My effort here is to help you to grow in a balanced way. Life is not illusory and the outside world is as significant as the inside world, and you have to live richly in both worlds when one can live richly in both worlds. Why choose to be rich only in one aspect of your life? And only when you are rich on both the sides does a great harmony, a great balance arise in you.
You must have thought that I would not speak so about Mahavira, Krishna, Buddha and Lao Tzu. I have no commitment to any individual. I respect truth wherever it is found, but only truth, and if something untrue is hanging around it I am the last person to allow it – I will destroy it immediately.
You are asking me:
I myself want to serve the poor and the downtrodden.
Can I do it with your blessings?
A man in a high-powered car swung off the highway onto a gravel patch in front of a typical backcountry store. Several old-timers were sitting on the porch, chatting and chewing tobacco.
As the driver braked the car to a fast stop, he yelled at the men on the porch, “I want to go to Farmingdale!”
After ten or fifteen seconds when no one had responded he shouted again, “I want to go to Farmingdale!”
The men on the porch seemed to be holding a whispering consultation for a moment, and then one of the old fellows walked over to the car and said, “Mister, we just had a committee meeting and we have no objection!”
I can only say that much – that I have no objection – but if you are asking me for my blessings, then you will have to understand my conditions. If you want to serve the poor in the way they have been served for thousands of years, then I cannot give you my blessings, because thousands of years of public service has not helped the poor at all – in fact it has helped them to remain poor. It may give you a good feeling, that you are doing great work; it may give you a good ego – that you are a public servant, that you are a great reformer, that look! you have sacrificed your life for the poor and the downtrodden.
I cannot give blessings for your egoistic trips, because service has not helped the poor and the downtrodden now that is an absolutely recognized fact. How long are you going to serve the poor? Ten thousand years is enough – nothing has happened. There have been servants and servants and they have been doing great work – missionary work – and nothing happens out of it.
So at the most I can say to you that I have no objection. It won’t make much difference, so why should I object? If you feel like doing it, go by all means and do it – but remember it is not going to help the poor. It may help you, but it is not going to help the poor.
Just an old habit, just an old conditioning…