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Dhammapada-Buddhism-Buddha

THE DHAMMAPADA: THE WAY OF THE BUDDHA, VOL. 1

Chapter 10: Neither this nor that

Question 2

 

Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1

 

The second question:

Question 2

BELOVED MASTER,

THERE IS A QUESTION I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO GET AN ANSWER TO. IT IS A STUPID QUESTION AND YET I FEEL THAT I WANT SO MUCH TO KNOW THE ANSWER.

CAN YOU TELL US WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CREATION, WHY LIFE EXISTS, WHY EVERYTHING EXISTS? I DON'T BELIEVE IN ACCIDENTS.

Prem Patrick, the question is certainly stupid, you are absolutely right about it. And the question is not answerable. Anybody who answers it will only create a few more questions in you. You have not been able to get any answer because there is none. Life is a mystery -- hence this question cannot be answered. You cannot ask "Why?" If the "Why?" is answered, life is no longer a mystery.

That's the whole effort of science: to destroy the mystery of life. And the way is to find the answer to every why. And science believes -- of course, arrogantly and ignorantly -- that one day it will be able to answer all whys. It is not possible. Even if we answer all whys, the ultimate why will remain: Why does life exist at all? What is the meaning of existence? What is the purpose of all this? This question is ultimate -- it cannot be answered.

If somebody gives you an answer, that will simply create another question. If somebody says...for example, these answers have been given -- a few people believe that God created the world because he wanted to help humanity. Now, what kind of answer is this? He created humanity to help humanity. What was the need to create? A few others say God created the world because he was feeling very lonely. If God too feels very lonely, then there is no possibility of anybody ever becoming a buddha.

And suddenly God started feeling lonely -- what was he doing before he created the world? For eternity he had remained alone...then suddenly one day, one morning, he went crazy, or what? Suddenly he started feeling lonely after breakfast! And what need was there to create the whole world? Just one woman would have been enough!

And now how is he feeling today? Too crowded? Too much in the marketplace? Must be planning to destroy the world soon. What kind of God are you talking about? Is your God a person who can feel lonely?

These are foolish answers to foolish questions.

Then there are a few people who say it is God's play -- his leela. Can't he sit silently? And what kind of play is this? Adolf Hitler and Mussolini and Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah...God's play? Millions of people are being massacred and it is God's play? Six million Jews killed by Adolf Hitler and God is playing a game? Why can't he play golf? or chess? Why torture people? So much misery in the world, and these fools go on saying it is God's play? Children are being born paralyzed, blind, deaf, dumb...God's play? What kind of God is this? Either he is nuts or he is not God at all, at least not godly. Must be very evil.

Now, these answers don't help -- they create more questions. Patrick, I can only say this much: that life has no purpose, cannot have any purpose.

All purposes are within life. Yes, a car has a purpose; it can take you from one place to another. And food has a purpose; it can nourish you, it can keep you alive. A house has a purpose; it can give you shelter when it rains and when it is hot. And clothes have a purpose.... All purposes are within life, but life itself cannot have any purpose because it is not a means to some end. A car is a means, a house is a means.

Life has no goal, life is not going anywhere. Life is simply here! It has never been created -- forget that idea of creation. That creates many stupid questions in the mind. It has never been created, it has always been here, and it will always be here -- in different forms, in different ways, the dance will continue. It is eternal. Aes dhammo sanantano -- so is the ultimate law.

There is no purpose -- that's the beauty of life! If there were some purpose, then life would not be so beautiful. Then there would be a motivation, then it would be businesslike, then it would be very serious. Look at the roses and the lotuses and the lilies -- what purpose? The lotus in the early morning sun opening up, and the cuckoo starts calling...what purpose? Is it not intrinsically beautiful? Does everything need a purpose outside itself?

Life is intrinsically beautiful. It has no extrinsic purpose, it is not purposive. It is just like the song of a bird in the dark of the night, or the sound of water, or the sound of the wind passing through the pine trees....

Man is goal-oriented because your mind is goal-oriented. It creates questions like this: "What is the goal of life?" There must be some goal. But if somebody says, "This is the goal of life," then you will ask, "What is the goal of this goal? Why should we attain it? What purpose is it going to serve?" And then somebody says, "This is the goal of this goal." The same question arises again, and you fall into a regress, ad infinitum.

You ask me, "Can you tell us what is the purpose of creation?"

The world has never been created. The word 'creation' is not right. It has always been here, it is eternal. There is no creator. God is not the creator of the world: God is the very creative energy of existence -- creativity rather than a creator. He is not the poet but the poetry, not the dancer but the dance, not the flower but the fragrance.

You ask me, "Why does life exist?"

These questions look very philosophical, and can torture you very much, but are absurd. It is like asking, "What is the taste of the color green?" Now, it is irrelevant. The color green has no taste; color and taste are not related at all. "Why does life exist?" Just look at the words: 'life' and 'existence' mean the same thing; it is a tautology. If you are asking: Why is life life? then it will be clear to you. But when you ask, "Why does life exist?" the language deceives you.

You are asking: Why is life life? You are asking: Why is a rose a rose? Would you be satisfied if the rose were a marigold? Then you would ask: Why is a marigold a marigold? How are you going to be satisfied?

If life does not exist, will you be satisfied? Just conceive of yourself without body, without mind, a ghost, asking the question: Why doesn't life exist? What happened to life? Why did it disappear? The same question will persist and persecute you.

Life is a mystery. There is no why, no purpose, no reason. It is simply here. Take it or leave it, but it is simply here. And when it is here, why not take it? Why waste your time in philosophizing? Why not dance and sing and love and meditate? Why not go deeper and deeper into this thing called "life"? Maybe at the ultimate core you will know the answer. But the answer comes in such a way that it cannot be expressed. It is like the dumb man's taste of sugar. It is sweet -- he knows that it is sweet, but he cannot say it.

The buddhas know but they cannot say. And the idiots know not and they go on saying, and they go on giving you answers. Idiots are very clever in that way -- in finding, fabricating, manufacturing answers. Ask any question and they will answer you.

When Gautama the Buddha used to move in his country from one place to another, a few of his disciples would go ahead of him and declare in the town: "Buddha is coming, but please don't ask these eleven questions." And one of those eleven questions was: Why does life exist? and another was: Who created the world? In those eleven questions the whole of philosophy is contained. In fact, if you drop those eleven questions nothing remains to ask.

Buddha used to say these are useless questions. They are not answerable -- not because nobody knows the answer. They are not answerable in the very nature of things.

One great philosopher, Maulingaputta, came to Buddha, and he started asking questions...questions after questions. Must have been an incarnation of Patrick! Buddha listened silently for half an hour. Maulingaputta started feeling a little embarrassed because he was not answering, he was simply sitting there smiling, as if nothing had happened, and he had asked such important questions, such significant questions.

Finally Buddha said, "Do you really want to know the answer?"

Maulingaputta said, "Otherwise why should I have come to you? I have traveled at least one thousand miles to see you." And remember, in those days, one thousand miles was really one thousand miles! It was not hopping in a plane and reaching within minutes or within hours. One thousand miles was one thousand miles. It was with great longing, with great hope that he had come. He was tired, weary from the journey, and he must have followed Buddha because Buddha himself was traveling continuously. He must have reached one place and people said, "Yes, he was here three months ago. He has gone to the north" -- so he must have traveled north.

Slowly slowly, he was coming closer and closer and then the day came, the great day, when people said, "Just yesterday morning he left; he must have reached only the next village. If you rush, if you run, you may be able to catch him." And then one day he caught up with him, and he was so joyous he forgot all his arduous journey and he started asking all the questions he had planned all the way along, and Buddha smiled and sat there and asked, "Do you really want to have the answer?"

Maulingaputta said, "Then why have I traveled so long? It has been a long suffering -- it seems I have been traveling my whole life, and you are asking, 'Do you really want the answer?'"

Buddha said, "I am asking again: Do you really want the answer? Say yes or no, because much will depend on it."

Maulingaputta said, "Yes!"

Then Buddha said, "For two years sit silently by my side -- no asking, no questions, no talking. Just sit silently by my side for two years. And after two years you can ask whatsoever you want to ask, and I promise you I will answer it."

A disciple, a great disciple of Buddha, Manjushree, who was sitting underneath another tree, started laughing so loudly, started almost rolling on the ground. Maulingaputta said, "What has happened to this man? Out of the blue, you are talking to me, you have not said a single word to him, nobody has said anything to him -- is he telling jokes to himself?"

Buddha said, "You go and ask him."

He asked Manjushree. Manjushree said, "Sir, if you really want to ask the question, ask right now -- this is his way of deceiving people. He deceived me. I used to be a foolish philosopher just like you. His answer was the same when I came; you have traveled one thousand miles, I had traveled two thousand."

Manjushree certainly was a great philosopher, more well-known in the country. He had thousands of disciples. When he had come he had come with one thousand disciples -- a great philosopher coming with his following.

"And Buddha said, 'Sit silently for two years.' And I sat silently for two years, but then I could not ask a single question. Those days of silence...slowly slowly, all questions withered away. And one thing I will tell you: he keeps his promise, he is a man of his word. After exactly two years -- I had completely forgotten, lost track of time, because who bothers to remember? As silence deepened I lost track of all time.

"When two years passed, I was not even aware of it. I was enjoying the silence and his presence. I was drinking out of him. It was so incredible! In fact, deep down in my heart I never wanted those two years to be finished, because once they were finished he would say, 'Now give your place to somebody else to sit by my side, you move away a little. Now you are capable of being alone, you don't need me so much.' Just as the mother moves the child when he can eat and digest and no longer needs to be fed on the breast. So," Manjushree said, "I was simply hoping that he would forget all about those two years, but he remembered -- exactly after two years he asked, 'Manjushree, now you can ask your questions.' I looked within; there was no question and no questioner either -- a total silence. I laughed, he laughed, he patted my back and said, 'Now, move away.'

"So, Maulingaputta, that's why I started laughing, because now he is playing the same trick again. And this poor Maulingaputta will sit for two years silently and will be lost forever, will never be able to ask a single question. So I insist, Maulingaputta, if you really want to ask, ASK NOW!"

But Buddha said, "My conditions have to be fulfilled."

And, Patrick, the same is my answer to you: fulfill my condition -- meditate, sit silently, just be here, and all questions will disappear. I am not interested in answering you, I am interested in dissolving your questions. And when all questions disappear, the questioner also disappears -- it cannot exist without questions. When there is no question and no questioner, what bliss, what ecstasy! You cannot imagine, you cannot dream, you cannot comprehend right now. Then the whole mystery of life opens up, mysteries upon mysteries...there is no end to it.

 

Next: Chapter 10: Neither this nor that, Question 3

 

    Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts          Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1     

 

ENERGY

ENHANCEMENT MEDITATION

MEDITATION HEAD

 HOME PAGE

 

GAIN ENERGY APPRENTICE LEVEL1

THE ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL PROCESS

LEVEL2

THE KARMA CLEARING PROCESS APPRENTICE LEVEL3

MASTERY OF  RELATIONSHIPS TANTRA APPRENTICE LEVEL4

 

STUDENTS EXPERIENCES  2005 AND 2006

 

MORE STUDENTS EXPERIENCES

 - FIFTY FULL TESTIMONIALS

2003 COURSE

 
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