Isan No Footprints in the Blue Sky 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 8 discourses - Isan No Footprints in the Blue Sky by Osho.
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Isan said to Kyozan, “I have heard that when you were with Hyakujo, if you were asked about one, you could answer about ten. Is that true?”
“I wouldn’t like to say,” replied Kyozan.
“Attempt to say something that expresses the highest point of Buddhism,” said Isan.
Kyozan just opened his mouth, about to speak, when Isan shouted, “Kwatz!”
Twice more, Kyozan went to speak and twice Isan silenced him with a shout.
Kyozan bowed his head and wept, saying, “The former teacher said that when I met another, I would gain enlightenment. Today I have met him. It is three years since I began to seek for buddhahood, and it was no more than looking after a cow.”
Maneesha, I have told you yesterday that Isan is trying hard to be a rebel against Ma Tzu – not that he does not love Ma Tzu, but Ma Tzu has become a tradition, and he wants to get away from the traditional mind because tradition kills everything. It makes the dead more significant than the living.
It is such an absurd effort to force living human beings to worship the dead rather than finding the deeper layers of life within themselves. Giving them teddy bears outside, consolations – ugly consolations, degrading consolations.
So when Buddha became a tradition, Bodhidharma revolted against the tradition – not against Buddha. Who can revolt against the buddha? The buddha is your very nature. You can go as far away as possible, but you cannot go far away enough. Your nature will be with you. The buddha is your highest peak of consciousness.
We are not using the word buddha in its historical sense. Gautam the Buddha was one of the buddhas. The title “Buddha” does not denote him personally; it is simply a quality of witnessing, an arriving at home. Certainly he has become the symbol – and a beautiful symbol if you don’t make it a tradition, if you keep it alive, if you don’t start worshipping it, but just start watching the beauty of it, the silence of it, the grace of it, and reminding yourself that this all belongs to you too.
So when Bodhidharma revolted, he revolted not against Buddha – nobody can revolt against the buddha – he revolted against the scholars and the pundits and the ritualistic religion that has grown in Gautam Buddha’s wake after he was gone. But Bodhidharma became in the same way a tradition. It was very difficult to revolt against the Buddhist tradition, but Bodhidharma maintained a tremendously high quality. His rebellion brings him to the same height as Gautam Buddha. And he was capable enough – he had a genius mind – to create a totally different atmosphere for the seeker on the path.
But when Bodhidharma died, the same thing happened again: he became a prototype to be followed, to be imitated. Ma Tzu could not tolerate this stupidity. He had to revolt. It is not against Bodhidharma or Buddha; it is against the inertia that tradition creates.
But to revolt you need immense courage, eloquence, and a great mastery – not only of yourself, but of the mind as such. And the mind expresses in thousands of ways! A master has to deal with thousands of types and he has to be capable to encounter each type spontaneously.
Ma Tzu maintained it even better than Bodhidharma. Ma Tzu’s revolution against all tradition, against all sutras, was an immense event in the history of consciousness. He burned the sutras; he simply forced the disciples not to look out, but to look in.
Isan was trying to revolt against Ma Tzu now because Ma Tzu had become a tradition. But Isan does not have the quality of a Ma Tzu or a Bodhidharma. He is a very intelligent person and he can see that the tradition is becoming rotten and that new sources of life should be made available, otherwise it will become a dead tree. Flowers had stopped blossoming on it.
Intellectually he could see the point, but he was himself not the type of master who could manage such a vast phenomenon: rebelling against a tradition is rebelling against four million years of mind, its whole structure. And it is possible to convince people only if you have such a presence, such magnetic force, that when people come to you they are ready to drop the whole past, just for your sake. Isan was not capable of such a great love affair.
That’s why yesterday I told you that his sutras are humble, simple, but they don’t have the splendor and the majesty. Today you will see that he has fallen back on Ma Tzu. He could not find a substitute for Ma Tzu. He wanted to break away from the tradition that Ma Tzu’s life had created, but he was not greater than Ma Tzu. Only a greater man could have managed, and Ma Tzu was impossibly greater. It is almost impossible to find a man who is greater than Ma Tzu; his inventiveness, his creativeness, his absolute strangeness in the world – nobody has been able to surpass him.
Isan has the longing to break away from the tradition. He tried, but he could see that he was failing, it was not working. He was intelligent enough to see that he cannot substitute anything in place of Ma Tzu’s methods – shouting, hitting, or throwing people out of the door, or closing the door in people’s faces. Isan could not find what to do. People had become accustomed to expect from the master the unexpectable. He was a good teacher, but goodness is not the point.
Ma Tzu was a very dramatic teacher, very magnetic – he lived in a way nobody has ever lived. He walked like a cow his whole life and looked all around like a tiger. He has those eyes and the face of a tiger, and also the innocence and the beauty of a cow. A strange combination! And he never bothered about any conformity, any respectability, any mannerism. He acted spontaneously; even he was not aware what was going to happen, but whatever is going to happen spontaneously is right.
No man has lived so spontaneously. Obviously he looked absurd, a little mad, to outsiders. But he attracted seekers tremendously; they could see behind the eyes of a tiger the eyes of a buddha. They could see behind his outer behavior the inner beauty, the inner joy, the inner splendor and the possibility to get from him the transmission of the lamp.
Isan was a totally different kind of person. He tried to revolt against the tradition of Ma Tzu, but finally he had to fall back on the same techniques that Ma Tzu had created. They had never existed before.
Isan said to Kyozan, “I have heard that when you were with Hyakujo, if you were asked about one, you could answer about ten. Is that true?”
Kyozan is Isan’s chief disciple and finally is going to be his successor. He is under preparation, he is almost chosen by Isan to be his successor – undeclared, but it was known to all the disciples that Kyozan was going to be the next master. Hence Kyozan was allowed the privilege of asking all kinds of questions because he would have to face the same kinds of questions when he becomes the successor.
In this question Isan is asking: “I have heard that when you were with your master, Hyakujo, if you were asked about one, you could answer about ten. Is that true?” He is saying, “I have heard that you were such a man of wisdom, that if one question was asked, you could answer the same question in ten different ways. Your multidimensional wisdom was very appreciated by Hyakujo.”
“I would not like to say”…
“Any attempt to say something that expresses the highest point of Buddhism,” said Isan.
The highest point of Buddhism cannot be said, not even one time – there is no question of answering it ten times in ten different ways. To answer even one time is to commit one mistake; to answer ten times is to commit ten mistakes. Only silence is the answer if the highest point of Buddha’s experience, his enlightenment, is concerned.
Kyozan just opened his mouth, about to speak, when Isan shouted, “Kwatz!”
“Kwatz” is just a sound, but it means indirectly “shut up”! But “shut up” is meaningful, hence it is avoided. It does not have that quality of “Kwatz!” “Kwatz” is not part of any language; it is simply shouting to produce the result of shutting his mouth. He has asked enough, now he should not open his mouth anymore.
Twice more, Kyozan went to speak and twice Isan silenced him with a shout.
Now, the shout is an invention of Ma Tzu. It is very difficult to create new devices, new methods. It needs a totally different kind of personality. One can be enlightened, that is one thing; one can follow the well-trodden path, the well-experimented methods, and can be of immense help to people. But if he wants to be an individual peak, if he wants to stand on his own, then he needs the qualities of a buddha himself.
And as time passed it became even more and more difficult for Isan to find new ways. Great masters have passed before and they have almost exhausted every possibility of finding new methods. Isan relaxed, he understood well that he was enlightened but he could not be a rebel. And to fight against Ma Tzu is impossible. Even to think what you will do against Ma Tzu… He has simply finished everything. Whatever you do will look cheaper, will not look as dramatic and as novel and as original as Ma Tzu.
Finally he has to go back to Ma Tzu. These shouts are the steps of going back – because Ma Tzu had invented shouts. Before Ma Tzu shouts were not used, sticks were used; the master would beat the disciple. Those sticks don’t hurt.
Just a few days ago I received a Zen stick from Korea. I am waiting for the first German enlightened man, Stonehead Niskriya, to give that to him. It is a very good device. It is a bamboo, cut down the middle in two parts. On one end you can hold it, and beyond that it is cut in the two parts, so you can hit. It makes a loud sound but does not hurt anybody.
The point was the same, but Ma Tzu… Because suddenly hitting a person who is asking a relevant question stops his mind – “What is the matter?” It is incomprehensible by the mind. And that is the point: that the mind should be silent, even for a moment, and you will have a glimpse.
When for the first time these anecdotes were translated into other languages, people simply laughed: “These anecdotes constitute a religion?” It seems so strange, reading that the master hits the disciple and the disciple becomes suddenly enlightened. One could not understand the rationale of it. How can it happen that the master has hit the disciple and the disciple bows down in deep respect and gratitude?
It is possible. You can understand it. If your mind stops completely, even for a single moment, by any method, you will have a glimpse of your own innermost nature. And that glimpse is so beautiful, that glimpse is such a majesty, such a treasure, it is your eternity. The master has shown you the way that the mind has to stop thinking. For a moment you have seen the path; now follow on!
But Ma Tzu found shouting to be even better than hitting because just hitting on somebody’s head, it is not necessary that his mind will stop thinking. The mind may even start thinking more, “What is the matter? Why am I being hit? I have asked a relevant question and what kind of stupidity is this?”
But when a master shouts, the shout goes deeper into you than any hitting can go. Hitting can only touch your body, your head, but shouting can go piercing like a spear and your very heartbeat may stop for a moment. Ma Tzu’s great contribution was shouting, and certainly shouting goes deeper in stopping the mind than any hitting can do.
You can see the difference: hitting is a material phenomenon, shouting is psychological. And to stop the mind, some psychological hit is needed. Shouting is a kind of hit – invisible to your eyes, but it hits the mind completely, shakes it up, leaves it in a kind of amazement.
Someone has come from far away, hearing about Ma Tzu, his greatness, that hundreds of people have become enlightened through him, and that thousands of people live in his monastery. A person who has traveled for miles comes to Ma Tzu, asks a very relevant question, and never thinks that this man is going to shout, or jump upon him and sit on his chest, and looking into his eyes ask, “Do you get it?”
All that the person gets is a stunned mind – but in that stunned mind there is hidden a revelation of his own nature. He may have tried hard to find it. The mind is almost like a vast jungle of thoughts; you can go on and on, it is not a small phenomenon. To take you out from the mind instantly, shouting was a very great device.
But only a great master can do it, it is not for everybody to do it. And Isan wanted to bring something new, but failed. These shouts show that he has fallen back on the old devices of Ma Tzu.
Twice more, Kyozan went to speak and twice Isan silenced him with his shout.
Kyozan bowed his head and wept, saying, “The former teacher said that when I met another, I would gain enlightenment. Today I have met him. It is three years since I began to seek for buddhahood, and it was no more than looking after a cow.”
These shouts worked. Kyozan has been with a teacher – but a teacher is not a master. A teacher can give you all the instructions that are written in the scriptures. He can make you very knowledgeable, and he has made Kyozan very knowledgeable. But those days were days of great honesty – and particularly about truth, nobody tried to deceive.
The teacher said that “I am only a teacher. When you meet the master you will become enlightened. With me you can become only more and more knowledgeable, a great scholar, a great intellectual because I have not found the truth myself. I myself am searching for the master who can provoke me, who can wake me up.”
In the days of Gautam Buddha this country had seen a tremendous phenomenon: thousands of people moving around the country, searching for a master. They will live with teachers, and then they will find that he was only a teacher. And the teacher himself will say to them, “Whatever I could tell you, whatever I have heard, I have told you. Now move on.”
Even Gautam Buddha, for six years before his enlightenment, went to many teachers. And those teachers were in a very awkward position because they were very well-known teachers, with thousands of followers, but the reason for their remaining unexposed was that no disciple was following absolutely what they were saying. So the disciples thought, “It is our fault. We are not following totally what is being said.”
But Buddha created trouble. He did a little more than those teachers had asked. He created immense embarrassment in those six years for many teachers. They had to admit to him that “I am not enlightened myself and whatever I knew was only scholarship. Nobody has exposed me because nobody has really tried to follow me. They listened, they were happy, they accumulated knowledge, they became scholars. But you are not interested in scriptures, you are not interested in scholarship, you are not interested in knowledge – you insist, ‘I want to see the truth!’”
So whatever strange ascetic practices they said to do, Buddha did. You won’t believe it, but the last teacher he left had told him that he should reduce his food from one meal a day. The quantity should be only that which can be held in two hands cupped, it is not a great quantity! Then go on reducing it, bit by bit, till you come to a single grain of rice. Buddha did that. A statue exists in which he is just a skeleton, all the flesh is gone because it took three months to come to the point where he was taking only one grain of rice per day. What can one grain of rice do?
The teacher had never thought that any man would be able to do this process, this fasting, but Buddha performed it perfectly and then asked him, “Anything more?”
The teacher had tears in his eyes and he said, “Now I have to accept my defeat. I am not enlightened myself, but I have been giving such practices to people that they can never complete. That has been saving my face and my grace. You have exposed me. Now my advice is that you move on.”
Thousands of people were moving all around in search of a master. There were thousands of teachers, but it was very rare to find a master who has truth as his experience.
Buddha got enlightened in a very strange way; the day the teacher said, “You have to move on. I am only a teacher, not a master. I was pretending and I am very sorry!” Buddha was too tired. Just bones remained, and he was sitting under a bodhi tree in Bodhgaya.
The name Bodhgaya comes from Gautam Buddha’s becoming enlightened there; bodh means enlightenment. Just because of Buddha, the great city came into existence because thousands of people wanted to live there and to meditate under the same tree where Buddha had meditated. They wanted to try doing the same walking meditation behind the tree – by the side of the temple that one king had raised as a memorial to Gautam Buddha’s enlightenment.

Buddha was taking a bath in a nearby river, Niranjana. It is a very small river; in the summer it shrinks to be so small that you can walk across it, it is not even one foot deep. And he was taking a bath, but he was so weak that even that small current he could not cross. He had to hang onto a branch of a tree for a few moments to gather some energy so that he could get out of the river. That experience made it clear to him that just by fasting you can kill yourself, but you cannot attain enlightenment. This is a good gradual process of suicide, but it is not a process of samadhi.
“If I cannot cross this small stream, what about the mythological river, a vast river, that divides this world from the other heavenly world? If I cannot cross Niranjana, a small river, what are the possibilities for me? I will not be able to cross that vast river that divides these two worlds. It is almost like an ocean.” It is mythology, but in his mind at that time – up to that time – there was only mythology, philosophy; he was not yet enlightened. But hanging onto the branch or the root of the tree, he thought, “I have been wasting my time.”
He came out of the river. It was a full-moon night, and he was so weak that he could not go into the town that day to beg, so he remained under the tree. But by chance one woman, Sujata – her name, Sujata means wellborn or born in a high-class society. I have discussed with Buddhist scholars that her name simply shows that she was born in a low-caste society. You can see it: in India the blind man is called kamalnayan, lotus-eyes. If you have eyes, nobody will call you lotus-eyes; that is reserved for the blind man – not to insult him. Sujata cannot be a high-class woman, otherwise she will not have that name. That name suggests that she comes from the lowest sudra caste, the untouchables. As a consolation they give good names.
In India, when somebody dies, they say he has become beloved of God. And then what are we all doing here? Only the dead become beloved of God. God seems to be a kind of cannibal! The more people die, the happier God is, of course – more beloveds are coming. When the corpse of a dead man is taken from his home to the funeral pyre it is called mahayatra, the great journey. It is not more than one mile or two miles, it is not much of a great journey. The poor fellow has died, but reading about it you may think he has gone on a great journey. Just to hide the truth, man has always been clever with words.
This woman Sujata, according to me, is a harijan, and only harijans would come to such a poor place near the Niranjana river. She had been worshipping the tree, and only the lower classes worship trees, not the richer. She had promised the tree that if a boy was born to her, she would bring many sweets, many flowers for the tree. And this was a coincidence, just a mere coincidence, that in the full-moon night a beautiful young man was sitting under the tree. She thought, “The god of the tree has come out to receive the sweets!” She was immensely happy because it rarely happens that the god of the tree comes out, and she offered Buddha all the sweets.
This way, after three months, he had a right breakfast; otherwise, living on smaller and smaller quantities… And yesterday he had eaten only one grain of rice. Sujata was very happy. The son had been born and the god of the tree had accepted. After eating, Buddha for the first time dropped… Six years before he had dropped the kingdom and all the material things of the world, all possessions. He had carried only one longing – for truth. This night, with the full moon in the sky, he dropped that longing too because that longing had become his desire, and whenever there is even a small desire, the mind continues. It does not matter whether you desire money or God, it does not matter whether you desire power or enlightenment; desire is desire, and with desire the mind remains alive.
That night he dropped the last desire. For six years he had taken all kinds of torture upon himself. It was enough! And he slept for the first time in six years, utterly relaxed – no desire, no longing, no future, no hope – he simply slept without any mind, no dreams. All were shattered. He was finished. “There is no truth and there is no world. It is all nonsense and I have simply spoiled myself.”
That night he slept without a mind, and a sleep without a mind is very close to samadhi. That’s how Patanjali defines it: there is our ordinary waking state, below it is our dreaming state, below that is our dreamless sleep, and below that is our enlightenment, our absolute awakening.
The whole night he slept in a dreamless sleep. That created the opportunity. Just one inch more, a little push more… As he opened his eyes – for the first time without any desire – the last star was setting, and with the last star setting, he suddenly became aware, so full of awareness… The sun was rising outside and the sun was also rising inside. From dreamless sleep he had fallen to the fourth state of awakening, of buddhahood.
This buddhahood was attained when he had dropped even the desire to be a buddha. The mind has to be utterly empty. And the master’s function is to help you on the way of emptiness because emptiness is the opportunity of fulfillment.
First you have to be empty of everything that you know of, only then can you be filled from the divine, by the divine. Flowers can start showering on you from unknown sources – and in emptiness a great flame of awareness arises in you which brings you the sense of eternity, immortality, a great peace that passeth understanding, a serenity, a silence, a blissfulness, and an ecstasy that knows no ending. You are for the first time drunk with the divine.
Those were golden days in the sense that there were at least thousands of people searching. The people were poor, there was no technology and no science and no progress, but they were rich in a different sense: their search for the innermost treasure made them the richest people of the world. Thousands attained enlightenment and hundreds became masters of creating situations – because enlightenment is your nature, it is not an achievement; you have not to go anywhere, you have to just be here and dig deep.
As you pass beyond your skull and beyond your bones, your skeleton, and you find the life source from where the life is spreading to your body and the mind, immediately you have found the eternal cosmic existence. Your small river of life is coming from the great ocean that surrounds you all around. It is the same ocean the trees are being nourished by, it is the same ocean the birds are being nourished by, it is the same ocean all life as such is being nourished by.
Man is the most blessed animal in the world, in the sense that he is not only capable of life, he is also capable of consciousness; not only capable of consciousness, but also capable of becoming totally conscious. This total consciousness gives you the freedom, the salvation, and the blissfulness that you were seeking in small and mundane things, where it does not exist.
When it is said that somebody has become enlightened, it simply means he has found the source of his life and consciousness. But by finding the source of your life and consciousness, you have found the source of all life and all consciousness. By becoming a buddha, you have become one with all the buddhas. There are no longer any separations of bodies, there are no longer any separations of time and space.
If I am speaking on these buddhas, I am not a scholar and I am not speaking as a scholar. I am speaking according to my experience. These buddhas, Ma Tzu or Isan or Kyozan, cannot have another experience. It is the same ocean. Anywhere you taste it, it tastes salty.
Kyozan bowed his head and wept… This weeping is of great joy. There are times when you cannot say anything through words, but you can say through tears. In a moment of great love it is so absurd to say, “I love you!” It is so profane! In a moment of gratitude, to say “Thank you” is ugly.
In India it is almost impossible – the West has not known the deepest meaning. In India, if a father does something for the son, the son cannot say, “Thank you, father.” He can show his gratitude by touching his feet, he can show his gratitude by his tears, but not by words. Words are very empty, tears are very full; and tears come from your depths, words come only from your mind.
Kyozan bowed his head and wept – wept out of great joy and gratitude – saying, “The former teacher said that when I met another, I would gain enlightenment. Today I have met him. It is three years since I began to seek for buddhahood, and it was no more than looking after a cow.” He has been with teachers and they would give him jobs – looking after the cows, looking after the kitchen, looking after things. But without giving him any job, Isan had given him only three shouts and he had become enlightened.
It does not mean that people should not work; it simply means, “Work only around a master, a living master, otherwise you are just taking care of the cows.” And being with a master simply means being no more. Dissolve yourself. Become utterly empty, with no desire, and the blessed moment can happen just now. It does not need any great practice or any ascetic torture; it needs only going back into your uttermost depth. There you are a buddha already. Once recognized, you know the path. It is very small.
Slowly, slowly you can start bringing your buddha from the hidden sources to the surface of your life. Your every activity, your words, will start having a new golden flavor. Your silences will start becoming songs – a music of a different dimension. Your ordinary walking will become like a dance – so joyful. Your whole life will be spread as a blissfulness, a drunkenness. You will live with your totality, you will love with your totality, and this life will be your last life.
If you can attain enlightenment then you don’t have to wander from one womb to another womb. You have been wandering for centuries from one womb to another womb.
If you become enlightened in this life, death will not take you into another womb, you will disappear into the cosmic life, into the cosmic fire. You will become one with the whole – you will be the whole.

Soseki wrote:
I have slept by the cold window and
come back from the land of dreams.
The eye of my mind
has opened by itself,
with no need of the morning star.
He is referring to the morning star of Gautam Buddha. He is saying,
The eye of my mind
has opened by itself,
with no need of the morning star.

All of heaven and earth hold up
this mountain covered with snow.
Where in the world is there a place
for Sakyamuni to practice?
Sakyamuni is another name of Gautam Buddha; that is his family name. He was a sakya – a tribe of warriors – so he is also called sakyamuni: sakya who has become silent. It is a very loved name – just to call him Sakya.
Soseki is making a very beautiful statement: “I have slept by the cold window and come back from the land of dreams.” Your land is the land of dreams. Soseki is saying, “I have come back from the land of dreams. The eye of my mind – the third eye, the eye that looks within – has opened by itself, with no need of the morning star disappearing into the blue sky.”
Every man has to become enlightened in his own way. Although he loves Gautam Buddha, he is saying, “There is no need to follow his footprints because no buddha leaves footprints. A buddha is just like a bird, flying into the blue sky, leaving no footprints.”
All of heaven and earth hold up
this mountain covered with snow.
Where in the world is there a place
for Sakyamuni to practice?
He is making a statement in the Zen language: “There is no need and there is no place in the world to practice. Why did Sakyamuni practice for six years unnecessarily? You can become this very moment the buddha. Why unnecessarily practice – where is the place and where is the time?”
A loving criticism of one’s own master. Soseki is right. But Buddha had his own problem. He was, as far as we know, the first buddha who has created a great impact on humanity. Certainly, it is probable that many buddhas had appeared before Gautam Buddha, but they have not left such an impact.
Even in the times of Gautam Buddha, eight contemporaries declared that they were enlightened – and most probably they were enlightened. A few sentences have come from Buddha and Mahavira concerning the other six – a few statements criticizing them. These six seem to have been more rebellious people because they never wrote anything and they never allowed any following.
Buddha and Mahavira have remained in the memory of man. Mahavira has remained a very local figure; for very small reasons he could not become a world figure. Otherwise, he was older than Buddha and certainly a great individual, but he created strange confinements for himself. First, he was naked. Now no country would allow him entry naked, they don’t allow me even with clothes! I can try naked…
Secondly, he had such strange ways that, just like Ma Tzu, he would have been thought of by other people as insane. He remained for months on fasts. In a twelve-year period of silence, when he remained silent, he ate on only three hundred and sixty-five days – in twelve years! And he would not accept food from just anyone. He had such a strange way, but it has its own meaning. In the morning, when he would be meditating, he would decide that if he knocked at a door for food and a certain situation was fulfilled, only then would he accept food; otherwise he would go out of the town.
For example, if he knocks on the door and the woman is weeping, or she is doing a certain kind of work, or on the road two cows are standing – anything that came to his mind in the meditation – and if that condition was not fulfilled, he will go back. His idea was that “If existence wants me, then it has to fulfill my conditions. If existence does not want me, I don’t have anything to do here. Why should I force myself on existence? I leave it in existence’s hands.”
A strange idea, but it has great meaning. His trust in existence is absolute: if it wanted him, then good. Otherwise, “I can relax, I can disappear. Why should I carry on unnecessarily without existence needing me?” It was clear to him that “If existence needs me for any purpose, it will manage my life. I have left it in existence’s hands.”
Now, such a man would have been in difficulty in any other country. He would not cut his hair with a razor, he would simply pull his hair out – because he would not use any kind of technology. What technology is a small razor? But it is technology. He would not use any technology – he was far ahead of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi at least used the spinning wheel; that is a technical thing.
Mahavira did not use anything – no clothes, so there was no need for a spinning wheel; he did not use even a begging bowl. What is the need of a begging bowl? If all the animals can manage without begging bowls, you seem to be utterly stupid… He drank water from the river just like any dog or any animal, and he would pull out his hair. In psychology they have a certain kind of insanity in which the insane person tears his hair out – and particularly women: when they have a tantrum, they start tearing their hair.
In any other country Mahavira would have been thought insane. First, he was naked; secondly, his strange behavior of eating; thirdly, his pulling his hair out – but he had a reason for everything. But that confined his impact, it remained only a small stream in India. Now there are only twenty-two naked monks – it is a very small stream. But the idea behind it was absolutely clear.
Even the followers of Mahavira don’t discuss exactly the meaning of his nakedness. I have not come across a single scripture in twenty-five centuries which discusses the point about his nakedness. They simply say, “Because he has dropped all possessions, that’s why he has dropped clothes.” But that is not the real thing. The real thing is his celibacy: according to him the celibate person should live naked; only then can he prove that he is celibate. Just think, all your celibate monks… Because the whole mechanism of sex is such that an idea arises in your mind and immediately your sexual machinery starts giving you hints – and the whole society will see, “What kind of celibacy is this?”
I don’t think that any Catholic monk, the pope, or any shankaracharya is capable of fulfilling the test of Mahavira. His test is absolutely correct. The question is, “How do we know that you are celibate?” Even to think in your mind about sex will immediately affect your body and everybody will know that you are not celibate.
In twenty-five centuries nobody has considered his scientificness about it. He is absolutely scientific because behind the clothes you can be celibate and still enjoy dreams of making love to Sophia Loren, and nobody will know. But if you are naked then it is very difficult: the moment you start thinking of Sophia Loren, immediately your flag starts rising up.
I absolutely agree with Mahavira that every celibate – if he wants to be celibate – should be naked. I am not in favor of celibacy, but if somebody wants to be celibate, then he has to follow the rules of the game.
But Jaina monks perhaps are the only ones who can be said to be celibate. It takes years – five stages of training. Only on the last stage they can become naked, when the master allows the disciple, “Now you can become naked.” Because the sexual center is not in the genitals, but in the mind. Unless that center is controlled by your meditations and purified completely of any desire, you cannot stand naked; you will be immediately exposed.
Those six others were also enlightened – but everybody follows his own way. Buddha used clothes, and just because Buddha used clothes, he became a world-wide phenomenon. The whole East became Buddhist. Although Mahavira was old and a very beautiful personality, the way he proposed to live was not for everyone; it was immensely difficult. Just the clothes made the difference.
There must have been other buddhas. Mahavira was a buddha. You have to be aware of the fact that Jaina scriptures use both the terms for Mahavira: jinajina means “the conqueror of oneself” – and buddha, “the awakened one.” The Buddhist scriptures also use both the terms: jina, the conqueror, and buddha, the awakened one. But by and by it became settled – because this would be confusing – it became settled that Gautam Buddha would not be called jina and Mahavira would not be called buddha, to make things clear. But both are both!
And the other six perhaps were more colorful personalities, but they did not allow any followers. Obviously, if you don’t allow any followers, who is going to collect your teachings, collect your life for the coming centuries? Sooner or later your name will disappear. But that was the point of those six: “There is no need for our names to remain. Just as we disappear, our names should disappear. What is the purpose for our names to remain, or our teachings to remain?”
There is a great point in it. Their insistence that “There is no need for our teachings to remain” has many implications. Firstly, “Only living masters can transform human beings. Our words, our teachings won’t do that; they will create only teachers.” Secondly, “Why should we keep the coming future in bondage? We lived our lives, we shared our lives with our contemporaries. Now let the future be free for new masters to take place, for new buddhas to take place. We should not be a hindrance and we should not become a burden on the future.” A tremendously rebellious attitude. All these people…
Soseki says, “Where is a place, where is space, where is time, for Sakyamuni to practice?” He is against practice. I am against practice. Practice can make you only an actor. You have to be spontaneous, not disciplined and practiced. You have to be yourself in your naturalness, in your wildness, in your spontaneity.

Maneesha has asked:
Is our identifying with our body and–or mind all that is preventing us from being one with everything?
Yes, Maneesha. Identification with the body, with the mind, with our possessions, with our families, with our friends – any kind of identification takes you outward. All your possessions will be outward: your wife, your husband, your children; your body – your body is outside you; your mind – your mind is outside you.
The only thing that is not outside you is the witnessing. Just the watchfulness – that is your buddha. Identification means losing witnessing, falling into the trap of attachment. That is our misery, that is our slavery.

Now it is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh.
He seems to be sitting very far away. Just put the light on! Everybody has to see his rainbow-colored turban!

One morning, Mad Melvin, Loony Larry, and Crazy Karl all escape from the Sunnyvale Insane Asylum.
Happy as larks, the three loonies go into town and come upon the construction site of a huge skyscraper. They look around curiously, when suddenly a man in a hard hat walks up to them.
“Hey, you guys,” shouts Klopski, the job foreman. “Get back to work and finish digging that trench!”
The three loonies all smile and nod in unison, then run around and start working on the trench. A couple of hours later, Klopski comes back to see how they are doing. He is shocked to find Mad Melvin digging furiously, while the other two loonies are standing motionless, holding their shovels in the air.
“What the hell are you doing?” screams Klopski at Loony Larry and Crazy Karl.
“We are street lights,” replies Loony Larry.
“You must be nuts! You are fired!” shouts Klopski, sending the two loonies away.
But Mad Melvin stops working immediately.
“No,” says Klopski. “Not you, you are working well, just continue your digging.”
“What?” cries Mad Melvin. “In such darkness?”

The Medical Corporation of America decides that there is only one way to cure AIDS and that is with money – lots of money. So they arrange with all three TV networks in America to have a giant AIDS Telethon, to take place on Saturday night.
The idea is that Rock Hunk, the famous movie star, will make love to five hundred women on TV, while the American public phones in its pledges.
On the big night, Rock Hunk gets up to four hundred and seventy-five women and the money is pouring in. Rockefeller Foundation phones in and donates millions, NASA phones in and donates the funds for the space program. Even Ronald Reagan phones in and donates Nancy’s dress fund. Money is pouring in and it looks like AIDS is going to be cured for sure.
But when Rock gets to four hundred and ninety-five, he passes out. They throw buckets of iced water on him and he staggers to his feet and wobbles over to the next woman. At four hundred and ninety-eight, it looks like he is really finished, but the woman somehow manages to arouse him and the money keeps pouring in.
But at four hundred and ninety-nine, Rock passes out and no one is able to wake him up. The whole country is furious and everyone phones in and takes back their pledges.
Eventually, George Bush, the host of the show, manages to revive Rock and drag him into the office.
“We almost cured AIDS!” cries Bush. “What the hell happened?”
“I just don’t understand it!” replies Rock. “Everything went fine this morning at the rehearsal!”

Nancy Reagan is walking into the White House dining room to have lunch with Ronald and discuss their retirement plans. Suddenly Alvin Mindbender, a close family friend, races past Nancy in a sweat and disappears down the hall.
Nancy goes on into the dining room, sits down over a big lunch, and starts chatting to Ronnie.
Meanwhile, in the Oval Office, Alvin Mindbender is frantically phoning all over the country to find Vice President Bush, who is finishing up his presidential campaign tour.
Two hours later, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Alvin at last gets Bush on the line.
“George, thank God!” cries Alvin. “I’ve been trying to reach you for two hours! There has been a terrible tragedy at the White House!”
Meanwhile, back in the White House dining room, Nancy has just finished her banana split dessert. “Now, Ronald,” she says, wiping her mouth. “I insist we take down those purple and green striped curtains in your bedroom at the ranch-house.”
Suddenly, Alvin, still sweating buckets, bursts into the room. Seeing Nancy chatting to Ronald, he stops dead in his tracks and his jaw drops open.
“Holy shit, Nancy!” screams Mindbender. “What the hell are you doing? Ronald died two hours ago!”
Nancy, takes a close look at the senile old president. “My goodness,” she says, “how can you tell?”






Be silent. Close your eyes. Feel your body to be completely frozen.
Now, look inward with your total consciousness, with a great urgency, as if this is going to be the last moment of your life. Deeper and deeper, and you will find the path.
It is a small path, getting out of the mind, getting out of the body, and reaching the source which is connected with the cosmos. Its only quality is witnessing. So just witness and be a buddha.
A great silence will start falling over you and a deep desire, a deep longing to disappear into the cosmos will be felt for the first time. A great joy – for no reason at all – will fill your whole space.
This moment is precious. Even for a moment to be a buddha is a great blessing. If you know to be a buddha even for a single moment, you know it. You can be a buddha twenty-four hours, round the clock. Just remember: being a buddha means being a witness.
Great flowers will start showering on you – of peace, of bliss, of ecstasy.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Relax, but go on holding the witness.
You are not the body, you are not the mind. You are the one who is seeing the body, seeing the mind and as your witnessing deepens, your separation from others will disappear. The Buddha Auditorium starts becoming a lake of consciousness with no ripples, no distinctions – just a pure dance of bliss and ecstasy.
Rejoice in it and collect as much experience of witnessing as possible. The fragrance that is surrounding you, the ecstasy – gather all of them to bring back to the circumference.
From the center to the circumference you have to bring your buddha slowly, slowly. It is a tremendous treasure. You can bring as much as you want, it is inexhaustible.
At this moment you are eternal, you are immortal, you are one with the cosmos.
This evening has been a beautiful evening on its own accord, but you have made it more golden by your silence, witnessing, by your joyfully relaxing into the home.
Before Nivedano calls you back, collect as much fragrance, as many flowers…



Come back, but come back as a buddha, with the same grace, with the same silence, with the same beauty.
Sit down for a few moments, just recollecting where you have been, on what golden path you have moved, forward and backward, and how much of witnessing you have brought from your very life source.
This witnessing has to be carried around the clock.
A day certainly comes when you don’t need to meditate, when buddha remains in every circumstance present, fully radiant. All actions are his actions, you are no more. The buddha sings, the buddha dances, the buddha smiles. You have become just a passage for the buddha.
That day is not far away. It can happen any moment. Be prepared. It is not a practice, it is simply creating the right moment for the spring to come and bring all that is possible to your potentiality. Thousands of flowers…

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