Chapter 3: Finding Quality in Life
Buddha said, “There is a reason why no one has ever been there. The people there are very bad. It is possible that if you go there they will insult you. Then what will your response be?”
And Purna said, “I will thank them. I will thank them because even if they abuse me, at least they did not hit me - they could have hit me.”
Buddha said, “It is possible that one of them may hit you; then what will your response be?”
He replied, “I will thank him because even if he hits me, at least he did not kill me. He could have killed me.”
Buddha said, “I want to ask you one last question. It is possible that someone will kill you. Then what will your response be?”
Purna said, “I will thank him for releasing me from this life in which I could have gone astray.”
And Buddha said, “In that case, you can go anywhere! Now wherever you go, for you, everyone will be a part of your family. Because when a person’s heart is so full, at such a peak, nothing on this earth can hurt him.”
Yesterday I was talking to someone on the way here about Mahavira. It is said about Mahavira, although it may seem to be untrue, that if he was walking on the road even the thorns that were sticking up would turn over. This seems to be fictitious. What does it matter to the thorns who is walking over them? Of what interest is it to a thorn whether it is Mahavira or somebody else walking over them? And how can a thorn turn over? I have also heard it said about Mohammed that when he walked in the hot Arabian deserts, a cloud would appear above him to shade him from the sun. This seems to be absolute fiction. What does it matter to a cloud who is walking below it, whether it is Mohammed or someone else? How is it possible?
But I tell you, it is all true. It is not that thorns turn over or that clouds appear, but these stories are revealing something to us. People have tried to express some truth through them. Through them something very lovely is being conveyed - that no thorns can hurt someone whose own heart has become free of thorns. And for someone who carries no burning passion in his heart, the whole earth is covered with a cloud of shade and he is never exposed to the scorching sun. And this is absolutely true.
Whatever your state of consciousness is, your life will also have the same quality. It is a wonder that when someone makes an effort to purify himself the whole world becomes a friendly place to him; and when someone is full of love the whole world showers its love on him. And this is the eternal truth: that someone who is full of hatred will receive hatred in return. Whatever we put out, all comes back to us. There is no other way, no alternative.