THE TANTRA VISION, VOL. 2
Chapter 6: I am enough alone, Question 7
OSHO, IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THE ENGLISH MADE THE BEST SERVANTS IN THE WORLD. WHEN YOU GAVE ME MY NAME YOU TRANSLATED IT AS 'IN SERVICE OF LOVE'. I KNOW NOW THAT IT CAN ALSO BE TRANSLATED AS 'THE SERVANT OF LOVE'. I HAVE WONDERED ABOUT THIS. SOMETIMES IT SEEMS THAT I AM MOST IN SERVICE OF LOVE WHEN I AM MOST MYSELF AND NOT INTENDING TO SERVE. OTHERWISE IT SEEMS MORE LIKE SUBSERVIENCE AND THAT I AM SUFFERING FROM THE ENGLISH CULTURAL DISEASE OF POLITENESS, SERVILITY AND HELPFULNESS. WILL YOU PLEASE COMMENT?
The question is from Ma Prem Dasi.
PREM DASI actually means 'the servant of love'. But, while giving sannyas to her, I had knowingly translated it as 'in service of love'. The exact translation is 'the servant of love'. I translated it as 'in service of love' for a certain reason.
I would like you to become more and more serving, but I should not like you to become servants. Servants don't serve, only masters serve; servants do their duty. Duty is a four-letter, ugly word. They have to do it; there is no beauty in it, there is no joy in it. So be in service, but never be a servant -- that is one thing.
The second thing: when you become a servant, you learn habits. Service is an on-going process. To become a servant is to attain to a character, a dead character. People know you are a public servant. People know that this man is a servant. A man in service is totally different. He is not predictable. Each moment he will choose to respond. You cannot depend on his past. That's why I translated it as 'in service of love'.
Service is beautiful, but to become a servant is not good. Service is spontaneous. For example, you are passing by a road and you find that a house is on fire. You rush into it and you save a child who was going to die. But you don't HAVE to do it, you were not in search of some public service. You were just going for a morning walk, and the house was on fire. You were not thinking about it at all -- just the situation and the response: you are in service.
But a servant is dangerous, because if he cannot find somebody to serve, he will force somebody to be served.
I have heard about a Christian missionary who was teaching his students, the Sunday-school students, small boys and girls. He was telling them to do one good thing, one good work, at least once a week. Next Sunday he inquired whether they had done any good job, had they done any public service? Three boys stood up, and he was very happy. Out of thirty, at least three... But that too is a great percentage because who listens?
So he asked the first boy 'What did you do? Tell the whole class.'
And he said 'Sir, I helped an old woman to cross the road.'
He said 'Very good. Always take care of old women.'
And then he asked the other, and the other said 'I also helped an old woman to cross the street.'
Then the priest was a little puzzled, but he saw nothing to be puzzled about as there are so many old women... maybe he also got one woman.
So he asked the third, and the third said 'I also helped an old woman to cross the street.'
Then the priest said 'But this seems too much. You all three got old women?'
They said 'No, there were not three, there was one. Only one woman was there -- we all three helped.'
So he said 'But... three were needed?' He said 'You are saying three were needed?'
'Even with six it would have been difficult, because she didn't want to go to the other side. It was very difficult, sir. But we did it! Something was to be done! She was very angry!
Never be a servant, otherwise you will be in search. And if you cannot find some place to serve, you will be very angry. These people are there all over the world -- the public servants. They are the most mischievous people. They create much mischief, because when people don't want to be served, then too they force their service. They have to force, they have an investment there. They cannot allow a beautiful world to exist because what will happen to them?
Just think. No lepers left, no ill people left, no hospitals needed. And all have become enlightened -- no schools, no colleges and no universities needed. What will happen to the public servants? They will start committing suicide. Nobody to serve! They will manage somehow to create a situation where they can be of service -- their whole prestige depends on it. It is an ego trip.
That's why knowing well... I remember exactly that when I gave sannyas to Prem Dasi, I was just going to translate it as 'the servant of love', then I thought it would be wrong. The word means that, but I changed it and I told her 'in service of love'.
Be in service, but don't make service your character. I love people who live characterlessly, who live moment to moment, who just respond to situations. Otherwise, you will be in bondage.
And you are right, Prem Dasi. You say :I AM MOST IN SERVICE OF LOVE WHEN I AM MOST MYSELF AND NOT INTENDING TO SERVE. Perfectly true. It's how it is.
When you intend to serve, it is no longer beautiful, it is no longer love. When you are yourself, utterly yourself, out of that independence, out of that being arises love, and you serve people. And there is no feeling that you are a servant and they are masters. You simply serve because you have so much to give that you have to share: you flow in your sharing, in your love, in your compassion.