From Personality to Individuality
Compassion cannot allow you even to do good to the other person who is not ready for it. Compassion gives total freedom, respect and dignity to the other person; all these people who have been trying to save others are just a by-product of Christianity and its conditioning.
In Buddhism there is no place for saving anybody. Buddha says, “I can show you the way, but you will have to walk. I cannot walk for you. If you don’t want to walk, who am I to force you? At the most I can say I have walked the path, and I can describe the beauties of the path, but I cannot force you in any way. That will not be compassion, it will be cruelty. If it is your pleasure to go some other way, then all my blessings are with you. Even if you are going to hell, my blessings are with you.”
Mahavira has taken a very clear stand: “Nobody has ever been saved by anybody else. It is not possible by its very nature because if somebody can save you, then somebody can unsave you also. Then your being saved is not something in your possession, it is given by somebody. It is just as somebody can give you money and somebody else can steal it – you are not the master of it. And at least your self-realization, your enlightenment, must be something of which you are the master, which nobody can deprive you of.”
It is simple logic: if somebody can give it to you, then somebody can deprive you of it; there is no problem in it. If you can be forced to be enlightened, you can be forced to be unenlightened. Mahavira is very clear, and I agree with him, that at least one ultimate thing should be left to the individual. Enlightenment is the ultimate experience; it should not be borrowed, given, purchased, forced, otherwise it won’t be the real thing.
It is Christian stupidity that has spread the idea; no other religion before Christianity had ever thought of saving somebody. If you know the way, you know the joys of the way, you can sing the song, you can dance the dance. If somebody feels like moving with you, being a fellow traveler, not a follower, then he is welcome. But there is no enforcement and you are not obliging him.
These are the beautiful points which have arisen in the Eastern consciousness over thousands of years. Even if you show the way, you give the details of the path and you give the discipline; you don’t make the other person feel obliged to you. You are not doing it for him, it is just your own experience which wants to be shared. He is obliging you by hearing you, by giving you a chance to share your experience. He is helping you to be unburdened of the fragrance that you are carrying – and you want to be unburdened, you have to be thankful to the person – the question of saving does not arise.
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