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Chapter 20: Fear of Hell, Greed for Heaven: The Savior’s Soft Sell

He said, “Yes, I am certainly angry because that shout was just out of fear. I was not meaning to be saved.”

So do you know what I did? I simply pushed him back in. What else to do? And he started shouting again, “Help! Help!”

And I said, “Now I am not going to help. I have helped twice: the first time by getting you out; the second, by pushing you back in. Now do whatsoever you want.”

He said, “What kind of man are you?” And he was drowning - coming up and going down, and crying, “Help!”

I said, “Not against your will.

He said, “I am saying help” - but I simply sat there.

I said, “You try yourself” He was not far away from the bank because I had just pulled him out, he was just close, so it was perfectly clear that he would manage. And he did manage. He got a little water inside him but he came out and said, “You are a strange man.”

I said, “I am a strange man? You are a strange man! First I saved you; you were angry. Then I helped you by throwing you back in; you were angry again, and started crying out for help.”

He said, “Yes, when I get into water I become afraid of death, but really I want to commit suicide.”

I said, “Then you come at some other time because at this time I am always here, and if you start shouting, ‘Help!’ then it looks very strange not to help. But I cannot help you against your will.

Compassion cannot allow you even to do good to the other person if he is not ready for it.

Compassion gives total freedom, respect and dignity to the other person.

All these people who have been trying to save others are just a by-product of Christianity and its conditioning.

In Buddhism there is no place for saving anybody. Buddha says, “I can show you the way, but you will have to walk. I cannot walk for you. And if you don’t want to walk, who am I to force you to walk? At the most I can say I have walked the path, and the beauties of the path I can describe, but I cannot force you in any way. That will not be compassion, that will be cruelty. If it is your pleasure to go some other way, then all my blessings are with you. Even if you are going to hell, my blessings are with you.”

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