It is said that everything you put into the lives of others comes back into your own. The saying is true. All that you put into the lives of others does come back into your own, for the simple reason that the other is not as ‘other’ as you think. No man is an island; we are all joined together.

On the surface, both my hands seem to be separate. But if I hit my right hand with the left hand, do you think the pain is going to be just confined to the right hand? The left hand is not unconnected. If the right hand suffers, sooner or later the left hand is going to suffer too. It is not possible to hurt someone and remain unhurt, because the other is not as ‘other’ as he appears.

Deep down we are one. So when you slap somebody’s face, you are slapping your own face.

People like Jesus, when they say, “Love your neighbours just as you love yourself,” are not just teaching ordinary morality. They are stating a fundamental truth: your neighbour is also part of you, just as you are part of your neighbour.

Buddha’s advice

Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples, “After meditating, when you are feeling full of joy, peace, silence... share your silence, your peace, your blissfulness with the whole of existence—with men, with women, with trees, with animals, with birds—with all that exists, share it.” “It is not a question whether someone deserves it or not. The more you share it, the more you will get it,” Buddha would say, “The farther your blessings reach, the more and more blessings will shower on you from all directions. Existence always gives you back more than you have given to it.”

One man who was a great admirer of Gautam Buddha raised his hand and said, “I can share my blessings, my joy, with the whole of existence. Please just allow me one exception: I cannot share with my neighbour. I am ready to share with all the animals, all the birds, all the trees, except that one neighbour who is so nasty. You don’t know about him; otherwise you yourself would have said, ‘You can have a few exceptions’.”

Buddha replied, “You don’t understand what I am saying. If even your neighbour is not your neighbour, then how can birds, animals and trees be your friends and your neighbours? So practise just that one exception first; forget about the whole universe. You are already prepared to share your joy with everybody else; share your joy with your neighbour instead.”

By giving you get manifold

The more you give your love, your compassion, your blessing, your joy, your ecstasy, the more you will find that existence on the whole has become so generous to you that streams of love and joy are coming at you from all directions. And once you have known the secret—that by giving you don’t lose, but you get more, a thousand-fold more—your whole life structure goes through a transformation.

But even in our so-called religious and spiritual life, people are as miserly as they are in the ordinary life. They don’t know that the laws of ordinary life are not applicable to the higher dimensions of being.

There is a famous story about a Buddhist nun with a beautiful golden Buddha statue which she carried wherever she went. She once stayed in a Chinese temple that had 10,000 statues of Buddha, a fact which worried her no end.

When she burnt incense for her golden Buddha during prayers, the breeze would blow the fragrance away from her golden Buddha towards the other statues of Buddha. She was hurt that her own poor Buddha was not getting any incense… “And my Buddha is golden and they are just stones. And after all my Buddha is MY Buddha.”

This is how the mind functions: it is so possessive, it cannot even see that they are all statues of the same man. Which statue’s nose is getting the incense does not matter—it is reaching the Buddha.

So she devised a solution: she brought a hollow bamboo, and cut it into a small piece. She burnt the incense, and put the bamboo on top of it. One end would take the incense smoke in, and the other end she put on the nose of her golden Buddha—almost like smoking a pipe! But that created a problem: her Buddha’s nose became black, which disturbed her even more.

She asked the high priest of the temple, “What should I do? My poor Buddha’s nose has become black.” He asked how it happened and she explained her actions.

The priest then laughed and said, “All of these are Buddhas here. One Buddha, 10,000 Buddhas—it does not matter whom it reaches. You should not be so miserly, so possessive. Buddha cannot be yours and cannot be mine. The nose of the Buddha has become black because of your possessiveness.”

And the priest told her, “We are making each other’s faces black because of our possessiveness. We should give without even thinking whom it reaches... because whomever it reaches is part of the existence, we are part of—so it reaches us.”

Just make somebody joyful and your heart will immediately become light. Let somebody laugh, and something of the laughter enters you. Let somebody be blissful... help somebody enjoy life more totally, and your reward is immediate. Rather than thinking about whether it is true or not, try it. It is one of the truest axioms for transforming your life.

There are no conditions in giving

People say, “We will give only to worthy people, to deserving people.” These are excuses for not giving. Otherwise who is unworthy? If existence accepts a person, and the sun does not deny him light, and the moon does not deny him its beauty, and the roses do not deny him their fragrance... if existence accepts him, who are you to think whether he is worthy or unworthy? His being alive is enough proof that existence accepts him as he is.

Conditional giving is not giving at all. And those giving should not ask for gratitude in response. On the contrary, the giver should feel grateful that his gift has not been refused. Then giving becomes a tremendous ecstasy. This is how your heart grows, how your consciousness expands, how your darkness disappears, how you become more and more light, more and more close to the divine.

If anything appeals to you, don’t let it remain unrealised in the mind; let it come into your actions.

Excerpted from The Hidden Splendour. Courtesy: Osho International Foundation www.osho.com.

This was first published in the July 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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