Bodhidharma 11

Eleventh Discourse from the series of 20 discourses - Bodhidharma by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The sutras say, “Not to let go of wisdom is stupidity.” When the mind doesn’t exist, understanding and not understanding are both true. When the mind exists, understanding and not understanding are both false.

When you understand, reality depends on you. When you don’t understand, you depend on reality.
When reality depends on you, that which isn’t real becomes real. When you depend on reality, that which is real becomes false. When you depend on reality, everything is false. When reality depends on you, everything is true. … Thus, the sage doesn’t use his mind to look for reality, or reality to look for his mind, or his mind to look for his mind, or reality to look for reality. His mind doesn’t give rise to reality. And reality doesn’t give rise to his mind. And because both his mind and reality are still, he’s always in samadhi. …

The sutras say, “Nothing has a nature of its own.” Act. Don’t question. When you question, you’re wrong. … When you’re deluded, the six senses and five shades are constructs of suffering and mortality. When you wake up, the six senses and five shades are constructs of nirvana and immortality.

Someone who seeks the way doesn’t look beyond himself. He knows that the mind is the way. But when he finds the mind, he finds nothing. And when he finds the way, he finds nothing. If you think you can use the mind to find the way, you’re deluded. When you’re deluded, buddhahood exists. When you’re aware, it doesn’t exist. Because awareness is buddhahood. … Don’t hate life and death or love life and death. Keep your every thought free of delusion, and in life you’ll witness the beginning of nirvana, and in death you’ll experience the assurance of no rebirth.

To see form but not be corrupted by form or to hear sound but not be corrupted by sound is liberation. Eyes that aren’t attached to form are the gates of Zen. Ears that aren’t attached to sound are also the gates of Zen. In short, those who perceive the existence of phenomena and remain unattached are liberated. …

When delusions are absent, the mind is the land of buddhas. When delusions are present, the mind is hell.
The understanding of Bodhidharma’s teachings will be easier if you understand a few points. First is the hypothesis of reincarnation. All the religions born outside of India believe in only one life. The religions born in India differ on every point, but not on reincarnation. They all insist that you don’t have only one life. You have had thousands of lives before and you will go on having lives again and again until you realize your self-nature.
Life is only a school and unless you learn enlightenment, you will go on moving into the circle of life and death. This is something very essential.
If there is only one life of seventy years on average, then you don’t have much time left for meditation, for exploration of your being – searching for the path. Seventy years is such a small span that one-third of it is wasted in sleep; one-third of it is wasted in educating you to earn your livelihood. And the remaining one-third, you waste in many ways because you don’t know what to do with it.
I have seen people playing cards or chess and I have asked them, “Can’t you find anything better to do?” And their answer has consistently been the same…they are killing time. Such is the unawareness of man. You don’t have much time. You cannot afford to kill time.
Moreover time is killing you; you cannot kill time. Each moment, time is bringing your death closer and closer.
If you count all your activities…. Shaving your beard twice a day – how much time you put into it! Listening to the radio or watching the television – how much time you waste on it. An American survey shows that each American wastes seven and a half hours every day watching television. That is one third of his life he is just sitting, glued to his chair, watching all kinds of nonsense.
How much time do you waste smoking cigarettes, cigars? There are people who are chain smokers…. How much time you waste in reading newspapers which never bring any news! All that they bring is simply sick – murders, rapes, suicides, wars. They make you believe that this is the world and this is our life. They relieve you from your responsibility. They convince you that the whole world is like this. Nothing is wrong, everybody is doing it….
They never bring you any news of somebody becoming enlightened. Perhaps that is not news. Somebody is entering deeper realms of meditation – perhaps that is not news. Somebody has become calm and quiet and gone beyond anger, greed, agony. That is not news!
Once Bernard Shaw was asked, “What is news?” He said, “When a dog bites a man, it is not news. When a man bites a dog, it is news.”
How much time you are wasting in reading about how many men are biting dogs! If you count carefully, you will be surprised that you don’t have, in your seventy years of life, even seven minutes for yourself. This is such an idiotic situation.
And then because there is only one life, there is great speed. Why has the West become so addicted to speed? The idea of one life given by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, has made people speedy. They are always running – on the run – because time is short and there are so many ambitions to be fulfilled. They have to become the richest man, they have to attain great power, they have to become a celebrity. They have to do a thousand and one things and life is so short. The only way is to do everything as quickly as possible.
Most of the housewives in the West don’t know what cooking is. The best housewife is the one who knows how to open cans. Everything has to be done quickly and fast. Why bother about cooking?
Nobody is in a state of stillness; they cannot be. That seems to be a waste of time. Sitting silently, doing nothing is the foundation of meditation. In the West, meditation is not possible for the simple reason that one life span is too short. And death comes too quickly. It does not give you enough time.
The Eastern concept takes care of your spiritual growth. The hypothesis of reincarnation, a continuous eternal cycle of birth and re-birth, gives you enough time. You can sit silently for hours; there is no hurry. There is no need to be speedy. There is an eternity available to you – not only seventy years.
The West is very poor. They have only seventy years for each person. The East may look poor from the outside, but its inner arrangement is very rich. Eternity behind – eternity ahead.
Secondly, just one life is not enough to make you bored. Seventy years goes so fast that boredom is not possible. But life after life, running after money. Life after life, running after power. Life after life, running after men or women. As you become aware of this long series of the same stupidities – in which you have succeeded many times, but you have not gained anything….
Each life you have to begin again from ABC. Just visualize millions of lives behind you…. You have loved so many women and you have told every woman, “I will love you forever and forever.” And you have told every woman, “You are the most beautiful woman in the world.” And you have been saying that for millions of lives to millions of women, to millions of men. It is tiring – just the very idea.
It brings a certain maturity to you that now it is time to stop being childish. You have been playing these games so long that it is time to grow up; to do something else that you have never done before.
Meditation fits perfectly well in the Eastern vision of life. That is the only thing you have never done before. You have earned money, you have become rich, you have been in politics, you have become ministers and prime ministers and presidents. You have become great celebrities. You have done everything, because in so many lives there was so much opportunity – so much time.
And once you understand it…that you are still doing the same things, again and again and again. It is good to commit a mistake once, but to go on committing the same mistake again and again proves your stupidity.
And there is a great and urgent need to do something that you have never done before – a search for your own self. You have run after everything in the world and it has not led anywhere. All roads in the world go round and round; they never reach any goal. They don’t have any goal.
Visualizing this long perspective, one suddenly becomes sick of the whole action; love affairs, fights, anger, greed, jealousy. And one starts thinking for the first time, “Now I should find a new dimension in which I will not be running after anybody; in which I will be coming back home. I have gone too far away in these millions of lives.”
This is the foundation of the Eastern wisdom. It creates a great boredom with life, death and the continuous vicious circle. That is the original meaning of the word, samsara; it means the wheel that goes on moving, on and on; it knows no stopping. You can jump out of it, but you are clinging to it.
This is the basic device to bring you to your senses. You have fooled around enough.
Now stop it, and do something that you have been avoiding for centuries, that you have been postponing for tomorrow.
These are very beautiful sutras. In the East people have never spoken unless they have understood. It is the greatest dishonesty, the greatest crime to speak, either for or against something that you don’t know.
In the East, even people who have known – who have come to the ultimate flowering of their being – many of them have not spoken because they were not able to find the right words. They were not articulate, hence, they decided to remain silent. It is better to be silent rather than give wrong ideas to people. Only a very few people have spoken. And they have spoken, only when they were absolutely certain that what they were saying may help millions of people down the ages.
The East has never been interested in the daily newspaper. It has been interested in statements which have the quality of eternity, which will remain valid in every age, in every time. As long as man remains on the earth, the validity of these statements will not be challenged.
A newspaper becomes useless by evening. In the West, there are morning editions and afternoon editions because by the afternoon, the morning edition has become useless. Evening editions, because by the evening the afternoon edition has become useless. Night editions, because by the night the evening edition has become useless.
These sutras will remain as fresh and as young as when they were uttered for the first time – but only for those who can experience what is contained in them. Otherwise, it is so much prose. Once you experience it, the prose starts turning into poetry. The words start turning into silence. The statements prove to be only devices to give you the feel of an eternal dance of existence.
No Western book, and I have gone through all the philosophers and all the theologians – it was a tedious journey – no Western book has anything parallel to the Eastern sutras because they are only mind stuff. The Eastern sutras have a qualitative difference. They have nothing to do with mind. They have something to do with your innermost being and its experiences of blissfulness, ecstasy, the universal joy that pervades this vast existence. Only man is missing it. And man is missing it because of his knowledgeability.
The trees are not missing it because they are innocent. The oceans are not missing it. The mountains are not missing it. The stars are not missing it. They are absolutely innocent, they are not trapped in knowledge.
The first sutra of Bodhidharma says:
“Not to let go of wisdom is stupidity.”
Your so-called wisdom is all borrowed. It is not wisdom at all; instead, being wise, you are otherwise. You go on repeating things that you don’t understand; things that have not grown up in your own being, things that are absolutely foreign to your own existence, to your own life. You have been collecting, just like small children, sea shells on the beach and thinking that you are creating a great treasure. Yes it is possible to deceive others, and to deceive yourself.

One of my professors has a doctorate on a strange thesis from the University of London – very prestigious. His subject matter was the ways of the growth of consciousness. I was his student. He presented his book to me when it was published, and said, “I would love very much to know your opinion.”
I said, “I don’t have to read the book. I know you.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I simply know, that you know nothing about any growth of consciousness. So everything that you have written in this book is borrowed. You deceived yourself, you deceived the professors of London University who have examined it, and now you have published the book, millions will read it and be deceived. Rather than presenting the book on consciousness to me, show some consciousness.”
He was very much shocked and he knew what I was saying was right. He was a drunkard. Without drinking alcohol every evening, he could not live.
I said, “Just drop this addiction with unconsciousness, because alcohol is doing nothing but creating more unconsciousness. And you have some nerve to write a thesis on the subject matter of consciousness.”
But he was a very learned man; he knew many languages. He had collected materials just sitting in the library and he had managed to write a very beautiful thesis. But I said, “I will not read it because it is simply the work of a clerk. Anybody who has a little intelligence could have taken the information from the many sources which are available and collected it. I will read your book, only when you show me, something as a growing consciousness in you.”
I returned the book to him. He said, “I am fortunate that you have not been an examiner of my book. Otherwise, I would have never got the doctorate.”
I said, “Between you and me, you will never get it. You can befool the world but not yourself.”

People go on collecting knowledge and get mixed up and start thinking that this knowledge is wisdom. Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom comes through your growth of consciousness, and knowledge comes through collecting from the scriptures, from learned people, and making some sort of a system. But you remain the same; you don’t go through any transformation.
Hence, the first sutra: Not to let go of wisdom is stupidity. Just drop your wisdom and with your wisdom gone, your stupidity will also be gone. If you cling to your knowledge, which you think is wisdom, you will remain stupid forever.
When the mind does not exist understanding and not understanding are both true.
The moment the mind is silent, nonfunctioning, everything is true. It is the mind that distorts everything and makes everything untrue. Knowledge comes through the mind, and wisdom comes when there is no-mind. This is a distinction which has not been made by the great philosophers of the world, except by the mystics of the East.
The dictionaries will say wisdom is knowledge, but actual reality and the experience of it, is not a dictionary. It makes a clear-cut distinction that knowledge and wisdom are not only, not synonymous, they are antagonistic. If your mind is full of knowledge you will remain unwise, stupid.
And if your mind is dropped and you go beyond it, you enter into the world of wisdom – into the world of awakening. In that awakening everything is true. Because you are true, everything is authentic because you are authentic.
In the mind you are untrue, you are false. That’s why whatever happens through the mind turns into a falsity, a hypocrisy.
Mind is the greatest enemy of man.
When the mind exists, understanding and not understanding are both false.

When you understand, reality depends on you.
This is such a pregnant statement that you should try to feel it, not just to hear it: When you understand, reality depends on you. And when do you understand? When the mind is put aside and your being encounters reality directly, without the mediator, mind, then reality depends on you. You have risen higher than reality. You have risen to the ultimate reality. Otherwise reality is relative reality.
When you don’t understand you depend on reality.
When you don’t understand – when you are in the mind – you are a victim of this mundane reality that you see all around. Money deceives you, power deceives you, prestige deceives you, anything….
You are living in so many misunderstandings that if you come to see, you will be surprised at how articulate you are in creating falsehoods.
Everything that passes through the mind, is almost as if you have taken a straight staff and put it into the water. You will suddenly see the straight staff is no longer straight. It has become bent at the place where it is in the water because water functions differently. You take it out; it is again straight. You put it back into water; it loses its straightness. The same is the situation with mind. Mind has only one capacity – to falsify things.
Unfortunately we are educated only as minds. And if the world lives in hypocrisy, in misery, in anguish, it is not a wonder. If the world goes on fighting and killing and goes on preparing for a global suicide, it is not a surprise. Mind cannot do anything else. It poisons everything.
The whole message is to get beyond the mind and then everything is crystal clear. Then you don’t ask any questions. You simply act out of your clarity, out of your transparent vision. And each of your acts has a beauty – tremendous beauty of its own. It has a grace. And it has a power of blessings to shower over the whole world.
When reality depends on you, that which is not real becomes real.
Right now, it is a weird situation. Everything is real which is not real. And everything that is real, is unreal. Have you ever thought: Is your soul a reality to you? It is not a reality to you. You have only heard about it, but you don’t have any experience of it.
But thousands of false things are real. A stone statue in the temple is real to you. Your own consciousness is unreal. Your own buddha nature is unreal. And a statue of marble is real to you. Before the false, you bow down, you worship the false not knowing what you are doing. You are insulting yourself and you are insulting all the buddhas of the past, of the present, of the future.
You are a buddha. You don’t have to worship. There is nobody higher than you; there is nobody lower than you. You don’t have to worship anybody and you don’t have to accept anybody’s worship. This whole existence is equally divine.
When you depend on reality, that which is real becomes false. When you depend on reality, everything is false.
Everything that you have known up to now, as real….
I have heard:

In a great city, one man had the best palace. People used to come to see it. It was a miracle of architecture. But one night, suddenly, it caught fire. The man had gone to a friend’s house. Somebody informed him, “What are you doing? Your palace is burning.” He ran; nothing could be more shocking to him. Without his knowing, tears were running from his eyes. His most precious thing, his greatest attachment was being destroyed before his eyes and nothing could be done. The fire had gone too far.
Just then, his youngest son came running to him, telling him, “Father, don’t be worried. Yesterday I sold the house. The king was continually saying that it was embarrassing to him that you have a better palace. Finally I decided to sell it – and he was ready to give any price.”
Suddenly the tears dried and the man started smiling. Nothing had changed. The house was burning but it was no longer his. So who cares? So it was not the house that was hurting him, it was the ego, his house. And then his younger son came and said, “Father, what are you doing here? Although we had agreed to sell the palace, no sale deed has been written yet. And of course the king is not going to pay the money. I have every suspicion that he is behind the fire.”
And again the tears started coming. And the situation was the same; nothing had changed. Only the idea had changed; the house became his, then there was great misery. The house was no longer his, all misery disappeared.
And then the king himself came in his chariot and he said, “You need not be worried. I am a man of my word. If I have purchased it, I have purchased it. No sale deed has been written, no money has been advanced, but because yesterday we agreed verbally, that is enough. It is my house that is burning. You need not be worried.”
And suddenly, instead of tears, the man was smiling.
When reality depends on you, everything is true. Thus, the sage doesn’t use his mind to look for reality, or reality to look for his mind, or his mind to look for his mind, or reality to look for reality.
It is a vicious circle: mind and reality, mind and the world. Mind creates a certain world which is nothing but your projection. And then, that certain projection creates your mind. And this way, this vicious circle goes on supporting the other; your mind supports your projections, your projections support your mind. And you go on living in a hallucination.
Thus, the sage doesn’t use his mind to look for reality, or reality to look for his mind, or his mind to look for his mind, or reality to look for reality. His mind doesn’t give rise to reality. And reality doesn’t give rise to his mind. And because both his mind and reality are still, he’s always in samadhi.
This is a beautiful definition of samadhi. When the mind is still and the reality is still – when you are out of the vicious circle – all is silence, profound silence.
The word samadhi has to be understood. It means coming to a state of absolute equilibrium, coming to a state of absolute balance. The word comes from Sanskrit. And Sanskrit is one of the languages in the world which has words with profound meaning. Not just dictionary meaning, but with existential meaning. Other languages have only dictionary meanings.
Sanskrit is the only language in the whole world which was created by enlightened people. It is a created language. It has never been a language of the people. There was no time when the whole country was speaking Sanskrit. All other languages of the world have been used by people at some time or other. Many have become dead languages, like Latin or Hebrew or Pali or Prakrit. Many languages which were once living languages, have become dead ones. But Sanskrit has never been a language of the people.
This is a very strange phenomenon. It has been the language of enlightened people, hence every word has two meanings; one, a dictionary meaning for the scholar and one, the existential meaning for those who are in search of truth.
Sanskrit has two words vyadhi and samadhi. Vyadhi means “sickness of the soul” and samadhi means “health and wholeness of the soul.” But these are existential meanings. A man who has not experienced samadhi is spiritually sick. He may be bodily fit, but he is not spiritually fit. It is possible a man may be bodily sick, but he can attain to samadhi. Even at the last moment of your life, you can attain to samadhi. Your spiritual being comes in all its health, wholesomeness. Even if for a single moment you have known samadhi, you have known the greatest secret in existence.
There is no word in any language synonymous to samadhi. Only one word in Japanese comes a little close to it, but it is not synonymous. That word is satori. And unfortunately, the Japanese have stopped at satori thinking that it is samadhi.
Satori is only a glimpse of samadhi – a faraway glimpse. For example, you can see the Himalayan peaks from hundreds of miles away, but to see the peak when sitting on it, is a totally different experience. Satori is only a faraway vision of samadhi; a glimpse, beautiful in itself but not equivalent to samadhi.
Samadhi is your very nature in its absolute clarity, in its absolute purity, in its absolute awareness. Samadhi is your real home.
And the people who don’t know samadhi are wandering without a home. They are homeless people, rootless people and their whole life is nothing but a tragedy. Samadhi gives you roots in existence, and it opens the doors of your home. Samadhi is the ultimate actualization of your potential.
And the way to samadhi is simple. Drop the mind – go beyond the mind and you will enter into samadhi. Mind is the only barrier and strangely we are continuously educating the mind to become more and more powerful. Our whole educational systems around the world, are nursing the mind – your enemy, making it stronger, more informative, more knowledgeable.
In a more intelligent world, meditation should become absolutely mandatory in every school, in every college, in every university. And unless a person has some taste of samadhi, he will not be allowed to leave the university. He will not be given the certificates to leave.
And if we can make meditation an intrinsic part of all education systems, then naturally these people are going to be politicians, these people are going to be business men, these people are going to be industrialists, these people are going to be musicians, these people are going to be painters, actors, dancers. But they will all have one thing in common and that will be their experience of meditation. And that will be the common element joining the whole of humanity into one whole.
A man of meditation functions differently. Whatever profession he chooses, it does not matter. He will bring to his profession some quality of sacredness. He may be making shoes, or he may be cleaning the roads, but he will bring to his work some quality, some grace, some beauty, which is not possible without samadhi.
We can fill the whole world with ecstatic people. Just a simple thing has to be accepted…. Whether you are going to be a doctor or an engineer or a scientist, whatever you are going to be, that does not matter. Meditation should be the foundation for every profession, for every dimension of education.
Wars will disappear on their own. You will not have to protest against nuclear weapons. Population will start declining on its own, because a man of meditation functions with awareness. If he sees that the world is overpopulated, he cannot produce children. Nobody has to tell him. Why should he bring his children into a world which is going down every day towards a disaster? Who wants his children to go through a third world war? Who wants his children to die hungry and starving on the streets?
Meditation is the only cure for all sicknesses that man is prone to; a single medicine. And I should remind you that the word meditation and medicine come from the same root. Medicine for the body and meditation for the soul. They both bring health.
The sutras say, “Nothing has a nature of its own.”
This is one of the greatest contributions of Gautam Buddha and his disciples like Bodhidharma. Nothing has a nature of its own.
It means, your consciousness is a pure space. It does not have any attributes. It is utterly empty, yet full – full of joy, full of light, full of fragrance – but utterly empty.
There is no self-nature which makes people different. The moment you are in samadhi, you will see trees are also in samadhi. The mountains are in samadhi. The stars are in samadhi. The whole existence is in samadhi. Only you had gone astray. You have come back, merged and melted into the wholeness of the universe. Nothing has a nature of its own.
Act. Don’t question.
Bodhidharma is not a philosopher and he is not interested in any kind of philosophizing. He is a simple man of action. He says, Act. Don’t question – because questions lead nowhere. Every answer will create ten more questions. And you can go on asking, life after life, and you will not be able to find the answer. Act.
When you question, you are wrong.
It does not matter what question you are asking. When you question, you are wrong. And when you don’t question and silently act, samadhi is not far away. Questions come from the mind and whatever answers are given, your mind rejoices in becoming more and more knowledgeable. It becomes more and more powerful. Bodhidharma said, “Please don’t ask anything. If you want to know the answer, don’t ask the question. Act.”
Act, transcend the mind and you will find you are the answer. Your very being is the answer.
When you are deluded, the six senses and five shades are constructs of suffering and mortality.
He has great acumen in saying tremendously meaningful things in small sutras. He is saying when you are deluded, when you are in the mind in other words, then the five elements create the world and your six senses.
It is a very strange thing, because it is only just in this century that science has discovered the sixth sense. Otherwise, all old scriptures talk about five senses. It is only Bodhidharma alone, who talks about six senses. And the sixth sense is such, that it is a miracle he came to know about it. It has just been discovered.
It is inside your ear. The ear has always been accepted as one of the five senses, but we didn’t know that inside the ear there are two senses. One is the sense of hearing and another is the sense of balance. If you are hit strongly on your ear you will immediately lose balance. When you see a drunkard coming home in the late night, you cannot believe how he manages. He has lost all control and all balance because alcohol affects the sixth sense. Every drug affects the sixth sense and immediately you lose balance.

A drunkard came home late in the night and was trying to open the lock. But his hand was shaking and the lock was shaking; his other hand was shaking and he could not manage to enter the key into the lock. Both were shaking. He said, “My God, what is happening? It must be an earthquake. Everything is shaking.”
A policeman watching him from the road felt compassion for him. He was a good man but had fallen into wrong company…just like you. You are all good men fallen into wrong company. Soon you will be walking like a drunkard. The policeman came to him and said, “Can I help you?” He said, “Yes, it would be very kind of you, if you could hold the house for a moment so that I can put my key into the hole. Just hold the house. There seems to be a great earthquake.”

It is very strange because that sixth sense is hidden inside the ear. Hence, nobody has ever talked about it because nobody was ever aware of it. It was only in this century, surgeons became aware that in the ear there is also another sense that keeps your body balanced.
But Bodhidharma says six senses and five shades are constructs of suffering and mortality. When you are deluded, when you are in the mind, the five elements and the six senses of your body create for you, suffering, death and nothing else.
When you wake up, that is, when you go beyond the mind, the six senses and five shades are constructs of nirvana and immortality.
Everything is the same; the same six senses and the same five aggregates – the elements that constitute the world. Once you are beyond the mind, they create nirvana and immortality.
So Bodhidharma is not against the body and he is not against the world. He is against your sleep. He does not want you to renounce the world. He does not want you to torture the body, because this body and this world will behave absolutely differently. You just have to be awake. So the whole answer is:
Renounce sleeping, renounce the mind which is the citadel of your sleep.
Go into silence, which will release your dormant awareness. And your whole being will become luminous with consciousness.
Then the same body, the same senses and the same world has a totally different significance. It becomes nirvana. It becomes immortality.
Someone who seeks the way doesn’t look beyond himself. He knows that the mind is the way. But when he finds the mind, he finds nothing. And when he finds the way, he finds nothing. If you think you can use the mind to find the way, you are deluded. When you are deluded, buddhahood exists.
This is a very beautiful statement. It is very rare to come across such a statement. When you are deluded, buddhahood exists because when you are aware, it does not exist.
It is a very strange statement. You would have thought otherwise. You would have thought that when you are deluded, buddhahood does not exist, and when you are aware, it does exist. But Bodhidharma is saying just the opposite. And he is right.
When you are deluded… When you are wandering in all kinds of illusions in the world, there is a desire in you, deep down. Sometimes you become aware of it; sometimes you forget all about it. The longing to be a buddha, the longing to become aware, the longing for enlightenment….
Even in the deepest sleep, somewhere in the corner of your darkness, a small longing goes on continuing to be alert – to be awakened, to be enlightened because nobody can be satisfied with misery, agony, anguish, forever. One wants to get out of it. That’s why Bodhidharma says:
When you are deluded, buddhahood exists. When you are aware, it does not exist. Because awareness is buddhahood.
When you are aware, you are a buddha and the longing for buddhahood disappears. And when you are a buddha, you are not aware that you are a buddha. Awareness cannot be aware of itself. Innocence cannot be aware of itself. So the buddhahood exists only for those who are far away from it. Buddhahood disappears for those who have reached home. A buddha does not know that he is a buddha. Knowledge is always about the other. The mirror can reflect everything in the world except itself. The mirror does not know that he is.
Don’t hate life and death or love life and death. Keep your every thought free of delusion, and in life you will witness the beginning of nirvana, and in death you will experience the assurance of no rebirth.
It fills me with great surprise that the whole Western sphere has never thought about rebirth. Great philosophers from Plato to Kant, to Feuerbach, to Bertrand Russell, to Jean Paul Sartre – a great line of immensely intelligent geniuses, but not a single person has ever thought about rebirth. Their whole idea has remained…just one life. It is too miserly.
Existence is not miserly; it is overflowing with abundance.
Every death is a beginning of a new life, except only rarely, when somebody becomes enlightened. Then his death is the ultimate death. He will not be born again. He will not be engaged in a body again; he will not suffer the agony of another mind again. His consciousness will melt, just like an ice cube melting in the ocean and becoming one with it. He will be all over, but he will not be in any particular place, in a particular form. He will be all over, but formless. He will be the very universe.
Each time a man becomes enlightened, the whole universe gets a little higher in consciousness, because this man’s consciousness spreads all over the existence. The more people become enlightened, the more existence will be richer. So it is not only a question of a single person becoming enlightened. In his enlightenment, the whole universe gains immensely. It becomes richer, more beautiful, more joyous, more celebrated.
To see form but not be corrupted by form or to hear sound but not be corrupted by sound is liberation. Eyes that are not attached to form are the gates of Zen. Ears that aren’t attached to sound are also the gates of Zen. In short, those who perceive the existence of phenomena and remain unattached are liberated.

When delusions are absent, the mind is the land of buddhas. When delusions are present, the mind is hell.
I am reminded of a great Zen master. The emperor of Japan had come to see him and he had been wanting to come to see him but the path to his monastery was dangerous, going through wild forests, dangerous mountainous parts. But finally, the emperor decided he had to go. His death was coming near and he couldn’t take the risk…. Before death came he must have some understanding that death cannot destroy.
He reached the Zen master who was sitting under a tree. He touched his feet and said, “I have come to ask one question. Is there really a hell or heaven? Because my death is coming close and my only concern is: where am I going; to hell or to heaven?” The master laughed and said, “I have never thought that our emperor is such an idiot.”
To say to the emperor, “an idiot”…! For a split second, the emperor forgot and pulled out his sword, and he was going to cut off the head of the Zen master.
The Zen master laughed and said, “This is the gate of hell.”
The emperor stopped, put his sword back in the sheath, and the master said, “You have entered into heaven. Now you can go. Just remember: anger, violence, destructiveness. These are the gates of hell. And the hell is in your mind.
“But understanding, compassion, silence, are the doors of heaven. They are beyond your mind. And I have given you the experience of both. Forgive me that I called you an idiot. I had to. It was just a response to your question, because I am not a thinker and I don’t answer the way thinkers answer questions. I am a mystic. I simply create the device so that you can have some taste of the answer. Now get lost.”
And the emperor touched his feet with tears of gratitude, because no other answer would have been of much help. It would have remained just a hypothesis. But the man was a tremendously insightful master. He created the situation immediately, just by calling him an idiot. And he showed him both: the doors of hell and the doors of heaven. Your mind is hell. Going beyond your mind is heaven.

Go beyond the mind. That is the essence of the whole teaching of all the awakened ones.

Spread the love