken a wrong turn. You can struggle. So many monks, recluses, sannyasins are doing that. They feel that they are attached to their house, to their property, to their wives, to their children, and they feel caged, imprisoned. They escape, they leave their homes, they leave their wives, they leave their children and possessions, and they become beggars and escape to a forest, to a loneliness. But go and observe them. They will become attached to their new surroundings.

I was visiting a friend who was a recluse living under a tree in a deep forest, but there were other ascetics also. One day it happened that I was staying with this recluse under his tree, and a new seeker came while my friend was absent. He had gone to the river to take a bath. Under his tree the new sannyasin started meditating.

The man came back from the river, and he pushed that new man away from the tree and said, “This is my tree. You go and find another, somewhere else. No one can sit under my tree.” And this man had left his house, his wife, his children. Now the tree had become a possession - you cannot meditate under his tree.

You cannot escape so easily from attachment. It will take new forms, new shapes. You will be deceived, but this will be there. So do not fight with attachment, just try to understand why it is there. And then know the deep cause: because you are not, this attachment is there.

Inside, you your own self is so much absent that you try to cling to anything in order to feel safe. You are not rooted, so you try to make anything your roots. When you are rooted in your self, when you know who you are, what this being is which is in you and what this consciousness is which is in you, then you will not cling to anyone.

That doesn’t mean you will not love. Really, only then can you love because then sharing is possible - and with no conditions, with no expectations. You simply share because you have an abundance, because you have so much it is overflowing.

This overflowing of yourself is love. And when this overflowing becomes a flood, when by your own overflowing the whole universe is filled and your love touches the stars, in your love the earth feels good and in your love the whole universe is bathed, then it is devotion.