The point to be understood is that the more you give the more you will be able to receive; the less you give the less you can receive. One can inhale only as deeply as one can exhale. The deeper the exhalation the deeper the inhalation. The giver is also receiving. Hence the Upanishadic statement that renunciation is indulgence: Ten tyakten bhunjithah. Those who cling, miss. They alone taste who have renounced. If you are afraid to let out the breath you have inhaled in the fear that it may not come back in, you are dead. The fear is that once you have let the breath out, will it return or not? What is the guarantee? And what control do you have over the breath that is gone out? If you hold the breath in the fear that it may not come back again if it is allowed to go out, then you are going to die on the spot.
This is what we are doing in our lives. We catch hold but we don’t let go, and because of not letting go we become lifeless. So it is fortunate that we have not yet applied our miserliness as far as breathing is concerned, otherwise we would be dead. But in living we are lifeless because there we have taken clinging to be all there is. But life is a balance; in life, if you take you will have to give also. You can take only if you give. Kabir says, “Empty out with both your hands.” The more you empty out the more you will become filled up.
So the supreme formula hidden within these inverted-flute sayings is that the day you become utterly empty the whole fills you. The secret of receiving lies in giving, the secret of enjoyment lies in the ability to renounce, and to dissolve yourself is to become the whole. But there is a balance between the two. Everything is in balance.
Certainly we are able to see it when rain comes down from the sky, the rains coming like nectar to the earth; but the earth is not only taking, it must be giving too. If the earth were not also giving, the skies would soon be empty of clouds and rain would be impossible. In fact, clouds are a gift of nature; every single leaf is returning the water. You don’t see it…that is another matter. But if you sit near a tree at sunset and look at the leaves, you can see them giving off water vapor.
All that the earth receives, it gives back. So the earth is not only a receiver, and if the earth rejoices in receiving rainshowers from the sky, the reverse also happens: the sky rejoices when the earth gives back. There is a love between the earth and the sky; they are playing in a deep embrace. This is why the old scriptures have called the earth woman and the sky man – there is a great embrace between the two, a vast intercourse going on between the two. There is a giving and a taking, because love cannot be sustained in only giving or in only taking. To walk, both legs are needed; to swim, both arms are needed; to fly, both wings are needed.
So we see the joy nature is in when it rains. Dry leaves have disappeared and the green is everywhere. Right now it is happening all around as the rainy season is beginning and the sky is getting ready to pour. The trees have turned green in welcome, the flowers are blooming, birds are ecstatic and singing, the peacocks will dance – the whole earth is welcoming. The earth had been waiting, everything was hot, its life shrunken, as if the earth were suffocating, big cracks in the soil here and there – it was thirsty in all dimensions. And now, when the clouds shower, there will be a contentment all over. But this is only one side – that the sky rains and the earth becomes happy.