“Help” has two different meanings. One is superficial and the other has a certain depth to it. On the superficial plane, ‘help’ is nothing more than a transaction. It’s just a give and take process. Whether you feed the hungry, give clothes to a beggar, donate money to a temple, provide physical protection to someone, conduct a yagna, sacrifice animals, or educate someone, you are only making a transaction. You always desire to get something in the end. The only good quality of such a helpful man is that he is patient. You will find a lot of patience within him. He can wait for a day, week, month, year, or his entire lifetime to reap the reward. But his intentions are not noteworthy because deep down, he is waiting for his reward. He is like a child waiting for his mother to buy him a video-game if he comes first in his class. The only difference is that a grown-up man can hide his childish curiosity behind a mask. He spends his whole life building and repairing his mask because his reality will be revealed once the mask falls down. So the only credit that I will give to a grown-up man is that he is patient. Although, that patience has an extremely negative connotation.
There is also another meaning for the word “help.” And this is more foundational. It has a certain depth to it, which is why it’s extremely difficult to realize its real sense. Only a Buddha or a Christ or a Krishna can understand its real essence. It’s more experiential in nature. Theoretical knowledge won’t work over here. You will have to feel it. You need to live it. The meaning is so fundamental that there isn’t any concrete definition. I can provide an analogy. This analogy will not make you understand the meaning of the word ‘help,’ but it will allow you to appreciate the beauty of it.
Everyone likes a rose. Whether we are happy or sad, whether we like doing mathematics or reading a poem, whether we are a Hindu or a Christian, no one dislikes roses. And we love roses in all stages of our life. Whenever we present a gift to a child, we make sure that it’s wrapped with beautiful rose ribbons. Even the birthday cake has roses in it. And when we grow up a little, we offer a rose to our beloved as a token of love. A few years forward, a husband offers a rose to his wife to show that he is still loyal. And then when somebody dies, we keep a bouquet of roses over his deathbed/casket to wish him good luck for his last journey. So a rose is used for expressing emotions of all kinds: happiness, sadness, love, despair, loyalty, infidelity, good luck, curse, and the list goes on.
But the rose doesn’t mind whether you are using it for expressing good emotions or bad emotions. A rose isn’t concerned whether you will pluck it or crush it or whether you will be lost in its sweet fragrance. A rose behaves exactly the same whether it is planted in the king’s garden or it has grown in some remote part of the Amazon forest. No matter where it comes out, it spreads its sweet fragrance all around. It’s not waiting for some prize, medal, or award. It is spreading fragrance because it is its fundamental nature.
Similarly, a man who has realized his fundamental nature is only eligible to lend a helping hand. He is the only person fit to help others. He doesn’t care about the Nobel prize or the president’s medal. He doesn’t have a desire to appear on the front page of the newspaper. He is doing this because ‘helping’ others has become his fundamental nature, just like the rose that spreads its sweet fragrance around it. But only a realized soul — a Buddha, a Mahavir, a Krishna, a Christ — can activate his fundamental nature. Only they can help without any prejudiced mind. They won’t think: “Because he looks like me, prays to the same God, and is wealthy, I’ll help him. Who knows, if I am lucky, this man may offer me his diamond watch, or even a simple watch will work. At least, I will save a hundred rupees.”
A realized soul, an enlightened man, will never think in this way. He will help no matter who comes into his shelter, no matter who takes refuge in his home. It’s because his mind isn’t prejudiced. He has freed himself from the chains of logic. He no longer differentiates two people based on benefits and drawbacks. He is at the highest point a man can possibly reach. He has finally become a human. He has woken up.
Remember that only a conscious man, only an aware man, only someone who has broken his sleep can ‘help’ you selflessly. Only he is an unselfish man. Only he is an altruistic man. Nobody else!