Give what you are and not what you have

One day a disciple of Gambhirananda brought his own son and his friend's son to the Master. Alas, on that very day his friend's son was attacked by cholera. The doctors said it was a hopeless case; it was only a matter of hours before he would die.

The disciple felt miserable because the boy was his friend's only son. So he went to Gambhirananda and begged him to cure the boy. In his mind the disciple was saying to himself: "Why did I bring this young boy? If he dies, what will I tell my friend?" Then he had another thought: "Oh, I have a few children. I won't mind if one of my children dies instead of my friend's son."

At this point Gambhirananda read his mind. "You great sacrificer!" he said, "You are ready to let your son die! What right do you have to sacrifice your son? Your life belongs to you, but your son's life belongs to him. You cannot claim your son's life. You have not yet learned the ABC of spiritual life, and you are showing off about what a great sacrificer you are. Be sincere! Try to know where you stand in the spiritual life. Start from the very beginning. Learn the ABC of spiritual life and then think of sacrifice."

The Master mocked the disciple, scolded him and insulted him. Then finally he cured his friend's son.

Commentary: It is easy to be generous at the expense of others. In the outer world when we sacrifice something, we are totally aware of the results of our action. At times it is the results — which are glory, name and fame — that prompt us to make an act of sacrifice. But in the inner world there is no such thing as sacrifice. Through our constant prayer and meditation we become fully aware of our universal oneness. When we separate our existence from the blind limitations of the body, we see ourselves not only as unlimited possibilities but also as infinite inevitabilities. Our sense of separativity we sacrifice in order to become great. Our sense of unity we treasure in order to remain always good.