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CHRISTIANITY

Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons

Chapter 1: The opium of the people

Question 1

 

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Friends,
Question 1
One of the sannyasins has asked me a question.
IF THE TRUTH IS ONE, THEN WHY DO ALL THE MASTERS, ALL THE AWAKENED ONES, SPEAK IN DIFFERENT WAYS? SOMETIMES IT EVEN LOOKS AS IF THEY ARE CONTRADICTORY.
The truth is certainly one, but it has multidimensional reality, and every master has to choose a certain dimension. You cannot speak all the dimensions together.
Every master has his own style, his own way of speaking, his own way of conveying. The higher you rise in consciousness and awareness, the more you become unique, the more you become individual.
But let me explain to you:
Individuality is not personality.
Personality is given by the society to you. Individuality is your intrinsic nature. Personality is fake, a fraud. Individuality is your innermost buddha, your innermost enlightenment, your innermost door to the divine.
But every master is bound to be unique in his expressions. They are all saying the same thing, they are all indicating towards the same moon, but their fingers are different. They are bound to be different. The finger of Buddha, the finger of Lao Tzu, the finger of Chuang Tzu, are bound to be different. If you pay too much attention to the finger, there is every possibility you will forget the purpose. The purpose was not the finger, the purpose was the moon.
All the differences are in the fingers, in their expressions. The experience of truth is one, but to bring it to expression, every master has to find his own device. That's why even enlightened people appear to you to be speaking differently, even contradictorily -- because existence does not have one-dimensional sources, it is multidimensional. It is comprehensive of all contradictions. All contradictions melt into one cosmos.
Now, you cannot express the whole cosmos in any statement. All philosophies fall short, and all languages appear impotent. All theologies only manage a very partial truth. And remember, a partial truth is not truth. You cannot cut truth into parts. It is one, and organically one, not mechanically one.
You can take a car apart, and you can put those parts together again, but you cannot do the same with a living organism. You cannot take a man's parts apart, and then put them together. You can do it, but the man will not be there. There will be only a corpse in your hands.
But it is one of the most difficult problems faced by all awakened ones: How to convey it?
They find devices, methods, meditations. They open doors so that you can look at the truth yourself. Of course, every master will have his own door. Existence has millions of approaches, and when a master reaches to the truth, he reaches by one path. Obviously, he will talk about the path by which he has reached to the truth.
Truth is one, but paths are many. And unless we understand it, there is going to be a constant conflict and misunderstanding in the minds of the seekers.

I am reminded of one of the greatest Urdu poets, Ghalib. Three hundred years have passed, but in three hundred years no poet so great has been born in the Urdu language. It is a very poetic language, I don't think there is any other language in the world which is so poetic. Contemporary languages are bound to be non-poetic; they have to be scientific, exact. Poetry is flexible; poetry does not say directly, it only hints.
This great poet, Mirza Ghalib, has a very beautiful statement. I would like to repeat it first in his own language, then I will translate it.

HAIN AUR BHI DUNIYAN MEN SUKHANBAR BAHUT ACHCHHE
KAHTE HAIN GHALIB KA HAI ANDAJE BAYAN AUR.
HAIN... DUNIYAN MEN SUKHANBAR BAHUT ACHCHHE

.... In the world there are many great poets, but it is said that Ghalib's way of saying, his style, his nuance, is absolutely unique.

Every master is unique, just like an Everest, standing far higher, touching the stars -- alone. Never compare two masters. Comparison is not the right thing in the world of masters. Comparison is mind-oriented, it is intellectual, and the master's realization is beyond the mind, it is spiritual. In the world of spirit, in the world of godliness, there is no question of comparison. Every one is unique, but surrendered, dedicated to the same truth from different angles. It needs a tremendous capacity of understanding, and that understanding has not to be of the mind, it has to be of meditation.
Mind can understand everything that is outside you. All that is objective is available to the mind: science and technology, philosophy and theology -- all are mind-oriented.
But that which is within you is behind the mind, beyond the mind. It opens itself in your meditations, when you start dropping your thoughts and relaxing deeper and deeper, when only a witness is left. The body is far away and no more you, the mind is just an echo in the valleys, and is no more you. In the innermost core of your being there is no thought, no cloud, a great silence.
In that silence arises authentic understanding. In that silence you are closest to the divine. That silence is a way, a bridge, a path, a connection to the ultimate.
Once you know the ultimate, the difficulty arises: How to convey it? And there is a tremendous urge to convey it, because millions of people are living in darkness, in blindness, stumbling, finding no way out. Millions of people are born in the night and die in the night; there is no dawn in their lives.
When one comes to the dawn, when one realizes the sunrise and his whole being becomes full of light and beauty and blessings, he wants to share it. This desire to share comes autonomously.
But how to share that which is beyond words?
All masters have been struggling to find some way to communicate, to commune. That's why you find differences in their statements. Rather than thinking about their statements, it will be better to go within yourself and find the truth.
Nobody can help you. The masters can only show the way; you have to walk.
Nobody can come inside you. That is the dignity of man, a great privilege: nobody can interfere in your inner life. You are alone there, the suprememost sovereign.
But people have got into trouble because they have started imitating. You can imitate a buddha, you can have the same clothes, you can walk the same way, you can eat the same kind of food. You can follow all the moral principles, but you will still be an actor, you will not be a buddha.

It happened ... There were three monasteries deep in the mountains. All three belonged to different Christian sects.
One day it happened by coincidence that the three abbots of the monasteries had gone for a morning walk and they all met on the crossroads. They talked about matters concerning their monasteries and other problems.
Finally one of them said, "I have to tell you that as far as scholarship is concerned, my monastery is far higher than your monasteries."
The second one said, "That is true. As far as scholarship is concerned, your people are great scholars. But don't forget, as far as discipline is concerned, my monastery is far higher than yours. And also remember, scholarship is not going to help. It can make you knowledgeable, but it cannot make you wise. You have to walk the path of discipline; then only can you become a wise man."
The third was silent up to now. He laughed, and he said, "You both are right. But as far as humbleness is concerned, we are the tops!"

Humbleness ... and the desire is to be the tops.
You can be humble, you can force yourself to be humble, you can repress your ego -- but that humbleness will not be true humbleness. It will be just inverted ego. It will be low-key ego.

Once a man touched my feet. I told him, "There is no need ...."
He said, "It is not your concern. I am just the dust underneath your feet."
To provoke that man, I said, "That's right!"
Immediately he became angry. He said, "You tell me that I am just the dust under your feet?"
I said, "I have not said anything. You were saying it, I simply agreed."

Humbleness, or any other quality which makes you religious, if practiced from the outside makes you an actor. If it arises from the inside, out of your own experience of the intelligence of existence, then it has a different flavor, a different fragrance -- the fragrance of the freshly-opened rose.
Then you are neither egoist nor humble, because humbleness and ego, both are two sides of the same phenomenon. You simply are. This being, simply to be, makes you enlightened, gives you new insight into matters.

It happened in America, when they were celebrating some birth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln. They searched all over America for a man who would look like Abraham Lincoln -- and they found him. A man looked almost the same, so they chose that man, they trained him.
Abraham Lincoln used to stutter a little, so that man had to be trained to stutter. Abraham Lincoln was a little lame in one foot, so he started walking like a lame person. One year's continuous training ... and the next year they were going to celebrate the birthday the whole year, all over America.
In one year of continuously practicing and practicing and practicing, and then the second year going from one city to another city, from one part to another part, and playing the role of Abraham Lincoln, the man became so much obsessed with the idea that when he came home he came as a lame man, stuttering.
First the family thought that he was joking. The festival was over. They told him, "Now you don't have to do all this."
He said, "What do you mean? I AM Abraham Lincoln." Those two years had got into his head.
They thought he would calm down, but he did not. Those two years had been too heavy and hot. He was calm and cool, and absolutely certain that he was Abraham Lincoln.
They took him to the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist tried in every possible way, but with no success at all. He was feeling very much harassed and tortured by everybody in his town, by his friends, by his family. And now the psychiatrists, psychoanalysts -- they started harassing him.
Finally the psychoanalyst he was visiting put him on the lie detector. If he was lying, the detector would show it. Because of so much harassment the man thought, "It is not worth it!" So when he was standing on the lie detector and the psychoanalyst asked him, "Are you Abraham Lincoln?", he said, "No" -- and the lie detector said, "He is lying, he IS Abraham Lincoln!"

Acting can go so deep in your unconscious layers of the mind that it is beyond your consciousness. You have only a small thin layer of consciousness; compared to it, your unconscious is nine times bigger. If something enters into your unconscious, you will start behaving like Jesus, you will start behaving like Mohammed. But it will be just acting and nothing else, and acting is not a transformation of your being.
I am against imposing any discipline on yourself from the outside -- according to others. I am in favor, in absolute favor, categorically, that your life should arise from your own inner springs. From your own awakening the morality, the discipline will follow, just like a shadow follows you.
The world is living in tremendous misery because of your so-called moralists, puritans, who have been imposing things from the outside. Those things enter into the unconscious, and the man starts behaving in a certain manner -- but he is a robot.
Unless your potential that you have brought with you, which you have been carrying from eternity -- unless that potential, that seed sprouts and starts gathering more and more foliage, and brings blossoms to your being, then morality is a small matter.
You don't have to listen to Moses and his Ten Commandments; you will find your own commandments. Unless you are in direct contact with the divineness of existence, all that you are doing is creating a persona, a personality ... fake, fraud, hypocrisy.

I have heard that when God created the world, he went around with the Ten Commandments. He asked the Babylonians, "Would you like to have one commandment?"
They said, "What is it?" Naturally, first you should inquire what the commandment is.
God said, "You should not commit adultery."
The Babylonians said, "Forget all about it. What shall we do then? In this meaningless life, adultery is the only game. Just get lost!"
God was very angry, but what to do? If they won't take ... He went to the Egyptians, he went to other races, but everybody asked, "First tell us what the commandment is." And they all refused. They said, "We don't want anybody else to tell us what to do. We want to find from our own innermost spring what is right and what is wrong."
And then finally he came across Moses, who had been struggling in the desert of Saudi Arabia for forty years continuously to find the Holy Land, Israel. Almost two-thirds of the original group that he had taken from Egypt had died on the way.
By the time he reached Israel he was old, utterly tired, and there had grown a generation gap, because his old friends with whom he had come had almost all died; a new generation had come up. In fact, a third generation was growing up, and they didn't have any respect for Moses. They didn't know the fellow: Who is this man who goes on commanding, "Do this, don't do that"?
But it was not his fault. It was God who had met Moses, and not knowing the Jews exactly, he asked him, "Would you like to have one commandment?" -- very hesitantly, because he had been refused everywhere else.
But Moses asked a totally different question. He did not ask, "What is the commandment?", he said, "How much does it cost?" Just like a Jew ...
God said, "It is free."
Then Moses said, "I will take ten. If it is free, why take only one?"

But any commandments taken from anybody -- even from God -- are not going to give you a revolution in your being. They will only create an actor, a pretender, a hypocrite, a repressed person, inhibited, feeling guilty on every account. Whatever he does goes against the commandments.
But ten commandments are nothing compared to Gautam Buddha, who has thirty-three thousand principles for every Buddhist monk to follow. You cannot even remember them. Thirty-three thousand ...? Every detailed gesture of your life is completely controlled from outside.
I hate the very idea of being controlled from outside. I love the flowering of your being. And I am absolutely certain -- because whenever your potential blossoms, there is no question of choice, of what is right and what is wrong. You choose the right without choosing. It is choiceless, the only alternative.
For a man of clarity, for a man of absolute perceptiveness, for a man full of light beyond the mind, life becomes a choiceless phenomenon. You simply do the right thing. It is not that you think that it is right, "That's why I am doing it."
With me, the definition of right and wrong, good and bad, sin and virtue, absolutely changes. Whatever the enlightened person does is right. Whatever the enlightened person does not do, is wrong.
So I don't teach you any discipline, any morality. I simply teach you to be awake, and in your awareness you cannot do anything wrong. You cannot harm anybody, you cannot violate anybody's freedom, you cannot interfere into anybody's territory. A great respect for life, reverence for life, arises in you, and it has nothing to do with your religion, it has nothing to do with your belief systems.
A man of awareness does not belong to any organized religion. Organized religion is against religiousness. Every organized religion kills the truth!

The ancient story is:
A man found the truth.
A little devil came running to the old devil and asked him, "What are you doing here?"
The old devil was smoking a cigarette. He said, "My son, cool down. What is the matter?"
The little devil said, "You are sitting here, and one man has found the truth! Our whole business is at risk!"
The old devil said, "Sit down. Take a cigarette. My people have already reached there."
The little devil said, "But I am coming from there, and I have not seen any devils!"
The old devil said, "Devils are not needed, my people have reached there. They are the priests, they are the rabbis, they are the popes, they are the shankaracharyas, they are the imams. They have reached there, and they will organize the truth, and once the truth is organized, it is finished! They will surround the man, and they will not allow the people to approach the man. They will interpret the man, and in their interpretation the truth will be lost."
The last commandment from the pope has been ... He has found a new sin; it is a great discovery. People have been sinning just in the old way, routine. He should be counted as a great pioneer!
The new sin is that you should not communicate with God directly; you should only communicate through the priest.
As far as I can see, that's what the devil was meaning, that "the priests are there, they are my people, they serve me." They talk about God, but talking about God, creating belief in people about God, does not help any transformation.
Belief is not needed. What is needed is knowing. Belief simply hides your ignorance, it does not make any rebellion in your being.

Once Sri Raman, one of the great seers of this age, was asked by a journalist coming from the West, "Do you believe in God?"
Sri Raman said, "No."
The man was shocked. He had heard that this man has realized God, and he says he does not believe in God! He repeated the question. He said, "Have you heard me rightly? I am asking, `Do you believe in God?'"
Raman said, "I have heard it. Do you understand what I have said? I don't believe in God, because I know. There is no need of belief. I know the whole existence is divine. There is no personal God anywhere. Every part of this universe is divine. I know it, there is no question of believing."

Beliefs are to distract people from discovering the beauty, the grandeur, the splendor, the divinity of existence. And this is what all the priests of all the religions are doing all over the world: programming people into believing certain things -- God, heaven, hell, right, wrong, what is virtue, what is sin.
I would like you to know exactly the meaning of the word `sin'. It does not mean what the Christians say, it means forgetfulness. In its root it means forgetfulness of your being.
So there is only one sin: forgetfulness of your being. And there is only one virtue: that is, remembering yourself. And the moment you remember yourself, this whole existence becomes a totally different place. A great love arises, a great compassion arises. It is not that you cultivated it, you simply found it, just as in a flower opening in the morning sun, the flower discovers its own fragrance for the first time. Amazed! -- a mystery was hidden inside him, a splendor -- he dances in the wind, in the rain, in the sun, just with the sheer blissfulness of having such a beautiful fragrance.
Remembering yourself, you don't have to be part of any organized religion. You have a direct communication with existence. No argument is needed to prove it, you know it. Argument is needed only when you don't know it. Do you need any argument for the sun, for the moon, for the starry night? Do you need any argument for things that you know? You need arguments for hell, you need arguments and great theological systems to prove heaven.
It is strange that all religions are concerned with hell, with heaven, with God. No religion seems to be concerned with you. They are all concerned with past, they are all concerned with future. No religion seems to be concerned with the present.
All religions are life-negative, they deny life -- and to deny life is to deny God. That is the only denial. Whoever denies life and teaches renouncing life is an atheist; he is against the divinity of existence. Whoever teaches you to live life in its totality, with great affirmation, rejoicing, singing and dancing ... then this very moment the whole existence becomes divine.
In your dance it becomes divine.
In your joy it becomes divine.
In your blissfulness it becomes divine.
In your ecstasy you reach to the highest peak of divineness.
Unless you know your own divineness you cannot know the divinity of existence. That is just the beginning: to know your divineness is the first step in knowing the divineness of the whole existence.
This existence has never been created. The whole argument is absolutely wrong. All religions think everything has to be created, otherwise from where will it come?
But they don't think, "From where does God come?" If God created the world, from where is he coming? Who created him? And if God can be uncreated, then what is the point of bringing in an unnecessary hypothesis?
This is a basic principle of all scientific research: don't bring in unnecessary hypotheses. Work it out with the minimum of hypotheses.
If God is to be created by another bigger God, you will end in an absurdity -- what logicians call regressum infinitum. You will regress into infinity and you will not find the answer. The question will remain standing exactly where it was: Who created the last God?
Existence is enough.
Hence I teach you godliness, but not God.
God is the invention of the priest. God is a fiction to console you, to make you afraid, to make you guilty. All religions depend on your guilt, on your fear -- but that is not authentic religiousness.
Authentic religiousness will make you unafraid, fearless; not a slave, not a puppet in the hands of some unknown God, some fiction.
According to my experience, if there is God, it is against man's freedom. If God has created you, why did he create you?
According to Christianity, God created the world only four thousand years before Jesus. It is only six thousand years ago that God created the world. What has he been doing since eternity? And what was the cause that suddenly he decided to create this world? And if God created the world in a whimsical way, without any reason and rhyme ... For eternity he had been in a deep slumber, and suddenly he woke up, six thousand years ago. It must have been January, the first of January, and certainly a Monday, because he worked six days, and on Sunday he disappeared for eternal holidays. Since then he has not been known.

One of my tailors, an old man, told me a very beautiful thing. I was going on a tour. I told him, "Exactly within six days you have to prepare my clothes. Saturday evening I will collect them. And I am a perfectionist ... so put aside all your other work."
He said, "Okay -- but have you had a look at the world?"
I said, "What do you mean?"
He said, "God created this world. Do you see the mess? I can make your clothes in six days, but they will be all in a mess. It is up to you to choose."
I said, "You are right -- looking at the world."

In three thousand years there have been five thousand wars. What more mess do you need?
All the nations are trying hard to become nuclear. This poor country has become nuclear. Half of the nation is starving, but the politicians are not interested in the five hundred million people who are going to die within ten years.
This whole country will become a big cemetery. Half of the people are going to die. One will die out of two, and there will not be enough people to carry the corpses to the funeral pyres or to the graveyards. You will be surrounded by corpses. It will be impossible to live. Your whole country will be stinking of death!
But your politicians are not concerned about it. They are concerned about making the country nuclear; they have already made it.
It seems to be absolutely a mess. It is a proof that it has not been created, it is evolving accidentally. It is up to man, not up to God, to put it right. But man can put it right only if he puts himself right.
It is very difficult to convince the unconscious masses that the world is moving towards a global suicide. By the end of this century, perhaps, the only planet in the universe which has created people like Buddha and Jesus, people like Lao Tzu and Rinzai, will disappear. In the whole of existence, millions of stars and millions of galaxies are absolutely without any life. This is a miracle, that this small earth ... It is very small, you don't understand its smallness.
The sun is six thousand times bigger than this earth, and this sun is a mediocre star in the universe; there are bigger suns, far bigger. This does not count for much, this is a small galaxy.
But this earth is our home. Unless we put ourselves right, we cannot put humanity right, we cannot put this earth in such a way as to live beautifully. There is no need of nations, there is no need of religions, there is no need of races. It is one earth, it is one world, it is one truth, it is one divinity.
But one has first to search within oneself.

I have heard about a man who became mad. That was not bad -- but in his madness he started thinking that he was dead.
Everybody tried to convince him, "You are alive. You eat, you drink, you sleep, you go for a morning walk -- and you say you are dead?"
He said, "I know perfectly well I am dead! Who told you that dead people don't go for a morning walk?" It was very strange of the fellow. He argued, "Who told you that dead people don't eat? Perhaps you are also dead, you simply have forgotten to remember when you died! I remember."
He was taken to the psychiatrist. There is no other place, although psychiatry has not been of any help to anybody. But what to do? -- except psychiatry and psychoanalysis, there is nowhere to go, although they have not been of any help.
Now even the greatest psychoanalysts are saying that psychoanalysis is on its way to dying, because people have not been helped by it at all. Fifteen years of psychoanalysis, twenty years of psychoanalysis ... your whole bank account is shifted to the psychoanalyst, and you are the same -- perhaps more insane.
The psychoanalyst said, "Don't be worried. I have treated many people like this. Sit down."
The dead man sat down. He said, "Do you think you are alive?"
The psychoanalyst said, "Have you come here for treatment or to give me treatment?"
The madman said, "Just by the way, I have inquired whether you are still alive. These people think they are alive, and I am saying the truth, from the very bottom of my heart, that I am a dead man."
The psychoanalyst was a very clever, very experienced man. He took out a knife and cut the man's hand, just slightly so that blood came out. Before cutting the hand he asked the man, "Have you ever heard -- when you used to be alive -- that dead men don't bleed?"
The madman said, "That's true. I have heard -- while I was alive -- a proverb that dead men don't bleed."
Then the analyst cut the dead man's hand and the blood came. He said, "Aha! And now ...?"
The dead man said even more loudly, "Aha! That means the proverb is wrong: dead men do bleed. This is a proof!"

Now, what to do with people? If you want to help them, it is not an easy job. It is one of the most difficult things to help somebody towards spiritual exploration, to move someone towards his inner space.
That's exactly my work here.
My only concern is to make you aware of your innermost center, and then everything will follow on its own accord.

The sutras:

OUR BELOVED MASTER,
ON ONE OCCASION, YAKUSAN WROTE DOWN THE CHINESE CHARACTER SIGNIFYING BUDDHA, AND ASKED HIS DISCIPLE, DOGO: "WHAT IS THIS LETTER?"
DOGO REPLIED, "IT IS THE LETTER FOR `BUDDHA'."
Perfectly factual and right -- but in the vision of a master it is a totally different thing.
Does Dogo think that the master does not know what the character signifies? His answer implies that the master is ignorant of the significance of the Chinese character.
If he had understood, he would have remained silent. His silence would have been the right answer. He would have remained silent, showing the master that "You know it already, why are you harassing me?" But, on the contrary, he said, "IT IS THE LETTER FOR `BUDDHA'." He showed his knowledge.
Before a master you should show your heart, you should show your innocence, not your knowledge. All knowledge is rubbish! All knowledge is borrowed. Dogo missed the point.
YAKUSAN COMMENTED, "YOU ARE A MONK SO FULL OF CHATTER!" -- and he had only said one word. But the master is right. One word has come out, but the chattering mind -- yakkety-yak, yakkety-yak -- goes on inside. From where has this "buddha" come? From that yakkety-yak, he has just pulled out one word. He is not a silent man.
The master was disappointed. He hoped that Dogo would remain silent, knowing that "The master knows, he is unnecessarily pulling my leg." Or, if he wanted to answer him, he could have touched his feet. This would have showed that "That character shows you, the buddha."
Gautam the Buddha is not the only buddha in the history of the world; there have been thousands of buddhas around the world, in different parts of the world. They may not be known as buddhas, because `buddha' simply means the awakened one. It is not the name of Gautam Buddha; his name was Gautam Siddharth. Buddha is his awakening, his enlightenment, his knowing himself and existence.
Anybody who becomes awakened can be called a buddha, it is nobody's monopoly. The word does not belong to Gautam Buddha, it is not his name; it is the quality that has happened to him, his awakening. Anybody awake, anywhere in the world, has the right to be called a buddha.
Yakusan was an enlightened master, with thousands of disciples. Hundreds became enlightened under his guidance. Just touching his feet would have been the right gesture of a man of understanding, that "It signifies you." But there is no need to use words. Just touch the feet of the master. Or, if you have courage enough, then slap the master: "What do you mean? You know it and still you want to harass me?"
In Zen, slapping the master is a very common routine. It is the only religion in which the master and the disciple are not inferior or superior. Sometimes the master hits the disciple, sometimes the disciple hits the master.
A great master, Rinzai, called his most intimate disciple suddenly in the middle of the night. The disciple was meditating outside the master's house. He came in.
The master said, "I had to call you. I love to hit you. As I see it, you are coming too close; by the morning you will be a buddha, and I will not be able to hit you. So this is the last time" -- and he hit him! And the disciple touched his feet in gratitude.
Zen is a very special world. It has its own ways which are absolutely unknown outside this small stream of buddhas. It is not an organized religion, it is pure religion, simple religion. The individual is far more important than the church.
It was so loving of Rinzai to call his disciple. Slapping him was sheer love and joy: "I have been enjoying slapping you for years. From tomorrow morning, I will not be able to slap you; on the contrary, if you want you can slap me."
And exactly the next morning, the disciple came in and slapped the master. The master laughed and he touched the feet of the disciple, just as in the night the disciple had touched his feet.
There is no problem of any superiority or inferiority. One is awake, one is asleep, but the asleep one can become awake any moment.

Rather than answering Yakusan, if Dogo had done something to express it -- slapping the master, touching his feet, or just remaining silent, closing his eyes and sitting in a buddha posture -- that would have given the answer.
Language cannot answer such questions. You have to show your understanding, not your knowledge. You have to show your wisdom, not your information. You have to show your transformation.
Dogo missed, utterly missed.
YAKUSAN COMMENTED, "YOU ARE A MONK SO FULL OF CHATTER! You have not gone beyond the mind yet?"

ONCE, AT THE EVENING DISCOURSE, YAKUSAN DID NOT LIGHT THE CANDLE AS USUAL. A MONK CAME AND STOOD BY HIS SIDE.
You never know with the Zen masters. You are absolutely incapable of predicting their behavior, because they live spontaneously, they don't have a certain ritual to repeat. Nobody knows the reason why he did not light the candle as usual. The assembly was completely in the dark.
ONE MONK CAME AND STOOD BY HIS SIDE. YAKUSAN SAID, "I HAVE A VERY SPECIAL PHRASE."
This is a special Zen expression. When the master says, "I HAVE A VERY SPECIAL PHRASE," he does not mean he has a phrase; he simply means he has something to confer, not to convey, but to transfer.
He said, "I HAVE A VERY SPECIAL PHRASE. IF A BULL GIVES BIRTH, I WILL TELL IT TO YOU." Now, bulls don't give birth, so he is making an absolutely absurd statement: "IF A BULL GIVES BIRTH, I WILL TELL IT TO YOU."
The monk must have been an enlightened one. THE MONK SAID, "THE BULL HAS ALREADY GIVEN BIRTH LONG AGO, AND YOU JUST KEEP NOT REVEALING IT. It is time you should reveal it. What do you mean by `the phrase'? It is time you should convey, you should transfer it, you should unburden yourself, because the bull has given birth long ago."
YAKUSAN ASKED IMMEDIATELY FOR A LIGHT -- he wanted to see the monk. He had given the right answer.
YAKUSAN ASKED FOR A LIGHT. WHEN THE CANDLE WAS BROUGHT IN, THE MONK RETREATED AND DISAPPEARED INTO THE ASSEMBLY OF MONKS. There were thousands of monks.
LATER UNGAN TOLD TOZAN -- two other masters talking about the old days with Yakusan ...
LATER UNGAN TOLD TOZAN ABOUT THIS, AND TOZAN SAID, "THE MONK KNEW THE TRUTH -- HE JUST DID NOT WANT TO MAKE OBEISANCE TO THE MASTER."
There is every possibility you will misunderstand it. You will think Tozan is saying that the monk knew the truth, but he did not want to touch the feet of the master. You will think he was an egoist. No. A man who knows the truth cannot have the ego. They both cannot exist together, there is no coexistence possible between truth and ego. Then what is the meaning? Why did he disappear?
My understanding is, he disappeared because he did not want even to be recognized, because that desire to be recognized is part of the ego. He did not even want to be grateful to the master. Not that he was not grateful -- he was so grateful that to show it by touching his feet was very miserly.
There was no way to show the gratitude to the master, and he did not want any recognition. He simply disappeared in the crowd, just as inside he had disappeared in the cosmos. He is no more, who is going to touch the feet?
In the darkness it was perfectly okay, because the master could not see him. But when the light was brought in, he simply disappeared.
This anecdote has been misunderstood by the scholars very much. I have seen their commentaries; they all think it was because of his ego. But they don't understand -- scholars cannot understand -- they don't see that the monk knew the truth; how can he have the ego? You can have either the ego or the truth.
Ego is your personality, the truth is your individuality. You have to drop the personality. You have to stand utterly naked before existence. You have to melt down like ice into the ocean of this great divineness all around.
America has not produced any great mystic, it has not produced any great psychoanalyst. But one psychologist, William James -- everything else about him was ordinary, but one thing he brought, a phrase, "oceanic experience." The religious experience is an oceanic experience. Just for this small phrase, this small statement, I consider him to be one of the greatest psychologists that we have produced anywhere around the globe. He has touched exactly the right point.
Religious experience is an oceanic experience, a dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf into the ocean -- in one way, disappearing into the ocean, in another way, the ocean disappearing into the dewdrop, both becoming one.
The monk simply disappeared into the crowd because he did not want to be recognized. He did not want even to pay obeisance to the master, because that would also be in some way a hidden desire to be recognized by the master.
But a man who has understood the truth needs no recognition. He becomes a nobody. In Buddha's language, he becomes anatta, he becomes a no-self.
He is no more; only the existence is.
It is a beautiful anecdote for you to meditate, to contemplate on.

Sampu wrote:

CHILD WAITING EARTHBOUND.
CLOUD SPARROW
HIGHER AND HIGHER.

It is a small haiku. It says, CHILD WAITING EARTHBOUND ... a child in the mother's womb is waiting to come to the earth. First one has to get roots into the earth; only then you can spread your branches into the sky like wings. Unless you have roots, you cannot spread your wings into the sky. The deeper the roots, the higher goes the tree ... almost reaching to the stars.

Only one painter in the West, Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch painter, had such tremendous insight -- almost the insight of a mystic, very close to being a buddha. He always painted his trees surpassing the stars. The stars remained underneath the trees, and the trees went beyond the stars. Whenever he was asked, "What are you doing? This is simply insane. No tree can reach beyond the stars!" ...
The closest star is four light years away -- the closest. You have to understand four light years. Scientists had to find a new measurement; yards and feet and miles would no longer do. This is the measurement for the stars -- the distance is so vast. What is a light year? A light year is: light travels in a single second one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles -- in one second, one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles. Now multiply it by sixty, that will be one minute. Multiply it again by sixty, that will be one hour. Multiply it by twenty-four, that will be one day. Multiply it by thirty, that will be one month. Multiply it by twelve, that will be one year -- one light year! The nearest star is four light years away.
If we can ever in our wildest dreams think of a rocket moving at the same speed as light, which is impossible ... It is impossible because at the speed of light everything becomes light. That very speed turns everything into light, so you cannot have a rocket moving at the speed of light. You and the rocket both will become light.
But just to help you understand: if you move at the speed of light, you will take four years to reach to the closest star -- and there are already four million stars counted in the universe, and this is not the end; this is the end of our instruments. Beyond those four million stars there is still infinity. We can never reach to the boundary line, because there is no boundary line to existence.
Van Gogh was asked again and again, "Are you mad?" But he said, "I have been sitting by the side of the trees, listening where they are going, and I have always heard that the trees are our earth's ambition to reach to the stars. My paintings are not factual, they are poetic. They are the ambitions of the earth to reach to the stars."
He is the only man, a very rare man, who looked at stars not the way we look. He looked at stars as spirals. Nobody had ever looked at stars as spirals. People asked him, "What are you doing?" He said, "What can I do? Whenever I close my eyes I see the stars as spirals."
It took one hundred years, but just now physicists have come to the point that stars are spiral. Van Gogh was right, although he had no instruments, and eyes cannot see it.
He was so much obsessed with the sun ... he wanted to paint the perfect sunset. The whole day he would wait under the sun, watching and watching and watching. And then all the psychedelic colors on the horizon, and the sun setting ... He painted for almost one year, but rejected all those paintings because nothing was coming close to the beauty and the ecstasy and the silence, and the birds returning home, and the sun setting. And those psychedelic colors on the clouds, on the horizon ... never repeated again, always original.
The day he finished his painting to his satisfaction -- he was only thirty-three years old -- he wrote a letter to his brother saying that "My work is done. Now I don't have unnecessarily to be a burden on the earth" -- and he committed suicide.
He painted thousands of paintings, but not a single painting was ever sold, because nobody could understand his paintings. They were so strange, but they were absolutely real to him.

Sampu is saying, "Child waiting in the mother's womb" -- for what? -- earthbound, he wants to get to the earth, to get his roots deep into the earth, because unless you have roots in the earth you cannot rise into the sky, you cannot be a cedar of Lebanon, four hundred feet high. Then you need four-hundred-foot-deep roots. A balance is needed, otherwise the tree will fall.
This is one of my basic and essential approaches, that unless you are deeply rooted in materialism you cannot rise into spirituality.
The East has committed one mistake: it has been trying to reach to the stars without going deeper into the earth, and it has been a complete failure. The West has committed another mistake: it goes on growing the roots into the earth, into matter, and it has forgotten completely about the stars.
Hence my continuous emphasis that every one of you has to be a Zorba the Buddha. Zorba is the roots in the earth, and the buddha is a longing to fly into ultimate freedom, to reach to the space which is unbounded.

CHILD WAITING EARTHBOUND.
CLOUD SPARROW
HIGHER AND HIGHER.
... And a bird, a cloud sparrow, goes on higher and higher into the sky. Both need a great synthesis.

Our world is suffering because we have not been able to create a synthesis between East and West, between earth and sky, between spirit and matter, between your inner and the outer. Unless this great synthesis is achieved, humanity has no hope.

 

 

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