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Chapter 21: Vagabonds of the Soul

You have been taught values which are not really values; you have been taught things which are basically poisonous. For example, you have been told not to love yourself, and you have been told so many times that it looks like a simple fact, truth. But a man who is incapable of loving himself will be incapable of loving anybody else. The man who cannot love himself cannot love at all.

You have been told to be altruistic and never selfish. And it looks so beautiful - but it only looks beautiful; it is destroying your very roots. Only a really selfish person can be altruistic, because one who is not rooted in his self, is not selfish, will not bother about anybody else. If he cannot care for himself, how can he care for anybody else? He is suicidal; naturally he will become murderous.

Your whole society up to now has been a society of murderers. A few people commit suicide; they become saints. A few more go on committing murder; they become your great politicians, great leaders - Genghis Khan, Nadir Shah, Tamerlane, Alexander, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Mao. But both are neurotic, both are unhealthy.

You have to be taught new values. Atisha’s sutras will help you immensely. He is really a revolutionary, a really religious man - a man who knows, not through scriptures but by his own experience; a man who has looked deep into the misery of man, a man who is really so full of compassion that he wants to help, to be of some help to the suffering humanity. And the suffering humanity is not helped by creating more hospitals or by making more people educated. The suffering humanity can be helped only by giving it a new soul.

People like Mother Teresa of Calcutta are simply serving the status quo. That’s why they are respected by the status quo. They are given gold medals, prizes, awards, and the society thinks Mother Teresa is the symbol of real saintlihood. It is not so; she is simply in the service of a rotten society. Of course the rotten society respects her. She is not a revolutionary, she is not a religious person.

And this is something to be understood: society respects only those saints who are not really sages but are agents - agents who help the society to continue as it is, agents of the establishment.

Atisha is not for the establishment. He wants to create a new man, a new humanity, as buddhas have always dreamed about. Their dreams remain yet unfulfilled.

Here I am, again dreaming a great dream of giving birth to a new man. You are my hope, in the same way Atisha had hoped with his own disciples. These sutras were not written as a book, these sutras were given to his disciples to meditate on.

The first sutra:

Train impartially in every area; it is important to have trained deeply and pervasively in everything.

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