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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 11: Life Gives Unto Life

If existence is willing to give that person life, you cannot give him a cup of tea? If existence is ready to keep him alive for seventy, eighty or more years; if existence never thinks of whether he deserves it or not, what are you giving that you are so much concerned about? In fact, you don’t want to give. You want some excuse: “I am not giving, not because I am a miser - I am not giving because there is nobody who deserves it.”

And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.

But the brahmin scriptures say, “Give only to the brahmins. Then it is charity, then it is virtuous.” They never say, “Give to the sudras, the untouchables.” In fact, they need. But according to the ugly classification of Hinduism, they don’t deserve.

And we are so blind that we never see that the real person who deserves is the one who needs. He may be a thief, he may be a murderer - who are you to judge? In your very judgment, you have shown your inhumanity.

I have heard that in a master’s small cottage far away from the town, a thief entered one full-moon night.

The master was awake. He had only one thing, a blanket - half he used as his mattress and half to cover himself. In the day, he used the same blanket to cover his nakedness because he had no other clothes.

Seeing the man in the full-moon night - because the doors were open, the windows were open and the moon was coming in. The thief was well known. The master closed his eyes, because to keep his eyes open - if the thief knew it, it would be disrespectful to his humanity. If he had come miles from the town to steal from a poor master’s house, he must be in great need.

He wept. He covered himself with the blanket: “What will he find in my house? He will have to go eight miles again empty-handed. If he had just informed me two or three days ago, I could have begged all over the town, collected something for him. This is not the right way to come to a poor man’s house.” He is not concerned that the man is a thief. He is concerned that he has nothing that the man can steal and be satisfied with.

Inside the house there was darkness, and the master was worried - he may stumble, fall, may get hurt. So he lit a candle and went inside, following the thief.

The thief looked back: suddenly the light had come into the darkness, and as he saw the master he was frozen with fear. “If this man says a single word, the whole town is going to believe him.”

But the master said, “Don’t be afraid. I have come just to help you. Inside the house it is very dark. Moreover, for thirty years I have lived in this house and I have not found anything. Just accept me as a partner: whatever we find, we can divide it fifty-fifty. Or, if you want to keep it all, that too is okay because I have not been able to find anything. It is yours; you are the finder.”

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