Chapter 8: Be in It; Don’t Be of It
The second question:
I have heard that Swami Prem Chinmaya is so ill, so weak, that he is being given blood. Will it not be right that our sannyasins donate blood in such cases?
Don’t be worried! The blood of a non-sannyasin is not going to disturb Prem Chinmaya. Blood is blood; it is neither sannyasin nor non-sannyasin - and it is not thicker than water.
Yes, there are stories which create worry..
Because of his rare blood type, Gaffney was selected to be the donor for an English king who had been seriously ill.
The first transfusion helped enormously. A second brought the stricken monarch back to consciousness.
The third was in progress when the king jumped up in bed and shouted, “The hell with the king of England!”
But these are only stories - blood cannot do that!
And Prem Chinmaya is faring well: he is going very steadily in his consciousness. The body is weak, but the spirit is not weak. The flesh is weak, but the spirit is very strong. In fact, his illness has been a great blessing to him. He has learned more from his sickness than from anything else. He has become more and more silent, accepting, unfearing. Even if death comes now he will be able to receive it, welcome it as a guest.
I am tremendously happy with him! When seven, eight years ago he had come to me, he was suffering from the same disease, but his fear was greater than the disease.
The body has to go one day; nobody can live here forever. What excuse one chooses to go is a private affair. One can choose cancer, one can choose tuberculosis, one can choose heart attack; and there are a thousand and one alternatives available. But those are all excuses. The basic thing is that one cannot live here for long; it is not our home.
We have to go in search of the home, and only those who can go silently, joyously, can find it; otherwise, you will immediately find yourself in another womb, back into the world. Unless you learn the lesson, you will be thrown back again and again into the world.