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The more I move into meditation, the more I feel responsible for myself and for the situation in the whole world. How is that possible?
The more you become yourself, the more you will feel responsible for the world because the more you are becoming part of the world – you are not separate from it.
Your being authentically yourself means a tremendous responsibility, but it is not a burden. It is a rejoicing that you can do something for existence.
Existence has done so much for you, there is no way to pay it back. But we can do something. It will be very small compared to what existence has done for us, but it will show our gratitude. It is not a question of whether it is big or small; the question is that it is our prayer, our gratitude, and our totality is involved in it. Yes, it will happen: the more you become yourself, the more you will start feeling responsibilities which you had never felt before.
I am reminded.... In the life of Mahavira, the most important Jaina philosopher.... He is going from one village to another village with his close disciple, Goshalak. And this is the question they are discussing: Mahavira is insisting, “Your responsibility towards existence shows how much you have attained to your authentic reality. We cannot see your authentic reality but we can see your responsibility.”
As they are walking, they come across a small plant. And Goshalak is a logician – he pulls the plant and throws it away. It was a small plant with small roots. Mahavira said, “This is irresponsibility. But you cannot do anything against existence. You can try, but it is going to backfire.”
Goshalak said, “What can existence do to me? I have pulled this plant; now existence cannot bring it to life again.”
Mahavira laughed. They went into the town, they were going to beg for their food. After taking food, they were coming back, and they were surprised: the plant was rooted again. While they were in the town it had started raining, and the roots of the plant, finding the support of the rain, went back into the soil. They were small roots, it was windy, and the wind helped the plant to stand up again. By the time they had come back, the plant was back to its normal position. Mahavira said, “Look at the plant. I told you you cannot do anything against existence. You can try, but that will turn against you, because that will go on separating you from existence. It will not bring you closer.
“Just see that plant. Nobody could have imagined that this will happen, that the rain and the wind together will manage that small plant back, rooted into the earth. It is going to live its life. It seems to us a small plant but it is part of a vast universe, a vast existence, of the greatest power there is.” And Mahavira said to Goshalak, “From this point our paths separate. I cannot allow a man to live with me who is against existence and feels no responsibility.”
Mahavira’s whole philosophy of non-violence can be better expressed as the philosophy of reverence for existence. Non-violence is simply a part of it.
It will go on happening: the more you find yourself, the more you will find yourself responsible for many things you have never cared about.
Let that be a criterion: the more you find yourself responsible for people, things, existence, the more you can be at ease that you are on the right track.