Feel obliged to those who receive from you. Look at their courage and confidence – they could have refused. Look at their charity. They have allowed you to shower on them just like a cloud which is heavy with rain. And when there is a cloud heavy with rainwater and showers, do you think it goes all around finding who deserves it? Does it rain more in the brahmin’s field and less in the poor sudra’s field? It is unconcerned. It is simply grateful to the thirsty earth that receives it with joy. And all over, the joy comes into green foliage, flowers with fragrance. Suddenly the dry land is no longer dry – it is full of juice and full of life.
But still, the thirsty land has done a charitable act: it has unburdened a cloud. It has freed the cloud. Now it can move more easily in any direction the wind is blowing.
But no religion has ever thought about it. In fact, the religions have been concerned with the money and power that can come from rich people. They were really trying to persuade the rich to give, but in such a roundabout way.
Reading a Buddhist scripture on charity, I was amazed at how cunning is the mind of people you think are religious. I don’t think those words have been uttered by Gautam Buddha himself, because they were compiled after his death. And he had been speaking for forty-two years continuously, so there are so many schools – exactly thirty-two schools – with different scriptures saying “This has been asserted by Buddha.” Now there is no way to decide.
But reading… First it talks about the beauty of charity, the virtue of charity, the reward that you will get in the other world if you are charitable. And in the end it says, “But remember, give only to those who deserve.” And it defines who the people are who deserve. The definition is such that only a Buddhist monk will fit into it. Give to a bhikkhu, a Buddhist monk. He does not exactly say to a Buddhist monk, but he gives a definition which is applicable only to a Buddhist monk.
And the same is true of Hindus and of Mohammedans and of Christians. But none of them has really thought about the charity of receiving, because they were not concerned about themselves; they were concerned about the money – how to get it, how to allure people to donate, how to convince them that whatever they are giving is a good business, because they will be receiving much more in the other life.
Here, Almustafa rises to the highest consciousness possible.
And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?
Who are you? You are giving something mundane: money, bread, clothes, shelter for the night…
It happened once that I was traveling from one village to another. There were no railway trains in that area, and my chauffeur was new, and there were two towns with very similar names. So he got into the wrong town in the middle of the night. It was a Mohammedan town. I wanted just to rest for the night.
The first question was, “Are you a Mohammedan?”