Gnosis - Quetzalcoatl Cultural Institute

Gnosis ICQ in: Spanish | Francais:

What is Santideva's "Inversion of the Self and the Other"?

Answer from the Magazine "The Wisdom of the Being".

A great oriental sage named Santideva showed us how we can get to walk the path of true cooperation in his teaching of "The inversion of the self and the other."

This great being explains to us in a very didactic way, that selfish feeling that characterizes us will inevitably lead us to failure. Wanting the best for oneself, at the cost of the suffering of others; always looking for security, having fear as a background, makes us exploiters, liars, scammers. However, we always have a great justification.

But there is the secret… That which we seek for ourselves and that leads us to failure, if we seek it for others, it will positively transform us and lead us on the right path. That is the inversion of the Self in the other. Everything that we want, that we seek, that we think we need, let us try for others to have it, this will lead us to change our life completely.

This great initiate tells us: “If I give, what will I have to eat? This selfishness will make you an ogre. If I eat, what will I have to give? This generosity will make you the king of the Gods”. "Anyone who makes another suffer for himself will burn in hell, anyone who suffers for another is entitled to all happiness."

You think you are very smart when you make others work for you, but you don't realize that you are digging your own grave, your own pain. Regarding this, he tells us: “He who imposes the task of working for him on another will have slavery as a reward; he who imposes the task of working for another will have power as a reward”. “All who are unhappy are so because they have disturbed their own happiness; All those who are happy are so because they have sought the happiness of others”.

Feeling what the other feels, trying to put oneself in the place of others is the universal law, clearly expressed by Santideva in the following way:

"So, to appease my pain and that of the other, I give myself to others and adopt others like me”. “I belong to the others; this must be your conviction. Oh my heart, the interest of all beings must henceforth be your only thought!”


The Wisdom of Being Magazine 86, Chapter: "Cooperation".