Prevention is Better Than Cure
February 19, 1971

The initiates seem to be less thoughtful than they should be at times--if you're in the kitchen cooking something they come, they look, "What's that? Can I have some?" Well, you have just what you want for yourself, you know. I'm willing to share, very happy, but I don't like to be asked all the time.

    This can be avoided if the kitchen is properly kept. Let one or two prepare the food--finish it. Let each man have his own share and take the food which has been prepared.

It isn't only that, it's many things.

    I think it is better to avoid all these things, tasting, chatting, looking here, there.

It's the thoughtlessness that always causes my mind to work. For example, porridge is brought in the morning and if you don't hurry, you don't get any because somebody has eaten a lot, more than his share. And the point being, when I see it, it causes ill feeling in me and I know it's the mind working on them and the negative power...

    I tell you the best thing is to let the food be prepared at one place. One or two people attend to it, finalize. For cleaning utensils, each man may do his own portion--finish off. Let him have his share, whatever he likes. No hard and fast rule? More or less. Let him eat and enjoy. That's all. While eating, be fully at eating: Be thankful. Do one thing at a time. If while eating you're chatting, chatting here, there, looking at this or that, smiling here at this or that thing, this naturally gives vent to so many things.

But still, shouldn't I have a reaction of love and not of ill-feelings when something like this happens? In other words, if they don't change, I should change.

    There is a proverb, "prevention is better than cure." Is it not so? When you get a disease you have to cure it. It is better to prevent it at the very source from whence the whole trouble arises. And, moreover, do one thing at a time. Eat fully; be thankful to God, and that very food will give you more strength. In six months you'll change. If your thought is somewhere else, you will be gulping down everything, you see?
    Now hundreds sit down to be fed here. I give them three, four chapatis each, to a child I give two; finish off. If they want any more, let them have it--finish. "All right, go enjoy. "If one is eating, he doesn't look at the plate of any other. If they want more, they can have more. I don't have anybody give me trouble and I have a hundred people like that. Would that not be nice? So prevention is better than cure, you see. Is it not so? So many are here--two, three people who know how, can prepare, then let each man have his share. One or two who work may not eat then, but later when the others are through. Each man should clean his own portion accordingly. Then you won't throw a burden on others. Sometimes people go on talking, long talks, you see, lounging--right, left, etc. And when they return to their rooms, they leave all their plates dirty, therefore putting that burden on others. There cannot be any definite rules laid down for this--just common sense. If each man has his own share, let his whole attention be there, enjoying, thanking God and eating. Then when he leaves, let him clear his own dishes. That's common sense. One or two may help if it is required, without asking, let each think to keep utensils clean, also keep the kitchen clean. And for that I don't know if any hard and fast rule should be laid down. Common sense. I think this will remedy much of the trouble. Yes?

The trouble within me is what I'm trying to cure. I follow what you're saying completely, and that's good. But now in other situations, for example; my house in ---- is a big house, and many initiates have said to me, "Can I come and live with you?" Now, I don't want anyone to live with me. When they ask me I don't want to say no, I don 't want to refuse if they need.

    Why not give them separate rooms? Then you will have little or no concern. To live together does not mean talking, sitting, idling away time and wasting the other man's time. "All right, have your own room. Don't disturb me, I won't disturb you."

But is it better not to give if it's given begrudgingly, than to give... ?

    Look here, how many friends can you have? One, two, three, four, ten? Or a hundred? If a man is a friend to a hundred, he's a friend to nobody. Have very few give and take friends. Give and take should not be business-like. What should you do when you give?--Give finally. Don't think of return. That's the proper way. Now you give in a business way and the whole thing is topsy-turvy. I go to visit you. Then you come to me, then again I repay it, and you again come... This is chatting, wasting away time in trifling things. Not doing this will save your time, will it not? We idle away time in many ways in such like trifling things. What l am teaching you requires no hard and fast rule or anything laid down in books. It is common sense. If, for instance, you're very studious--you want to study and a man who stays with you says, "Well, what are you doing? What is all this? How about this...?" Every man should mind his own business. Even if somebody comes and he has reason to stay; let him stay but let him also have his own room. He should not sit on your brain all the time he's there, you see.

I'm sorry, my mind is so dense, but, for example, when I drive people to Satsang, then there are some who are very difficult. Like an older lady is not quite right and so she will impose on me to take her home first. She won't ride with this one and all that sort of thing. That makes a lot of problems for me.

    Look here, look here. The main thing: Kabir says, if you go to meet a Saint, don't take anybody with you. When you go to meet a Saint, don't take anybody with you. Just rush in. You reach--everybody should try to reach Satsang. But you are not responsible for everybody. If convenient, you may take one or two. You see?

I thought, I have a car and they don't, so I should share.

    That comes with that very question of give and take. You say somebody is not well. To help them is all right. That's another thing you do in your routine life. But why be wasting some time here, there. When you go to pick up someone you will have to wait. "All right, coming, coming. I'm just doing this, just wait a minute." And then, "I'm sorry I'm late." Time is wasted, is it not--saying they are sorry or being sorry. Let him be quite ready at the door when you arrive. That's a remedy. Or you will have, "Just wait, I am just in the bathroom." Then you cannot leave him or her and if you do leave him, it reflects badly. So, those who want to go, accompany you, should be ready--each man at his door.

And if they're not?

    All right, leave them one day and let them learn to be punctual. Punctuality pays, you see. You're doing your job out of service, love, but if you are detained here and there and all the time you are thinking, "Oh, he has not come; why is he delaying?" The whole burden is on your mind. You go to the Satsang with a burdened mind. Is it not a pity? To help others is all right, but if the others are a burden on your shoulders like this, it's better not to have it. They should be ready. The one, two, or three you are bringing should be ready at the door. I think this will avoid delay. But each man should take care of himself. You may take one or two. Those who are incapacitated--I mean not fit--that's another thing. They always should be ready. If, when you arrive, they are just preparing, washing their hands, taking this and that, your time is wasted. Sometimes you may be out of sorts, not loving, and after some time you become annoyed and say, "What is this?" Is it not so? Very trifling things, I tell you. Are they not trifling?

Yes, but they mount up.

    Well, little, little, little added here, little poison there. That is sufficient to kill a man. What do you think about this story?

I think everybody has something like this.

    Surely, to help others is good. But they should be ready if they are going.

That's the problem.

    What for? If there's any problem, that can be discussed, not on the way but at another time.

Then I must be more firm.

    No, no. The others also should feel the responsibility and improve. They're simply saying, "Oh, you have become very haughty," because you're telling them.

That's right.

    Is it not? This mind, you see, controls everybody in a way that he does not know. Very crafty. Now you've started with this very good intention of taking them. Now they'll come here. So Kabir says, "When you go to meet a Saint don't take anybody with you." Put your steps onward, don't step back. Always go ahead. Let come who comes. They've said these words after trying so many things, you see. The man who goes to try again and again--what has been tried by hundreds of men already, is a what?

Fool [chuckles].

    I need not say, you see. The intentions should be good and the others should also behave like that, if you are taking them, very kindly. You have got a car, you can help others, but others who are a burden on you, then? They should be ready at the door; no talking. When you reach the door, "Hello, you have come, come on, sit down," should stop. If you have--how many--four, five, six people that you take and for each you have to make hello first... These things can be remedied. Prevention is better than cure. Again that very solution comes up.



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