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CHRISTIANITY

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

Chapter 6: Good soldiers of christ

Question 1

 

    Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Christianity         The Antidote to All Poisons     

 

Question 1
Maneesha's question:
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
BODHIDHARMA TOOK ZEN FROM INDIA TO CHINA AND JAPAN; YOU HAVE BROUGHT IT BACK TO INDIA, COMPLETING THE CIRCLE. IS THERE SOME SIGNIFICANCE IN THIS?
ALSO, ALTHOUGH INDIA HAS BEEN THE STARTING POINT AND PERHAPS THE COMPLETION OF THE JOURNEY OF ZEN, IN NEITHER INSTANCE, IT SEEMS, HAS INDIA ITSELF BEEN RECEPTIVE TO ZEN.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO COMMENT?

Maneesha, Zen is the ultimate flowering of consciousness. It started with Gautam Buddha giving a lotus flower to Mahakashyapa. In the statement he made to all the sannyasins who were present, he said, "Whatever I could say through words, I have told you. Whatever I could not manage to bring to language, I am transfering to Mahakashyapa."
With these words, visibly only the lotus flower was given to Mahakashyapa, but invisibly Buddha transferred his unexpressed experience to Mahakashyapa.
Mahakashyapa was the first Zen master.
But neither was Buddha understood by India ... and the reason is clear. India is a land of great scholarship, it is a land of great scriptures. It is the ancientmost land of the brahmins. For ninety thousand years they have been philosophizing; they have reached great intellectual heights. Buddha jumps out of the Hindu fold -- and not only jumps out of the Hindu fold, he jumps out of the mind.
The whole of Hinduism is mind-oriented. It is very intellectual, but it has no understanding of no-mind. Through intellectual argument it has come to the conclusion that there is a soul -- but it is not its experience, it is a philosophical hypothesis.
Buddha, for the first time, makes religion experiential, for the first time transforms religion into a science of the inner. Just as objective science depends on experiments, not on intellect, the inner science depends on experience, not on intellect. So he went too far beyond the Hindu conception, which was so ancient and so old, and the brahmins were living on it.
I have just quoted the pope: "The myth of Christ has profited us well."
The whole brahmin caste is one-fourth of the Hindus. It has been exploiting this country for centuries after centuries. Listening to Buddha would have been a chaos for the brahmins. Scholarship will be thrown, mind is no more needed, only meditation. It was a question of their livelihood, it was a question of millions of priests who had been exploiting, and who had been sitting at the top of the Hindu fold as the superiormost class, the superman.
Now Buddha was asking them to drop a great investment. They could not manage it. Rather, they dropped Buddha. Buddha disappeared from India. And if they could not understand Buddha, who had been talking for forty-two years, arguing, making it as easy as possible for others to understand even that which is beyond the mind -- he was trying to bring it into language, into logic -- if they could not understand Buddha, how could they understand Mahakashyapa?
Mahakashyapa never said a single word, he simply laughed. That laughter was coming from beyond; only Buddha could see it, and he had amongst his ten thousand sannyasins so many giants of intelligence.
Mahakashyapa was very innocent, just like a child. Only he could understand, because there was no thought, no mind, no prejudice, no philosophy. He simply enjoyed being by the side of Buddha. People asked him, "Everybody is asking questions, why don't you ask?" He would not even answer them.
Finally, people had completely forgotten about him. He had a small tree which had become absolutely his. He had not said it to anybody, but everybody knew, "Don't sit under that tree, Mahakashyapa will be coming. He has been sitting there nobody knows how long. He never asks anything, he never has any friendship with anyone, he has no social life, but he seems very joyous. Either he is mad, or perhaps he has become enlightened -- but Buddha has not confirmed his enlightenment."
That day when he laughed, Buddha confirmed absolutely his enlightenment -- and not only his enlightenment, but he confirmed that among ten thousand people, this was the only mystic present who could understand a gesture. The lotus flower was a gesture. Hidden in the lotus flower, Buddha gave him everything that a master wants to share with his closest disciples.
Zen was born in such mysterious circumstances -- and nobody knows, there is no scripture that mentions any other instance about Mahakashyapa. Of course, Mahakashyapa could not be understood by a nation which had been dominated by intellect and mind and priesthood for century after century.
But China was a better ground, because of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu. They had prepared the ground. They were people exactly like Mahakashyapa, so when Bodhidharma reached to China, the ground was ready. There were many people who could understand Bodhidharma's silence.
And then Rinzai took it to Japan. Japan was even more innocent. Its ancient religion is Shinto; it is a very innocent religion, with no dogma, doctrine, but just a pure love for existence.
This strange woman, Ishida, who is coming here soon, within two or three days, is a seeress in an ancient Shinto temple. She is not a Buddhist. But Shinto is so innocent and simple that when Rinzai brought Buddhism, particularly Zen, from China, Shinto had no problem. It agreed absolutely that it is only innocence that knows the truth. "We have not been so articulate as Zen masters are, but what they are saying, we know in the depths of our hearts."
So Shinto had no obstruction, no competition with a foreign religion, no struggle. Shinto and Zen have grown together, side by side. Zen masters go to Shinto temples and monasteries and live there. Shinto masters come to Zen monasteries and live there. Japan was even more peaceful and innocent.
China had Lao Tzu, but it had also Confucius. Confucius has confused the whole problem. He was just a moralist, he knew nothing about the inner, but he was a predominant figure. Kings and princes, emperors, asked his advice. He was a great intellectual. Because of his dominance, China was not so innocent. The small stream of Tao immediately welcomed Bodhidharma as if Lao Tzu had come back, their old master. They saw in Bodhidharma's eyes the same shine, the same depth, the same mystery, the same dance.
Tao, and whatever Bodhidharma had brought -- in Pali it is called jhan, in Sanskrit it is called dhyan -- jhan and Tao met, and out of their meeting Zen was produced. Zen is a crossbreed, and the crossbreed is always better than the parents -- both the parents.
In China jhan became chan, and in Japanese it became Zen. And when Rinzai took it to Japan, it came back again very close to Buddha's word, jhan.
Certainly I am bringing Zen back to India, and the circle is complete. If it started with Mahakashyapa, it is coming to its ultimate flowering with me. But neither has Mahakashyapa been understood, nor am I going to be understood. This misunderstanding of the masses is a proof that I am talking something valuable, something of the ultimate truth.

I used to know a very strange man, Mahatma Bhagwandin. In India there were only two mahatmas: Mahatma Gandhi and Mahatma Bhagwandin. I am absolutely against Mahatma Gandhi on every point. Sometime I am going to take care of him!
But with Mahatma Bhagwandin I had a deep friendship. He was old, I was very young, just a student in the university when we met. He had come to give a talk in the university where I was a student, and he was talking and quoting from the scriptures, and he was a very great orator of his time.
But I have always been a difficult person. I stood up in the middle, and I said to him, "Stop for a moment." He looked at me. I said, "Do you have anything to say on your own authority, or are you still going to quote from the scriptures?"
There was a great silence. The vice-chancellor felt bad; he knew that I could not resist the temptation.
Mahatma Bhagwandin was shocked. For the first time somebody had interrupted him in the middle. But he was an honest man, and he said, "You are right. I don't have anything to say on my own authority." That was the beginning of a great friendship of a young man with an old man.
We used to meet often. He used to stay with me in my house, and I used to stay with him in his house. It was not far away, it was only six hours by car. Any moment I wanted to go there, I would simply drive from Jabalpur to Nagpur; he lived in Nagpur.
We forgot completely that I was too young and he was too old. Even his host -- because he had no home, he was a sannyasin, so he was living with a friend -- even his host used to say, "It is a strange kind of friendship. You are so young, he is just going to die ... but when you both talk together, even we who listen forget the difference between your ages."
And by chance, the day he died I was present just a few hours before. I was coming from Chaanda, and just in the train one man, Kamalnayan Bajaj ... He was the son of Jamanalal Bajaj, and Jamanalal Bajaj was the host of Mahatma Gandhi; he had taken him from Sabarmati, Ahmedabad, to Wardha. Wardha is just between Chaanda and Nagpur.
I was coming from Chaanda. On the station of Wardha, Kamalnayan entered into my compartment. He was a member of parliament. He told me, "Do you know that Mahatma Bhagwandin is very seriously ill?"
I said, "I had no idea."
He said, "I am going to see him."
I said, "I will then get down in Nagpur." I had not intended to get down in Nagpur, I was going directly by train to Jabalpur.
So I got down, I went to see him, and I could not believe my eyes. I had not seen him for almost one year. He had become just a skeleton, just skin and bones, nothing else was left, and he was continuously coughing, coughing blood.
He looked at me and he smiled. He said, "This was my last wish, that if existence has any compassion on me, somehow I would like to see you. That was my continuous heartfelt desire this last day. It is a miracle: you have come. I wanted to say something to you, because I know I am not going to stay much longer, maybe a few hours." And, in fact, after three hours he died.
He said to me, "You had asked a question while you were a student many years ago in the university, and I had to confess before thousands of students and hundreds of professors that I didn't have anything to say on my own authority.
"I want you to know that I still don't have anything of my own to say. I remained a scholar. I am dying in deep misery. I did not listen to you, I argued and argued and quoted scriptures, and never took the point although I felt you were right. But my age, my prestige, prevented me from asking you how to know it, how to get to it. It was a simple question and you were always available, but because I never asked, you never said anything. We discussed and discussed, but that was all intellectual."
I said, "I was waiting. Without your being thirsty for it ... it is not possible for anyone. You can take the horse to the river, but you cannot force the horse to drink the water.
"I have tried in every way to take you to the river. That's the end of the master's work. Now the river is ahead of you: if you are thirsty, drink; if you don't feel thirsty, I am helpless."
He had tears in his eyes, tears of a long life wasted in words. Because of his scholarship he has been called Mahatma, great soul, but he had no idea of any soul as an experience.
This country is too full of knowledge, too much burdened with scholarship, too much dominated by the priests.
One thing he said, the last thing before I left him. He said to me, "If the crowd agrees with you, know you are wrong. Just remember it as advice from an old friend. If the crowd disagrees with you, there is a chance of your being right."
The crowd has never been right, hence you don't see the Indian crowd here. You see individuals from all over the world, and a few individuals from India too -- but this is not a crowd. This is a meeting place of seekers. You have come on your own in search.
India is too egoistic because it has all the great scriptures, and all the great priests who parrot-like go on repeating great words -- and they are satisfied with those words. They will die a miserable death like Mahatma Bhagwandin.

Maneesha, nothing can be done about it, but it does not matter. The crowd has never mattered as far as ultimate truth is concerned. It is an individual search, and the people who are in search have come to me from all over the world. Neither did Buddha have such an audience -- it was confined to the state of Bihar, not even the whole of India -- nor did Mahakashyapa have such an audience, international, nor Bodhidharma, nor Rinzai.
I am the most blessed one in the sense that I have the chosen few of the earth from all over the planet. It is a gathering to be rejoiced with. I am absolutely blissful to have you here.
This is certainly a good completion of Mahakashyapa.
He started the circle, I am completing it.
You are the witnesses of a great phenomenon.

Now it is the time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. He has started laughing, not even before the joke but in the middle of the sutra! He is very sensitive! And he trusts me: "My time is coming."

Finally, Ronald Reagan is retired into private life. After leaving the White House, he and Nancy return to living normal lives on their ranch in California, and are just as happy as little rats.
One day, Ronald decides he wants to take Nancy shopping, so he gets her into the car and they drive to the local shopping mall. Then Reagan takes Nancy into the huge Dingbat's Department Store.
As they walk in, Ronald looks up and sees a sign by the door that reads: "Please leave your bag outside."
"Gee, Nancy," says Ronald, turning to his wife. "Sorry, but you will have to wait here!"

Bonzer, the British bulldog, is sniffing his way around the neighborhood when he recognizes the smell of Alvin, the American airedale.
After the two dogs have met and sniffed each other thoroughly, Alvin, the American dog, starts to speak.
"The trouble with you British," barks Alvin, "is that you are far too tribal and interbred. There should be much more intermingling. For instance, in my blood there is British, German, Spanish, Italian, French and a touch of Chinese."
"I say, old chap," replies Bonzer, "how jolly sporting of your mother!"

Little Bungee Barfi finds himself being sent by his Catholic Indian parents to the Holy Jesus Jesuit Seminary in Poona. Life is tough in the seminary for Bungee and he has a lot of trouble adapting to life related to Christianity.
Everywhere there are crosses on the walls with Jesus hanging on them. There are pictures of Jesus everywhere, on the walls, in the windows, and in all the books. Jesus is omnipresent, in all sorts of postures and poses. The monks who run the seminary talk all the time of Jesus.
One day, Little Bungee has a problem. "Can you help me fix my bicycle, Father Feekal?" he asked one of the old priests.
"My son, Jesus loves you!" replies the priest, pointing at a picture of Jesus riding a donkey. "Just trust in Jesus! Jesus will find a way!"
The next day, Little Bungee is sitting in the schoolroom during nature class, thinking about his broken bicycle. Suddenly, Father Fellini asks Little Bungee a question.
"Now tell me, Bungee," says Father Fellini, "what is brown, has a long bushy tail, jumps through the branches of trees and eats nuts?"
"Well," replies Bungee, "in the real world it is obviously a squirrel -- but in this place, things are so fucked up, it is bound to be Jesus!"

Nivedano ...

(drumbeat)

(gibberish)

(drumbeat)

Nivedano ...

(drumbeat)

Be silent ...
Close your eyes ... and feel your body to be completely frozen. This is the right moment to look inwards.
Gather all your life energy, your total consciousness, and rush towards the center of your being with an urgency as if it is going to be your last moment on the earth.
Faster and faster ...
The closer you come to yourself,
the deeper becomes the silence.
The nearer you reach to your center ... a great peace arises within you. And the moment your arrow of consciousness penetrates into the center, for the first time you encounter your original face. The other name of your original face is the buddha, the awakened one.
The only quality of the buddha is witnessing.
Witness ... you are not the body.
Witness ... you are not the mind.
Witness that you are not the other seven astral bodies, layer upon layer behind the physical body.
Witness, finally, that you are only a witness.
At this moment, you are the most blessed people on the earth. Centered at your being, you are no more, only buddha is. That is your ultimate and eternal nature.

To make the witnessing deeper, Nivedano ...

(drumbeat)

Relax ...
Let go, but remain a witness, just a witness.
Time disappears, mind disappears ...
Slowly slowly, your consciousness starts melting, all differences with existence disappear. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium becomes an ocean of consciousness without any ripples.
A tremendous ecstasy, a great drunkenness,
and you are at home.
This is the very essence of Zen.
I call Christianity the deadliest poison,
and Zen the only antidote for all poisons.
This is the only possibility of liberating you, of bringing your buddha from the seed into a lotus flower.
Collect as much experience, as much ecstasy, and the juices of your life, because from the center you are connected with the cosmos. You have to bring all that with you, so your day-to-day life becomes more blissful, more serene, more silent.
If you can persuade the buddha to come with you, you will feel continuously a coolness in you. You will feel the eternal depth of being, and the ultimate height of being. If the buddha comes with you, you will have a transformation from the horizontal to the vertical. The vertical is the goal, the horizontal is to live only on the outside.
And the real life is IN ... the real godliness is IN ... and it is here and now.
Persuade the buddha to come along with you as a shadow. Slowly slowly you will melt into him. He will become the reality and you will become the shadow.
That day the journey is complete, the antidote has succeeded. And the poisons of all kinds of conditioning -- Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan -- are erased. You are out of the jail, out of the cage, you can open your wings and the whole sky is yours. All the stars and the moon and the sun belong to you. You can disappear into the blueness of the beyond.
Once you know you are a buddha, you will never be born in any kind of body, in any kind of imprisonment -- no birth, no old age, no sickness, no death. You simply become a pure consciousness, eternal, timeless.
The only quality that remains is witnessing. To be a witness of everything is the key, the master key to open all the mysteries of existence.

Nivedano ...

(drumbeat)

Come back ... but come as buddhas, with the same grace, the same silence, the same joy, the same beauty.
Sit for a few moments just to remember where you have been, the golden path that you have traveled to the center, and all that happened at the center.
Don't forget it, it is not a dream. It is the only reality, the only truth. And truth liberates, love liberates, blissfulness liberates.
When you have all these in abundance, they automatically start flowing around you, and you share them -- not as a duty, but out of your abundance. When something is done out of your abundance, it makes you richer. The more you give, the more you have.
The evening has been beautiful on its own, but your silence, your looking back towards the buddha, have made it a great splendor, a silent song, a celebration.
Only your heart knows, the mind is absolutely unaware of it.
I can hear your heartbeat at this moment
is in deep synchronicity with the whole existence.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

 

 

Next: Chapter 7: Not faith, but fear

 


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