About the sutra of Gautam Buddha…it is symbolic. Feeding somebody means nursing somebody, respecting somebody, loving somebody, doing something for somebody – out of compassion, kindness, or love, or respect. So food has not to be taken literally.
The sutra says: It is better to feed one good man than to feed one hundred bad men. Who is the good man? The good man is one who spontaneously acts in the right way. Remember the word spontaneously. The good man is not one who makes efforts to act in a certain way that is accepted as good by the society in which he is born…it may not be good. There are hundreds of societies in the world, hundreds of civilizations have existed, and there is not a single thing that has not been praised as good by someone and condemned as bad by somebody else.
Now, the Jainas will say to be naked is a good act – it shows that the man has renounced the world completely. But according to any other society, to be naked will be considered bad, even sick. According to Sigmund Freud, the naked man simply wants to show his naked body to others; it is a very perverted, precarious way of satisfying sexuality – it is perversion. He has given a certain name to this sickness: exhibitionism.
So it is not a question to be decided by the outside morality. The decision has to be according to your spontaneity. Whatever you do out of your heart – and it is not a reaction but a response – that act is good.
Buddha says: It is better to feed one good man – because it is very difficult even to find a good man, a man of spontaneity, a man whose actions arise out of his heart – than to feed one hundred bad men. As far as the bad man is concerned, everybody who is acting in sleep, unconsciously, is bad. The bad and good are not concerned with the act; they are concerned with the consciousness through which they have been done. Spontaneous consciousness, a little alertness, or unconsciousness…the act may be perhaps the same, but its quality changes by the touch of the man who is doing it.
Buddha is saying that taking care of one hundred sleepy men, unconscious, not knowing who they are, not knowing why they are, not knowing where they are going, for what they are going, they are just part of the crowd, they are not men yet, they are sheep…Buddha says it is better to be respectful to the spontaneous, alert man.
I have to emphasize the word respect, because ordinarily it simply means honor. But the root meaning of the word respect is “re-spect” – a man whom you would like to see again and again; a man who somehow touches your heart, has a magnetic impact on you, so that you want to look at him again and again.