The Great Zen Master Ta Hui 08

Eighth Discourse from the series of 38 discourses - The Great Zen Master Ta Hui by Osho.
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Enlightenment and Delusion

“Buddha” is the medicine for sentient beings; once the disease of sentient beings is removed, the medicine has no further use.
If you want to attain oneness, just give up both buddhas and sentient beings at once!
An ancient worthy said, “Just perceive nothingness in the midst of things.”
“I formed the repository of thusness with subtle illumination that is neither destroyed nor born; and the repository of thusness is only the illumination of sublime enlightenment shining throughout the whole cosmos.”
Nevertheless, both are ultimately empty falsehoods. If one abandons the power of actions to grasp the power of the path, then I would say that this person does not understand the skill in means of all the buddhas in expounding the truth as is appropriate to the occasion. Why? Have you not read how old Shakyamuni said, “If you cling to the truth aspect, you are attached to self, personality, living beings, and life; if you cling to the non-truth aspect, you are attached to self, personality, living beings, and life.” Thus it is said, “The Buddha only uses provisional terms in guiding sentient beings.”
As soon as the source of the sickness was pointed out to him by an old adept, Chang Ch’o, the famous scholar in the old days understood enough to say:
Trying to eliminate passion aggravates the disease; rushing toward true suchness is also wrong. There is no obstruction in worldly circumstances according to one’s lot: “nirvana” and “birth and death” are equally illusions.
Be like the stillness of water, like the clarity of a mirror, so that whether good or bad, beautiful or ugly approach, you don’t make the slightest move to avoid them. Then you will truly know that the mindless world of spontaneity is inconceivable.
Ta Hui in these sutras comes very close to truth. But even to be close to truth is not to attain it. Even the closeness is a distance.
Whatever he is saying could have been said by an enlightened being, and then its meaning would be totally different. He is repeating very cleverly the statements of ancient enlightened people, but they sound phony, they don’t sound alive. It seems something is dead inside them. He does not show that what he is saying is his own experience; there is no authority in it.
But we will try to understand, because the statements that he is quoting from others are significant in themselves. Alas that he himself has not experienced them! And experience makes such a great difference. A blind man can describe all the qualities of light; he can describe all the beauties of a rainbow, but in his description something essential will be missing. And anybody who knows light and knows the colors of the rainbow will immediately feel that the man is blind. Perhaps he has heard about light, but he has not seen it. And I will tell you how different would be the same statement from a man of enlightenment.
The first sutra:
“Buddha” is the medicine for sentient beings; once the disease of sentient beings is removed, the medicine has no further use.
It is perfectly true as far as medicine is concerned, but buddha is not the medicine. Buddha is the state when you are cured and no medicine is needed. Buddha is your innermost nature.
A man who knows through experience would have said, “Meditation is the medicine for sentient beings. Once the disease of sentient beings is removed, the medicine has no further use. Meditation is no longer needed for one who is enlightened.”
But to use the word buddha instead of meditation shows tremendous confusion in the mind of the person. He may have heard someone talking about how once the disease is gone the medicine has no use. That’s true, but is buddha the medicine? Buddha is your absolute help. He is your intrinsic eternal nature – you cannot discard it. It is you, in your very innermost authentic being.
Meditation is a method, and the method is for a particular purpose. When the purpose is fulfilled, the method is not of any use. Do you think I meditate? The disease is gone and at the same moment, simultaneously, meditation has also disappeared.
I have told you before that the words meditation and medicine come from the same root. Medicine is to cure the body, and meditation is to cure the consciousness, but their function is to cure. Once the cure has happened they become of no use, but to use the word buddha is absolutely absurd. That’s how a man who tries intellectually to understand is bound to commit small mistakes, and he will not be able to figure out where he is committing the mistake. He is very careful, but carefulness alone is not going to help. Consciousness is needed.
If you want to attain oneness, just give up both buddhas and sentient beings at once.
The same mistake continues. It is true: if you want to attain oneness you have to drop all kinds of duality. The duality between the ignorant and knowledgeable, the duality between birth and death, all kinds of dualities have to be dropped.
But buddhahood is another name of oneness. There is nothing opposite to buddha. It is not part of the world of dualities, it is the very transcendence beyond the dualities. Every duality will disappear…then you will know oneness, then you will know your enlightenment, then you will be a buddha.
Buddha has not to be dropped the way other dualities have to be dropped, because it is not part of any duality. Have you ever met anybody who is a non-buddha? Everybody is a buddha; a few are asleep, a few are awake, but there is not a single sentient being who can be called a non-buddha. This word buddha has no opposite to it, hence it is exactly of the same meaning as oneness.
“I formed the repository of thusness with subtle illumination that is neither destroyed nor born; and the repository of thusness is only the illumination of sublime enlightenment shining throughout the whole cosmos.”
He is again quoting someone: this statement is within quotes. But this is the problem with all the intellectuals in the world: they can quote perfectly, but the whole quotation goes against the previous sutras. As it is, if they are right then this quotation cannot be right. This quotation can be right only with my changes: instead of “buddha”, “meditation”, and instead of “dropping buddhas and sentient beings to attain oneness”, “dropping all dualities to attain buddhahood” – because buddhahood is another name of oneness. If these corrections are made then this quotation is right.
I will read it again so you can understand why I am saying that it can be right only with corrections in the previous sutras. “I formed the repository of thusness with subtle illumination that is neither destroyed nor born; and the repository of thusness is only the illumination of sublime enlightenment shining throughout the whole cosmos.”
Now, what is this illumination of sublime enlightenment, except buddhahood? – just a different name. And if even this has to be dropped, then what remains?
Dualities have to be dropped, not oneness. Birth and death have to be dropped, not life. Life is eternal, it is beyond birth and beyond death. Now he is accepting that the subtle illumination…and what is illumination other than the state of buddhahood? These are different names only – illumination, enlightenment, awareness, buddhahood – but he does not seem to understand that they are names of the same experience.

This subtle illumination…is neither destroyed nor born…
There is only one thing that is neither destroyed nor born, and it is the very principle of life. Birth happens in it, death happens in it – thousands of times – but life continues. Birth and death are small incidents in the eternal flow of life-energies. Birth is not the beginning and death is not the end…just small incidents in the eternity of life and existence.
Nevertheless both are ultimately empty falsehoods.
Now this is his own statement, without quotation-marks, and immediately he falls into his intellectual state…
Nevertheless both are ultimately empty falsehoods. If one abandons the power of actions to grasp the power of the path, then I would say that this person does not understand the skill in means of all the buddhas in expounding the truth as it is…
To say that both are ultimately empty falsehoods means the ignorant people are false, and the awakened people are also false; ignorance is false and illumination is also false – then what remains that you can call true? And if there is nothing true, there is no criterion to call anything false. False is possible only if there is something which is not false; unless the not-false is there, the false cannot exist.
Ta Hui is saying both are false: the not-false and the false, the true and the untrue – both are false. And he thinks that he is making a great statement. He is simply showing his utter ignorance! All intellectuals are ignorant people with great borrowed knowledge, with beautiful words, with great philosophical jargon – but no understanding or experience of truth.
Have you not read how old Shakyamuni said, “If you cling to the truth aspect, you are attached to self, personality, living beings, and life; if you cling to the non-truth aspect, you are attached to self, personality, living beings, and life.” Thus it is said, “The Buddha only uses provisional terms in guiding sentient beings.”
It is a little subtle but not impossible to understand. He is quoting Gautam Buddha, but in the quotation there is something missing. If you cling to the truth aspect… If you cling to any aspect, true or false, you cling to the part – and the part is never the whole. The part becomes the barrier to attaining the whole. So Buddha is right when he says, “Don’t cling to the truth aspect and don’t get attached to it.” He also says, “Don’t cling to the non-truth aspect.”
But remember the word aspect which Ta Hui has forgotten. He is not saying that both truth and untruth have to be dropped. If truth and untruth both have to be dropped, then what remains? What are you going to call it?
Buddha is saying a totally different thing, and Ta Hui misunderstands – naturally, because an intellectual cannot do more than that. Buddha is saying, “Don’t cling to any aspect, whether it is the aspect of truth or the aspect of non-truth. Just don’t cling.”
His insistence is for not clinging, for nonattachment – because every attachment, every clinging will keep you in a bondage, will keep you in ignorance. Even if you feel, “This is true,” don’t cling. The question is not of truth or untruth, the question is of clinging. His emphasis is on nonclinging…don’t cling even to the truth!
That does not mean that truth has to be abandoned. It simply means clinging has to be abandoned. Clinging makes everything a bondage, an imprisonment. Nonclinging brings freedom to you, and truth can be alive only in absolute freedom.
You cannot keep truth in bondage, in any kind of imprisonment. You cannot grasp truth, because truth is almost like the open sky. You can have it in your open hand – the whole sky is yours, all the stars are yours – but don’t try to make a fist. The moment you make a fist, the whole sky has slipped out of your hand.
His insistence: is not to be attached. Certainly, not to be attached to untruth is simple to understand; that’s why he is making it clear…even if you are attached to truth, the very attachment is a poison which will kill even the truth itself.
So remain aloof, unattached, just a witness.
Then the whole truth is available to you, and the whole untruth simply disappears. It has never been there. It was your own projection – you had created it.
But Ta Hui thinks that Buddha is saying: “Truth and non-truth both have to be dropped.” That certainly Buddha has never said, and he is not saying it even in this statement.
To support his idea Ta Hui again says, Thus it is said, “The Buddha only uses provisional terms in guiding sentient beings.”
It is true that Buddha uses provisional terms, arbitrary terms – but not for any special reason. There is no possibility to bring the truth into knowledge, into words, into language – so he uses only provisional terms, approximate, as close as possible to the truth. But it is provisional.
Once you have reached the realm of truth, you will have to abandon all those terms and words and theories and doctrines and scriptures. They have helped you. When the finger points to the moon, certainly the finger is helping, but the finger is not the moon. And when you have seen the moon, the finger is of no use. There is no need to cling to the finger; there is no need to worship the finger because it has shown you the moon. That will be simply foolishness.
The finger pointing to the moon is just like the arrows on the mile-stones which show you how far you are from the place you are going to, and how far you have come from the place you have left. But you never worship those arrows; you never even say to them, “Thank you, sir.”
They are provisional means, and they are of great utility. All the words used by enlightened people are of great utility – but they don’t have the essential truth in them. They are only arrows pointing toward it. But without them perhaps you may never look at the moon.
If the buddhas were not insistent, continuously emphasizing, “You are asleep, wake up!” – if they were not making all kinds of devices to wake you up, perhaps you might never wake up. But once you are awake, you don’t worship the alarm clock. The alarm clock has been of great utility, it has awakened you, but a thing of utility is not a thing to which you have to be grateful.
As soon as the source of the sickness was pointed out to him by an old adept, Chang Ch’o, the famous scholar in the old days understood enough to say:
Now to use for Chang Ch’o the word scholar is not right, he is not a scholar – Ta Hui is a scholar. Chang Ch’o is a buddha, he has come to know the reality. And we can see in his statement the fire, the illumination, the celebration – and a subtle presence of truth. Even though you may not have experienced it, if you can just for a moment, be silent and listen to what Chang Ch’o says, you can see the difference between the words of a scholar and the words of a man of enlightenment.
These are the words of Chang Ch’o:
“Trying to eliminate passion aggravates the disease…”
I have been condemned for years because I have been saying, “Don’t repress anything that is natural to you.” That has become a world-wide antagonism against me in the minds of the priests of all the religions, without exception. They think that I am supporting people’s biological instincts. What I am doing is simply what Chang Ch’o is saying… “Trying to eliminate passion aggravates the disease…”

All the people who have been teaching celibacy, anti-life attitudes, controlling your sex, controlling your hunger, controlling everything that nature requires you to fulfill – it has not helped anybody. It has only created perverted people, sick people – psychologically, spiritually, physically, all kinds of perversions have been created.
This man Chang Ch’o must have been a man of absolute enlightenment, because thousands of years ago he was saying exactly what the world even today is not willing to understand.
Trying to eliminate passion aggravates the disease; rushing toward true suchness is also wrong…
…because you cannot desire suchness. Rushing is a desire – you want to reach quickly to the state of suchness where you can relax, rest, and accept whatsoever life brings to you.
It is not a question of rushing toward some place: it is simply a question of relaxing right now. It is not a desire and it is not a goal; it is not a destination that you have to reach. It is a simple understanding…and you are already – wherever you are – able to live the beautiful experience of suchness.
Chang Ch’o is right when he says; …rushing toward true suchness is also wrong…because you cannot make a goal of it, you cannot make a destination of it. It cannot be an object of your desire and your will. It is simply a pure understanding, a silent understanding that whatsoever life brings to you – rejoice in it. No complaint, no grudge, no asking for more…just in a silent moment relish the feeling.
Then this very moment, suchness is yours.
There is nowhere else to go.
Suchness is your nature.
There is no obstruction in worldly circumstances according to one’s lot…
I started telling the monks – Hindu monks, Jaina monks, Christian monks – that renouncing the world is simply cowardliness. It does not show your understanding, it simply shows your fear. It is escapist. There is no obstruction in worldly circumstances…
If you are living in suchness and let-go there is nothing in the world which can disturb you. There is no obstruction, because you are able to accept everything – even the obstruction. You will absorb it without any complaint. You will simply say, “Such is my lot, such is my destiny.” You will not ask that it should have been otherwise. So why escape from the world? Escaping means that you wanted a different kind of place, where you can be at ease. But you can never be at ease anywhere.

I have heard about a man who had a very angry nature, and was very quick in reacting. He would not think for a single moment what he was doing, and he would repent it for his whole life. He became a nuisance in the whole town; he asked a monk who was visiting the town, “What should I do? Everybody seems to be boycotting me. I understand that I am temperamental, and I get angry very quickly. It comes with such force that I don’t have any time to think about it, and I act according to my anger. Then I repent – I should not have said that, I should not have done that. But now I have made the whole town my enemy.”
The monk said, “It is not your fault. This world never allows anybody to live peacefully, silently, prayerfully. One has to renounce it; it is a world full of sins and full of sinners. What do you think…all the great religions’ founders have renounced the world – were they fools? Renounce this world! Come along with me!”
The logic was clear. It is very easy to throw the responsibility on other people’s shoulders: the world is wrong, you are perfectly right, but what can you do if the whole world is wrong and it drives you into wrong paths? And from everywhere the incentive is to do wrong.
The monk convinced him, “Just come with me. I am going to the Himalayas. Live silently in a cave – nobody will provoke you and the anger will disappear. How can you be angry when there is nobody else except you?” It was so convincing and so ego-fulfilling to think, “I was not wrong, the whole world is wrong.” That’s why all great religious teachers renounced it, went into seclusion, into isolation. If they could not cope with this world… “I am a small man, how can I cope with it?”
So he renounced the world and went into the forest. Sitting under a tree he was feeling very good, thinking that this is true: “Those who have renounced the world have known eternal peace.” And just at that moment a crow pissed over him. You can renounce the world, but there are monk crows who have also renounced the world and they live in the mountains…
Immediately he jumped up! He became very angry, forgot all about renunciation, and started throwing rocks at the crow. The master who had brought him came out of his cave, asking “What is the matter?”
And he became angry at the master: “Yes, you are the matter! You have told me to renounce the world and there will be no anger. And I am sitting here silently, doing nothing, no provocation from my side – and a crow comes and pisses over me!”
The master who had brought him began to think that he had brought a very dangerous fellow. He may get angry with him at any moment, for any reason. He said, “It is better…forgive me for suggesting to you the idea of renouncing. You go back to the world.”
The man said, “I cannot go back to the world. I have suffered there enough, and I have suffered here. I am going to commit suicide!”
The master said, “It is up to you, but I am not suggesting it because I don’t want to take the responsibility.” And the man left. Just nearby there was a village and he collected wood for his funeral pyre on the bank of the river.
The village people gathered out of curiosity: “What is going on, what are you doing?”
He said, “I am going to commit suicide. I am going to burn these logs of wood and jump into the fire, alive. Enough is enough – I have seen the world, I have seen renunciation. Now the only thing left is to see whether in death people can get peace or not!”
The villagers said, “Your idea perhaps is right, but do one thing: don’t make your funeral pyre here, because when you are burning… We poor people live here. It will stink and the smoke will come to our huts. Can’t you go somewhere else?”
Now he was really angry. He said, “This is a strange world. They don’t let you live, they don’t let you die! I cannot even choose the place for my death!”

If you start thinking in such terms – that others are responsible, that the world is the problem, other people are the problem – then you are looking from a very wrong perspective. Chang Ch’o’s perspective is absolutely right when he says,
There is no obstruction in worldly circumstances according to one’s lot: “nirvana” and “birth and death” are all equally illusions.
What he is saying is that people think that if they can achieve nirvana then there will be no birth, no death, no misery, no problem. Nirvana, according to their mind, is just a golden paradise. But the nirvana conceived by the ignorant people cannot be the true nirvana; hence Chang Ch’o has put ‘nirvana’ into inverted commas.
He does not mean the real state of nirvana; he means the conception of nirvana according to ignorant people. Because of their ignorance they will think about nirvana also, but it cannot be the true nirvana. Their nirvana, their birth and death, are all equally illusions. When they have gone beyond all illusions they will find the space which Buddha calls nirvana. That will not be the same as they were thinking it would be.
It used to happen almost every day in Gautam Buddha’s life, because he was the first man to use a negative term for the ultimate state…. In India, Jainas use for the ultimate state the word kaivalya. It means to be absolutely alone in your pure consciousness; it is a concept of freedom. The Hindus have the word moksha, which actually means absolute freedom. These are positive terms.
Buddha perhaps is the only man in the whole of history who uses for the ultimate state a word which is negative. Nirvana means nothingness, emptiness. As a word it literally means blowing out the candle.
When you blow out the candle, what remains? Just darkness…. Darkness – people want to attain to eternal light, not to eternal darkness. People want to be part of a paradise with all the comforts and luxuries that they are missing here; they don’t want to enter into a state of emptiness. People want to become gods; they don’t want to become just pure nothingness.
So every day people were telling Gautam Buddha, “If you go on using this word nirvana, nobody is going to follow you – because who wants emptiness, who wants nothingness, who wants eternal darkness?” Buddha said, “What you want is out of your ignorance. It is out of your unawareness that the desire is coming. So your paradise, your heaven, your moksha are nothing but projections of your ignorance. What I am saying is simply to negate your projections.
“By emptiness, I am saying all that you can conceive will not be there – and what will be there you cannot conceive, neither can I speak about it. I am saying whatever you think are comforts, luxuries, joys, happiness will not be there, and what will be there you don’t have any way even to dream about. Hence I am using the word nothingness. It is just to negate you!
“I am not talking about a negative state. I am talking about a very positive state, but that positive state is beyond expression, beyond words. So the only way is to negate you. If you can understand that your mind, your self, your personality will all be gone…if you can accept this tremendous idea of entering into an absolutely unknowable world, only then can you taste something of meditation. And finally, you can taste what I call nirvana, enlightenment, illumination.”
He was immensely courageous to use the word nirvana. People want their desires to be fulfilled – they want consolations, they want opium, they want beautiful opportunities – then they are ready to do fasting, they are ready to do austerities, they are ready to do any kind of stupid thing you ask in the hope that it is only a question of a few days, and after that…eternal carnival, circus, movies, love-affairs. Deep down in their unconscious, these are the projections.
Buddha is cutting their projections in the single blow of a sword. He says, “Nothing of all this nonsense! You will be attaining to eternal peace and silence and serenity – which can be very closely expressed as emptiness, as nothingness, as blowing out the candle, as nirvana.” And I can understand that he was right.
People should not be supported in their illusions. They have lived millions of lives in their illusions, and religions go on supporting and nourishing their illusions: “You will be getting this, you will be getting that. Just the same desires that you are not able to fulfill here, you will be able to fulfill there in the ultimate state.” This is a very dangerous game that priests are playing with the whole of humanity. The greatest deception, the greatest cheating, the ugliest profession, is that of the priests. Buddha is very much against the priests. He is very much against all those people who are trying to persuade you.
I am reminded…

One day I was going to the university and a beautiful woman waved to stop my car, so I stopped the car. She came close to me and she gave me a beautiful leaflet. On the front of the leaflet there was a picture of a very beautiful house by the side of a beach and the ocean, and on the other side a thick pine-forest. And the caption on this picture said, “Do you want to have such a house?”
I said, “Strange, is there such a house available in this city?” So I looked inside; I thought perhaps it is just for sale or something, and I wanted to look. I would have loved to have that house – the house was really great, and the situation was fabulous.
I looked at the back and it said, “If you follow Jesus Christ then in paradise this house will be allotted to you.” This in short is the whole history of religions. They are telling you that you will get this, you will get that.
Buddha is the only man who says, “You won’t get a thing. All that you have will be taken away.” He does not even allow you, as a self. You will be just a consciousness without any idea of “I.”
In Pali, the language he used to speak, atta means the self. Just as in Sanskrit atman means the self, the supreme self, atta is the supreme self. Buddha used the word anatta – no-self. He has used all the negatives – and yet the man must have been of tremendous charisma, because he persuaded people to lose everything, to drop everything and enter into eternal nothingness.
His persuasion is in his silence, in his blissfulness, in his grace. People have felt, “If this man has entered into nothingness, and out of nothingness has come so much flowering and so much fragrance, then there is no need to be worried…this nothingness seems to be better than all our conceptions and dreams.” Your nirvana is not the nirvana of Gautam Buddha.
Chang Ch’o is certainly a man of enlightenment. His statement is so clear. Three things he is saying: One, don’t try to eliminate passion, because that will aggravate the disease – and this is two thousand years before Sigmund Freud. …rushing toward true suchness is also wrong.
This is against all religions, who want you to be greedy for a life after death, for a heaven where you will be rewarded, where your virtues will be rewarded – and there seems to be no criterion as to how the virtues will be rewarded.
I have heard Hindu saints saying that if you donate one rupee to a saint here…of course, to a saint – and there is no saint other than himself in the vicinity – you will get one crore rupees in heaven as a reward. It seems to be a kind of lottery, just for one rupee. And it is worth risking just one rupee! It is better to have a ready-made account there; when you reach there will be millions of rupees in your account. Then enjoy all the luxuries that you could not manage on the earth!
But it is written in Hindu scriptures that one million times more…whatever virtue you gain, it becomes one million times more in heaven. This is simply exploiting people’s desires, people’s minds. Gautam Buddha perhaps is the only great teacher who has not exploited anybody.
Ta Hui goes on quoting from great enlightened people, but he does not seem to understand that scholarship and enlightenment are not one. There are so many scholars – you can get them for one rupee a dozen. They are all around, all the universities are full, all the churches are full, all the synagogues are full – great rabbis, great pundits, great bishops and cardinals, but they are all scholars. They have studied much, they have gained much knowledge – but they have not gained much being.
Wisdom belongs to those whose being expands to its ultimate limits.
But it is good to see how an intellectual person, a genius, can go on committing mistakes – what to say about ordinary people? If they commit mistakes they have to be forgiven; even geniuses go on committing mistakes!
Perhaps the basic problem with intellectuals is that they cannot conceive of anything greater and better than intelligence. Meditation is certainly that which goes far above anything that intelligence can even conceive.
In the whole world there are so many learned people, but these learned people are not interested in meditation. They think learning is enough: “Learn more! There is so much to learn.” – and every year knowledge goes on growing so fast that to keep pace with it has become almost impossible. Who has time for meditation?
I have been with so many learned people in this country and I have asked them, “After all your learning, hasn’t the idea of meditation ever occurred to you?”
They said, “Why should it happen to us? There is nothing better than intelligence…” It hurts them, their ego is wounded, to hear that there is something greater than intelligence – meditation.
An incident happened…

I was a student, but I used to go to conferences and other places to speak on different subjects. There was a meeting on the birthday of Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. The president of the meeting was the chief justice of Madhya Pradesh high court, and I was the speaker. I was just a student but this man, whose name was Ganesh Bhatt, was a rare man. I have never come across another man of his quality.
He was the chief justice and I was only a postgraduate student. After I spoke he simply declared to the assembly of almost ten thousand sikhs, “Now there is nothing more to be said. At least I cannot say anything better than has been said by this young man, so I will not deliver the presidential address, because that may spoil what he has said to you. I would rather that you go home silently pondering over what he has said, and meditating upon it.”
The Sikhs were surprised, everybody was surprised, and as I was stepping down from the podium the chief justice, Ganesh Bhatt, touched my feet. I said, “What are you doing? You are of the age of my father. You are a learned man, you are a brahmin.”
He said, “Nothing matters – neither my being a brahmin, nor my age, nor my prestige, nor my being the chief justice. What matters is that whatever you have said has come from the deepest being. It was unexpected…I have presided over many meetings and I have listened to many learned people, but all that they say is within quotation marks. For the first time I have heard a man who speaks directly, without any quotation marks – who speaks on his own authority. So don’t prevent me. I am showing my gratitude by touching your feet.”
The judges had come because the chief justice was presiding over the meeting, and the advocates of the high court had come because the chief justice was there – they were all shocked! But Ganesh Bhatt became a regular visitor to my house. It became almost a regular routine that his car would be standing in front of my house.
People whose cases were being heard in the high court started coming to me. I said, “I cannot help you.”
They said, “Just a word from you, and he will not do anything against it.”
I said, “I cannot do any such thing. He comes here with such respect toward me that I cannot bring up such trivia.”
It became a problem. I had to keep a servant in front of my house to send these people away, otherwise everybody was coming to the house saying, “I am in much trouble, and just a little support from you will get me out of it.”
After he retired from the chief justice-ship he became the vice-chancellor of Sagar University. By that time I had become a professor in Jabalpur University, and I had gone to Sagar to speak in a public conference of all religions. He heard that I had come, so he invited me to the university where he was now the vice-chancellor.
Once I had been a student in that university, and because the vice-chancellor had called the meeting, all the professors and all the students, everybody was present. I was worried about only one thing – that he may do the same act again. The professors who had taught me were there, and thousands of students were there who had also been students, junior to me – and he did his act.
As I went on the podium he stood, touched my feet, and said to the audience, “To be learned is one thing, and to know on your own experience – face to face – is a totally different thing. In my long life I have been in high positions, and I have come across so many learned people, and I can say with absolute confidence that learning brings no transformation to their being. The transformation of one’s being comes through some other door, not through the doors of mind.”
It was a great shock! Many of them were my teachers, many of them were students who knew me when I was a student in that university, and their vice-chancellor touching my feet…. My old professors gathered when I came down after speaking, saying, “This is a strange phenomenon. We had never expected…”
I said, “I was studying under you, but you never looked deeply into me, you never looked into my eyes. You never thought about the questions I was asking. You simply thought of one thing – that I was just creating trouble for you because you had no answer, and you were not courageous enough to say, ‘I don’t know.’”

Intellectuals are very weak about one point. They cannot say, “I don’t know.”
Only an enlightened being can say, “I don’t know.” His innocence and his enlightenment are synonymous.

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