I have heard. Mulla Nasruddin was filling out a report because he had crashed his car into a parked car. He was filling out a report, and many things were asked. When he came to the part where it was asked what the driver of the other vehicle could have done to avoid the accident, he filled it, “He should have parked the car somewhere else. The car was parked there; he should have parked it somewhere else – because of him the accident has happened.”
And this is what you are doing. Always the other is responsible: he should have done something or other and there would have been no suffering. No, the other is not responsible at all. You are responsible, and unless you take this responsibility consciously upon you, you will not change. The change will become possible, easily possible, the moment you realize that you are responsible for it.
If you have suffered, it was your choice. This is what the law of karma is, nothing else: you are wholly responsible. Whatsoever happens – suffering or happiness, hell or heaven – whatsoever happens, ultimately you are totally responsible. This is what the law of karma is: total responsibility is with you.
But don’t be afraid, don’t be scared by it, because if the total responsibility is with you, then suddenly a door of freedom opens – because if you are the cause of your suffering, you can change. If others are the cause, then you cannot change. Then how can you change? Unless the whole world changes, you will suffer. And there seems to be no way to change others – then suffering cannot end.
But we are so pessimistic that even such beautiful doctrines as the law of karma we interpret in such a way that they don’t free and liberate us, but rather, on the contrary, they make us more burdened. In India the law of karma has been known for at least five thousand years or even more, but what have we done? It is not that we have taken responsibility upon ourselves; we have thrown all the responsibility on the law of karma – that it is happening because of the law of karma and we cannot do anything, nothing can be done; because of the past lives this life is such.
The law of karma was to free you. It was giving you total freedom towards yourself. No one else can make any suffering for you – this was the message. If you are suffering you have created it. You are the master of your fate, and if you want to change it, immediately you can change it and the life will be different. But the attitude….
I have heard, once two friends were talking. One was a bona fide optimist, the other a bona fide pessimist. Even the optimist was not too happy about the situation. The optimist said, “If this economic crisis continues and these political catastrophes continue and the world remains the same as it is, immoral, then we are going to be reduced to begging soon.”
Even he was not too hopeful about it – the optimist. When he said, “We are going to be reduced to begging,” the pessimist said, “From whom? From whom are you going to beg if this condition continues?”
You have a mind, and you goon bringing your mind to everything. Really, you transform the quality of every teaching and doctrine. You defeat buddhas and krishnas so easily because you convert the whole thing; you color it in your own way.