October 22

It’s Not What You Gather
That Makes You Selfish

Question: How can we cultivate the neutrality to evaluate our own thoughts and actions, which are so close to us?

Sri Gurudev: Find out whether your own thoughts are based on selfishness or not. If your thoughts are based on selfishness, then they are always wrong. Because you are putting your own concern as your primary motive. You are not thinking of others. So naturally you will lean towards your own benefit. We have to analyze every thought, every action, with this guideline: “Am I doing it selflessly?”

This might lead to another question: “What about my eating, sleeping, having certain facilities? Is it selfish for me to buy a house?” If you are doing it just for your sake, then yes, it is selfish. It’s not what you gather or keep with you that makes you selfish, but how you use them. Even your eating can be selfless if you are eating to get the energy to serve others.

Every action should be based on some benefit to someone. You might wonder, “Shouldn’t I at least get some benefit?” You will get the most benefit if you think of the benefit of others. That’s why I sometimes say the most selfless person is the most selfish person, because by being selfless you keep yourself happy and peaceful always.

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