The Sun Is The Perfect Example

Vinoba Bhave
324 words, 33K views, 14 comments

The sun is the perfect example of acting without desire. When the sun rises does the idea enter its mind to say, 'I shall banish the darkness, I shall urge the birds to fly, and I will set people working'? No, the sun always stays still, and yet its stillness makes the world go around. 

If we were to thank the sun by saying, 'Your help is infinite, you have dispelled so much darkness' that would be absurd. The sun might say 'What are you talking about? Does darkness exist? Bring a little of it to show me, then I will know whether I have dispelled it.  Then I shall accept that I am the doer; the maker of light.' 

The sun is totally neutral and detached. It does not control or dictate. It just is. In the light of the sun, one person may read a fulfilling book and another a trivial one. One may help a neighbor, another may commit murder. The sun is not  responsible for the good or the evil of these acts; therefore, the sun does not accumulate any consequences. The sun would say, 'Light is my nature. For me, to be is to shine.' 

Even when we have night, the sun acts and shines on the other side of the Earth. The sun shines all the time, and yet no one notices that it is working. The sun sets everyone to act. It makes cows graze, birds sing, merchants open their shops, farmers plow their fields, and yet if someone does not wake up and draw the curtains, the sun will not force them to do so. It is enough that it exists. 

The sun is the perfect state of being rather than doing. The sun does not have light; it is light. The sun does not do good; it is good.


Vinoba Bhave was Gandhi's spiritual successor in India. More about him in King of Kindness.