And it is natural for the sannyasins to feel immensely protective towards me, for the simple reason that they know the light of a candle is strong enough to fill the whole room with light, but it is so vulnerable: just a small breeze from the window may put it out.
There is no contradiction in it. Both are coming from different sources.
Washing your clothes, cooking your food, helping those who come to you with questions, spreading your words to the far corners of the world, yearning from thousands of miles away for just a glimpse of you – why are these things so dear?
Why is the mystery of this night sky filled with you so precious?
The moment you feel something authentic in a world which is absolutely insincere; the moment you feel something as pure love in a world where even love is polluted, where you cannot find anything that is worthy for human beings…. And suddenly you come across a man who seems to be coming from another world, talking another language, showing ways to reach to faraway stars, making every effort to help you for no motivation, just because he enjoys helping people to reach the stars.
Naturally to do any small thing for such a man makes you feel a great joy. What you are doing does not matter.
I am reminded of an incident in Gautam Buddha’s life. His cousin-brother who was older than him wanted to be initiated, but he said to Gautam Buddha, “Listen Siddhartha” – that was his family name – “before I take initiation I want to put a few conditions on you, because once I am initiated, then I cannot say anything to you: then you are the master and I am simply a shadow. So it has to be decided before initiation because right now I am your elder brother, and you are my younger brother.” And traditionally in India the elder should be respected.
So Buddha asked, “What are your conditions?”
He said, “Not very big…very small. One, that I will be always with you. So you will not be able to tell me after initiation that, ‘Ananda, you go to a certain place to spread the word – travel.’ No, I am going to be with you, so you have to remember it after initiation.
“This is absolute…because I want to wash your clothes, I want to take care of your body, I want to massage your feet after the whole day’s walking from one village to another. I want to take care that you are getting the right food, enough food. I want to take care that on cold nights you are not cold; that on hot days you are not in a space which is hot. Just small things…. I am not asking this for me.