Words of love are not necessarily kindly words


A yogin who had realised God while still a young scholar, was approached very privately by a scion of a noble house. He knew that the yogin had some skill in the traditional medicine of India called Ayur Veda, and he begged for his help. He dared not go to his family doctor, or to any other doctor in the town because of the nature of the disease; he was well known, and the matter would soon find its way back to his father who was rigid in his moral convictions. He had already told his son that any further falls from the path of virtue would mean his expulsion from the family.

The yogin-scholar agreed to help, and in fact found an effective treatment. The young man professed eternal gratitude, but the yogin said: “Demonstrate your gratitude by upholding your father’s name as he wishes it.” This was promised, but nevertheless in a few months the young nobleman was back with the same request for help.

The yogin refused. To give you help would be no help,” he told him. “It would confirm you not only in disastrous sexual habits, but also in the idea that you can give your word and break it. Look for help elsewhere.” The words of love are not necessarily kindly words.

The Garden

An Indian yogin used to sit, by invitation, in a private garden in the evenings. Later, the owner of the garden threw it open to the public. One evening, an old man happened to sit near the yogin and again the following night. The third evening he brought his hookah pipe, and sat near him, not speaking but quietly drawing on the pipe. As the yogin rose to go, the old man said to him: “I look forward to these meetings. You do not speak, but I find peace in your presence.” “If you come, do not sit near me,” replied the other. “What do I get out of it? Sit somewhere else.”

Many years later, the yogin told this story to a few of his pupils, who were at first inclined to think it rather hard. But they came to realise that in this way he had been giving a lesson: it is wrong to enjoy peace without making any contribution to it oneself.

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