Even a small kindness is a great blessing
(…continued from ‘Man moves cosmic energy’)
“If you have behaved well towards someone, don’t think of it at all, but if you’ve behaved badly to them you must think of it all the time. If someone else behaves kindly to me it should not be forgotten, but if they behave with malice it should be forgotten at once.”
“When you do a kindness or make a gift, don’t be aware of yourself within making the gift, nor of the other party outside. Just do the kindness. Then even a small kindness will be like a great blessing too. People who are always on the make calculate how much they are doing and calculate what the other party ought to give back in return. Their gift, even if it is a thousand pieces of gold is more bitter than one copper coin”.
“When the liver is disordered, the vision of the eye is affected. When kidneys are touched by illness, the hearing of the ear is impaired.” Thus though the illness is affecting parts of the body which are not apparent to us it unfailingly manifests in perceptible form. So if one does not wish that the whole world knows him to be a sinner, let him first take care not to sin in secret, thinking that it’s all right if no one knows about it”.
This is also a great theme in the Indian tradition: that a gift can be made in three ways. There’s the gift of sattva, of light, there’s the gift of passion, or rajas, and there’s a gift of darkness. A gift made of light, a gift which consists of light means giving, simply feeling this should be given to a proper person at a proper time and a proper place. This is a gift of light. The gift of passion struggle, is rajas, is a gift which is made with a calculation of some return, not necessarily from that person but to get a reputation. Or it’s a gift made under pressure, “I don’t want to give.” The Gita says it’s a gift made when it hurts to give: “I don’t want to do it but I’ve got to.” That, and with the expectation of return, is the gift of passion struggle.
The gift made of darkness consists in a gift given to the wrong person at the wrong place and time without any respect, given with contempt. As the Chinese says, this is more bitter than the mere smallest copper coin even though it consists of a thousand gold pieces. The bitterness, being despised and having the gift given scornfully spoils the gift.
“People who are always on the make consider how much they are doing and calculate what the other party ought to give back in return. Their gift, even if it is a thousand pieces of gold has less value than one copper coin.”
“There is no happiness like having but a few things to engage one and there’s no calamity like having the heart thrown about by many affairs. It’s only the one who has been thrown about by many affairs who can really appreciate just what happiness there is in the peace of having few engagements. It is only the one who knows the peace of having few engagements who can realise just what is the agony of being tormented by constant demands on them.”
This is also an important theme in the Chinese presentation: that people are in agony but often don’t fully realise because they don’t know any different. So he’s saying it’s only the one who’s known real peace that when he looks back realises how agonising it was to be constantly targeted with demands and pulls. “It’s only the one who has been thrown about by many affairs who appreciates what happiness there is in the peace of having few engagements,” and “It’s only the one who knows the peace of few engagements who can realise just what is the agony of being tormented by constant demands.”
You see this in imprisonment. You can become apathetic and then they make do in a dull sort of way and they can even give up the idea of escaping, that it can ever be any different. They just think, “This is it.” In the same way with life, the tamasic effect of life is that it can’t be helped, it’s life; life is like that, you can’t do anything about it. So it contracts and contracts. Whereas the Yogic doctrine is that there is this living flame in every man which can become a blaze of illumination and whatever circumstance he’s in it can be brought out.
© Trevor Leggett
(continued in ‘In Samadhi the mind comes to a stop)
Titles in this series are: