Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We begin with one of the most profound sutras of Gautama the Buddha:


JUST THE OPPOSITE HAS BEEN TAUGHT TO YOU by all the traditions of the world, all the civilizations, all the cultures, all the churches. They say: Love others, don't love yourself.

And there is a certain cunning strategy behind their teaching. LOVE IS THE NOURISHMENT FOR THE SOUL. Just as food is to the body, so is love to the soul. Without food, the body is weak; without love, the soul is weak. AND NO STATE, NO CHURCH, NO VESTED INTEREST, has ever wanted people to have strong souls -- because a person with spiritual energy is bound to be rebellious.

LOVE MAKES YOU REBELLIOUS, REVOLUTIONARY. Love gives you wings to soar high. Love gives you insight into things, so that nobody can deceive you, exploit you, oppress you.

AND THE PRIESTS AND THE POLITICIANS survive only on your blood, they survive only on exploitation. They are parasites: ALL the priests and ALL the politicians.

TO MAKE YOU SPIRITUALLY WEAK THEY HAVE FOUND A SURE METHOD, hundred percent guaranteed, and that is TO TEACH YOU NOT TO LOVE YOURSELF. Because if a man cannot love himself, he cannot love anybody else either. The teaching is very tricky. They say: Love others -- because they know if you cannot love yourself, you cannot love at all. But they go on saying: Love others, love humanity, love God, love nature, love your wife, your husband, your children, your parents -- but don't love yourself. BECAUSE TO LOVE ONESELF is selfish according to them.

AND THEY CONDEMN SELF-LOVE AS THEY CONDEMN NOTHING ELSE. And they have made their teaching look very logical. They say: If you love yourself, you will become an egoist; if you love yourself, you will become narcissistic. It is not true! A MAN WHO LOVES HIMSELF FINDS THAT THERE IS NO EGO IN HIM. It is by loving others without loving yourself, trying to love others, that the ego arises.

The missionaries, THE SOCIAL REFORMERS, the social servants, HAVE THE GREATEST EGOS IN THE WORLD -- naturally. Because they think themselves to be superior human beings. They are not ordinary -- ordinary people love themselves. They love others, they love great ideals, they love God. AND ALL THEIR LOVE IS FALSE, because all their love is without any roots.

A MAN WHO LOVES HIMSELF takes the first step towards real love.

IT IS LIKE THROWING A PEBBLE INTO A SILENT LAKE: the first circular ripples will arise around the pebble, very close to the pebble, naturally -- where else they can arise? And then they will go on spreading. To the farthest shore, they will reach. If you stop those ripples arising close to the pebble, there will be no more ripples at all. Then you cannot hope to create ripples reaching to the farthest shores; it is impossible.

And the priests and the politicians became aware of the phenomenon: STOP PEOPLE FROM LOVING THEMSELVES AND YOU HAVE DESTROYED THEIR CAPACITY TO LOVE. Now whatsoever they will think is love, will be only pseudo. It may be duty, but not love -- and "duty" is a four-letter dirty word. Parents are fulfilling their duties towards their children, and then in return children will fulfill their duties towards their parents. The wife is dutiful towards the husband, and the husband is dutiful towards his wife. Where is love?

LOVE KNOWS NOTHING OF DUTY. Duty is a burden, a formality. Love is a joy, a sharing. LOVE IS INFORMAL. The lover never feels that he has done enough, the lover always feels that more is possible. The lover never feels that, "I have obliged the other." On the contrary, he feels that, "Because my love has been received, I am obliged. The other has obliged me by receiving my gift, by not rejecting it." The man of duty thinks that, "I am higher, spiritual, extraordinary. Look how I serve people!"

THESE SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE ARE THE MOST PSEUDO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, and most mischievous too. If we can get rid of the public servants, humanity will be unburdened, will feel very light, will be able to dance again, sing again.

But for centuries your roots have been cut, poisoned. YOU HAVE BEEN MADE AFRAID OF EVER BEING IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF, which is the first step of love and the first experience. A man who loves himself, respects himself.

AND A MAN WHO LOVES HIMSELF AND RESPECTS HIMSELF, RESPECTS OTHERS TOO -- because he knows, "Just as I am, so are others. Just as I enjoy love, respect, dignity; so others enjoy." He becomes aware that we are not different -- as far as the fundamentals are concerned, we are one. We are under the same law: aes dhammo sanantano.

Buddha says: WE LIVE UNDER THE SAME ETERNAL LAW. In the details, we may be a little bit different from each other -- which brings variety, which is beautiful. But in the foundations, we are part of one nature.

THE MAN WHO LOVES HIMSELF enjoys the love so much, becomes so blissful, that THE LOVE STARTS OVERFLOWING, IT STARTS REACHING OTHERS. It HAS to reach! If you live love, you have to share it. You cannot go on loving yourself forever -- because one thing will become absolutely clear to you: that if loving one person, yourself, is so tremendously ecstatic and beautiful, how much more ecstasy is waiting for you if you start sharing your love with many many people!

SLOWLY THE RIPPLES START REACHING FARTHER AND FARTHER. You love other people, then you start loving animals, birds, trees, rocks. You can fill the whole universe with your love. A SINGLE PERSON IS ENOUGH TO FILL THE WHOLE UNIVERSE WITH LOVE, just as a single pebble can fill the whole lake with ripples -- a small pebble.

THAT'S WHY PEOPLE ARE SUCH GREAT FAULT-FINDERS. They find fault with themselves -- how can they avoid finding the same faults in others? In fact, they will find them and they will magnify them -- they will make them as big as possible. That seems to be the only saving device; somehow, to save face, you have to do it. THAT'S WHY THERE IS SO MUCH CRITICISM AND SUCH A LACK OF LOVE.

I SAY THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST PROFOUND SUTRAS OF BUDDHA, and only an awakened person can give you such an insight.

He says: LOVE YOURSELF. This can become the foundation of a radical transformation.

DON'T BE AFRAID OF LOVING YOURSELF. Love totally, and you will be surprised: the day you can get rid of all self-condemnation, self-disrespect, self-disrespect; the day you can get rid of the idea of the original sin; the day you can think of yourself as worthy and loved by God -- will be a day of great blessing. From that day onwards you will start seeing people in their true light, and you will have compassion. And it will not be a compassion cultivated; it will be a natural, spontaneous flow.

AND A PERSON WHO LOVES HIMSELF CAN EASILY BECOME MEDITATIVE -- because meditation means being with yourself. If you hate yourself -- as you do, as you have been told to do, and you have been following it religiously... IF YOU HATE YOURSELF, how you can be with yourself? And meditation is nothing but enjoying your beautiful aloneness, celebrating yourself. That's what meditation is all about.

MEDITATION IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP. The other is not needed at all, one is enough unto oneself. One is bathed in one's own glory, bathed in one's own light. One is simply joyous -- because one is alive, because one is.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
Vol 5, Ch #5: Love knows nothing of duty
am in Buddha Hall

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