Osho on Beggars and Begging


OSHO – THE beggar is not the problem. If the beggar was the problem then everybody who passes by would feel the same. If the beggar was the problem then beggars would have disappeared long ago. The problem is within you: your heart feels it. Try to understand it.

The mind interferes immediately whenever the heart feels love, the mind immediately interferes. The mind says, “Whether you give him something or not, he will remain the beggar all the same.” Whether he remains the beggar or not is not your responsibility, but if your heart feels to do something, do it. Don’t try to avoid. The mind is trying to avoid the situation. The mind says. “What is going to happen? He will remain the beggar, so there is no need to do anything.” You have missed an opportunity where your love could have flown.

If the beggar has decided to be a beggar, you cannot do anything. You may give him: he may throw it. That is for him to decide. The mind is very clever.

Then the question, it says:
Because there is no love in the human heart. But again, the mind interferes:


Now you are forgetting the beggar and the heartache that you felt. Now the whole thing is becoming political, economical. Now the problem is no more of the heart: it is of the mind. And mind has created the beggar. It is the cunningness, the calculativeness of the mind that has created the beggar. There are cunning people, very calculative: they have become rich. There are innocent people, not so calculative, not so cunning: they have become the poor.

You can change the society — in Soviet Russia they have changed. That makes no difference. Now the old categories have disappeared — the poor and the rich — but the ruler and the ruled, a new category, has come up, Now the cunning are the rulers and the innocent are the ruled. Before, the innocent used to be poor and the cunning used to be rich. What can you do?

Unless the division between mind and heart is dissolved, unless humanity starts living through the heart and not through the mind, the classes are going to remain. The names will change, and the misery is going to continue.
The question is very relevant, very meaningful, significant “What can I do with a beggar?” Beggar is not the question. The question is you and your heart. Do something, whatsoever you can do, and don’t try to throw the responsibility on the rich. Don’t try to throw the responsibility on history. Don’t try to throw the responsibility on the economic structure. Because that is secondary if humanity remains cunning and calculative it is going to be repeated again and again and again.

What can you do for it? You are a small part of the total. Whatsoever you do will not change the situation — but it will change you. It may not change the beggar if you give something to him, but the very gesture, that you shared whatsoever you could, will change you. And that is important. And if this goes on — the revolution of the heart — people who feel, people who look at another human being as an end in itself if this goes on increasing, one day, the poor people will disappear, the poverty will disappear — and it will not be replaced by a new category of exploitation.

Up to now all the revolutions have failed, because the revolutionaries have not been able to see the basic cause why there is poverty. They are looking only at superficial causes. Immediately they say, “Some people have exploited him, that’s why their possibility. This is the cause; that’s why there is poverty.

But why were some people able to exploit? Why could they not see? Why could they not see that they are gaining nothing and this man is losing all? They may accumulate wealth, but they are killing life all around. Their wealth is nothing but blood. Why can they not see it? The cunning mind has created explanations there also.

The cunning mind says. “People are poor because of their karma. In the past lives they have done something wrong, that s why they are suffering. I am rich because I have done good deeds, so I am enjoying the fruit.” This is also mind. And Marx sitting in the British Museum is also a mind: and thinking about what is the basic cause of poverty comes to feel that there are people who exploit. But these people will be there always. Unless cunningness disappears completely, it is not a question of changing the structure of the society. It is a question of changing the whole structure of human personality.

What can you do? You can change, you can throw out the rich people — they will come back from the back door. They were cunning. In fact, those who are throwing, they are also very cunning; otherwise they cannot throw. The rich people may not be able to come from the back door, but the people who call themselves revolutionaries, communists, socialists — they will sit on the throne and then they will start exploiting. And they will exploit more dangerously because they have proved themselves more cunning than the rich. By throwing out the rich, they have proved one thing absolutely: that they are more cunning than the rich. The society will be in the hands of more cunning people.

And remember, if someday some other revolutionaries are born — which are bound to be, because again people will start feeling the exploitation is there, now it has taken a new form — again there will be a revolution. But who will throw the past revolutionaries? Now more cunning people will be needed. Whenever you are going to defeat a certain system, and you use the same means as the system has used for itself, just names will change, flags will change, the society will remain the same.

Enough of this befooling. The beggar is not the question: the question is you. Don’t be cunning, don’t be clever. Don’t try to say that this is his karma — you don’t know anything about karma. That is just a hypothesis to explain certain things which are unexplained, to explain certain things which cause heartache. Once you accept the hypothesis, you are relieved of the burden. Then you can remain rich and the poor can remain poor and there is no problem. The hypothesis functions as a buffer.

That’s why in India poverty has remained so ingrained and people have become so insensitive towards it. They have a certain theory which helps them. Just as you move in a car and the car has shock absorbers, the roughness of the road is not felt, the shock absorbers go on absorbing this hypothesis of karma is a great shock absorber. You come constantly against poverty, but there is a shock absorber the theory of karma. What can you do? It has nothing to do with yourself. You are enjoying your riches because of your virtues — good deeds done in the past. And this man is suffering from his bad deeds.

There is in India a certain sect of Jainism, Tera-Panth. They are the extremist believers of this theory. They say, “Don’t interfere, because he is suffering his past karmas. Don’t interfere. Don’t give him anything, because that will be an interference, and he could have suffered in a short time — you will be delaying the process. He will have to suffer.”

For example, a poor man you can give him enough to live at ease for a few years, but again the suffering will start. You can give him enough to live at ease in this life, but again in the next life the suffering will start. Where you stopped it, exactly from there the suffering will start again. So those who believe in the Tera-Panth, they go on saying don’t interfere. Even if somebody is dying by the side of the road, you simply go on indifferent on your path. They say this is compassion; interfering, you delay the process. What a great shock absorber.

In India people have become absolutely insensitive. A cunning theory protects them.In the West they have found a new hypothesis: that it is because the rich have exploited — so destroy the rich. Just look at it. Looking at a poor man, love starts rising in your heart. You immediately say this poor man is poor because of the rich. You have turned love into hate now hate arises towards the rich man. What game are you playing?

Now you say. “Destroy the rich! Take everything back from them. They are the criminals.” Now the beggar is forgotten; the heart is full of love no more. On the contrary, it is full of hate… and hate has created the society in which beggars exist. Now again hate is functioning in you. You will create a society in which categories may change, names may change, but there will be the ruled and the rulers, the exploited and the exploiters, the oppressors and the oppressed. It will not make much difference; it will remain the same. There will be masters and there will be slaves.

The only revolution possible is the revolution of the heart. When you see a beggar, remain sensitive. Don’t allow any shock absorber to come between you and the beggar. Remain sensitive. It is difficult because you will start crying. It is difficult because it will be very, very uncomfortable. Share whatsoever you can share. And don’t be worried whether he will remain a beggar or not — you did whatsoever you could. And this will change you. This will give you a new being, closer to the heart and farther away from the mind. This is your inner transformation; and this is the only way.

If individuals go on changing in this way, there may sometime arise a society where people are so sensitive that they cannot exploit, where people have become so alert and aware that they cannot oppress, where people have become so loving that just to think of poverty, of slavery, is impossible. Do something out of the heart, and don’t fall a victim of theories.

Source – Osho Book “Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 7”

One thought on “Osho on Beggars and Begging – What can i do with a Beggar?”
  1. you did whatsoever you could. And this will change you. This will give you a new being, closer to the heart and farther away from the mind. This is your inner transformation; and this is the only way ,I like this only the way to change……………

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *