The White Lotus 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 11 discourses - The White Lotus by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Question: What do you call the mind of greediness?

Answer: It is the mind of ignorance.

Question: What do you call the mind of egolessness?

Answer: It is the mind of shravaka, Buddha’s actual disciple.

Question: What do you call the mind of no-entity?

Answer: It is the mind of the sages who have no connection with the teaching of Buddha, but discover the truth of no-entity by themselves.

Question: What do you call the mind which has no particular understanding, and also no painful delusions?

Answer: It is the mind of bodhisattvas.

Question: What do you call the mind which has nothing to know and also nothing to realize?

Answer: No answer from Bodhidharma.

Bodhidharma said, “Dharmakaya has no form, therefore one sees it without seeing. Dharma has no voice, therefore one hears it without hearing. Prajna has nothing to be known, therefore one knows it without knowing. If he thinks that he is seeing, he sees it incompletely. If he thinks that he knows it, he does not know it thoroughly. When he knows it without knowing, he knows it completely. If one does not know this, he is not a true knower. If one thinks that he is gaining, he is not gaining entirely. When he gains non-gaining, he owns everything. If one thinks that he is right, his righteousness is not perfect. When he transcends right and wrong, his virtues are accomplished. Such wisdom is the gate-opener to a hundred thousand gates of the higher wisdom.”….

Said Bodhidharma, “All buddhas preach emptiness. Why? Because they wish to crush the concrete ideas of the students. If a student even clings to an idea of emptiness, he betrays all buddhas. One clings to life although there is nothing to be called life; another clings to death although there is nothing to be called death. In reality there is nothing to be born, consequently there is nothing to perish.

“By clinging one recognizes a thing or an idea. Reality has neither inside, outside, nor middle part. An ignorant person creates delusions and suffers from discrimination. Right and wrong do not exist in reality. An ignorant person creates them, recognizes them, near or far, inward or outward. He then suffers from discrimination. This is the general way of the phenomenal world.”
All questions are childish. Mind you, they are not childlike, they are childish, they are stupid. They may appear very knowledgeable, they may consist of great words, but with no significance, no meaning, because those great words are empty, borrowed. They have no roots in your own existential experience.
Philosophy as such is a very childish affair. Religion has maturity, but not philosophy. Philosophy is curiosity: curiosity without any worthiness to know. Questions raised in the hope of getting the answers. But even if the answers are given, you will not be able to receive them because there is no readiness on your part to receive them. The answers will only create new questions in the childish mind.
That has been the whole history of philosophical endeavor. For ten thousand years, philosophy has raised great questions and has been greatly involved in finding the answers, but not a single answer has been found. No effort has been as futile as philosophy. Each answer that philosophers think they have arrived at, that they think is going to change the whole vision of man, simply creates more questions. Philosophy has not solved anything at all. It cannot. It is basically a movement in the wrong direction.
The mind can only raise questions, but cannot find the answers. Just as leaves grow on trees, questions grow in the mind. You can prune the leaves, but by pruning, more leaves will be coming, the foliage will become thicker. You can prune the questions – that’s what philosophy goes on doing – but more questions will be arising because the source of the questions, the mind, remains intact, protected, secure.
To find the answer one has to go beyond the mind, and to go beyond the mind is the only maturity. You are really a grown-up person when you have gone beyond the mind. The buddhas are nothing but grown-up people, mature, ripe, integrated, and gone beyond the mind, gone to the other shore, the further shore.
From that height, questions simply disappear. Not that they are solved, remember. Questions are not solved when you go beyond the mind. Going beyond the mind, you go beyond questions too. They become irrelevant, they look stupid, they lose all meaning. They are simply nonsense.
Not that you find answers but when questions are dissolved and you are in a state of questionless consciousness, this is the answer. Without any particular answer this is the answer, this is the solution.
Hence in the East we call it samadhi. Samadhi simply means the solution. All is solved, questions are dissolved. You are absolutely silent, with no curiosity, with nothing to ask. When you have nothing to ask, you know; and when you have something to ask, you do not know.
Yes, out of compassion buddhas go on answering your questions in the hope that sooner or later you will see the utter absurdity, ridiculousness of questions.
Existence simply is. It is not a question–answer thing, it is not a puzzle. It is a mystery to be experienced, lived, loved. You can sing it, you can dance it, but it is not a question. It is a quest, an adventure, an ecstatic adventure, an exploration. And when you enter the mysterious without any curiosity, all the secrets of existence are available to you.
If you enter with a curious mind, nothing is available to you because the curious mind itself prevents you from seeing. You are preoccupied with your question. You are preoccupied with your knowledge. You ask because you think you know. Somebody comes and says, “Who created the world?” In fact he already carries the idea that God created the world. He has come to ask only to be confirmed. If you confirm him, he is very happy. If you negate, he becomes angry at you. He was not a real seeker, he was seeking support for his belief.

A man asked Buddha one day, early in the morning… Buddha was on his morning walk and the man asked, “Is there a God?”
Buddha looked for a moment into the eyes of the man and said, “No. There is no God at all – never has been, never will be. Get rid of all this nonsense.”
The man was shocked.
Ananda was following Buddha. He always followed him like a shadow, just to be at his service any moment, if any need arises. He listened, he had listened to many answers from Buddha, but it was like a hammer; it looked so crude, so cruel. But he saw the face of Buddha – tremendous compassion.
In the afternoon, another man came and he asked, “Is there a God?”
Buddha said, “Yes, there is – always has been, always will be. Seek and find.”
Ananda was very much puzzled. He has not forgotten the answer Buddha gave just this morning, but he could not ask because there were so many other people.
And before he could ask, in the evening another man came, as the sun was setting. Buddha was sitting outside underneath a tree, just watching the sunset, the beautiful clouds, and the man asked, “Is there a God?”
Buddha simply motioned his hand, gestured to the man – sit down. Closed his eyes. The man followed. They sat in silence for a few moments, then the man rose. It was getting dark, the sun had set. He touched the feet of Buddha, said, “I am grateful for the answer. Thank you very much,” and went away.
Now Ananda was all boiling up. When there was nobody, Ananda asked, “I will not be able to sleep tonight unless you answer me. In a single day, the same question – and you answered in three ways. To the first person you said, ‘No, there is no God.’ To the second you said, ‘Yes, there is.’ And to the third you simply motioned with such love to sit down and close his eyes. You didn’t answer anything to him, but something must have transpired because the man fell into deep silence. He touched your feet, thanked you also for your answer, although I was there and you had not answered at all. What is going on? You have puzzled me very much.”
Buddha said, “No answer was given to you. Why should you be puzzled? It was their question, it was my answer. You were not a party to it.”
But Ananda said, “I am not deaf, I was there and I simply listened. And now those three answers are keeping me very much confused.”
Buddha said, “The first man was a believer, he believed in God. He had not come really to inquire, he had come to be confirmed. He wanted his belief to be supported by me, so he could go and tell people, ‘Not only I believe in God, Buddha also believes.’ He wanted to use me for his own purposes, hence I had to say no.
“And I had to be very hard with him. Otherwise he wouldn’t listen. He was so full of his own ideas. He was a scholar, well acquainted with the scriptures. I could hear the noise in his head. I could see the turmoil in his being. I had to be very cruel and hard like a hammer, only then there was a possibility that he may hear. He needed a shock. I shocked him because I don’t want to support anybody’s beliefs. All beliefs are wrong. Knowing is a totally different matter.
“And the second man was an atheist, he did not believe in God. He was also a scholar. He was also full of all kinds of ideas, but he was just the opposite of the first man. He had also come for the same purpose. They were opposites, enemies, but the purpose was the same. He wanted me to support his nonbelief, his disbelief. That’s why I had to say to him with such authority: ‘Yes, there is a God. Only God is, nothing else is.’ That way I shattered his belief.
“And the third man was really a seeker. He did not want an answer. He wanted an experience. He had not come to question. He had no idea, no prejudice. He had come open, available. He was vulnerable to me, he was a man of great trust. He wanted me to reveal something to him, hence I did not answer him. I simply told him to sit by my side. And, yes, you are right, something transpired.”
Something always transpires when two persons can manage to sit in deep silence. And if you can manage to sit in deep silence with a buddha, something of tremendous value is going to happen. His silence is contagious. If you are available and open, his silence will pour into your being. It will be like a bath. You will be bathed in his consciousness. You will be cleansed, you will be purified. Your dust will disappear from your mirror. Suddenly you will be able to see. Your eyes will be clear.
“So without giving him any answer, he received the answer. He received the answer of all answers, which is silence. That’s why he was so grateful. That’s why he bowed down and touched my feet. That’s why he thanked me.”

When you come to a Buddha or a Bodhidharma you have to be very alert how you come. Don’t come with prejudices, otherwise you will ask childish questions.

A little boy went to school for the first time, and the teacher explained that if he wanted to go to the washroom he should raise two fingers.
The boy, looking puzzled, asked, “How’s that going to stop it?”

He has a certain idea – childish – but he is puzzled.

“Why don’t you smile?” the teacher asked young Johnny.
“I didn’t have no breakfast,” Johnny replied.
“You poor dear,” said the teacher. “But to return to our geography lesson, Johnny. Where is the Polish border?”
“In bed with Momma – that’s why I didn’t have no breakfast.”

Not only children are full of childish ideas, the so-called grown-ups are not different at all. Yes, they are aged, but not grown up. They have been growing in age but not growing in consciousness. The more you grow in age the more ideas you accumulate – obviously. More experiences, more words, more theories, more ideologies.
The more you grow in consciousness, the fewer ideas, the fewer philosophies, the fewer theologies. Instead, silence grows in you. Beware of being knowledgeable; that is the greatest hindrance between you and the truth. Knowledgeability deceives you. It makes you feel that you already know.
That’s how thousands of pundits, scholars, professors, pedagogues go on living. Believing that they know, they know nothing. They have not even entered the temple of wisdom. They have not even moved toward the temple. In fact, they are moving in just the opposite direction. To know is one thing, and to be knowledgeable is just the opposite of it. Beware of knowledgeability so that one day you can know.
It is not a question of accumulating information. On the contrary, it is a question of emptying your mind totally of all its content. When the mind is empty, has nothing to say, has nothing to believe, has no ideas about anything, then suddenly the reality is revealed to you.
In that emptiness, you become a mirror. To be empty is to be a mirror. And then, simply, all that is, is reflected in you.
The first question. All these questions are stupid, but Bodhidharma is very patient. Knowing that they are stupid, he answers in the hope, not that they will be answered in this way, but in the hope that you will one day understand that life is not a matter of questioning and answering. His answers are such that they don’t answer your question, they destroy your question.
That’s the way of the real master. He does not answer your question, he simply destroys it. So if you are waiting for a particular answer, you will be at a loss. Many have come from the buddhas empty-handed just because they were expecting ready-made, particular answers. Buddhas don’t do that. On the contrary, they take away your question.
These answers are just to take away the questions from you, so that you can be left cleaner, more spacious. These questions are like clouds in the sky. Once these clouds disappear, the infinity of the sky becomes available to you with all its beauty and glory and grandeur.
The first question:
What do you call the mind of greediness?
On the surface the question looks perfectly okay. But if you look carefully, the questioner himself is greedy. He is asking questions – Bodhidharma answers one; he has not even answered it and another question pops up. And the other question that pops up is nothing but a new formulation of the old question.
It is not that there is: …a mind of greediness. The mind is greed. Greed and the mind are not two things, greed is the nature of the mind. The mind is greedy because it wants to accumulate more and more. It may be money, it may be power, it may be knowledge, it may be good deeds, virtue. Whatever it is, the mind is greed. It wants to accumulate more and more. It is afraid of being empty because in emptiness, the mind disappears, evaporates. Only when you are cluttered with unnecessary furniture…
Just the other day I was looking at a photographic record of Sigmund Freud’s house. It really is something worth going into. The whole house seems to be so cluttered with things that one wonders how Sigmund Freud managed to live in it. There is no space at all. Even in his study there are at least a hundred statues, small and big. It looks like a museum. Things and things all over the place. One should be very, very careful and cautious to move in his room, otherwise something will fall. You will stumble upon something.
To live in such a room is indicative of his mind: the mind of greed. No space in the room indicates his inner state, no space is there either. Sigmund Freud is a very knowledgeable person.
Going through that book, I became more and more sorry for the poor man. What kind of life must he have lived? It must have been a long, long nightmare. Whatever must have been presented to him – necessary, unnecessary – he has accumulated. At least one’s study should be spacious; it looks like a shop. He is sitting in his chair, and on his table there are fifty statues, and he is reading. So many things to distract. And on the walls, pictures and calendars. All the walls are covered. And so many tables and chairs.
He is living as if afraid of emptiness. He was very afraid of death. It is said that even to mention the word death was enough for him to be shocked. Twice or thrice he fainted because somebody started talking about death. Actually fainted, fell from the chair onto the ground. So afraid of death? That simply means he must have been afraid of emptiness too, because death and emptiness are the same.
Why do you accumulate so many things? Why do you accumulate so many ideas? Just to go on feeling that you are full. People eat too much just to feel full. People are constantly moving from one crowd to another crowd. People are members of religions, that is, members of crowds, members of clubs, members of political parties. A person is a Rotarian, and he is a Christian or a Hindu, and he also belongs to this political party or that. And he goes on moving from one crowd to another crowd. He keeps himself occupied, so that he never becomes aware of the inner emptiness.
Inner emptiness seems to be falling into an abyss, bottomless abyss. So people go on filling themselves with anything. That is greed. Greed has nothing to do with money as such. Anything that you go on filling yourself with is greed. And there is no: …mind of greediness. The mind is greediness.

Berkowitz met a beautiful brunette in Bermuda and tried to get her to fly home with him to New York.
“Come with me tonight and I’ll buy you a mink coat,” propositioned Berkowitz.
“I’ve got two minks hanging in my closet.”
“A Buick convertible?”
“And what would I do with my Cadillac?”
“All right, I’ll give you a stunning diamond bracelet.”
She displayed the gems on her wrist: “Already have one. However, I’d be willing to consider a sizable chunk of cash.”
“Sorry,” said Berkowitz, “that’s the one thing I can’t get wholesale!”

All minds are Jewish. Remember: to be a Jew has nothing to do with a race. There are only two types of people in the world: Jews and buddhas. Whosoever is greedy is a Jew. It is a quality – nothing to do with blood.

A young woman was married to an old man. The husband caught a cold which developed into pneumonia. He was immediately rushed to a hospital and placed in an oxygen tent.
Knowing that the odds were against his pulling through, he summoned his wife to his side and said, “The will is in order. The stocks and bonds and securities are in the safety vault. But there is something no one else knows. There is a safe hidden in the corner of the attic, with two hundred thousand dollars in cash. The key is taped at the bottom of my dresser drawer. Gloria dear! Why are you squeezing the oxygen tube?”

People are ready to kill, people are ready to be killed for greed. What are these people: Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Alexander, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong? What are these people? Greed multiplied, greed gone mad. The whole effort is how to forget the inner emptiness.
And you cannot destroy inner emptiness. It is your very being. You can cover it with things, but sooner or later you will have to encounter it. And it is better if you encounter it sooner. Death will reveal it to you, but then it will be too late. You may not be able to do anything. Death is bound to reveal it to you; all your accumulations will be of no help. Death will make you clearly aware that your hands are empty – not only your hands, your being is also empty. Death is a shock because it reveals your emptiness and destroys your illusions of being full.
The meditator comes upon this experience before death. That is the beginning of transformation. You start knowing your emptiness, and the more you know, the more you are surprised: it is emptiness only in the sense that there is nothing of the outside world with which you are acquainted. Yes, in that sense it is empty, but as you go deeper into it, you start feeling that it is also a fullness, a plenitude. It is empty of the world but full of godliness. The first experience is going to be that it is empty, and the second experience that it is full of godliness.
The questioner asks Bodhidharma: What do you call the mind of greediness?
Bodhidharma simply says:
It is the mind of ignorance.
Because you don’t know yourself, that’s why you are greedy. If you know yourself, you will know the beauty of emptiness, the cleanliness of emptiness, the utter purity of emptiness. When the emptiness flowers in you, you will know its plenitude too, its fullness too. You will be full of emptiness, and that is the only fullness which death cannot destroy. But for that, one thing is needed: that you should not be ignorant.
What does he mean by ignorance? These people who are asking him questions are not ignorant, they are knowledgeable people. Their questions show it. What is the: …mind of greediness? They must have read it in the scriptures, must have heard, must have discussed about it. What is egolessness? What is the mind of no-entity? Look at their questions – great metaphysical questions. They are not ignorant people in the sense that they know nothing. They are ignorant people in the sense that they know too much without knowing anything at all. They are full of knowledge but without any knowing. The world is full of such ignorant people.
Christian mystics have divided people into two categories, beautiful categories: one they call knowledgeable ignorance, and the second they call ignorant knowing. There is a certain type of mind who is very knowledgeable and ignorant. And there is also a certain no-mind, utterly ignorant and yet knowing. That is the mind of the buddha. You can call it no-mind or mind, it doesn’t matter what you call it, but remember the quality: it is not stuffed from the outside. Something has welled up within. It has come home.
The knowledgeable people go on playing with words. They use beautiful words: God, paradise, life, beauty, truth, bliss. And all words are empty for them. They know nothing of beauty, nothing of bliss. Or whatever they think they know is bound to be wrong because they have only heard it from others. These are opinions they are carrying, not experiences.
Sometimes even ignorant people – the so-called ignorant people, the villagers, the primitive people – have far more meaning in their words because they don’t know many words. They are not skillful with words, their vocabularies are very limited, but their vocabularies have significance because they are down-to-earth people. Whatever they have learned is from experience. They have a certain quality of wisdom. You can see it in farmers, gardeners, in villagers. And when you go deeper into the jungles, you will find primitive people who have not heard of the Bible, fortunately. Who have not heard of the Gita, fortunately. Who know nothing of the Vedas and the Koran. Who don’t know how to write and how to read, but in their eyes you will see a clarity.
I have lived with the most sophisticated people, the most cultured: the academicians, the professors, the DLitt’s – and I have lived with primitive people too, very primitive. A few of them have not seen a car or a railway train. They don’t know anything about the movies, radio, TV. They are still living as if the world has not changed for ten thousand years.
But if you look into their eyes, they are crystal clear. They don’t talk much, but whatever they say seems to have more weight than what your DLitt’s and your PhD’s say, because whatever primitive people say has come from their own experience. It is not very much, but even a small iota of your own experience is far more valuable than a whole load of borrowed knowledge.

The judge looked down at the farmer who was suing his wife for divorce on the grounds that she was hobosexual.
“Just a minute, Luther,” interrupted the judge, “that term usually applies to a man, and it’s homosexual.”
Luther shook his head stubbornly. “No, sir, Your Honor, I mean hobosexual. My wife’s a bum lay!”

Now, he has created a new word: hobosexual. It has more meaning, it is rooted in his experience. You will not find it in the Encyclopedia Britannica, but what he is saying is not based on knowledge but on his knowing, his experience.
The question seems to be knowledgeable: What do you call the mind of greediness? Bodhidharma simply answers in one sentence: It is the mind of ignorance. It seems that even Bodhidharma is getting a little tired of all these foolish questions.
The second question:
What do you call the mind of egolessness?
Now, it is the same game. Ego is greed, greed is ego. That’s how the knowledgeable person becomes very cunning and clever with words. He is not interested at all what Bodhidharma has said. He again brings the same question in another form. What do you call the mind of egolessness?
These people need to be really hit hard. And Bodhidharma must have been in a very, very polite mood that day. Must not have been his ordinary, usual self. Maybe the morning was very beautiful and the birds were singing and the sun rays were coming through the trees – otherwise he would have hit this man. He is not that kind of man who will go on answering stupid questions. And the most stupid question is that which you go on bringing again and again in new forms. That simply means you have not heard the answer.

Two call girls seated themselves at a plush bar and the bar jockey, without being asked, served them two bottles of their separate brands of beer. The girls were amazed and asked him how he’d known what they had wanted.
“Aw, I’m just a smart bartender, that’s all,” he replied.
“Baloney!” answered the girls. “You only guessed what we would order; you only guessed.”
“Oh, yeah? See that guy that just came in? He’ll want a Scotch on the rocks. Now watch, I’ll go and ask him.”
Sure enough, the new customer ordered a Scotch on ice, to the girls’ astonishment.
“Smart bartender, better believe it!” said the barman as he passed the girls again. A while later, when business slowed, the bartender leaned over the bar toward the two call girls.
“Look,” he asked confidentially, “I’ve always wanted to ask this question. Can prostitutes ever get pregnant?”
“Why,” quickly answered one of the girls, smiling at the other, knowingly, “certainly they can. Where do you think all these smart bartenders come from?”

And I think the scholars also come from the same source. Smart scholars asking smart questions. In fact, Bodhidharma’s answer must have looked very poor to the questioner because he simply says: It is the mind of ignorance.
What kind of answer is this? As if he is simply avoiding the question. The questioner again brings the same question in a new form: What do you call the mind of egolessness?
Bodhidharma says:
It is the mind of shravaka, Buddha’s actual disciple.
This is a beautiful answer to be remembered because this is what you are trying to do here. Bodhidharma says, “A shravaka.” Just as I call my disciples sannyasins, Buddha’s disciples are called shravakas. It is a beautiful word. It means one who is capable of hearing. One who is capable of listening, one who can listen in silence, that is a shravaka. One who can listen so attentively, so totally that even before the words are uttered, he has heard them.
Yes, that starts happening. It is happening here. Many letters come to me saying, “Osho, what are you doing? Before you utter the word, I have already heard it.” “Before I ask a question,” many people write to me, “you have answered it.” This is nothing but a simple process of communion.
Whether you write a question or not does not matter much, it is bound to be answered. Sometimes when you write it I may not answer it. But when you don’t write it, I am bound to answer it because you have trusted me. You are waiting for the answer without asking it. How can I forget you? And, slowly, slowly as you become more intimate and close to me, before I have said anything it will be heard. That is shravaka.
Bodhidharma says: It is the mind of shravaka – egolessness is the nature of the shravaka, of the disciple – Buddha’s actual disciple. He has to add the word actual because there are many who pretend to be disciples but who are not disciples.
It happens almost every day. In evening darshans, every day there are a few people who are only pretending to be disciples and are not. When I touch their third eye there is nothing, no vibration. When a true disciple comes to me and I touch his third eye, there is an energy connection. I become plugged with him, he becomes plugged with me. Immediately an exchange of energy happens. It is an actual life energy exchange. But a few people come, I touch their third eye…but they are just pretenders, they are not disciples.
When a disciple bows down and touches my feet, immediately there is an energy exchange. My feet can immediately feel his touch. It is not just a touch of his hands, his whole life is pouring there. But then there are others who simply touch as a formality. Their touch is ugly, their hearts are not in it.
In close-up sessions the same thing happens. There are many who are moved to their very depths. Yogi and Rakesh have to carry them. They are so moved, so thrilled, they become so liquid, that they cannot move on their own. It is impossible for them to walk back to their places. They have to be carried.
But then there are a few people to whom nothing has happened. They come empty, they go empty.
Santosh was here one day for a close-up. Nothing happened to him because nothing can happen unless you are in a surrendered mood. If you are not in an egoless mood, nothing is possible. I cannot impose anything on you. I can pour, but you have to be open to receive it. Nothing happened. And when Yogi came to help him, he gestured with his hand that “There is no need to help me.” He walked on his own. He must have thought that he was doing something great. He does not need any help. But I felt sorry for him. The day he will need to be carried will be a great day in his life.
A shravaka is one who has really surrendered to the master. Whether he is with Jesus or Gautama or Mahavira or with me does not matter. Whoever has come into your life as a buddha, as the awakened one, your surrender has to be total.
Bodhidharma says, “That is the mind of egolessness, surrender. You are no longer there. You allow the master to have total possession of your being. You give him the whole space, holding back nothing. You simply expose yourself. You say, ‘Whatever you want to do, do. If you want to kill me, kill. I am ready.’ You have simply bowed down your head. If the sword of the master descends on your head, you will be grateful, you will not shrink back.”
But the questioner is not listening to all these things. He goes on asking absentmindedly. Otherwise, such profound truths… How can you go on asking anything more?
Immediately, the third question:
What do you call the mind of no-entity?
Now, it is the same question: no-ego or no-entity. But the compassion of the master is always immense.
Bodhidharma says:
It is the mind of sages who have no connection with the teaching of Buddha, but discover the truth of no-entity by themselves.
If you happen to meet a buddha, you can be related to him in two ways: one is his teaching, another is his being. If you become related to his teaching, you will become knowledgeable and you will become more egoistic. You will start thinking, “I am very special, a disciple of Buddha,” that “I am privileged,” that “I am not ordinary.” You will become more egoistic. If you become related to the teaching only, then this is going to happen.
But if you become related to the teacher himself… The teacher is a nonentity. There is nobody inside a buddha as a person. He is only a presence. You can feel him, but you cannot touch him. You can imbibe his spirit. You can drink out of his cup, but it is all an invisible phenomenon. If you listen to the buddhas, their most fundamental message is: Be a light unto yourself. Don’t depend on others, don’t follow others, because the ultimate core of your being has to be discovered only by you. Buddhas can only point the way, but you have to travel. Nobody can travel for you, it is not possible. It can’t be done on your behalf.
Bodhidharma says: It is the mind of sages who have no connection with the teaching of Buddha, but discover the truth of no-entity by themselves. You can start believing in the idea of no-entity if you become convinced of the teaching of the buddha, but that will be only knowledge: poor, meaningless, a burden, a bondage. It is not going to liberate you.
But if you understand the message, if you are a shravaka, if you listen to the message, to the very heart of it, the heartbeat of it, if you pulsate with the buddha’s being and you see the point that a buddha is only a catalytic agent… He is not going to do anything to you, but his presence can ignite, can trigger something in you and then you move on your own.
You will have to go to your innermost core alone, absolutely alone. That’s why it is said by Zen people, “If you meet the buddha on the way, kill him immediately” – because you have to go so alone that not even a buddha, not even your master, will be there in the ultimate experience.
Yes, before that, just one step before that, you will have to depart from the master too. You will have to say good-bye. Just one step before the ultimate leap, with great gratitude, the disciple says good-bye and takes the jump. But that jump has to be alone. It is a “flight of the alone to the alone,” as Plotinus says it.
But the questioner is not at all interested in these answers. He is too preoccupied with his own words. While Bodhidharma is answering, he must be making another question.
The fourth question:
What do you call the mind which has no particular understanding, and also no painful delusions?
These are the same questions asked again and again, but the questioner is thinking that he is asking different questions – certainly formulated in different ways.
What do you call the mind which has no particular understanding and also no painful delusions? Before one becomes a buddha there is a period, a gap, an interval. From the ordinary, unconscious human being and the conscious buddha, there is a small gap – when you are no longer unconscious, no longer in your old patterns and structures. The old gestalt has disappeared but the new has not appeared yet.
It is just the moment before the sunrise. The night has gone, the last star has disappeared, but the sun has not risen yet. It is all light, the darkness is no longer there, but it is a very diffused light because the sun has not risen yet. Those few moments are the moments when a person is called a bodhisattva: one who is ready to become a buddha any moment. Any moment the horizon will become red and the sun will rise. It is not far away, it is just close by. The last star has disappeared, no trace of the night anywhere.
In the East this particular interval of time is called sandhya. And you will be surprised to know that in the East, prayer is also called sandhya. Sandhya means the in-between time.
There are two special times for prayer. In the morning, early morning: the sun has not risen and the night is no longer, just that beautiful interval when a great change is happening – night is turning into day – that is the moment of prayer. Or in the night, when the sun is setting, has just gone below the horizon and the first star has not yet appeared, that too is called sandhya. These two moments are thought to be very auspicious, very sacred, for the certain reason: they symbolize your inner process. They are the moments of the bodhisattvas.
Before somebody becomes a buddha, he becomes a bodhisattva. Literally, the word bodhisattva means: essentially a buddha. When the sun has not risen it is essentially morning. It is going to happen within seconds, it is inevitable now. When one is a bodhisattva, buddhahood is inevitable. In that interval, this happens.
The questioner asks: What do you call the mind which has no particular understanding… In this interval there is no particular understanding because the buddha has not yet appeared.
…and also no painful delusions? All painful delusions have disappeared because the night is over. The last star has gone. This is a beautiful moment, but very scary too. You are almost in a state of limbo, hanging between two worlds, two totally different worlds.
If you are not with a master, you may become so scared you may fall back to the old pattern: at least there was something to cling to, to hold to. At least you knew something. It may be only knowledgeability, but something was there that you knew. Now you know nothing, nothing in particular.
The gap can be very, very scary. It is. The master is never needed more than in this gap because he can hold your hand. He can persuade you to wait a little more, he can tell you his own story: “This has happened to me and this has always happened to those who have become buddhas. This is a necessary process. Don’t be worried. Just a few more minutes and the sun will be on the horizon, and you will be full of light. Don’t be afraid. Go on, move on.”
Such beautiful answers, such pregnant answers, but the questioner goes on. He does not even meditate. He does not even give a little time so that the question that he has raised and the answer that Bodhidharma has given can have a meeting. He does not give any opportunity for Bodhidharma’s answer to sink deep in his heart. Here, Bodhidharma ends one answer, he immediately brings another question.
The fifth question:
What do you call the mind which has nothing to know and also nothing to realize?
Now it seems Bodhidharma also is tired:
No answer from Bodhidharma.
For this question there is no answer – or this is his answer, maybe seeing that the man cannot understand words, that the man will go on and on forever, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. This man is not going to stop. He will go on creating the same question again and again. Maybe if words cannot help, then silence may be of some help.
Bodhidharma remains silent. Maybe silence will disturb him, maybe in silence he may be able to hear. At least he will have to take note of it, that Bodhidharma has not answered the question. Maybe sudden silence…up to now he has been answering. Sudden silence will shake the man up. But it doesn’t seem to happen.
Bodhidharma must have seen that words can’t help him, silence can’t help him either, because when Bodhidharma is silent the questioner must be going more and more into his mind. No occupation outside, so he must have become more occupied inside. Hence after a time Bodhidharma speaks on his own, without waiting for his answer. Maybe that may help him. Maybe that is the question that is arising in his mind. So Bodhidharma does not wait for his question to be raised, he starts answering. What is the point to wait for his question? He has misunderstood words.
People who are very clever with words will always misunderstand words. Words can have many meanings, many connotations. You can always find a new interpretation of your own.

A woman who was riding on a bus was startled when a famous professor who had only just caught the bus sat down opposite her with his prick still exposed.
“Ahem!” she said sharply, pointing disgustedly toward the offending member. “Ahem!” she repeated more loudly, as the man failed to respond.
After a third attempt she leaned forward and said, “Professor, excuse me, but your thing is sticking out!”
“Oh!” said the professor, adjusting himself, “you flatter yourself. It was hanging out.”

Professors are professors, they are clever with words. He is not disturbed at all, rather he finds fault with the woman.
Bodhidharma does not wait. First he remains silent…
There is a famous Zen saying:
When the soft rain moistens my clothes,
I see the buddha without seeing.
When a petal of a flower falls quietly,
I hear the voice of the buddha without hearing.
If you are a shravaka, there is no need for the buddha to speak. You listen to his words if he speaks, you listen to his silence if he is silent. His message is the same, whether he uses words or not is irrelevant. Sitting, walking, eating, sleeping, he is constantly radiating the same message.
And when you have really become a shravaka this is how you will also feel: “When the soft rain moistens my clothes, I see the buddha without seeing.” Then you will find him everywhere. The rain falling on you softly, and you will feel his touch. The wind blowing your clothes, and you will feel his invisible presence. The warm sunrays and you will feel his compassion. “When a petal of a flower falls quietly, I hear the voice of the buddha without hearing.” Just a petal falling from the rose, or a leaf from the tree coming slowly, falling toward the earth, and you will hear the whisper of the buddha.
Once you have become accustomed, once you have become attuned to the master, the whole existence has the same color. You see the master everywhere. The whole existence becomes his voice, his body. Then everything reminds you of him. And remember, I say categorically: everything reminds you of him. A child giggling, and you will remember the buddha. A dead body being carried, and you will remember the buddha. Whatever happens around you, you become so attuned to the master that everywhere you will find his signature.
Bodhidharma remains silent, just as Buddha had remained silent with the third visitor who came in the evening. In those few moments something jumped from Buddha’s flame to the inquirer. He bowed down, was grateful, thanked him and went away.
But this man is not that type of questioner it seems. He’s too heady, too much in the head, has no heart. Seeing that, Bodhidharma speaks on his own. What is the point? He will go on asking. It is better to say things as they are. If he understands – good, if he does not understand, then be finished with it. He says:
“Dharmakaya has no form, therefore one sees it without seeing.”
These are very deep, profound, pregnant words. Reality has no form. Truth has no form, no body. Truth is unmanifest, unembodied. Dharmakaya is the Buddhist word for truth, the reality, the ultimate. Or you can use the word God but that is not Buddha’s word: he uses dharmakaya. “Dharmakaya has no form, therefore one sees it without seeing.”
So if you want to see God, you will have to learn the art of seeing without seeing. You will have to learn the art of closing your eyes to the outside reality, to the manifest reality. You will have to close your eyes so that you can move into the unmanifest dimension.
A great mystic, Paltu, has said, “Those who are blind, only they can understand me.” A rare statement, a very rare statement, I have never come across anywhere… Thousands of mystics have happened on the earth, but what Paltu says… He is a villager. His speech is direct. He says, “Unless you are blind, you will not understand what I am saying.” What does he mean by blind? He means: if you know how to see without seeing.
“Dharma has no voice…”
The ultimate has no voice, no language.
“…therefore one hears it without hearing.”
You will have to become so silent that nothing stirs in you, and then without hearing, it will be heard. These are paradoxes. But the closer you come to the truth, the more paradoxical is the experience. Be prepared to encounter paradoxes.
The first paradox the disciple has to encounter is: victory through surrender. That is the first encounter because that is how disciplehood begins. You surrender to the master. And the rare beauty is that, in that very surrender you are for the first time victorious. You become a slave to the master and in becoming a slave you are for the first time your master. You have never been a master. And then the path is full of paradoxes.
“Prajna has nothing to be known…”
Prajna means the ultimate understanding.
“…has nothing to be known, therefore one knows it without knowing. If he thinks that he is seeing, he sees it incompletely.”
Because if you think, “I am seeing,” you think that you are there, your presence is going to be a disturbance. You are a disturbance, you are a barrier. However subtle your ego is, however transparent your ego has become, still it is a barrier and you will see incompletely. The ego has to go totally, then your vision is free. Then there is no barrier, no hindrance, no obstruction.
“If he thinks that he knows it, he does not know it thoroughly.”
So if a person thinks he knows it – “it” means the truth, dharmakaya, God, the unmanifest reality – if somebody thinks he knows it, then: …he does not know it thoroughly.
Before Buddha, the Upanishads have said, “The person who thinks ‘I know,’ knows not, and the person who thinks he does not know, knows it.” After Buddha, Socrates has said the same thing in Greece, “I know only one thing: that I know nothing.”
This is the way to approach reality: you go on melting, you melt so much that there is nobody to claim knowledge, nobody to claim realization.
“When he knows it without knowing, he knows it completely.”
The mirror does not say, “I am reflecting you.” The mirror simply reflects you, that’s all. The mirror claims nothing and absolutely pure consciousness claims nothing. All claims are of the ego.
“If one does not know this, he is not a true knower. If one thinks that he is gaining, he is not gaining entirely. When he gains non-gaining, he owns everything.”
This is what I say is victory through surrender. Lose all if you want to possess all. This is true renunciation and true rejoicing too. And the ultimate paradox is that of rejoicing and renunciation. Die totally if you want to be resurrected.
“If one thinks that he is right, his righteousness is not perfect.”
Because to feel “I am right” simply means you are still trying to be somebody in particular – to be right – and you are trying to prove others wrong. The whole game of superiority, of holier-than-thou continues.
The real man of virtue is absolutely unaware of his virtues. His virtues are natural. Just as you breathe and your blood circulates and your heart beats, he is virtuous. The really virtuous person knows nothing of virtue, knows nothing of right and wrong.
“When he transcends right and wrong, his virtues are accomplished. Such wisdom is the gate-opener to a hundred thousand gates of the higher wisdom.”
Bodhidharma was answering in single simple statements to the questions of this man, but now, seeing that he cannot see, cannot understand, he tried silence. Seeing that that too fails, now he tries to answer all that can be asked. Why give the man the trouble of asking again and again?
He says:
“All buddhas preach emptiness. Why? Because they wish to crush the concrete ideas of the students. If a student even clings to an idea of emptiness, he betrays all buddhas. One clings to life although there is nothing to be called life; another clings to death although there is nothing to be called death. In reality there is nothing to be born, consequently, there is nothing to perish.”
These are all our ideas, our make-believes: life, death, love, hate, good, bad, right, wrong, moral, immoral, virtue, sin. These are all our ideas. We are trying to impose our ideas on reality, on others, on our own selves.
The really awakened person has no ideas. Nothing is good for him, and nothing is bad. Things are as they are. He simply lives in the suchness of existence, in tathata. He does not follow a certain morality because there is nothing immoral, nothing moral for him. He lives moment to moment, spontaneously, without being bothered about what is right, what is wrong, about what to choose and what not to choose. He lives in choiceless awareness and he acts out of choiceless awareness. Then whatever happens is good.
Try to understand this point: you are always choosing what to do, what is right, what is wrong. A buddha is never choosing, he simply lives. But whatever you choose by thinking it is right cannot be right, because it is your choice. The chooser is always the mind, and the mind contaminates, poisons everything, pollutes everything. The chooser is the ego, and the shadow of the ego makes everything wrong. Even if you do right, it will turn into wrong. If the ego touches nectar, it turns into poison. Buddha chooses not, he simply lives without any choice. Lives in total awareness and lets that total awareness do, respond to reality. Then in that awareness, if you touch poison, it becomes nectar.
Whatever a buddha does is right. It is not a question of choice.
“By clinging one recognizes a thing or an idea. Reality has neither inside, outside, nor middle part. An ignorant person creates delusions and suffers from discrimination. Right and wrong to not exist in reality. An ignorant person creates them, recognizes them, near or far, inward or outward. He then suffers from discrimination. This is the general way of the phenomenal world.”
You are suffering from your own ideas. You think, “This is life,” then immediately you create the idea that “The opposite must be death.” But there is no life, no death. All is eternal. You were never born and you will never die. What you think is birth is just an episode in the eternal life, and so is death. In birth, nothing is born, only something unmanifest becomes manifest, something hidden becomes unhidden. In death, the manifest again moves into the unmanifest, to rest, to rejuvenate, and it will come again when the season comes. It will lie down as a seed and wait, and will be back again.
Nothing is ever born, nothing ever dies. But if you discriminate between life and death, you will be crushed between your own ideas. Then you will cling to life, and you cannot cling, because life is continuously flowing. Then clinging will become your misery, and you will be afraid of death. And you cannot avoid it either because rest is a great need. After seventy, eighty, ninety years of continuous functioning the body needs rest, the brain cells need rest, the soul needs rest.
But first you cling to life and become miserable because you cannot hold to it – it goes on slipping out of your hands – then you become afraid of death and you want to keep it away, you push it away in every possible way. You cannot push it away, you cannot stop it. It is part of nature. It is just like a wave rising in the ocean and falling back: nothing comes, nothing goes. It is the same ocean. And whether the wave has risen or fallen back, what is the difference? The water remains the same.
Don’t cling to ideas.
This is very strange: Bodhidharma’s long statement. After silence, the master tries every possible way. First he was giving small answers. He must have hoped that the man was intelligent. Buddhas believe that all are intelligent, that is their perception. They can’t see anybody as unintelligent because they see your ultimate possibility. They think from there, they believe in your hidden buddhahood.
They start by answering you, but that device failed. Then the opposite was tried: Bodhidharma became silent. That too failed. The man cannot understand words, cannot understand silence. Then Bodhidharma gives a long answer – an answer for which the person has not raised the question at all, but an answer that contains the essence that can answer all his questions if he listens. He has missed the small answers. Bodhidharma must have been hoping that now this long answer may help.
My feeling is that his answer must have been even longer than this, because these are the notes of the same person who was asking. So he must have condensed it.
But one thing must be said: that he seems to be a good stenographer. He has not added anything. He may have deleted a few things – we cannot be certain about that – but one thing is certain, that whatever he is saying are true words of Bodhidharma. That I can vouch for. On my own authority I can say to you: these words can come only from a buddha. So one thing is good about the man, however stupid he is, he is a good stenographer. He has a good memory, and he must have been taking notes, it seems. While Bodhidharma was talking, he must have been taking notes. There are a few foolish people who go on doing that.
When you are encountering a Bodhidharma, a man like Bodhidharma, listen to him wholeheartedly. Don’t distract yourself in taking notes. If you cannot understand while he is present before you, you will not be able to understand through your notes. I don’t think that these notes would have had any impact on the person who took them. But he has done a great service to you, to humanity.
For near about fourteen hundred years the notes were lying deep down in the earth. Just at the beginning of the century they were excavated. But if they had disappeared in the earth then too nothing was lost.
Without them, Bodhidharma’s teaching has also flowered, has blossomed, in many people’s lives. From direct transmission from one master to another disciple, Bodhidharma’s chain is still alive. The flame that he burned is still alive. There are still people who are gaining much from Bodhidharma’s message. But still these words can be useful to you, not as words but as triggers for meditation.
Speaking on Bodhidharma is just like speaking on myself. I don’t see any difference, not at all. It is the same message. Bodhidharma is very close to my heart. This unique man, unique not only among men but unique among buddhas, is very close to my heart because of his uniqueness. He is a rare flower: wild, but very rare. Meditate over these words. Each word is pregnant. Each word is a seed. Each single word, if allowed to fall into the heart, can transform you totally.
Enough for today.

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