[A sannyasin mother and daughter are leaving for the west. The mother says that up to now she’s been working as a pharmacist… she has to give medicine which may harm people rather than help them. Some of it is healing but she is not entirely happy about the whole of it.]
Osho – I understand… but nobody is constantly happy in any kind of work. It is not concerned with the work as such; it is more concerned with our mind, with our attitudes, with our moods, with our lows and highs. So nobody is always happy, and by changing the work, nothing will be changed: you have to change yourself. That is a very easy thing to do, to change the work. People start doing that, then they start moving from one kind of work to another. But every kind of work will be frustrating unless your mind changes.
So a few things: whenever you feel that you are not in a good mood and you don’t feel good in the work, before starting work just exhale deeply for five minutes. Feel with the exhalation that you are throwing your dark mood out. And you will be surprised: within five minutes you will suddenly be back to normal, the low will have disappeared, the darkness will be there no more.
I can understand your problem, but life is complicated; one never knows what is going to help and what is going to harm. It is not only with allopathic medicine; it is so with everything. One never knows what is going to help and what is going to harm. All that we can hope is that we don’t do any intentional harm, that’s all; and that you are not doing.
If we start thinking in that way – that we should do only that which is absolutely certain to be beneficial – then nothing can be done at all, nothing can be done at all, and that will be more harmful. For example, if you give medicine to a hundred patients and to ten, it is harmful and because of them you stop giving the medicine to a hundred, then it will be harmful to one hundred percent of people. So we have to choose the lesser evil; the lesser evil is this.
And sometimes it happens… for example, in homeopathy, the medicine doesn’t harm but it doesn’t help either. It is just your gullibility that helps, not the medicine at all. A medicine which is not harmful at all cannot be helpful. Only a medicine that can help, can harm, because it has power. So one can go on distributing homeopathic medicine and can feel very good, but then too one is harming in a very indirect way.
For example a patient with cancer comes to you and you give him homeopathic medicine. It is not going to harm him but he could have taken some other medicine which could have helped him, and now he will depend on homeopathy; if he dies, you will be responsible. You have harmed him – not by homeopathic medicine but by delaying. So it is complicated. If you start getting into this, you will go mad. Simply relax. Just don’t do intentional harm, that’s all.
In the East we have thought very much about these things because we got into it too much and became almost crazy. Now there is a sect of Jainas in India which don’t eat in the night because some insects may fall in the food and may die and they may be responsible. They don’t drink water in the night. But they are torturing their body, and in that very torture many cells will die inside. So they are killing those cells.
Now Jaina monks go on fasting for long periods of time, thirty days, and they think it is very auspicious and very virtuous because in not taking any food for thirty days you have not harmed anybody. Mm? by taking food you harm something or other, even if it is vegetarian: so many plants have been cut for you, those plants have died; you are responsible for their life. They would have lived; now you have eaten them.
They fast. But then you are eating your own flesh; that’s why about two pounds is lost in weight each day. Where has it gone? Then rather than being a vegetarian you have become a non-vegetarian,: you have eaten your own meat! These are complicated problems and one can try to go on avoiding them but one cannot avoid them absolutely. All that we can do is not to do intentional harm… the least, that’s all, but don’t try to be perfect. So just be in your work, help. And you know about it, you have had twenty years’ experience; do whatsoever you can do.
Drop these problems and these worries, otherwise you will become more and more tense. Leave everything to god, mm? That’s the beauty of being a sannyasin: you can leave everything to god. Now it is his problem: whether to save this man or to kill him. Finally he is responsible, nobody else.
Source – Osho Book “Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing”