Bodhidharma 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 20 discourses - Bodhidharma by Osho.
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Anyone who gives up the transcendent for the mundane, in any of its myriad forms, is a mortal. A buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Such is his power, karma can’t hold him. No matter what kind of karma, a buddha transforms it. Heaven and hell are nothing to him. …

If you’re not sure, don’t act. Once you act, you wander through birth and death and regret having no refuge. … To understand this mind, you have to act without acting. Only then will you see things from a tathagata’s perspective.

But when you first embark on the path, your awareness won’t be focused. You’re likely to see all sorts of strange, dreamlike scenes. But you shouldn’t doubt that all such scenes come from your own mind and nowhere else. …

If you see a light brighter than the sun, your remaining attachments will suddenly come to an end, and the nature of reality will be revealed. Such an occurrence serves as the basis for enlightenment. But this is something only you know. You can’t explain it to others. …

Or if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting or lying in the stillness and darkness of night, everything appears as though in daylight, don’t be startled. It’s your own mind about to reveal itself. …

If you see your nature, you don’t need to read sutras or invoke buddhas. Erudition and knowledge are not only useless, they cloud your awareness. Doctrines are only for pointing to the mind. Once you see your mind, why pay attention to doctrines?

To go from mortal to buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness and accept what life brings. …

Once mortals see their nature, all attachments end. Awareness isn’t hidden. But you can only find it right now. It’s only now. If you really want to find the way, don’t hold onto anything. Once you put an end to karma and nurture your awareness, any attachments that remain will come to an end. Understanding comes naturally. You don’t have to make any effort. But fanatics don’t understand what the buddha meant. And the harder they try, the farther they get from the sage’s meaning. All day long they invoke buddhas and read sutras. But they remain blind to their own divine nature, and they don’t escape the wheel.

A buddha is an idle person. He doesn’t run around after fortune and fame. What good are such things in the end? …
Bodhidharma does not divide the world into matter and spirit. He is against all divisions. The universe is one organic whole. But there seem to be divisions…then they must be coming from somewhere else, because the world is undivided. They come from your consciousness. If you are not conscious, you are a mortal; if you are conscious, you are immortal. If you are unconscious, you look at the world as mundane, and that which is beyond the world as sacred. But if you are conscious, aware, enlightened, a buddha, then there is nothing mundane and nothing sacred. Then everything is one. This oneness has to be deeply understood.
Divisions come from our consciousness or unconsciousness; it is our perspective. Just like the blind man standing in the sun is still in darkness…it is not that there is darkness outside of him. It is bright light, a beautiful morning, the birds singing praises and welcoming the sun. And the flowers are opening their buds and releasing their fragrance to the wind. It is a tremendous experience. But for the blind man, there are no colors, no flowers, no sun, no light. If his eyes are cured, suddenly he will be amazed that the world of darkness he used to see before is the same as the world of light which he sees now. The division was because of his blindness, not because there is a division in existence itself.
On this point Bodhidharma has a tremendous contribution to make. Most of the philosophers of the world and founders of religions have always divided the mundane and the sacred, the material and the spiritual, without knowing that the moment you divide existence as material and spiritual you are also dividing man into body and soul. And a man divided within himself is a house divided which can fall any moment. A man divided within himself is always in a constant fight with himself; his whole energy is wasted in fighting with himself. He cannot use his energy in a beautiful flowering. Springs come and go, but he has no energy to bring flowers. He is exhausted.
Perhaps the vested interests of the world have always wanted man to be tired and exhausted. It is supportive to their vested interests, because a man overflowing with energy cannot be prevented from being a rebel.
A man who is tired and exhausted cannot be provoked into any rebellion against any injustice, against any exploitation. He has no energy for it. He is living at the minimum, while he could have lived at the maximum. But a basic conspiracy against man has been practiced down the ages: divide. And that is the fundamental principle of all rulers – divide and rule. Religious preachers, priests, have not been anything other than politicians. Their whole desire is also to divide and rule.
An undivided individual cannot be enslaved. This division is a kind of castration. Just see the beauty of a bull: you cannot force him to carry your cart, you cannot keep him on the road under your control. He has so much power and so much individuality that he will choose his path, he will go this way and that way. And if he comes across a girlfriend, then your life and your cart are both in danger!
But just look at a bullock, carrying your carts, your loads…you have destroyed the beauty, the energy, the individuality, by castrating the bull. It is the same animal, but now without any energy. You have made him impotent, and he was so potent….
Strangely enough, the same has been done with man. All the religions and all the politicians of the world have been castrating man; otherwise man would also have the beauty and the grandeur and the splendor of being a bull, not a bullock. A bullock is a tragedy. A bullock is a condemnation of all those who have destroyed his natural beauty, power, potentiality. But to make a slave of a bull, this was a necessary step.
Why has man tolerated all kinds of exploitations, humiliations, slavery? For a simple reason: he has no energy. Where has his energy gone? He has been taught and conditioned to fight with himself. The conspiracy is really very clever. By fighting with yourself, you are destroying yourself.
Bodhidharma’s singular teaching is to know your self-nature, which is undivided, which is neither separate nor profane, which is neither material nor spiritual – which is transcendent, transcendent to all divisions, all dualities. This transcendental in you is your real being. And it has so much energy, so much overflowing power that it brings all kinds of blessings to you without ever being asked. It brings all kinds of beautiful flowers to blossom within your being without being asked. It is simply natural.
Man has been put into an unnatural situation; hence his misery, his suffering, his hell. To be unnatural is to be in hell, and to be in your self-nature is to be in heaven. There is no other hell, there is no other heaven.
These sutras are tremendously significant for all those who want to know their self-nature. Because that is the ultimate wisdom, and out of it, all your actions become beautiful, gracious, good – without any effort on your part, just naturally, as naturally as a roseflower grows out of a rosebush. Goodness, beauty, grace, virtue…everything grows naturally, without any effort, without any action on your part, once you know your self-nature.
This is the greatest knowing in the whole of existence.
Anyone who gives up the transcendent for the mundane, in any of its myriad forms, is a mortal.
To give up the transcendent…. Remember the meaning of the transcendent: that which transcends all dualities. Anyone who forgets the language of oneness with existence unnecessarily becomes a mortal. Then there is death – against life. Then there is body – against spirit. Then everything has its polar opposite. Then there is love as a polar opposite to hate. But remember one fundamental thing: the polar opposites are exchangeable. Love can become hate, hate can become love – and you all know it.
Friendship can turn into enmity, and enmity can become friendship. You all know – happiness can turn into sadness, and sadness can change into happiness. Although they are polar opposites, they are almost like twins, very close. Just a slight change in circumstances and one disappears…the other was just behind it.
So remember the transcendent – existence belongs to the transcendental. Don’t divide it; otherwise you will be continuously tortured by the duality.
A buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.
It does not matter to a man of awareness whether he is successful or unsuccessful, whether he is well known or absolutely unknown, whether he is somebody powerful or just a nobody, a nonentity. To a man of awareness, all these dualities don’t matter at all, because awareness is the greatest treasure. When you have it, you don’t want anything else. You don’t want to become a president of a country, or a prime minister of a country. Those are for children, retarded people, to play the game.
The people who go on running after ambitions are no more intelligent than football players. Their games may have different names, but their reality is the same. And they suffer continuously. Even in their success they suffer, because then they become afraid of whether they are also going to keep this successful position tomorrow. First they were suffering because they were not successful; now they are suffering because people are dragging on their legs, and everybody wants to be in their place.
To be on a powerful throne is to be in a most hilarious position. Everybody is pulling you down and you have to remain glued to the throne, whatever happens. Somebody is pulling your hands, somebody is taking your head, somebody is taking your legs away…whatever happens, dead or alive, you are determined to remain on the throne.
The life of a successful man is not a life of peace. And if this is the situation of success, you can conceive the situation of failure. If this is the situation of times you call good, you can understand the situation of times which are bad.
But for a man of awareness, it is all the same. Success comes and goes, failure comes and goes. You remain untouched and aloof.
This aloofness, this untouchedness, is your transcendental self-nature. Nothing makes even a scratch on you.
One of the mystics of India, Kabir, sings a song, jyon ki tyon dhar dinhi chadariya. “I have returned to God” or to existence, “the clothing that he had given to me to live in the world – without any change. I have not made it dirty; not even a particle of dust has gathered on it. I have put it back into his hands exactly as fresh as it was when he gave it to me.” This is the experience of an awakened man. He lives in the darkest nights in the same silence, in the same peace, as he lives in the brightest day. He never makes the division. He remains always transcendental, he remains always above any divisions. Divisions are left far behind.
Such is his power, actions can’t hold him. No matter what kind of action, a buddha transforms it.
This statement has to be taken deep into your heart….
You have heard the story in Greek mythology of king Midas, who had been praying his whole life to God: “Just grant me one wish, that whatever I touch must turn into gold.” And it seems God became tired of his continuous nagging…because what are your prayers other than nagging?
And a poor God, and so many nagging people, and he has been nagged for millions of years – it is no wonder if he has disappeared or committed suicide or whatever has happened. Nobody can tolerate that much nagging.
Finally, God granted him the wish – “Whatever you touch will turn into gold. And now leave me at peace!”
But the unconscious man cannot do anything better. Friedrich Nietzsche is right when he says that if all your prayers were fulfilled, you would be in utter hell. Your prayers are coming from your unconsciousness; you don’t know what you are asking for. It is good that God is deaf and no prayer is ever answered; otherwise you would repent…”Why have I prayed…?”
And this was the situation with king Midas. He had never thought of all the implications of his whole lifelong prayer. Morning and evening he went on praying only for one thing: “I don’t want anything else. Just a simple thing – whatever I touch should be transformed into gold.”
But as the prayer was granted he became aware of its implications. He could not eat because whatever he touched turned into gold. He could not drink because by the time his lips touched the water, it would turn into gold. His wife escaped, his children left him, his friends stopped coming to see him. Even his servants remained alert. All his great courtiers forgot to come to his court. He used to sit alone – hungry, thirsty, but it was now too late. It took his whole life to pray to get the wish. Now to get it canceled would take a whole life again!
He started praying but nothing happened. He died from starvation, and he killed a few people by touching them. He certainly made a gold palace by touching his house; all his furniture became gold – but what is the purpose of it? He suffered so badly as perhaps nobody has ever suffered, and he was one of the richest men in the world.
You have heard about “green thumbs” – gardeners have them. Great gardeners have them; whatever they touch turns green. King Midas had golden fingers; whatever he touched turned into gold. But he lost his wife, he lost his friends, he lost his courtiers, he lost everything – although he was the most successful and the richest man.
A man of awareness, a buddha, also has a transforming power: whatever he touches becomes blissful. Misery comes to him and he finds in it something blissful; sadness comes to him and he finds something immensely beautiful and silent in it. Death comes to him but he finds only immortality in it. Whatever he touches is transformed, because now he has the transcendental perspective. And that is the greatest power in the world – not power over anybody, but simply your intrinsic power.
Night becomes as beautiful as day; death becomes as much a celebration as life, because the man of transcendence knows that he is eternal.
Lives come and go, deaths come and go. He remains untouched, he remains always beyond.
This quality of remaining always beyond is the true enlightenment. Heaven and hell are nothing to him. Hence, once when Bodhidharma was asked, “What do you say about heaven and hell?” he said, “I cannot say anything because it all depends on you.”
The man was puzzled: how can heaven and hell depend on a poor man? Bodhidharma said, “There is no hell and there is no heaven. Wherever a man of awareness dwells, there is heaven; and wherever a man of unawareness dwells, there is hell.”
You carry your hell in your unconsciousness and you carry your heaven in consciousness. These are not geographical places, these are states of your being. Asleep, you are in hell and suffering from nightmares. Awake, you are in heaven and all suffering has ceased.
Heaven and hell are nothing to him.
I am reminded of a beautiful incident that happened in the life of Edmund Burke, an English philosopher. He had a great friendship with the archbishop of England – and the archbishop of England is equal to the pope. As far as the church of England is concerned, the archbishop is the representative of Jesus Christ.
Edmund Burke and the archbishop were great friends because they had studied together in the university. And the archbishop used to come to listen to Edmund Burke’s lectures, whenever he announced lectures. But Edmund Burke never went to the archbishop’s sermons – not even once. And naturally, the archbishop was waiting: someday….
Finally, he himself invited him: “This Sunday you have to come. No excuses.” And he prepared his life’s best sermon. He wanted to impress Edmund Burke…and he constantly looked at him, because he was sitting in the front row. And the archbishop was feeling great fear, because he did not see even a sign on the face of Edmund Burke that he was impressed or moved. Although he was shouting and beating the table and doing every kind of gymnastics that Christian missionaries are trained to do, Edmund Burke remained silent, without saying a word.
The sermon finished, and they both left in the same car. Edmund Burke was still silent…the archbishop was thinking perhaps he would say something now. And they came to his house and he was getting out of the car, and the archbishop could not contain his temptation to ask – “You have not said anything about my sermon. Say anything. Even if it was not good, at least say it; otherwise I will continuously think about it, about what your impression was.”
Edmund Burke said, “It was neither good nor bad, it was simply stupid. You made such idiotic statements that I would have never thought a man of your intelligence could make.”
He said, “What idiotic statements?”
Edmund Burke said, “You said that those who believe in Jesus Christ and do good works will go to heaven. And those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ and do evil acts will go to hell. Can’t you see the idiocy in it, the stupidity?”
The archbishop said, “I can’t see it yet.”
Edmund Burke said, “Then I will show it to you: If a man does not believe in Jesus Christ and does good works, where is he going? And if a man believes in Jesus Christ and does evil acts, where is he going? Are good works and evil acts to be decisive? Then the belief in Jesus Christ is superfluous. Or if the belief in Jesus Christ is the criterion, then the question of good acts or evil acts is irrelevant.”
The archbishop had never thought about it. Perhaps no religious person ever thinks about it, that a man can be absolutely religious without believing in any religion, that a man’s life can be absolutely the life of wisdom and goodness without believing in any God, without believing in any prophet, without believing in any savior. And vice versa: A man may believe in God, in Jesus, and still his life will be nothing but the life of an animal.
The archbishop said, “The question is very difficult and I have never thought about it. You will have to give me seven days. Next Sunday in my sermon, I will answer it. You will have to come once more, because I would like to make my statement before my whole congregation.”
Edmund Burke gave him seven days, and those seven days were of great torture to the archbishop. He worked from this way and that way, but he could not find any solution. Either he has to insist that belief in Jesus Christ is the criterion – then virtue and sin, good and evil don’t matter. Then the whole morality goes down the drain. If he says morality is decisive, then why bother about Jesus Christ? Then Jesus Christ goes down the drain.
And he was trying to keep both together. He could not sleep for seven days. The whole night the same question was going round and round in his mind. On the seventh day, he reached the church a little early, because he had not found the answer yet and he thought, “It will be better: I should go before the time people start coming – early, in darkness – to pray to Jesus Christ himself: ‘You show me the way. I cannot find any way out of the puzzle. Whatever I decide seems to be wrong, and I have never been in such anguish. Help me.’”
But he was so tired, and he had not slept for seven days, so just putting his head at the feet of Jesus Christ’s statue, he fell asleep and he dreamt a beautiful dream: He was sitting in a train which was going very fast, and he asked, “Where are we going?” The people said, “You don’t know? This train is going to heaven.”
He said, “My God, perhaps this is the answer from Jesus Christ – ‘look with your own eyes!’” And the train stopped at the station where, in very faded words, hardly visible, was written heaven and all over, it looked like a desert, a wasteland.
He could not think that heaven should be like this. He asked again, but people were getting down. They said, “It is heaven.” He entered the streets…they were so rotten and so dirty. He saw a few saints, so dry and so dead, sitting under their trees, repeating continuously, “Hallelujah, hallelujah.”
He asked them, “Is it truly heaven?” And they said, “What do you think we are doing here? We are great saints and with great austerity we have attained heaven.”
He said, “A strange heaven…not a single flower.” He asked a saint, “Can I know – is Gautam Buddha in heaven? Is Socrates here? Is Epicurus here?”, because all these people did not believe in God, and obviously there was no question of believing in Jesus Christ; they had been born before Jesus Christ. And the saint said, “Never heard of any such people here.” But they were the people who were absolutely good, the very essence of goodness.
He rushed to the station and inquired, “Is there a train going to hell too?” And they said, “It is leaving right now, standing at the platform.” So he went on the train towards hell. And as the train entered the station of hell, he could not believe – this should have been heaven! So green, so many flowers and everybody so radiant, so joyous, so much music…as if it were some celebration day.
He inquired, “Is there some celebration going on?” They said, “No, this is our usual everyday life. Celebration is our life.” He said, “Can I ask, is Gautam Buddha here? Is Socrates here? Is Epicurus here?”
They said, “They are all here. Just look in the garden by the road – Gautam Buddha is working as a gardener. Since these people came, everything changed. Otherwise, hell used to be just like heaven, but since Gautam Buddha, Socrates, Heraclitus, Epicurus, Mahavira, these godless people came into hell, they transformed the whole situation.
“Now, hell is really heaven. The old names remained, but everything has changed and life is just a continuous dance. Everything has become a blissfulness. They have brought poetry and music and art and they have transformed the whole place.”
Seeing the situation – it was so shocking – he woke up. People had started coming; Edmund Burke was already sitting in the first row.
The archbishop must have been a sincere man at least. He said, “I have not been able to find any answer. I prayed to Jesus – I don’t know whether this dream is given by Jesus or I have dreamt it myself, but this is the only answer I can give to you.”
He simply told his dream, and he said, “Please forgive me for making a stupid statement. I want to correct it: Wherever people are who are authentically good, there is heaven. And wherever people are who are basically evil, there is hell. These are psychological, spiritual spaces.”

A buddha transforms everything.
If you’re not sure, don’t act.
Bodhidharma is saying in other words, act only out of totality. And this kind of act is possible only if your whole being is totally conscious and your action comes from your whole being, not from a small part of your being – then it cannot be total and cannot be sure. Act totally and act intensely, and act absolutely in consciousness and in spontaneity. Then whatever you do is good.
If you act in uncertainty – with a divided mind, with “either/or,” with just a small portion of your mind as conscious and the major part as unconscious – whatever you do it is wrong. It may appear good, but appearances cannot deceive.
For example, you may donate to a poor man, but you are not sure…. To any observer it is a good act; you have helped the poor man. But to a man of the perceptivity of a Bodhidharma or a Gautam Buddha, you have acted out of uncertainty; hence you have not really been compassionate towards his poverty. You are simply bragging about your compassionateness, about your kindness. You are simply fulfilling your ego. Nobody will see it, everybody will see that you are serving the poor. But you can see that you are serving only your own egoistic idea of yourself that you are a great public servant. The whole beautiful act has gone poisonous.
Once you act…
out of uncertainty…
…you wander through birth and death and regret having no refuge. To understand this no-mind, you have to act without acting.
This will look a little illogical, but the philosophy based on meditation takes it as the most logical thing: acting without acting. This is one of the fundamentals of Bodhidharma to be understood. What I call a spontaneous act is the same – that way it does not create in your mind a conflict; what I call a total act is the same.
Whenever you act spontaneously, you are not acting. The action is coming out of your life source on its own accord; it is acting without action. When you decide to act, when you bring your mind in, when you bring your past experiences in, the action is your action. You have decided to do it. But when you allow existence to respond and your mind is no longer interfering, you are in a state of no-mind. In utter silence, you allow your self-nature to do whatever is spontaneous; you act without acting.
It is almost like a mirror. When you come before a mirror, do you think the mirror thinks, “Should I reflect this fellow or not?” Do you think the mirror thinks, “This guy looks like a Mafia guy with sunglasses – should I reflect him or not?” Somebody is beautiful, somebody is ugly – to the mirror it does not matter; it is not a question of deciding. The mirror simply reflects them as his self-nature – the nature of the mirror is to reflect. There is no question of any decision or any judgment. Seeing a beautiful woman, it does not appreciate her, or seeing a man who looks like a camel, it does not hesitate even for a single moment whether to reflect this fellow or not.

There is a beautiful story about one of the very great mystics, Ashtavakra. The word Ashtavakra means that he was the ugliest man you can conceive of. On eight points in his body, he was just like a camel; nothing was as it should be. Everything was wrong. His eyes – one would be looking to the left and one would be looking to the right. His legs – one would be going this way, one would be going that way….he was a very strange fellow. How he managed is difficult to conceive.
There was a great spiritual discussion going on in the court of the king, Janak, and all great scholars of the country had gathered there. Ashtavakra’s father had also gone – he was a well-known, learned scholar and there was every chance that he might win. And there was a great prize for the winner. But it was getting late and Ashtavakra’s mother told him, “You should go and tell your father that it is so late, and the food is getting cold. He can come and take his food, and then he can go back. That discussion is going to continue for days – so many scholars…it is not going to be finished in one day.”
So Ashtavakra went into the court of the king, and every single scholar started laughing. They had never seen such an ugly man – everything was wrong. Ashtavakra looked at everybody and said to the king, “I thought that you had gathered the wise people of the land. But these people seem to be shoemakers, because they can’t see my being. They can only see my skin, my bones. Are these people shoemakers or butchers? Certainly they are not enlightened; otherwise they would not have laughed. Their laughter is a judgment; they are humiliating me because of this wrong body. But whether the body is wrong or right does not matter; what matters is my consciousness.”
King Janak was so much impressed that he dissolved the council of those learned people, and he said, “Now I don’t need you. The man I wanted to listen to has come. I wanted a man who knows the ways of awareness, consciousness, of the innermost being. And he is right – you are only learned, but you are not enlightened.”

An enlightened man has no judgment. He acts without thinking about it. He acts out of no-mind. Hence his action has a beauty and grace and a truth and a goodness and a divineness in it.
You have to act without acting. Only then will you see things from a tathagata’s perspective.
Unless you come to awareness, spontaneity, total action, action without acting, you cannot know the perspective of an enlightened man, his vision towards things and life.
I have explained to you that a tathagata is a man who accepts everything as it is, in its suchness. He has no condemnation for anything and he has no appreciation for anything. The camel is perfect as he is, in his suchness, and the lion is perfect as he is, in his suchness. They are simply manifesting their own nature.
A tathagata’s perspective means accepting everybody as he is, without any condemnation, without any judgment, respecting everybody as he is, in his suchness. A tathagata never interferes in anybody’s life, he never trespasses on your territorial imperative. This is his nonviolence, this is his love, this is his compassion.
But to understand his perspective, you will have to come a little closer to his being. You will have to learn acting without acting, acting without your mind interfering in it, acting with totality. And that is possible only when your whole being is full of light, when you are enlightened, when all darkness has been dispelled from you.
Bodhidharma now gives you a few hints. He has given you the goal, tathagata – now he gives a few hints for the beginners on the path:
But when you first embark on the path, your awareness won’t be focused. It will be wavering. You’re likely to see all sorts of strange, dreamlike scenes. But you shouldn’t doubt that all such scenes come from your own mind and nowhere else.
So don’t become attached to any dreamlike scene, howsoever sweet. Gautam Buddha is reported to have said, “If you meet me on the path, immediately kill me.” He is talking about your meditation. If in your meditation you see Gautam Buddha, your mind will try every possible way to convince you that you have arrived – even Gautam Buddha has appeared in your consciousness, now what more do you want? Stop worshipping Gautam Buddha!
And so many so-called saints of the world have only stopped in such dreamlike phenomena. There are Christian saints who have seen Christ and have thought they have arrived, and the Christ is nothing but a projection of their own mind. No Hindu ever sees Christ; the Hindu sees Krishna, the Hindu sees Rama. No Christian ever sees Krishna or Buddha.
These are our conditionings. The mind is carrying the conditioning of Christ or Krishna or Buddha and when you become a little silent, the conditioning comes in front of you. And it is so alive that there is every possibility that you may get deluded. Hence, Bodhidharma is making you aware that anything that happens on the path in your meditation is just a projection of your mind and nothing else. Remove it; whether it is Buddha or Christ or Krishna does not matter. You have to go far; you have to go to a point where nothing appears, where all projections of the mind are left behind. Then you have reached to the transcendental. Then you have reached to your self-nature.
But before your self-nature is revealed, one experience Bodhidharma suggests you remember:
If you see a light brighter than the sun, your remaining attachments will suddenly come to an end, and the nature of reality will be revealed. Such an occurrence serves as the basis for enlightenment.
It is not enlightenment, but it serves as a basis. If you see a light brighter than the sun… because mind cannot project it. Mind can project only that which it knows. The mind can project the sun, but the mind cannot project a brighter sun which it has never known. If you see a light brighter than the sun…. Kabir says that in his meditation, it was as if one thousand suns had suddenly risen all around him. The light was so blinding that even to keep looking at it was scary. This is not enlightenment, but this is the beginning of two things: the end of all your attachments – as if they are burned by this light – and the creation of a basis for enlightenment.
But this is something only you know. You can’t explain it to others.
And in fact you should not talk about it to others because they will simply laugh. They may make it ridiculous. They cannot accept that you are ready for enlightenment – particularly you, whom they know perfectly well – and they have always thought themselves higher than you, holier than you. You must be cheating; you are trying to deceive but nobody is going to be deceived by you.
It is better not to talk about it, because by talking about it, they can destroy it by their comments, by their criticism, by their ridicule. They can destroy the very basis for enlightenment. It is better to keep it deep in your heart as a secret. It is so valuable that you should not bring it out before others.
Or if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting or lying in the stillness and darkness of night, everything appears as though in daylight, don’t be startled. It’s your own no-mind about to reveal itself.
To different people enlightenment comes from different doors. It depends on your uniqueness, your individuality. To some it may start with the happening of a brighter sun, or a thousand suns. To somebody else it may start…you are lying in your bed in the night, in darkness, and suddenly you start seeing things as if it is full daylight. Don’t be startled, don’t be afraid: it is a good sign. It will create the basis for your enlightenment and it will destroy all your attachments.
If you see your nature, you don’t need to read sutras or invoke buddhas. Erudition and knowledge are not only useless, they cloud your awareness.
They are not only useless, they are also harmful, immensely harmful.
Doctrines are only for pointing to the no-mind. Once you see your no-mind, why pay attention to doctrines?
There have been many instances of great masters who, when they became enlightened, the first thing they did was to burn their scriptures – their work was finished. Their whole work was somehow to indicate to you your self, your self-nature. And once you have seen your self-nature, all those doctrines are just rubbish.
To go from mortal to buddha… to go from death to deathlessness, to go from divisions to transcendence, you have to put an end to all your actions. You have to learn the actionless action.
Nurture your awareness and accept what life brings.
These are points to be remembered by everyone who is walking on the path: Nurture your awareness…. How does one nurture one’s awareness? Don’t miss any opportunity to be aware: walking, walk with awareness…. I can move my hand either without awareness or with awareness – move your hand with full awareness, and it will bring a great grace to your hand, and a great peace and silence will be felt inside.
Eating, eat with awareness. Most of the time people are simply swallowing unconsciously; that’s why they eat too much, because their taste is not satisfied. If they were eating with awareness, then they would not just be swallowing, they would be chewing.
The scientists say that unless you chew every bite forty-eight times, you are loading your digestive system unnecessarily. And your life span depends on your digestive system: if it remains young and alive, you can remain longer in the body. But if you are simply swallowing, you don’t know…your digestive system doesn’t have teeth, it cannot chew. The chewing has to be done by you in the mouth; beyond the mouth there is no question of chewing. And the unchewed food is a load, is a burden; it hurts your digestive system, it hurts your intestines. It creates all kinds of troubles in your stomach.
Just try one day, to count forty-eight times – and you will remain aware because you have to count. You cannot go on thinking of other things. You have to be focused on your chewing and counting: one, two, three, four, up to forty-eight, and only then are you allowed to swallow.
Nurturing awareness means making everything an opportunity to be aware. So more and more awareness in twenty-four hours…taking a shower, don’t just take it unconsciously, mechanically. Because you always take it, you know – you just stand under the shower and you go on thinking of a thousand and one things. Under the shower the only thing is to be aware of the coolness that is coming to you, the freshness that is coming to you. Be fully aware of it.
Nurturing your consciousness means a twenty-four hour, day and night program. It is not tiring; on the contrary, it is very refreshing, rejuvenating.
And the second thing: and accept what life brings. That is tathata – whatever life brings. Accept it with thankfulness and gratitude, because there was no necessity for life to bring that thing to you.
A cool breeze comes – do you think you have earned it? Do you think you deserve it? Do you think existence owes it to you? A beautiful cloud passes, a beautiful sunset and all the colors on the horizon, a rainbow with all the seven colors…accept everything that life brings to you with gratitude, with joy, with thankfulness. This will slowly, slowly, create in you a deep acceptance of everything. And in that deep acceptance is hidden the transcendence.
Once mortals see their nature, all attachments end. Awareness isn’t hidden. But you can only find it right now. It’s only now.
This statement has to be understood. The insistence on now is to prevent you from postponing. People, thousands of people have told me during these three decades that I have been working with them, “I will start meditating.” Will start? If you have understood the meaning of meditation, then now is the moment, not postponement.
Postponement simply means you have not understood. Meditation is not yet on the top of your laundry list, it is somewhere at the bottom. First you will earn money, then you have to marry off your daughter, then your son is going to medical college, then you have to build a house, and so on and so forth – the laundry list is infinite. And at the bottom of it – if, God willing you are still alive…most probably you will not be, because the list is too long and your life is too short – you won’t have time left to meditate. Death will come before meditation comes.
Hence the emphasis on now – because at least one thing is certain: death has not come, not yet. This is the moment you are certain you are alive. But who knows about the next moment? So don’t postpone it even for a single moment. If you want to become an enlightened being, then now is the moment, then here is the place.
If you really want to find the way, don’t hold onto anything.
No prejudices – if you really want to find the way, don’t make demands. Don’t say that the way has to fulfill these certain demands. You don’t know the way. Go with humbleness, not with a demanding ego; otherwise, you will never find the way. Your prejudiced mind will never allow you to go beyond it. And the way goes beyond the mind. Don’t hold onto anything.
Once you put an end to…
…all your actions – actions which are decided by your mind and are not spontaneous…
…and nurture your awareness, any attachments that remain will come to an end…
…by their simply being understood as meaningless.
As your awareness grows, your attachments decrease. A full awareness means no attachments. That does not mean that you can’t have friends; that does not mean that you have to renounce the world. That simply means that you don’t get glued with people – that is an ugly state. You enjoy, you share, but you never depend on anybody or on anything; you never become a slave.
Dropping attachments is really dropping all slavery and dependence on things and people. It brings to you a great freedom – the only authentic freedom. Political freedoms don’t mean much, economic freedoms don’t mean much. The only real freedom is spiritual freedom and that comes through dropping all your attachments and creating a great pillar of fire, of awareness.
Understanding comes naturally. You don’t have to make any effort. But fanatics don’t understand what the buddha meant. And the harder they try, the farther they get from the sage’s meaning. All day long they invoke buddhas and read sutras. But they remain blind to their own divine nature, and they don’t escape the wheel.
A buddha is an idle person, because he does not do anything on his own part. He is an idle person not because he is lazy, he is an idle person because he is spontaneous. Whenever a situation arises that needs a response, he waits for his consciousness, his self-nature to respond naturally without any effort. He is a man of effortless effort, actionless action. He has simply allowed the existence to function through him. He is no more. He is just a hollow bamboo.
A singer can make a flute out of him and can sing songs. The only function of the flute is not to hinder the song. A buddha is just a hollow bamboo; the song comes from existence itself.
A buddha is an idle person. He doesn’t run around after fortune and fame. What good are such things in the end?
They simply destroy your life. They destroy all the opportunities to know yourself. They destroy all the opportunities to make your life a great blessing, a great benediction.
These simple sutras of Bodhidharma can bring you the greatest ecstasy that existence is keeping ready for you. It is just that you are not ready. Get ready and claim your inheritance.

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