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Commitment and responsibility



The New Dawn
Chapter #27
Chapter title: You are sufficient unto yourself
1 July 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Archive code: 8707015
ShortTitle: DAWN27
Audio: Yes
Video: Yes
Length: 95 mins
Taking care of a business demands continuity, commitment, responsibility, and other unnecessary values which are quite contrary to ‘being in the moment’, freedom, and spontaneity, which the heart longs for. Please say something about the way in which these two spaces can live peacefully together.
Anand Nada, if If you want to ride on two horses together, it is going to be a difficult job. You will have to understand one thing: if you have a longing for freedom, spontaneity and being in the moment, you will have to be not businesslike. You can continue the business but you will have to transform your business attitude, approach. You cannot compromise both, you cannot synthesize both. You have to sacrifice one in the favour of the an other.
I remember my grandfather. My father and my uncles did not want the old man in the shop. They would tell him, You just rest, or you can go for a walk. But there were customers who would ask for him, and they would say, We will come back when he comes. The problem was that he was not a businessman.
He would simply say, This commodity costs ten rupees to us and I am not asking for more than ten percent per cent profit. That means it will cost eleven rupees to you. Are you hesitant even to give me ten percent per cent profit? Then how are we going to survive and live? And people would immediately make the deal with him.
But this was a loss in the eyes of my father, my uncles, because they would have started the price at twenty rupees and then the haggling … And if the customer manages somehow to bring them down to fifteen rupees he feels happy that he has got it for five rupees less. But in fact they have taken four rupees more. So naturally they were pushing my grandfather, Go away, go to the river, have a good bath. Go to the park, rest. You are old, you need not be here.
But he would say, There are customers who know me and who know you. They know one thing about me, that I am not a businessman. And you are business people. And I have told my customers that if I am not around, wait, soon I will be back from wherever they have sent me. I have been telling those customers, ` Remember one thing: whether the watermelon falls on the knife or the knife falls on the watermelon, it is always the watermelon that is cut into pieces, not the knife. So beware of the business people.‘” He had his own customers, who would not agree even to talk, even to say what they had come for; they would sit. They would say, “Let the old man come.”
Business also can be done with a sincerity, with an authenticity, with a truthfulness; it does not necessarily require you to be cunning, to be exploiting, to be cheating. So don’t ask for any synthesis between taking care of a business continuity, commitment and responsibility, and being in the moment, freedom and spontaneity, which the heart s longs for.
Listen to the heart, because it is finally the heart that is going to decide the caliber calibre of your being, the very growth of your consciousness, and finally the transcendence that leads you and your awareness beyond death. Anything else is simply mundane. What is your commitment? A man of understanding avoids stupid commitments. What is your continuity? because your father and your forefathers had been doing the business, so you have also to do it, the same way as they have been doing it. Are you here just to repeat the past?
Don’t you have the courage to introduce the new and to drop the past and the old and the rotten, to bring a fresh breeze into your life and into the lives of those who are concerned with you in some way? What is your continuity? There is no question … In fact you have to be discontinuous every moment, not only with the past of others your fathers and forefathers you have to discontinue even with your own past every moment. The moment that is gone, is gone. You don’t have any obligation to continue and carry a corpse of a dead moment.
And commitment is always out of unconsciousness. For example, you love a woman and you want her to get married to you, but she wants a commitment. And you are so unconscious; you commit yourself so easily about the future, which is not in your hands. How can you say anything about tomorrow? Tomorrow is not your property. You may be here, you may not be here. And who knows about tomorrow? The love that has suddenly taken possession of you may disappear.
But almost every man commits himself to his woman, that I will love you my whole life. And the woman commits herself also, that I will love you not only in this life, but I will pray to God that in each life I will always find you as my husband.
But nobody is aware that not even a single moment of the future is in y our hands. All commitments are going to create troubles. Tomorrow your love life may disappear, just the way it has suddenly appeared. It was a happening, it was not your act, it was not your doing. Tomorrow, when the love disappears and you find your heart completely dry, what are you going to do?
The only way that is left by the society for you is to become a pretender, to be a hypocrite. What is no longer there, go on pretending, go on at least saying, I love you. You know that your words are meaningless and the woman knows that your words are meaningless, because your words don’t sound sincere. And you cannot deceive a woman as far as love is concerned; she has a tremendous sensibility. In fact, when there is love there is no need to repeat it. You know and she knows. The question of repeating it arises only when the heart is no longer radiating it, so you are substituting it with words.
But words are very poor. Your actions will show something, your face will show something, your eyes will show something, and your words will be trying to prove just the opposite. But the problem has arisen because you were not conscious enough to say to the woman, How can I commit myself? I am a fragile human being, I am not absolutely conscious. Most of my being is deep in darkness, about which I don’t know. What desires will arise tomorrow, I am not aware of, nor are you aware of. So please don’t commit anything to me and I will not commit anything to you. We will love each other as long as love remains authentic and true, and the moment we feel that the time has come to pretend, we will not pretend that is ugly, inhuman. We will simply accept that the love that used to be there is no longer there, and it is time for us to part.
We will remember all those beautiful days and moments that we passed together. It will remain always a fresh memory. And I don’t want to destroy it by pretending; neither do I want you to become a hypocrite.
As far as my people are concerned, never make any commitment. Make it clear that commitments are bound to lead to a difficult situation. Soon you will find that you cannot fulfill them it.
And responsibility.… You have been burdened with the idea of responsibility, that you are responsible to your parents, you are responsible to your wife or your husband, you are responsible to your children, you are responsible to the neighbors, you are responsible to the society, you are responsible to the nation. It seems you are here only to be responsible for everybody except yourself. It is a strange situation.
A woman was teaching her child, The most fundamental thing of our religion is to serve others. The little boy said, I understand it, just one thing I cannot understand: what will others do?
The mother said, Of course, they will serve others. The little boy said, This is strange. If everybody is serving everybody else, why should I not serve myself, you serve yourself? Why create this complexity and make it a burden that I should serve others and wait for them to serve me?
In his innocence the child is saying a truth which all the religions have forgotten. In fact, the very meaning of responsibility has changed in the hands of religions, of politicians, of so-called do-gooders, teachers, parents. They have changed the very meaning of responsibility. They have made it equivalent to duty: it is your duty. And I want you to know that duty is a four-letter dirty word.
You should never do anything because of duty. Either you do something because of love or you do not do it. Make it a point that your life has to be a life of love, and if out of love you respond, that I call responsibility. Break the word into two: response-ability, don’t make it one. Joining these two words has created so much confusion in the world. It is not responsibility, it is response-ability. And love is able to respond. There is no other force in the world which is so able to respond. If you love, you are bound to respond; there is no burden. Duty is a burden.
Again I remember my grandfather. He was a simple villager, uneducated, but had the same quality of innocence that a child has. He used to loved to have somebody to massage his feet before he went to sleep, and everybody tried to escape. At that moment when he was preparing his bed, everybody was as far away as possible, not to be caught; but I used to reach come to him at that time.
He said, It is strange that whenever I am making my bed, everybody simply disappears. Just a moment before everybody was here, and once I have gone to sleep I may even be awake, just with closed eyes they all come back.
I said, Nobody wants to massage your feet. As far as I am concerned, it is not my duty. They think it is their duty, that once they are caught it is their duty to massage. It is not my duty. If I don’t want to massage, I will say so. And I had made it clear to him that I will massage to the point I feel; it is not going to be your decision.And I made a symbolic language, a code language with him. When I started feeling that now it was time, I would say, Comma.
He would say, Wait, this is too early!’.”
I said, I have given you the warning soon the semicolon and then the fullstop. And once I have said fullstop it is finished. It was out of my love that I massaged, it was not my duty.
The people who thought it was their duty all disappeared. And he understood it, and he said, You have made it clear to me. It was never clear to me before that there is such a great difference between duty and love.
There was one Hindu saint in Africa. He had come to India for a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, particularly the Hindu holy temples of Badrinath and Kedernath. They are the most difficult places to reach and at that time they were very difficult. Many people simply never came back small pathways and just by the side ten-thousand-10,000 feetdeep, valleys, eternal snow. Just a little slip of the feet and you are gone. Now things are better, but at the time I am talking about, it was very difficult. The Hindu sannyasi n was tired, carrying very little luggage because to carry much luggage at those heights becomes more and more difficult; as the air becomes thinner, breathing becomes difficult.
Just ahead of him he saw a girl not more than ten years old carrying a little boy, very fat, on her shoulders. She was perspiring, breathing heavily, and when the sannyasi n passed by her he said, My daughter, you must be tired. You are carrying so much weight.
The girl became angry and she said, You are carrying weight. This is not weight, this is my younger brother.
I was reading the autobiography of the man and he remembers that instance, that he was shocked. It was true, there was a difference. On the weighing scale of course there will be no difference; whether you put your younger brother or you put a suitcase it does not matter, the weighing scale will show the weight. But as far as the heart is concerned, the heart is not a weighing scale. The girl was right: You are carrying weight, I am not. This is my younger brother and I love him.
Love can cancel gravity, love can cancel burden. Out of love any response is beautiful. Without love, responsibility is ugly and simply shows that you have a mind of a slave.
So as far as I am concerned, if you are really longing for freedom, spontaneity, and being in the moment, there is no question of creating a synthesis. You will have to change your whole approach towards business: your business becomes your meditation, your sincerity, your truth; it stops being an exploitation. Your continuity simply disappears; you bring a newness into existence. Commitment is absolutely absurd. You cannot commit yourself because time is not in your hands; neither life is in your hands, nor is love in your hands. On what grounds are you committing yourself?
Your state is almost like that those two men I have often talked about. Both were opium addicts. On a full-moon night both were lying under a tree and enjoying the full moon, and one of them said, The moon is looking so beautiful, I would like to purchase it. The second one said, Forget all about purchasing it, because I am not going to sell it. Just forget it, never mention it again!
Neither possesses the moon, but in their unconsciousness one thinks he possesses the moon and the other thinks he is ready to purchase. The other says, Don’t get angry. If you don’t want to sell, it is okay. But I am ready to pay any price, you just offer. And it is not right, we are old friends. But the second one said says, Forget all about it. Friendship or no friendship, I am not going to sell it at any price! And they are very serious about it.
That is the situation of your commitments.
A man is telling a woman, I will love you forever, and just the next day he falls in love with another woman. He is a victim of biological, blind forces. It is not that when he was saying, I will love you forever, he was lying; it is not so, he was absolutely true. The man who was ready to purchase the moon was not lying, he was sincerely interested in purchasing the moon. And the man who was not willing to sell it was not lying either. He was absolutely sincere that he did not want to sell it at any price.
When the man said, I will love you forever, he was absolutely truthful; but he was unconscious that tomorrow is not within his control. He can only speak about this moment: I love you now. As for tomorrow, we will see what happens. Neither am I in a bondage, nor are you in a bondage. If tomorrow again we feel that we are in love with each other, it will be a great surprise.
Why close your life with commitments? Why not keep it open for surprises. W why not keep it open for adventures?. Why become closed in a grave? Then you suffer, because you start thinking, I have promised, I have committed. Now whether I want to fulfill the promise or the commitment does not matter. My whole integrity is at stake. I will pretend but I cannot accept that I was a fool when I committed.
There is no question, Anand Nada, of making a synthesis of the untruthful and the truthful, the authentic and the false. You will have to drop the false and you will have to listen to your heart and go with it, whatever the cost it is always cheap. Whatever you have to lose, lose; but if you have been listening to the heart, you will be the winner in the end, victory is yours.
–From The New Dawn, Discourse 27
But if you want to deceive others and deceive yourself, then it is a different matter.
Paddy was reading in a science magazine that cigarette smoking had been known to cause cancer in rats and mice. This moved him greatly, so that night when he went to bed he locked his cigarettes in a cupboard where the rats and mice could not get at them.

 What a great understanding and synthesis!

 You are only capable of making such a synthesis as this.



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