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BODHIDHARMA: THE GREATEST ZEN MASTER

Chapter 19: Relish the mystery in the depths of your heart

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Bodhidharma

 

BELOVED OSHO,

THROUGHOUT THE SUTRAS, THE BUDDHA TELLS MORTALS THEY CAN ACHIEVE ENLIGHTENMENT BY PERFORMING SUCH MERITORIOUS WORKS AS BUILDING MONASTERIES, CASTING STATUES, BURNING INCENSE, SCATTERING FLOWERS, LIGHTING ETERNAL LAMPS, PRACTICING ALL SIX PERIODS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT, WALKING AROUND STUPAS, OBSERVING FASTS AND WORSHIPING. BUT IF BEHOLDING THE MIND INCLUDES ALL OTHER PRACTICES, THEN SUCH WORKS AS THESE WOULD APPEAR REDUNDANT.
THE SUTRAS OF THE BUDDHA CONTAIN COUNTLESS METAPHORS. BECAUSE MORTALS HAVE SHALLOW MINDS AND DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING DEEP, THE BUDDHA USED THE TANGIBLE TO REPRESENT THE SUBLIME. PEOPLE WHO SEEK BLESSINGS BY CONCENTRATING ON EXTERNAL WORKS INSTEAD OF INTERNAL CULTIVATION ARE ATTEMPTING THE IMPOSSIBLE.
WHAT YOU CALL A MONASTERY, WE CALL A SANGHARAMA, A PLACE OF PURITY. BUT WHOEVER DENIES ENTRY TO THE THREE POISONS AND KEEPS THE GATES OF HIS SENSES PURE, HIS BODY AND MIND STILL, INSIDE AND OUTSIDE CLEAN, BUILDS A MONASTERY.
CASTING STATUES REFERS TO ALL PRACTICES CULTIVATED BY THOSE WHO SEEK ENLIGHTENMENT ....
AND BURNING INCENSE DOESN'T MEAN ORDINARY MATERIAL INCENSE BUT THE INCENSE OF THE INTANGIBLE DHARMA, WHICH DRIVES AWAY FILTH, IGNORANCE AND EVIL DEEDS WITH ITS PERFUME ....
WHEN THE BUDDHA WAS IN THE WORLD, HE TOLD HIS DISCIPLES TO LIGHT SUCH PRECIOUS INCENSE WITH THE FIRE OF AWARENESS AS AN OFFERING TO THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS. BUT PEOPLE TODAY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE TATHAGATA'S REAL MEANING. THEY USE AN ORDINARY FLAME TO LIGHT MATERIAL INCENSE OF SANDALWOOD OR FRANKINCENSE HOPING FOR SOME FUTURE BLESSING THAT NEVER COMES.
FOR SCATTERING FLOWERS THE SAME HOLDS TRUE. THIS REFERS TO SPEAKING THE DHARMA, OR TO SCATTERING FLOWERS OF VIRTUE, IN ORDER TO BENEFIT OTHERS AND GLORIFY THE REAL SELF .... IF YOU THINK THE TATHAGATA MEANT FOR PEOPLE TO HARM PLANTS BY CUTTING OFF THEIR BLOOM, YOU'RE WRONG. THOSE WHO OBSERVE THE PRECEPTS DON'T INJURE ANY OF THE MYRIAD LIFE FORMS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. IF YOU HURT SOMETHING BY MISTAKE, YOU SUFFER FOR IT. BUT THOSE WHO INTENTIONALLY BREAK THE PRECEPTS BY INJURING THE LIVING FOR THE SAKE OF FUTURE BLESSINGS SUFFER EVEN MORE. HOW COULD THEY LET WOULD-BE BLESSINGS TURN INTO SORROWS?
THE ETERNAL LAMP REPRESENTS PERFECT AWARENESS.      ...LONG AGO, THERE WAS A BUDDHA NAMED DIPAMKARA, OR LAMPLIGHTER. THIS WAS THE MEANING OF HIS NAME .... THE LIGHT RELEASED BY A BUDDHA FROM ONE CURL BETWEEN HIS BROWS CAN ILLUMINATE COUNTLESS WORLDS. AN OIL LAMP IS NO HELP ....
PRACTICING ALL SIX PERIODS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT MEANS AMONG THE SIX SENSES CONSTANTLY CULTIVATING ENLIGHTENMENT AND PERSERVERING IN EVERY FORM OF AWARENESS. NEVER RELAXING CONTROL OVER THE SIX SENSES IS WHAT'S MEANT BY ALL SIX PERIODS.
AS FOR WALKING AROUND STUPAS, THE STUPA IS YOUR BODY AND MIND. WHEN YOUR AWARENESS CIRCLES YOUR BODY AND MIND WITHOUT STOP, THIS IS CALLED WALKING AROUND A STUPA ....
THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR OBSERVING A FAST .... TO FAST MEANS ...TO REGULATE YOUR BODY AND MIND SO THAT THEY'RE NOT DISTRACTED OR DISTURBED.
ALSO, ONCE YOU STOP EATING THE FOOD OF DELUSION, IF YOU TOUCH IT AGAIN, YOU BREAK YOUR FAST. AND ONCE YOU BREAK IT, YOU REAP NO BLESSING FROM IT. THE WORLD IS FULL OF DELUDED PEOPLE WHO DON'T SEE THIS. THEY INDULGE THEIR BODY AND MIND IN ALL MANNER OF EVIL. THEY GIVE FREE REIN TO THEIR PASSIONS AND HAVE NO SHAME. AND WHEN THEY STOP EATING ORDINARY FOOD, THEY CALL IT FASTING. HOW ABSURD!
IT'S THE SAME WITH WORSHIPING. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING AND ADAPT TO CONDITIONS. MEANING INCLUDES ACTION AND NON-ACTION ....
WORSHIP MEANS REVERENCE AND HUMILITY. IT MEANS REVERING YOUR REAL SELF AND HUMBLING DELUSIONS. IF YOU CAN WIPE OUT EVIL DESIRES AND HARBOR GOOD THOUGHTS, EVEN IF NOTHING SHOWS, IT'S WORSHIP ....
THOSE WHO FAIL TO CULTIVATE THE INNER MEANING AND CONCENTRATE INSTEAD ON THE OUTWARD EXPRESSION NEVER STOP INDULGING IN IGNORANCE, HATRED AND EVIL WHILE EXHAUSTING THEMSELVES TO NO AVAIL. THEY CAN DECEIVE OTHERS WITH POSTURES, REMAIN SHAMELESS BEFORE SAGES AND VAIN BEFORE MORTALS, BUT THEY'LL NEVER ESCAPE THE WHEEL, MUCH LESS ACHIEVE ANY MERIT.

I am deeply hurt to have to say that Bodhidharma has gone senile. He was going so great up to the point when the question was asked, "From where does ignorance come?" But he lost the track. It often happens ...if you lie once, you have to lie one thousand and one times more; each lie needs another lie to protect it -- and still it remains unprotected. Instead of one lie, now you have to protect two lies, but lies cannot be protected by truth -- so you bring in a third lie. And this is an endless series.
That's what has happened to Bodhidharma because he simply could not say, "I don't know." Now he's in a dilemma: whatever is asked, he has to give some answer -- whether he knows or not. And there are things which cannot be known by their very nature. So it should not have been a calamity at all to accept that this is an ultimate question and ultimate questions cannot be answered -- either by Bodhidharma or by anybody else, past, present, or future.
The ultimate will remain always a mystery. You cannot demystify it by giving an answer. The moment you face the ultimate, you simply have to be like a child, an innocent. Enjoy the wonder of it, relish the mystery of it in the depths of your heart. Let it reach into the silences of your being. Let it penetrate you and transform you. It is not a question to ask about, or to expect any answer to.
But Bodhidharma took only one single wrong step, and now he is going on down the drain. Each day he has to go on creating unnecessary lies. Once in a while he says something true, but now the amount of truth goes on lessening and the lies are becoming more and more, their quantity goes on increasing.
I had never thought that a man like Bodhidharma was not courageous enough to simply say, "Forgive me, I don't know," to the ultimate question. If he had said that and stopped there, he would have risen above millions of mystics in height, in depth, in magnificence.
But I can understand the problem: he did not want to disappoint his disciples, he did not want to disappoint the Chinese people. He did not want to tell them that there are fundamental questions which even an enlightened person cannot answer. So he goes on fabricating fictions. He cannot say that the Buddha is wrong, so he has to produce strange answers which don't fit at all with what Buddha said -- and they don't fit absolutely with what Bodhidharma himself said earlier. His whole teaching was to be aware of the mind and to go beyond the mind, and that was absolutely perfect. Nothing was to be added to it.
Now he's answering questions reluctantly, but he cannot stop. It needs tremendous courage to ignore your disciples' questions and to simply say that this is not a question because it is ultimate. He has been trying in every way to satisfy the disciples and to satisfy the Chinese people that an enlightened man knows everything.
The reality is not so. The more you become enlightened, the less you know. At the ultimate peak of enlightenment, you simply know yourself ...and nothing else. But at that peak, you yourself are the whole universe.
I will tell you where he's still right -- because he knows what is the truth -- but he is compromising. He is not a rebel, he is a pacifying person. He does not want to say a single word to disturb the newly-converted Buddhists in China. It would have been alright if he had remained in India and never gone to China. Here he would have been his real self; there was no need even to consider others. The moment you start considering others, you fall from the height.
As far as I am concerned, my absolute commitment is towards the truth. Even if I irritate and annoy the whole world, I will not say anything just to console them, and I will not say anything that goes against my experience of truth. People have been asking me, "Why is the whole world against you?" The world is not against me. I am against the world because I have chosen truth. And I will say only that which is absolutely my experience. I will not compromise in any way, for any reason whatsoever.
But Bodhidharma started compromising. He may have been worshiped by people because he consoled them, but in my eyes he has lost his grandeur; he has lost his beauty and intelligence. He has come just too low to be understood.
This is the question of a disciple:
THROUGHOUT THE SUTRAS, THE BUDDHA TELLS MORTALS THEY CAN ACHIEVE ENLIGHTENMENT BY PERFORMING SUCH MERITORIOUS WORKS AS BUILDING MONASTERIES, CASTING STATUES, BURNING INCENSE, SCATTERING FLOWERS, LIGHTING ETERNAL LAMPS, PRACTICING ALL SIX PERIODS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT, WALKING AROUND STUPAS ... Stupas are the graves of ancient enlightened people.  ...OBSERVING FASTS AND WORSHIPING.
In fact, this whole sutra is an invention of the Mahayana school of Buddhism. Buddha never said anything like that, and if he said it he was wrong. That should have been Bodhidharma's simple approach, because even at the time of his death Buddha's last words were, "Don't make my statues."
And you have heard Bodhidharma in the beginning saying, "Buddhas cannot worship buddhas." There is no need, and it is really humiliating. You have the same quality of consciousness within you, you just have not discovered it. Somebody else has discovered it, but as far as HAVING it is concerned, you both have it in the same way.
Bodhidharma mentioned the name of Dipamkara. He was an ancient buddha long before Gautam Buddha, and in Dipamkara's time Gautam Buddha was an ordinary man. Just out of curiosity he had gone to see Dipamkara. He was given the name Dipamkara because his presence was so infectious that those who innocently came close to him immediately caught something invisible, as if a flame had jumped from Dipamkara into their heart, which was utterly dark, and now there was light. Hence the name, Dipamkara Buddha, was given to him -- a man who lights the unlit lamps of others just by his presence.
Gautam Buddha was not enlightened at that time but he had gone just out of curiosity, like a small child, to see what was happening, why so many people were going there. His curiosity was innocent. He had not gone to attain knowledge or enlightenment, or anything. There was no greed in it, there was no ambition in it. It was simply the wonder. He had heard that people who went to Dipamkara ...just sitting silently with him something had transpired, and they returned home totally different people. Their actions changed, their lifestyles changed. They became more loving, more compassionate, greed disappeared, ambition disappeared, anger disappeared. They became individuals so beautiful and so fragrant that Buddha wanted to see this man ...this man was a wonder. He did nothing, yet ....
The master never does anything. His whole work is somehow to bring you close ...as close as when you bring one candle which is burning with a flame close to another candle which is unlit. There is a certain point when the unlit candle will catch fire from the flame of the lit candle. The lit candle will not lose anything, but the unlit will gain a tremendous treasure. Unlit it was dead, and when the flame started, life came to it. Now it can also dispel darkness in the same way as the first flame was doing.
Dipamkara was such a man; in fact every great master is such a man. Whatever happens around him is not done by him. Whatever is done is just to bring you close, to make himself available to you and a mystery to you, so that without your knowing you are pulled like a magnet pulls things ...and at a certain distance, suddenly you become aflame. The old dies, and the new man is born.
This sutra is absolutely wrong. It is not a statement of Gautam Buddha, because a man of his understanding cannot tell people that THEY CAN ACHIEVE ENLIGHTENMENT BY PERFORMING SUCH MERITORIOUS WORKS AS BUILDING MONASTERIES, CASTING STATUES, BURNING INCENSE .... Can you see any connection with enlightenment and burning incense? You can burn mountains of incense ...there is no logical relationship with your becoming enlightened. You may get burned, that's the only thing. Making monasteries ...and you are not a monk! -- you are making monasteries for other fools to become monks. How can that become your enlightenment? How many monasteries did Gautam Buddha make before he became enlightened? How much incense did he burn? How many flowers did he scatter? How many eternal lamps did he burn?
No! This statement is not at all Gautam Buddha's. It is the invention of the Mahayana School, a certain creed and doctrine. And there was a historical reason why such things were created. Buddha was a very straightforward man. He said whatsoever was right -- whatever the consequences. For example, he said, "All the pundits and the scholars and the brahmins are idiots -- and they are parasites. For centuries they have been sucking the blood of the people." He called the VEDAS "just rubbish." And the VEDAS were so much respected by the Hindus that anybody calling them rubbish must have had great courage. He did not accept any Hindu AVATARA, any Hindu incarnation, as having any value.
For example, Parasurama is one of the Hindu incarnations of God. He was the son of a man who was thought to be a great seer, but he was suspicious ...as all husbands are suspicious about their wives, and all wives are automatically suspicious of their husbands. That is their only relationship. Finally the father became so convinced of his suspicion -- which may have had grounds or may not have had grounds, he could not be certain on this point -- that he ordered his son, Parasurama, to cut off his mother's head and bring it to him. And Prasurama went, without asking why. It was not a small thing! He cut off his mother's head and brought it to his father.
Then the father told him, "I have been suspecting her, but now I have certain evidence that she has been in love with a man who is a great warrior." Parasurama and his family belonged to the caste of the brahmins. Parasurama said, "Don't you be worried. I will not leave a single man of the warrior caste alive."
The story may be exaggerated, but it shows the quality of the man. It shows that he killed all the warriors of the whole world many, many times. And from where were these new warriors coming? The Hindu society accepts a very strange thing, and nobody ever considers .... They go on claiming they have a great culture, but they never look at its foundation; their culture is just a phony name.
The Hindu society accepted that if a woman came to a brahmin seer and asked that she be given a child, then it was obligatory for the brahmin seer to make love to her and make her pregnant. He could not reject her. So Parasurama went on cutting off the heads of the warriors; the widows were left, and they were going to the seers .... It was a good business, a great conspiracy!
The whole country was in a state of prostitution, and Parasurama was killing. Such violence cannot be accepted as a quality of God. And it seems illogical ... If his mother was in love with a warrior, he could just have killed him -- we can make a few concessions, because he was thought by the Hindus to be an incarnation of God. But to kill all the warriors of the world, not even of this country, does not seem to have any logic behind it. And it was not certain that what the father was saying ... Parasurama should have asked for evidence, for proof. His father may have been just a jealous man.
Now Buddha could not accept Parasurama as a reincarnation of God, and if Parasurama is a reincarnation of God then who will be the reincarnation of the devil? Buddha could not accept Rama as and incarnation of God because Rama killed a sudra, a young man, by pouring hot liquid lead into his ears because he had been listening while hiding behind a tree when a few brahmins were reciting the VEDAS. The sudras were not allowed to read; they were not allowed even to listen! What kind of culture has this country created, where one-fourth of the people are not even allowed to listen to its religious scriptures?
And because this young man, just out of curiosity hiding behind a tree, listened .... He could not have understood it though, because it was in Sanskrit, and Sanskrit has never been the language of the people. It has always been the language of the priests -- only of the priests. So even if he had listened, he would not have understood anything. And do you think it is a crime? Is it worth destroying a young man, by pouring hot boiling lead into his ears, because he committed a sin by listening to the VEDAS? And the man died ....
Buddha could not accept Rama, and he could
not accept Krishna, a man who was so mad that he collected sixteen thousand women ...any woman that he fancied was taken away from her family. She may be a virgin, she may be married, she may have children, she may have a husband, she may have to look after her old father-in-law, her old mother-in-law. Sixteen thousand women were just simply taken away by his soldiers. They were treated as if they were cattle -- and I don't know if he even remembered the names of those sixteen thousand women. But he was powerful, and he had a great army and he was a great king. Buddha could not accept such nonsense, such a corrupted man, as a reincarnation of God.
Buddha was very straightforward. He said, "All the statues, all the temples, all the VEDAS are creations of a cunning priesthood to exploit people." How can he tell his own people that they can attain enlightenment by BUILDING MONASTERIES, CASTING STATUES, BURNING INCENSE, SCATTERING FLOWERS, LIGHTING ETERNAL LAMPS, PRACTICING ALL SIX PERIODS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT, WALKING AROUND STUPAS, OBSERVING FASTS AND WORSHIPING?
Buddha was against worship, he was against statues. His last words before his death were, "Again I remind you: don't make statues of me, don't create temples in my name, don't start worshiping me because worshiping is not going to lead you anywhere. I have shown you the path of meditation -- meditate. And if even in your meditation I appear, don't hesitate. Immediately cut off my head." A man who can say this ...do you think this sutra can possibly come from him?
Bodhidharma could have simply said, "These are not the words of Buddha." But he did not say it. That's where he falls low in my eyes.
He did not say it because in China the Buddhists were trying to make as many monasteries, as many temples, as many statues as possible. One temple exists in China with ten thousand statues of Buddha. The whole mountain has been carved as a temple. This is the biggest temple in the world, where there are ten thousand statues of Buddha, and to say anything about this not being right would go against the very Buddhists who have been working to convert the Chinese. And they had been giving the certainty to the Chinese that they would become enlightened if they fed the monks, if they worshiped the Buddha, if they gave donations to the monasteries.
Bodhidharma must have hesitated a moment, but finally he fell into the trap of being part of an organized religion. Organized religion always insists on these stupid things which don't lead you anywhere, but they help the organized religion to exploit you; otherwise, who is going to feed one million Catholic nuns and monks? Who is going to take care of all the expenses of thousands of Catholic monasteries? It has to be continuously emphasized by the sermons of the priests every Sunday, people have to be reminded to donate, reminded that, "Donation will bring you salvation." Salvation is the Christian word for enlightenment.
The disciples can see it, so they are asking:
BUT IF BEHOLDING THE MIND INCLUDES ALL OTHER PRACTICES, THEN SUCH WORKS AS THESE WOULD APPEAR REDUNDANT.
If a single method of beholding the mind creates enlightenment, then what is the need of all these things? These are all things that come out of the mind; they will strengthen the mind. But all that you have to do is to weaken the mind, go beyond it ...so beyond that it cannot take any energy from you and it dies out of hunger and starvation. And when you don't have any mind, but just a pure silence of no-mind, you have attained enlightenment.
The disciples are perfectly right to ask the question, "You yourself have been saying, `Just behold the mind and that's enough.' Then what is the need of all these rituals?" Now he is caught in a catch-22 .... If he says, "These words are not from Buddha," he goes against Mahayana Buddhism and he belongs to that sect.
That's why I insist: Don't belong to any sect, to any creed, to any religion; otherwise, you cannot be absolutely committed to truth. Any other commitment side by side with the commitment to truth is dangerous. Then you would like somehow to also console that other commitment.
And if a man like Bodhidharma could not manage to say the truth, because he could see that if he says it -- and he was the first enlightened man to enter China -- if he says it, the whole edifice that thousands of Buddhist monks had created in six hundred years, the whole atmosphere that you can become enlightened by worshiping Buddha, by burning incense, by offering flowers, by making temples, statues, monasteries would simply flop, because none of them was enlightened. The whole of China was waiting to hear what is actually the truth from an enlightened man. But because he also belonged to a certain business firm, he decided in favor of the business rather than in favor of the truth.
I have always told a small story .... A small school, a Christian school, but the only one in the vicinity and little kids .... The teacher was telling them for almost one hour, "Jesus Christ is the greatest man who has walked on the earth." And then she asked the students, "Who is the greatest man that has walked on the earth?"
One American boy student said, "Abraham Lincoln." She said, "Not bad, but not quite right."
An English girl stood up and said, "Winston Churchill." The woman could not believe that she had wasted one hour insisting on a single point. She said, "Not bad, but not quite right yet."
And then a little boy who never used to speak stood up raising his hand. The teacher said, "You never do that. For the first time you are raising your hand!" And she was afraid that certainly his answer was not going to be right. But the boy said, "Jesus Christ." She was shocked by the previous two answers, but this answer was even more shocking because the boy was Jewish.
After the class she caught hold of the boy, took him aside and said, "Hymie, aren't you a Jew?"
He said, "Yes, I am."
"Then do you really think Jesus Christ is the greatest man who has walked on the earth?"
He laughed and said, "Business is business. In the deepest part of my heart I know Moses is the man, not Jesus Christ. He's just a pygmy. But business is business ...." because there was a big trophy to be given to the person who answered the question right, and Hymie was carrying the big trophy, bigger than himself.
But you can forgive a small child. And he was very logical; he must have thought, "What does it matter if I say once in a class, just to win the game, `Jesus Christ' I know the rules for who is going to win, so why unnecessarily bring in Moses and get defeated? In the deepest part of my heart I know Moses is the greatest man who has ever walked on the earth."
But even people who are enlightened, when it comes to deciding between their commitment to an organized religion and their commitment to truth, decide for their commitment to the organization. This is really sad. The answer Bodhidharma gives is simply irrelevant. It's just trying to make something that can prove that the sutra is spoken by Buddha.
I absolutely deny that such a statement was spoken by Buddha. It goes against his very life, his very teaching, his very way.
Bodhidharma says, THE SUTRAS OF THE BUDDHA CONTAIN COUNTLESS METAPHORS.
Now can you see the trick? Now he cannot say it is wrong and he cannot say it is right. He finds a middle way and says that Buddha is speaking in metaphors.
BECAUSE MORTALS HAVE SHALLOW MINDS ...
And to whom is he speaking -- to the mortals or the immortals? If Buddha's audience had shallow minds, does Bodhidharma think that his audience is of higher status? Buddha had perhaps the most intelligent audience any man ever had. Bodhidharma is talking to the recently converted Buddhists.
THE BUDDHA USED THE TANGIBLE TO REPRESENT THE SUBLIME.
This is tricky, and unforgivable.
PEOPLE WHO SEEK BLESSINGS BY CONCENTRATING ON EXTERNAL WORKS INSTEAD OF INTERNAL CULTIVATION ARE ATTEMPTING THE IMPOSSIBLE.
But he knows the truth, so once in a while it comes up in spite of his effort to suppress it and to go with the crowd and the mass mind. This is true when he says  ...CONCENTRATING ON EXTERNAL WORKS INSTEAD OF INTERNAL CULTIVATION IS ATTEMPTING THE IMPOSSIBLE.
But that's what the sutra says; now the only way is to make it a metaphor.
WHAT YOU CALL A MONASTERY, WE CALL A SANGHARAMA, A PLACE OF PURITY.
That is absolutely wrong. SANGHARAMA is exactly a monastery; it is not different from a monastery, it is not a metaphor. And even for these last two thousand years, thousands of monasteries have existed in China. It is just since the communist revolution thirty years ago that many monasteries have been destroyed; otherwise millions of monks were living on the people's blood. But they are coming back again ....
It was Mao Tse-tung's very adamant, stubborn, fascist and communist mind that turned the monasteries into hospitals, into schools and forced the monks to go to the fields and work. Mao stopped begging -- and Buddhism has lived only on begging. In fact begging had been a discipline, a practice, because it makes you humble. But Mao made it illegal to beg and forced the monks to work for their food, for their clothes, for their shelter.
Now Mao is dead and his enemies in the communist party -- who he had not allowed ...many of them were forced into jail, many have been killed -- have come into power. Now the opposite party inside the communist party itself has come into power and it wants to win the heart of the people. Monasteries are coming back again because two thousand years of Buddhism cannot be erased so easily. Now Buddhist monks can again be seen with their begging bowls. Those hospitals have been removed, those schools have been removed, and monks are no longer forced to work in the fields, or in the factories, or wherever they can be of any use ....
BUT WHOEVER DENIES ENTRY TO THE THREE POISONS AND KEEPS THE GATES OF HIS SENSES PURE, HIS BODY AND MIND STILL, INSIDE AND OUTSIDE CLEAN, BUILDS A MONASTERY.
Now this is a very farfetched idea. And if Bodhidharma can explain it to very new candidates of Buddhism, why cannot Buddha himself have said that he was speaking in metaphors? He could have explained it himself, and he was far better as far as speaking was concerned, far more articulate; he could have explained that these are just metaphors. But nowhere does he mention them as metaphors. It is very arduous for Bodhidharma to turn everything into a metaphor, but we will see that with everything he goes on with the idea that they are metaphors.
CASTING STATUES REFERS TO ALL PRACTICES CULTIVATED BY THOSE WHO SEEK ENLIGHTENMENT.
I cannot understand how this can be a metaphor. CASTING STATUES REFERS TO ALL PRACTICES CULTIVATED BY THOSE WHO SEEK ENLIGHTENMENT. What relationship, even a farfetched one ...? A metaphor should be representative; it should explain something, it should be helpful to understand. This is not at all concerned with casting statues and practicing for enlightenment! Could not Buddha himself say, "Practice for enlightenment"?
AND BURNING INCENSE DOES NOT MEAN ORDINARY MATERIAL INCENSE -- as if there is somewhere available some spiritual incense -- BUT THE INCENSE OF THE INTANGIBLE DHARMA .... Where are you going to get it? That's why I said it hurts me to say that Bodhidharma seems to have gone senile, although he was only seventy-five.  ...WHICH DRIVES AWAY FILTH, IGNORANCE AND EVIL DEEDS WITH ITS PERFUME.
Great! But where to get it? that spiritual incense WHICH DRIVES AWAY FILTH, IGNORANCE AND EVIL DEEDS WITH ITS PERFUME .... Nobody has ever seen such a thing; otherwise life would have been so simple. There is no need to bother people with meditation, with any discipline, with any awareness. Just burn the spiritual incense and everything is driven out and you are purified by the perfume!
I alone will not be enlightened because I am allergic to perfume, whether it is tangible or intangible. But there is not much harm if one man is not enlightened, it can be tolerated if the whole world will be enlightened! I am perfectly ready ....
Bodhidharma is not even aware for how long he can deceive people, but he has deceived them for one thousand years ...that's how long these sutras have been in existence. They have certainly been preserved, because they were in the hands of the Mahayana Buddhists, who were not willing for them to be translated. And I can understand now why they were not willing for them to be translated: they will destroy the great image of Bodhidharma. They themselves may have understood that what he is talking about is absolutely outlandish.
WHEN THE BUDDHA WAS IN THE WORLD, HE TOLD HIS DISCIPLES TO LIGHT SUCH PRECIOUS INCENSE WITH THE FIRE OF AWARENESS AS AN OFFERING TO THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS.
It may be precious, but where is it available? And then he makes awareness like a fire just to burn the incense, and the incense will do everything ...you will become enlightened. So now your sole search is to find that dharma-incense, that spiritual incense! Perhaps you can find it in Poona ...it is a very spiritual city -- so spiritual that only spirits roam around, no living human beings.
BUT PEOPLE TODAY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE TATHAGATA'S REAL MEANING.
Only Bodhidharma understands the Tathagata's real meaning. Perhaps the Tathagata himself did not understand his own real meaning!
THEY USE AN ORDINARY FLAME TO LIGHT MATERIAL INCENSE OF SANDALWOOD OR FRANKINCENSE HOPING FOR SOME FUTURE BLESSING THAT NEVER COMES.
He's going round about, and round about ...he could have simply said, "This statement is not Buddha's, and this statement is absolutely nonsense." And that would have been absolutely correct.
FOR SCATTERING FLOWERS THE SAME HOLDS TRUE. THIS REFERS TO SPEAKING THE DHARMA, OR TO SCATTERING FLOWERS OF VIRTUE.
How do you scatter flowers of virtue? Even if one accepts this stupid explanation, how do you scatter the flowers of virtue? You go on giving to people saying, "This is truth, this is love, this is compassion," and your hand is empty.
Two madmen from a madhouse were sitting in the park. Every day for one hour they were allowed to go out in the garden. One man, who was keeping his fist closed, asked the other, "If you tell me what I am keeping in my fist, I will give you one rupee."
The other man said, "Really? Will you keep your word?" The first man took out one rupee from his pocket and said, "This is the rupee. Just tell me what is in my hand?" And the other man looked and said, "It's seems it is an elephant."
The first man said, "You cannot get the rupee. It seems you have looked. You are being tricky." He did not give the one rupee because he also believed he was keeping an elephant in his fist!
How can you scatter FLOWERS OF VIRTUE, IN ORDER TO BENEFIT OTHERS AND GLORIFY THE REAL SELF? IF YOU THINK THE TATHAGATA MEANT FOR PEOPLE TO HARM PLANTS BY CUTTING OFF THEIR BLOOM, YOU ARE WRONG.
That seems to be right, but he's mixing everything in such a way that it loses all significance. Certainly Buddha would not like you to pluck flowers; that is killing. The flower on the rosebush has a life, a beauty. The moment you pluck it, it is dead. Leave it there.
Mukta is my gardener. She is not allowed even to cut any leaf or to cut any flowers. In the beginning she used to move with gardener's scissors hidden behind her back! But right now I can see, whenever I go to Buddha Hall -- otherwise I don't get out -- I can see flowers are there, I can see the garden has become a jungle so she must have dropped those gardener's scissors. Let every tree grow in its own way; at least in my garden! Don't kill any tree, don't destroy any living flower.
So I can understand that Buddha would not have allowed the cutting off of their blooms, but rather I would say that the whole sutra was inserted by the Mahayana School. But why did the Mahayana School have to insert such things ...?
There is something very fundamental to be understood here. When Gautam Buddha worked in this country, twenty-five centuries ago, he almost converted the whole land. He was a man of such charisma. He was not just a learned man; he has known existence, he has been part of it. His impact was tremendous -- perhaps nobody else has ever made such an impact.
But the moment he died, the brahmins, the priests, came out of their caves where they had been hiding because they could not face Gautam Buddha -- whoever went to face him became a disciple. But they were waiting for their chance: one day he was going to die. He has destroyed their whole profession. Now no bells were ringing in the temples, people were not going to worship, people were not calling brahmins for their rituals ...and brahmins are the most clever priesthood in the whole world.
People get caught ...each person when he is born is immediately under their control: first some ritual, then his birth chart has to be made, then his naming ceremony has to be performed. And in all these, the priest is exploiting the people. Then shaving the head ....and this goes on and on. Even if you go to some other city you have to consult the brahmin for the right constellation of the stars, whether to go north or to south, or to east or to west, what will be the most appropriate and beneficial time?

Then comes marriage -- then again the priest is there. And then after the marriage, children start coming from the new marriage -- and the priest is there. And then the man becomes old .... From the cradle to the grave, the priest keeps his hold.
Even after the man has died there are rituals to be performed! And in a poor country, those rituals cost so much that people have to sell their houses, their lands, their possessions -- on which they were dependent for their livelihood -- because their father has died. Then they have to give a great feast for brahmins.
And even the forefathers who have died ... It must have been a long line, an unending line in fact, millions of people in a queue behind one another ...for that they have a special time. One month completely they devoted to the forefathers because the number is so big, so one month of continuous rituals -- fire worship, mantra chanting -- for the peace of all those who have died in the family ...you don't know even their names! And millions must have died.
Scientists calculate that wherever you are sitting, at least eight persons' graves are underneath you. Don't be afraid, they are dead! But so many people have died; even thousands of years after the man has died, the priest is still exploiting you.
Buddha has created a tremendous revolution in this sense, in that he destroyed the whole integrity of the priesthood. But the moment he died, the priests came back.
People were also missing them. Life had become very simple. A child was born -- no priest was chanting for a blissful, long life for him. Somebody died and the priest was not there chanting and blessing him for the great journey he has gone on. People were also missing all these rituals. So when Buddha died, slowly, slowly brahmins came back, and they started driving out the Buddhists from the land.
Just fifty years ago in India there was hardly a single Buddhist. In these last fifty years, one man has done a great service -- although he himself was not a religious man, he was a politician. But by accident he had to do something; it was political tactics.
Babasaheb Ambedkar was a sudra, but caught the eye of a very rich man who, seeing he was so intelligent, sent him to study in England. He became one of the greatest experts of law in the world and he helped make the constitution of India. He was continuously fighting for the sudras to whom he belonged, and that is one-fourth of the Hindu society. He wanted a separate vote for the sudras -- and he was absolutely right.
I don't see why they should belong to the Hindu fold which has tortured them for ten thousand years, forced them to do every sort of ugly work and paid them almost nothing. They are not even allowed to live in the cities, they have to live outside the city. Just before freedom, they were not allowed to move in many streets of the town. In many places they were forced to announce loudly, "I am a sudra and I am passing through here. Those who can hear me, please move out of the way ..." because even their shadows falling on you, defile you.
But finding no way, because Mahatma Gandhi was insistent that sudras should not leave the Hindu fold .... That was also a political strategy, because if one-fourth of the Hindus leave the fold, then Hindus will become a minority in their own country. There are Mohammedans, there are Christians, there are Jainas; now if a new big chunk would go out of the Hindu fold, the country of the Hindus would become almost the country of other religions. And if they all got together, Hindus would never be in power.
I don't consider Mahatma Gandhi a religious man either; he belonged to the same category as Doctor Ambedkar. Gandhi went on a fast to death so that Ambedkar had to take back his stand. He had to withdraw the idea that sudras should be given a separate vote. And Gandhi was clever ...he started calling sudras HARIJANS. Cunning people always play with words. Words don't make any difference -- whether you call them sudras, untouchables, or harijans ...harijans means, "children of God."
I had a long discussion with Mahatma Gandhi's son, Ramdas. I said, "Don't you see the cunningness? The children of God have been suffering for ten thousand years and those who are not children of God are exploiting them, torturing them, oppressing them, raping their women, completely burning their towns with all living people inside. If these are the children of God, it is better not to be a child of God. That is dangerous."
Gandhi changed the name just to give it a beautiful meaning, but everything inside remained the same. And he went on a fast unto death unless Ambedkar takes his statement back.
If I had been in the place of Ambedkar, I would have told Mahatma Gandhi, "It is your business to live or to die. It is your business if you want to fast -- you are free to. Fast unto death or even beyond!"
But Ambedkar was pressurized from all over the country, because if Gandhi died the whole blame would come on Ambedkar. And I would have told Gandhi, "This is a very violent method, and you have been talking about nonviolence. Is this nonviolence?"
It happened ...I was in Raipur teaching in the Sanskrit college there. A very beautiful young girl was asked by a gangster if she would be married to him. He was a dangerous man, a criminal. He had been to jail many times, he had committed many crimes, and he was almost the same age as the girl's father. But he took a fancy to her, and seeing the success of Gandhi fasting to death and how he managed everything ...because Gandhi HAD managed Ambedkar.
After Gandhi had been fasting for twenty-one days, and his health had started to fall fast, the doctor said, "Do something; otherwise the old man will be gone." Ambedkar was much pressurized by all the Indian national leaders who said to him, "Go to Mahatma Gandhi. Ask for his forgiveness, offer him a glass of orange juice to break his fast ...and renounce your movement; otherwise you will be remembered always as the one who killed the greatest man of this country, the great religious man." And Ambedkar had to do it, although unwillingly.
I would not have done it! I would have accepted the blame, I would have accepted history's condemnation. Who cares when you are dead what is written in history about you? At least you don't know what is written, and you don't read. Let them write anything ....
But I would have insisted that this was not a nonviolent method. It was absolutely violent but in a very subtle way. I threaten to kill you -- this is violence. And I threaten to kill myself if you don't accept me -- is this logical? The standpoint that Gandhi was taking was absolutely illogical, but he supported it by threatening. It is blackmail to say, "I will kill myself."
Ambedkar managed another way. He started converting the sudras to Buddhism. That's why now there are a few lakhs of Buddhists, but they are not in any way religious. It was just a political manoeuver.
This man in Raipur went to the girl's house with a bed, and declared that if the girl was not married to him, he was going to fast to death. It became the talk of the whole city; photographers and journalists were there, and the whole day the crowd was there. The father became afraid, and pressure was put on him, "Why take the responsibility of his death?" But the father said, "This is absolutely ugly. This man is my age and he's a criminal. I cannot give my daughter to him."
I knew the father and the girl -- the girl was my student in the college. The girl suggested to her father to consult me as to what could be done. I had not known him before. He came to me and he told the whole story. I said, "It is very simple. You just find some old, rotten prostitute."
He said, "What?"
I said, "Just listen to the whole point: find a very rotten, old bitch, and put another bed in front of the house. The bitch should declare, `I'm going to fast to death unless this man marries me.' Other than this nothing will work."
That gangster man escaped in the middle of the night. He was never seen again, he never asked again! This is the Gandhian methodology, a very religious thing.
The Buddhists were burned, driven out of the country, and the whole country was absolutely cleaned of all the impact that Buddha had left. Even in the temple that had been raised in memory of his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, there was not even one Buddhist to take care of the temple. A brahmin has been taking care of it for two thousand years, the same family, generation after generation.
Now they have become the owners of the temple. They don't believe in Buddha. They are against Buddha, but the temple is very precious, because from all over the world people come to the temple. Much money comes to the temple, so the priest is not concerned. He is earning lots of money and he is not willing to hand over the temple, because for two thousand years it has been in his possession. No law can take it away from him.
So when the Buddhists reached China and Tibet they had learned a lesson, that if you go against the people and their traditions .... Perhaps when a charismatic person is alive you may seem to be winning the game, but when the charismatic person is gone ...what has happened in India, will happen in Tibet, will happen in China, will happen in Sri Lanka, will happen in Japan. So they compromised.
That was the reason for inserting all these wrong sutras. The Buddhist scriptures in Tibet have different sutras, to console and to convince the Buddhist population of Tibet; Chinese Mahayana sutras have differences, in Sri Lanka they have differences. This is the historical reason why these absolutely absurd sutras, which cannot be Buddha's, have entered into the scriptures. They have been knowingly put in, because without them there was no question of survival.
But as far as I am concerned, and as far as Bodhidharma should have been concerned, truth is the ultimate value, not survival. And survival by creating lies, by distorting the truth ...what is the point? Even if Buddhism disappears from the whole world, it does not matter. But the purity of Buddha's statements should have been preserved.
Whenever a seeker wants to search, he has not to get lost in a forest of unnecessary disciplines, rituals. Bodhidharma should have made it clear. I KNOW the risk. I understand that he must have felt very guilty, because after these sutras, he left China for the Himalayas. He must have felt tremendously hurt that what he was doing was against his own understanding. But still I can not forgive him. I cannot forgive anyone who goes against truth.
THOSE WHO OBSERVE THE PRECEPTS DON'T INJURE ANY OF THE MYRIAD LIFE FORMS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. IF YOU HURT SOMETHING BY MISTAKE, YOU SUFFER FOR IT. BUT THOSE WHO INTENTIONALLY BREAK THE PRECEPTS BY INJURING THE LIVING FOR THE SAKE OF FUTURE BLESSINGS SUFFER EVEN MORE. HOW COULD THEY LET WOULD-BE BLESSINGS TURN INTO SORROWS?
THE ETERNAL LAMP REPRESENTS PERFECT AWARENESS.
Only in this statement does the metaphor seem to be correct. It can be interpreted as perfect awareness, the eternal lamp. But he has not been able to relate other metaphors to his interpretations.      ...LONG AGO, THERE WAS A BUDDHA NAMED DIPAMKARA, OR LAMPLIGHTER. THIS WAS THE MEANING OF HIS NAME .... THE LIGHT RELEASED BY A BUDDHA FROM ONE CURL BETWEEN HIS BROWS CAN ILLUMINATE COUNTLESS WORLDS. AN OIL LAMP IS NO HELP ....
PRACTICING ALL SIX PERIODS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT MEANS AMONG THE SIX SENSES CONSTANTLY CULTIVATING ENLIGHTENMENT AND PERSEVERING IN EVERY FORM OF AWARENESS. NEVER RELAXING CONTROL OVER THE SIX SENSES IS WHAT'S MEANT BY ALL SIX PERIODS.
But these are contradictory to his own statements. Control is not needed because it is through the mind. Practice is not needed because it is through the mind. One has to live a life of let-go -- that was his basic teaching. One has to be spontaneous. One has to live moment to moment, neither thinking of the past, nor thinking of the future, nor clinging to the present.
He has given such beautiful sutras, and at the end he spoils his own work completely.
AS FOR WALKING AROUND STUPAS, THE STUPA IS YOUR BODY AND MIND. WHEN YOUR AWARENESS CIRCLES YOUR BODY AND MIND WITHOUT STOP, THIS IS CALLED WALKING AROUND A STUPA .....
He is just trying to manage somehow, even though the whole thing is so stupid. Stupas actually exist and Buddhists of Mahayana school go on pilgrimages to the stupas and go around them. But your body and mind is not a stupa. A stupa is for when you are dead; then a grave has to be created for you. The Buddhist grave is called a stupa. It is made in a certain round way.
But your body and mind are alive. And how can your consciousness go around body and mind? He is not even taking into consideration that all his interpretations can be questioned. They were not questioned because they consoled the people. They wanted something tangible and if it was a metaphor -- no harm; he is not denying Gautam Buddha.
THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR OBSERVING A FAST.
Even a man of very small intelligence can see the stupidity ....
TO FAST MEANS ...TO REGULATE YOUR BODY AND MIND.
I cannot conceive how a fast can mean TO REGULATE YOUR BODY AND MIND SO THAT THEY ARE NOT DISTRACTED OR DISTURBED. Fast simply means fast, and nothing else.
ALSO, ONCE YOU STOP EATING THE FOOD OF DELUSION, IF YOU TOUCH IT AGAIN, YOU BREAK YOUR FAST.
Now he has forgotten what he was saying. In fact, because that saying is not coming from his inner-most being -- it is just his mental gymnastics -- he has forgotten that he has defined body and mind as `stupa' and that he has defined fasting as, `regulating your body, disciplining your body.'
Now from where comes this idea: ONCE YOU STOP EATING THE FOOD OF DELUSION? It was not in the very definition of the metaphor. Food was not brought in.
If you STOP EATING THE FOOD OF DELUSION ... And is there any food that is not of delusion? Buddha also eats the same bread as you eat and Buddha also drinks the same water as you drink.      ...IF YOU TOUCH IT AGAIN ... Not even eating, but just touching and it is delusion! What harm is there in touching a delusion? A delusion does not exist, you cannot touch it. But IF YOU TOUCH IT AGAIN, YOU BREAK YOUR FAST. He has forgotten the metaphor that he explained before. Now, even if you touch the delusion food, you have broken your fast.
AND ONCE YOU BREAK IT, YOU REAP NO BLESSING FROM IT. THE WORLD IS FULL OF DELUDED PEOPLE WHO DON'T SEE THIS. THEY INDULGE THEIR BODY AND MIND IN ALL MANNER OF EVIL. THEY GIVE FREE REIN TO THEIR PASSIONS AND HAVE NO SHAME. AND WHEN THEY STOP EATING ORDINARY FOOD, THEY CALL IT FASTING. HOW ABSURD!
I agree only with the last: How absurd!
IT'S THE SAME WITH WORSHIPING. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING AND ADAPT TO CONDITIONS. MEANING INCLUDES ACTION AND NON-ACTION ....
He is just trying to deceive people -- bringing in words which have no relation at all.
WORSHIP MEANS REVERENCE AND HUMILITY.
That is true. It means revering your real self and humbling delusions. But if you know your real self, where will you find the delusions? Both cannot exist together. Either you are awake -- then the dreams are no more there -- or the dreams are there and you are not awake. The man who knows his real self has no delusions. But he has got into a mess and he is trying hard to get out of it, but he is getting deeper and deeper into it.
IF YOU CAN WIPE OUT EVIL DESIRES AND HARBOR GOOD THOUGHTS, EVEN IF NOTHING SHOWS, IT IS WORSHIP ....
Early in his sutras he said that one has to go beyond good and evil. Now good becomes worship.
THOSE WHO FAIL TO CULTIVATE THE INNER MEANING AND CONCENTRATE INSTEAD ON THE OUTWARD EXPRESSION NEVER STOP INDULGING IN IGNORANCE, HATRED AND EVIL WHILE EXHAUSTING THEMSELVES TO NO AVAIL. THEY CAN DECEIVE OTHERS WITH POSTURES, REMAIN SHAMELESS BEFORE SAGES AND VAIN BEFORE MORTALS, BUT THEY'LL NEVER ESCAPE THE WHEEL, MUCH LESS ACHIEVE ANY MERIT.
It is a strange compilation of sutras. He goes really deep, like a sharp sword cutting all that is wrong, to the point when he is asked the ultimate question, `From where does ignorance arise?' He cannot answer it and he is not humble enough to accept that he doesn't know. He gets into such a mess that after that every question remains unanswered; he pretends to answer it, but the answer is not even related to the question.
If this can happen to a man like Bodhidharma ... You have to be aware. My insistence that you don't belong to any religion, don't belong to any doctrine, don't belong to any scripture, is for the simple reason that your whole and total commitment should be to truth and not for anything else. Your commitment should not be divided, otherwise you will have to make a compromise, which will make anybody who understands feel that you have gone either insane, or senile, or mad. But one thing is certain: you have lost the path.
Bodhidharma himself may not, in his innermost core, have lost his enlightenment -- enlightenment cannot be lost -- but he has defiled it. His enlightenment is not anymore so clean, so bright, not any more a pillar of light. And just for the simple business of an organized religion ....
Humanity will never be religious unless all organized religions disappear and religion becomes an individual commitment towards existence, so no question of compromise arises.
Let me say to you: Religion is rebellious, and the man of religion is a rebel. He is rebellious against all orthodoxy, against all traditions, against all organizations, against all ideologies. His only love is for truth, and his whole love is for truth. Only such a man finds it. Others only wander into ignorance, into dreams, into sleep -- and they suffer.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Osho.

 


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