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BODHIDHARMA: THE GREATEST ZEN MASTER

Chapter 20: Less than an eyeblink away

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Bodhidharma

 

BELOVED OSHO,

BUT THE BATHHOUSE SUTRA SAYS, "BY CONTRIBUTING TO THE BATHING OF MONKS, PEOPLE RECEIVE LIMITLESS BLESSINGS." THIS WOULD APPEAR TO BE AN INSTANCE OF EXTERNAL PRACTICE ACHIEVING MERIT. HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO BEHOLDING THE MIND?
HERE, THE BATHING OF MONKS DOESN'T REFER TO THE WASHING OF ANYTHING TANGIBLE. WHEN THE LORD PREACHED THE BATHHOUSE SUTRA, HE WANTED HIS DISCIPLES TO REMEMBER THE DHARMA OF WASHING. SO HE USED AN EVERYDAY CONCERN TO CONVEY HIS REAL MEANING.      ...THE BATHHOUSE IS THE BODY. WHEN YOU LIGHT THE FIRE OF WISDOM, YOU WARM THE PURE WATER OF THE PRECEPTS AND BATHE THE TRUE BUDDHA-NATURE WITHIN YOU. BY UPHOLDING THESE SEVEN PRACTICES, YOU ADD TO YOUR VIRTUE. THE MONKS OF THAT AGE WERE PERCEPTIVE. THEY UNDERSTOOD THE BUDDHA'S MEANING. THEY FOLLOWED HIS TEACHING, PERFECTED THEIR VIRTUE AND TASTED THE FRUIT OF BUDDHAHOOD. BUT PEOPLE NOWADAYS CAN'T FATHOM THESE THINGS.      ...OUR TRUE BUDDHA-NATURE HAS NO SHAPE. AND THE DUST OF AFFLICTION HAS NO FORM. HOW CAN PEOPLE USE ORDINARY WATER TO WASH AN INTANGIBLE BODY? IT WON'T WORK. WHEN WILL THEY WAKE UP? TO CLEAN SUCH A BODY, YOU HAVE TO BEHOLD IT. ONCE IMPURITIES AND FILTH ARISE FROM DESIRE, THEY MULTIPLY UNTIL THEY COVER YOU INSIDE AND OUT. BUT IF YOU TRY TO WASH THIS BODY OF YOURS, YOU'LL HAVE TO SCRUB UNTIL IT'S NEARLY GONE BEFORE IT'S CLEAN. FROM THIS YOU SHOULD REALIZE THAT WASHING SOMETHING EXTERNAL ISN'T WHAT THE BUDDHA MEANT.
THE SUTRAS SAY THAT SOMEONE WHO WHOLEHEARTEDLY INVOKES THE BUDDHA IS SURE TO BE REBORN IN THE WESTERN PARADISE. SINCE THIS DOOR LEADS TO BUDDHAHOOD, WHY SEEK LIBERATION IN BEHOLDING THE MIND?      ...BUDDHA MEANS AWARENESS, THE AWARENESS OF BODY AND MIND THAT PREVENTS EVIL FROM ARISING IN EITHER. AND TO INVOKE MEANS TO CALL TO MIND, TO CALL CONSTANTLY TO MIND THE RULES OF DISCIPLINE AND TO FOLLOW THEM WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.      ...TO INVOKE THE BUDDHA'S NAME, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE DHARMA OF INVOKING. IF IT'S NOT PRESENT IN YOUR MIND, YOUR MOUTH CHANTS AN EMPTY NAME. AS LONG AS YOU'RE TROUBLED BY THE THREE POISONS OR BY THOUGHTS OF YOURSELF, YOUR DELUDED MIND WILL KEEP YOU FROM SEEING THE BUDDHA .... IF YOU CLING TO APPEARANCES WHILE SEARCHING FOR MEANING, YOU WON'T FIND A THING. THUS, SAGES OF THE PAST CULTIVATED INTROSPECTION AND NOT SPEECH.
THIS MIND IS THE SOURCE OF ALL VIRTUES. AND THIS MIND IS THE CHIEF OF ALL POWERS. THE ETERNAL BLISS OF NIRVANA COMES FROM THE MIND AT REST. REBIRTH IN THE THREE REALMS ALSO COMES FROM THE MIND. THE MIND IS THE DOOR TO EVERY WORLD. AND THE MIND IS THE FORD TO THE OTHER SHORE. THOSE WHO KNOW WHERE THE DOOR IS DON'T WORRY ABOUT REACHING IT. THOSE WHO KNOW WHERE THE FORD IS DON'T WORRY ABOUT CROSSING IT.
THE PEOPLE I MEET NOWADAYS ARE SUPERFICIAL. THEY THINK OF MERIT AS SOMETHING THAT HAS FORM. THEY SQUANDER THEIR WEALTH AND BUTCHER CREATURES OF LAND AND SEA .... THEY SEE SOMETHING TANGIBLE AND INSTANTLY BECOME ATTACHED. IF YOU TALK TO THEM ABOUT FORMLESSNESS, THEY SIT THERE DUMB AND CONFUSED. GREEDY FOR THE SMALL MERCIES OF THIS WORLD, THEY REMAIN BLIND TO THE GREAT SUFFERING TO COME. SUCH DISCIPLES WEAR THEMSELVES OUT IN VAIN. TURNING FROM THE TRUE TO THE FALSE, THEY TALK ABOUT NOTHING BUT FUTURE BLESSINGS.
IF YOU CAN SIMPLY CONCENTRATE YOU MIND'S INNER LIGHT AND BEHOLD ITS OUTER ILLUMINATION, YOU'LL DISPEL THE THREE POISONS AND DRIVE AWAY THE SIX THIEVES ONCE AND FOR ALL. AND WITHOUT EFFORT YOU'LL GAIN POSSESSION OF AN INFINITE NUMBER OF VIRTUES, PERFECTIONS AND DOORS TO THE TRUTH. SEEING THROUGH THE MUNDANE AND WITNESSING THE SUBLIME IS LESS THAN AN EYE-BLINK AWAY. REALIZATION IS NOW. WHY WORRY ABOUT GRAY HAIR? BUT THE TRUE DOOR IS HIDDEN AND CAN'T BE REVEALED. I HAVE ONLY TOUCHED UPON BEHOLDING THE MIND.

Thank God that this is the last Bodhidharma sutra. I was worried about where he is going after the bathhouse! It has been a tremendous journey to the mountaintop and back to your home. Bodhidharma has been taking you on the whole merry-go-round.
I started with Bodhidharma -- the name Bodhidharma means "the self-nature of awareness" -- but unfortunately I have to end the journey with Buddhudharma. Buddhudharma means "the nature of unawareness, of stupidity."
He got himself into this mess, but it has been of tremendous insight to us. Watching him you can avoid the same mess. Whatever he said earlier showed his insight into the deepest potential of man, but what he is saying now is just absolutely irrelevant. Once in a while he remembers who he is but it seems he goes on forgetting; or perhaps he is too much attached to his special doctrine of Mahayana and much worried about disturbing the newly initiated Buddhists.
In this situation, he must have suffered a lot. I can see -- perhaps nobody may have noted it -- but I can see his suffering. His suffering is that he is saying things very unwillingly and this is the problem with all those who accept any doctrine, any scripture, any church. They are in constant trouble. If they listen to their own inner voice, it says something; if they listen to the tradition, it says something else.
There have been very few people in the world who are ready to antagonize everybody. If Bodhidharma had said whatever his experience was, perhaps he would have lost all his prestige, respectability and his great name in the annals of Buddhism. But to me, it would not have been a loss. To me, he would have risen higher than anyone else, just because his single commitment was concentratedly and consistently one ...and that is his own experienced truth. Nothing else can change it.
You laughed listening to the very name of the sutra, THE BATHHOUSE SUTRA, because you don't know that there have been two rebellious religions against Hinduism in India -- Jainism and Buddhism. The Jaina monk never takes a bath; he does not even brush his teeth. He stinks and it is thought to be a great discipline that you are not at all concerned with your body which is ephemeral, which is going to die anyway. Why go on cleaning it and wasting your time? It will become unclean again tomorrow.
Buddhism is almost a parallel religion to Jainism. They agree on all the essential points, but Buddha seems to be more sensible than Mahavira. He wanted his monks to take a bath every day so that they would remain clean, so that their bodies would not be condemned but respected as a temple of their divine nature. But there were so many monks: to feed them, to give them use of your bathhouses, to give them clothes, to give them medicines when they were sick, was becoming more and more of a burden to the society.

Just a few years ago in Thailand, the situation became so bad that almost one-fourth of the population of the country were monks. The government had to pass a law saying unless you had the permission of the government, you could not become a monk.
This is the first time in history that any government had taken such a step but it was absolutely necessary in a poor country. If out of four persons, one person does not work, does not create and yet needs all kinds of things which are absolutely necessary, he is going to become a burden.
It is an ugly situation where half the population is starving, where half of the country sleeps only with one daily meal, where people not only eat fruits but dig out the roots of trees, boil them and eat them, hoping that they must have nourishing power. Because they are nourishing the whole tree -- they are nourishing the flowers and the fruits -- naturally the roots must have great nourishment.
Gautam Buddha has to talk about such trivia because if it is not talked about, then people start taking decisions on their own. And Buddha wanted his disciples to be integrated individuals -- clean, pure, alert in every possible way both outwardly and inwardly. His concern and compassion were so great that there are thirty-three thousand rules for a Buddhist monk. It is mind-boggling; thirty-three thousand rules! Even to remember them is difficult.
But Buddha has taken care of every detail: when to wake up, when to go to beg for your food, not to take all your food from one house but from five houses so nobody is burdened. Five houses can give you small bits and that will be enough for you. On one house, you might be a little heavy ...and not to stay in one city more than three days so you don't create any kind of burden for anybody. Eat only one time a day because millions of people eat only once a day. You should not ask for two meals.
Don't have more than three pieces of clothing; two to use, one for emergency situations. For example: you suddenly find yourself coming back to the place where all the other monks are staying and it starts raining. Both your pieces of clothing, upper and lower, are wet. At least you still have one cloth to cover yourself -- this third is for an emergency. Two are for your essential needs but you should not have more than three.
These details were essential though they look like trivia. You think, "What nonsense is this? A Gautam Buddha should talk about spirituality, about growth and awareness and freedom and he is talking about these small matters." But he had to for the simple reason because he accepted the idea of renouncing the world. Once people renounce the world they are bound to become burdens ...and on poor societies.
So when Buddha says that one who gives his bathhouse to be used by a monk earns great virtue, he is simply trying to persuade people that they should not think of it as a burden, but as a blessing.
When a monk accepts the food you offer he is not obliged to you, Buddha says. You are obliged to him. Just his receiving your food, on your part gives great virtue. Perhaps you have given your own food, perhaps you have given your children's food, but you have sacrificed something and you have respected a man who has no possessions, no money.
Buddha has said that the mother is blessed who gives birth to a child who is going to renounce the world. The father is blessed who has a child who is going to renounce the world. They are renouncing the world just to develop their potential to its ultimate. Help them. If you cannot raise your consciousness, at least you can help in some small way those who are making the tremendous effort of raising their consciousness to its ultimate illumination.
Hence, whether it is trivia or not, it would have been perfectly good if Bodhidharma had accepted the sutra as it was. And what I have said, he should have said. But he himself is feeling embarrassed, so he starts trying again, saying it is a metaphor for something invisible, and that makes his whole approach fallacious. I will read the sutra and then I will read his fictitious explanations. The sutra is absolutely clear; it needs no clarification.
BUT THE BATHHOUSE SUTRA SAYS, "BY CONTRIBUTING TO THE BATHING OF MONKS, PEOPLE RECEIVE LIMITLESS BLESSINGS." THIS WOULD APPEAR TO BE AN INSTANCE OF EXTERNAL PRACTICE ACHIEVING MERIT. HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO BEHOLDING THE MIND?
The disciple is asking Bodhidharma: You say beholding the mind is enough, but Buddha is talking about such small things. In your beholding the mind is there any place for such things?
The simple answer would have been: I am talking about the essential and Buddha is talking about both the essential and the nonessential. He is taking care not only of what the monk has to do. The monk has to behold his mind; that is his only essential practice -- awareness, vipassana, watching, witnessing. But also, the poor monk needs food; he needs some shelter in rain, he needs some clothes.
Buddha has a very comprehensive view. It was not just a question of a single monk but when millions of people were becoming monks, then certain rules had to be made; otherwise it would have created chaos in the whole society.

A monk is not supposed to say what he wants to eat. Whatever is made by the family for itself, he should take only that. He should not say to which family he is going to beg tomorrow, because his information may make the family feel that then they have to make some delicious food, some costly food because the monk is coming to their home. This may be an unnecessary burden and the monk may become a parasite.
To avoid all this, Buddha had to talk about such small things that people ordinarily don't like, and in those days very few people had their own bathhouses. Even today after twenty-five centuries, except in a few big cities, ninety percent of the Indian population has no bathroom in their house. They go outside the village, either to the bank of a river, or to the bank of a lake. That is their bathroom, that is their toilet.
It is thought to be a great luxury to have a bathroom attached to your bedroom; only a very few people in India can afford it, the country is so poor. And not only poverty has prevented it; even people who had enough money in the days of Buddha had no idea of having a bathroom attached to their bedroom.
You will be surprised to know that just a hundred years ago there was a case in the Supreme Court of America, because a man attached a bathroom to his bedroom. It was thought to be against Christianity; it was thought to be such a dirty thing. The man had learned about it from Europe and he thought he was bringing a gift to America. It certainly is a gift!

But the Christian associations filed a case against him in the Supreme Court saying that he was trying to corrupt people's minds. "This is an idea implanted in his mind by the devil," they said. "Who has ever heard of a bathroom attached to your bedroom?" And you will be surprised that the Supreme Court ordered the man to move the bathroom to the back of the house where it belonged. They were called outhouses. They were not attached to the main house -- just in the backyard, far away. Dirty places!
But in Buddha's time, there were rich people who had attached bathrooms and the most surprising, almost unbelievable thing is that in Harappa and Mohanjodaro, two most ancient cities discovered in Pakistan .... They are seven thousand years old. Some natural calamity, or perhaps some man-made calamity, destroyed those beautiful cities not only once, but seven times, because seven times those cities were built. People have been excavating for almost half a century. They could not believe what kind of calamity had continuously happened: one layer of the city is covered with mud, then another layer of the city is again covered with mud.
As they went on digging, first they thought the first layer, the superficial layer was the city, but somebody tried to dig a little deeper to see what is underneath that. They were surprised to find that after a few feet of layers of mud, there was another city. Then they tried again and again and finally they have found seven layers of great cities -- cities which had streets as broad as San Francisco or New York. And certainly cities don't have those broad streets if they don't have big vehicles to move on them.
Varanasi is thought to be the ancientmost city in India. Not even the smallest car can enter in the old part of Varanasi. What to say of a car? -- even sunlight never reaches there because on both sides are huge buildings. Just when the sun comes exactly in the middle of the sky, for a few minutes there is sunlight; otherwise the whole day there is no sun. A great civilization must have been there.
I remembered them because all the houses in Mohanjodaro and Harappa -- both the cities -- had bathrooms attached to their bedrooms, had swimming pools as big as we have them now. And they had a system, a very strange system which they had invented, for hot and cold running water in every house. It is simply amazing! It seems they had reached to the same height of civilization, perhaps better, because even in the beginning part of the twentieth century the Supreme Court of America refused to let that man have a bathroom in his own house.
The future is going to be different because there are architects .... I have seen a few designs sent to me from a friend who is thinking about a very strange thing which will be fought in courts by every religion all over the world. The idea is not to have an attached bathroom but to have the room inside the bathroom. They have made such beautiful designs that the bathroom does not look out of place; it enhances the beauty of the room.
But certainly it is going to be contested by every religion ...that this is going too far. Somehow we have accepted bathrooms attached to the rooms. Now these insane architects are trying to enforce an idea ...and I think that idea is going to work out. Their designs are just superb. Why have an attached bathroom? The bathroom can be made so beautiful that you can attach your room to the bathroom. And in fact both can be in the same place -- there is no need for any partition. It is YOUR bathroom, it is YOUR bedroom. And things can be made so beautiful and so clean, there is no question of ....
But it was a problem. Very few rich families had bathrooms and the problem was bigger because the Buddhist monks could not take a bath in the river. They didn't have enough clothes, they didn't have any underwear. They had only three pieces of clothing, one to wrap around underneath, another to wrap around on top -- just plain pieces of cloth.
To avoid tailoring -- because that is a luxury -- they were just using plain pieces of cloth; one they wrap around their waist, another they wrap around their chest, and that's all. It was difficult for them. Either they had to be naked -- which was not allowed by Gautam Buddha -- or they had to enter the river with their clothes on and then their clothes would get wet.
So you have to see the whole situation ...why Gautam Buddha has to talk about such trivia. It is giving an incentive to the people who have their own bathrooms to allow the monks to have a bath and then people would receive limitless blessings. There is no metaphor in it. It means exactly what it says.
The disciple is absolutely right to ask: "This would appear to be an instance of external practice achieving merit, because the man who is allowing you use of his bathroom is achieving merit. He is not doing anything -- just allowing you to use his bathroom."
And Bodhidharma says, "There is nothing and no need and no possibility either, of attaining any merit from any outside practice. The only meritorious thing is beholding the mind."
He could have simply said, "This is only an incentive for people; otherwise why should they allow anybody?" In fact, nobody likes his bathroom to be used by anybody else, and particularly not by strangers. It is not a public place. Everybody wants his bathroom to be private, his own, and the richer people are .... They certainly would not like the idea of strange monks wandering with dirty clothes, dirty feet because they have no shoes, perspiring in hot summer, collecting dust on the roads which were not coal tar, asphalt, or cement -- they were just dusty roads for bullock carts. Rich men would not like this.
And you don't have any idea of the rich men of those days. They used to have in their bathtubs, not ordinary water, but rosewater. It is a strange story of a strange humanity: one part is dying for food and another part of the same race of human beings takes such a costly bath -- thousands of roseflowers have to be used for one bath. These people would not like vagabonds, monks, beggars -- they were all beggars in their eyes -- unless they had some incentive that they would get great blessings in the other world. Buddha is simply talking in business terms and he is perfectly right.
But the problem with Bodhidharma is that he cannot accept things simply as they are. He says:
HERE, THE BATHING OF MONKS DOESN'T REFER TO THE WASHING OF ANYTHING TANGIBLE.
How do you wash anything intangible? A thing that is not tangible is not visible either. Only tangible things have to be washed. Your body can be given a shower but not your soul. Your clothes can be cleaned but not your being. But that does not mean that you have to use dirty clothes, that you have to remain dirty in your body.
Buddha was very aesthetic in comparison to Mahavira, his contemporary, and that's why he has more grace than Mahavira. Mahavira has a very strong personality but he's not graceful ...a personality of a wrestler, but not the individuality of a lotus flower.
It is not accidental that Gautam Buddha has become synonymous with the lotus flower. It is so fragile and so beautiful and so graceful that no other flower on the earth even comes close to it. He wanted his monks to be sensitive, aesthetic, clean, and naturally the only way was to tell the people that if you help these poor monks with food, with a bath, with medicine, with clothes you will be getting great merit in the other world. This was simply a pragmatic affair.
WHEN THE LORD PREACHED THE BATHHOUSE SUTRA, HE WANTED HIS DISCIPLES TO REMEMBER THE DHARMA OF WASHING. SO HE USED AN EVERYDAY CONCERN TO CONVEY HIS REAL MEANING ....
THE BATHHOUSE IS THE BODY.
Now this is nonsense and he himself in the beginning sutras has said Buddha never teaches nonsense. He is contradicting almost everything that he has said with tremendous clarity in the beginning sutras. But now he himself has got into trouble.
THE BATHHOUSE IS THE BODY. WHEN YOU LIGHT THE FIRE OF WISDOM, YOU WARM THE PURE WATER OF THE PRECEPTS AND BATHE THE TRUE BUDDHA-NATURE WITHIN YOU.
Could not Buddha have said something other than the BATHHOUSE SUTRA? He could have talked about the BUDDHA-NATURE SUTRA. Do you think Buddha was less intelligent than Bodhidharma ...that he did not know that it is better to say exactly what he means? And there is no difficulty in saying it. A Bodhidharma can say it -- why can't Buddha say it?
BY UPHOLDING THESE SEVEN PRACTICES, YOU ADD TO YOUR VIRTUE. THE MONKS OF THAT AGE WERE PERCEPTIVE.
If this is true, that the monks of that age -- that means Gautam Buddha's time -- were perceptive, then certainly the BATHHOUSE SUTRA does not need to be called BATHHOUSE SUTRA at all. It should be called the BUDDHA-NATURE SUTRA, or any other beautiful word. Why bring bathhouse into it? And if Bodhidharma can make it clear to less perceptive people -- and Buddha's disciples were more perceptive -- it is strange that he had to use such strange metaphors. Bodhidharma is making the whole thing up.
THEY UNDERSTOOD THE BUDDHA'S MEANING. If they understood the Buddha's meaning then why was he hiding it behind the bathhouse?
THEY FOLLOWED HIS TEACHING, PERFECTED THEIR VIRTUE AND TASTED THE FRUIT OF BUDDHAHOOD.
If these disciples of Buddha had even experienced buddhahood, what was the need to speak to them in metaphors? Buddha could have been direct -- metaphors are needed for children. So what he is saying is right, but it goes against him, not in favor of him.

BUT PEOPLE NOWADAYS CAN'T FATHOM THESE THINGS ....
But the BATHHOUSE SUTRA is not written for Bodhidharma's time. Bodhidharma came eleven hundred years after the BATHHOUSE SUTRA was spoken by Buddha. Do you think Buddha was talking to the people of Bodhidharma's time? This is something to be understood because it is a constantly repeated thing: that people of older times were more perceptive, more sensitive, more intelligent than the people of today. Even today it is being said.
In Babylon a brick has been excavated and on the brick there is an inscription which says, "People of the old days were very intelligent" -- and the brick is six thousand years old. Gautam Buddha and Mahavira both repeat many times that people of the old days were very intelligent, but I don't know when those old days were.
In the Hindu VEDAS, which are supposed to be the oldest scriptures in the world, one man from this very city, Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak has proved, and proved with great argument and evidence -- and such evidence that it has not been refuted by anybody for almost half a century -- that the first Veda out of the four, RIG VEDA, is ninety thousand years old. But even in RIG VEDA, it is the same: that in the old days, people were very perceptive, very intelligent. I don't know when these old days were. It simply seems to condemn the people of the present day. This idea has been continuously used.
Is man's consciousness evolving or not? According to all these people, it seems that it is going downwards, not upwards. In fact the further back in history you go, the more primitive people you will find with more primitive practices. Cannibalism was a prevalent practice. The few cannibals that are left are in the thick forests of Africa, but they are the ancientmost people.
If you want to see the ancientmost people, you can go to Africa, but be careful! I have heard that when the first Christian missionary went there to convert the cannibals and to tell them, "God loves you all and Jesus will come to save you," they enjoyed his sermon very much. They took him on their shoulders and he thought that this was a great reception. When they started putting him into a boiling pot, he said, "What are you doing?" They said, "In just a few minutes you will see."
When the water started getting too hot, the fat missionary with just his head showing out from the big pot, started trying some way to persuade these people: "I have come here to give you a taste of Christianity and you are killing me."
They said, "Don't be worried. Once we have made a soup of you, we will have the first taste of Christianity. That's why we are boiling you -- to have a taste of Christianity."
I think there is no other way of having a taste of Christianity! These are the most primitive people: they were three thousand at the beginning of this century, but because it is very rare to find anybody passing in their area -- they look all around but nobody goes even close -- then finally they have to eat their own people. In the beginning of this century there were three thousand; now there are only three hundred. They have eaten twenty-seven hundred of their own people. Every day food is needed. If they can get somebody from outside, good -- just a little taste of some Chinese, some Japanese, some German, some Indian. Just as you go once in a while to the Chinese restaurant, they also want some taste -- some change once in a while.
But it is very difficult because people remain miles away from them. Everybody knows that that area is dangerous; people have gone there but they have never returned. Whoever has gone there, has gone forever. Once they catch hold of you, you are finished ...soon you will be cooked -- maybe stuffed with grapes, spices. You may enjoy it! I am not saying that you will NOT enjoy it, you MAY enjoy it! The whole thing will be such an adventure.
But as you go backwards you will find more and more unintelligent, more and more retarded, more and more barbarous people. So this idea that is being used by all religions -- that people in the beginning were great and now everybody has fallen -- this is not true. This is absolutely wrong. There is no historical basis to it and no logical support. And I want to say to you that you are the highest pinnacle of consciousness up to now -- although your highest pinnacle is not much.
You have immense potential undeveloped. But those primitive people were even more undeveloped than you are. You have at least some consciousness, they had no consciousness at all. They were just close to the animals.
OUR TRUE BUDDHA-NATURE HAS NO SHAPE. AND THE DUST OF AFFLICTION HAS NO FORM. HOW CAN PEOPLE USE ORDINARY WATER TO WASH AN INTANGIBLE BODY?
He goes on repeating the same stupid things. Yesterday he was saying how can Buddha drink ordinary milk -- now, how can people use ordinary water? -- as if there is some extraordinary water available somewhere!
TO WASH AN INTANGIBLE BODY ... That which is intangible need not be washed. Only the tangible gets dirty. The invisible, space, never gets dirty; the sky never gets dirty. The silence beyond mind never gets dirty. And even if it gets dirty -- which is impossible but just for argument's sake, even if it gets dirty -- then we will find some invisible soap, some invisible shampoo which you cannot see. You will just see the empty bottle but inside there is invisible shampoo.
I have heard in a New York shop they were selling a certain commodity, so much of it that all the women of New York were immensely excited and wanted to purchase it. It was invisible hair pins. I think no woman can remain without temptation if invisible hairpins are available. There were queues before the shop and women were taking the packages, giving money and going away. One woman opened the box and could not see anything there. How can you see invisible hairpins? So she said to the shopkeeper, "I don't see anything." He asked, "How can you see invisible hairpins?"
She said, "That's right. I want to come again tomorrow to purchase a few more for my daughters and my friends to send as presents, because this is something so new. Will you have enough stock for tomorrow also? because I see so many customers and I had to stand for almost one hour in the queue. He said, "Don't be worried. We have been out of stock for fifteen days but it is an invisible thing. It does not matter whether it is there or not. You can come anytime -- it will be always available."
Bodhidharma is saying something which is absolutely illogical, irrational. It is not even common sense.
IT WON'T WORK. WHEN WILL THEY WAKE UP? TO CLEAN SUCH A BODY, YOU HAVE TO BEHOLD IT. ONCE IMPURITIES AND FILTH ARISE FROM DESIRE, THEY MULTIPLY UNTIL THEY COVER YOU INSIDE AND OUT. BUT IF YOU TRY TO WASH THIS BODY OF YOURS, YOU WILL HAVE TO SCRUB UNTIL IT IS NEARLY GONE, BEFORE IT IS CLEAN.
He is saying you cannot clean this body that is visible. If you try to clean it you will have to scrub it to the point when the whole body is gone. Then you will be clean. That means there is no need to clean this body. It is useless; it will mean committing suicide!
But you know that there is no need to scrub the body to the point that it disappears. You can scrub the body to the point that you don't have a body odor, that your perspiration is not creating a disgusting smell around you, that your mouth is washed clean, that your breathing is not disturbing anybody else. You can use soap, you can use shampoo, you can use deodorants. There is no need to scrub the body to the point that it is completely gone. Then what is the point of cleaning it? Nothing is left.
Bodhidharma thinks he is giving you an argument that shows Buddha does not mean the ordinary bath for your body, he means cleaning your soul.
But Bodhidharma has forgotten completely that in his own sutras he said that the soul is always clean -- it has never been unclean -- that your buddha-nature is always pure, it has never been impure. Can you remember his sutras? He says that you are already enlightened, just you are asleep. There is no question of cleaning or doing any worship, or any ritual. All that you need is to behold your mind, and slowly, slowly that beholding of the mind will wake you up. To be awake is to be enlightened.
But now he has completely forgotten all those sutras. He has made such a tremendous mistake he should have stopped the moment the ultimate question about ignorance was asked. He did not stop. One has to know where to stop, otherwise one gets into a trap. Now he is going on and on and he does not know where to stop and how to stop.
FROM THIS YOU SHOULD REALIZE THAT WASHING SOMETHING EXTERNAL IS NOT WHAT THE BUDDHA MEANT.
Only the external needs washing; the internal needs no washing. And if Buddha meant what he is saying, then Bodhidharma is also driving Buddha to the same point of stupidity at which he is. Only the external gets dirty and needs washing. The internal never gets dirty and hence needs no washing.
The disciple asked: THE SUTRAS SAY THAT SOMEONE WHO WHOLEHEARTEDLY INVOKES THE BUDDHA IS SURE TO BE REBORN IN THE WESTERN PARADISE. SINCE THIS DOOR LEADS TO BUDDHAHOOD, WHY SEEK LIBERATION IN BEHOLDING THE MIND?
The disciple's continuous insistence is because if Bodhidharma's emphasis on beholding the mind is enough, then why does Buddha talk about other things? And Bodhidharma does not have the courage to speak against his own master. He could have said, "It is not my business to sort out his things. My understanding and my realization is that just beholding the mind is enough. Perhaps Buddha wanted to create an outer discipline also, side by side with an internal discipline. That is his business. That is none of my concern." Just a simple statement like this would have saved him from falling down from the sunlit peak where he was, into small things which he cannot solve.
His answer is again the same kind of foolishness. BUDDHA MEANS AWARENESS ...which he has said so many times.
BUDDHA MEANS AWARENESS, THE AWARENESS OF BODY AND MIND, THAT PREVENTS EVIL FROM ARISING IN EITHER. AND TO INVOKE MEANS TO CALL TO MIND.
If invoke means to call to mind, then why should Buddha not say, "Call to mind?"; why say, "Invoke Buddha?" Why make things unnecessarily complicated when they can be made simple? And Buddha is not a man to make things complicated; he is not a philosopher. He is a realized sage. He speaks only in the simplest way and the clearest way, not using any jargon that can create disturbances in people's minds. His whole effort is to pacify the mind so that you can go beyond it more easily.
AND TO INVOKE MEANS TO CALL TO MIND, TO CALL CONSTANTLY TO MIND THE RULES OF DISCIPLINE AND TO FOLLOW THEM WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.
And this same Bodhidharma has said again and again that no discipline can lead you to buddhahood, that no rules are needed. The only thing that can help you is simply awareness of your thought process, of your mind.
TO INVOKE THE BUDDHA'S NAME, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE DHARMA OF INVOKING. IF IT IS NOT PRESENT IN YOUR MIND, YOUR MOUTH CHANTS AN EMPTY NAME. AS LONG AS YOU ARE TROUBLED BY THE THREE POISONS, OR BY THOUGHTS OF YOURSELF, YOUR DELUDED MIND WILL KEEP YOU FROM SEEING THE BUDDHA .... IF YOU CLING TO APPEARANCES WHILE SEARCHING FOR MEANING, YOU WON'T FIND A THING. THUS, SAGES OF THE PAST CULTIVATED INTROSPECTION AND NOT SPEECH.
That is absolutely incorrect, because what is introspection except internal thinking? And what is speech but bringing your internal thinking to an expression? They are not different. One is the inside. First you introspect, you think, and then you bring it out: you can think the word RAMA without saying it and then you can say "Rama." What is the difference? The difference is only that first you were saying it to yourself. Talking to yourself is introspection and talking to others is speech. Introspection is a silent monologue. Everybody goes on doing it all the time -- it has nothing to do with sages. Even sinners have to do it!
What are you doing all the time except introspecting? Sitting, walking, you are continuously thinking of a thousand and one things, but only a few things you bring to expression. Saying that sages of the past cultivated introspection and not speech is not true because if sages were not speaking, then from where have your scriptures come, from where your VEDAS, from where your UPANISHADS? And there are one hundred and eight UPANISHADS. From where does your holy KORAN, and from where does your HOLY BIBLE come? From where your holy TALMUD, from where Gautam Buddha's DHAMMAPADA? And from where do the words of Bodhidharma himself come? He is speaking and talking about sages who cultivated introspection only, and not speech.
That means all your holy scriptures are written by sinners and not by sages. A sage is one who knows himself and he speaks only that which is in tune with his inner experience. If he cannot find a word to express it, he remains silent. He is not against speech, he is not in favor of silence. He has come to a space which is beyond language, so it is very difficult to speak; but it is difficult to introspect also, because whatever can be introspected, can be spoken.
Just watch: introspection is speaking within yourself -- you are using words. If you can use words without speaking, why can't you use the same words in speaking? That which cannot be spoken cannot be introspected either because they are two sides of the same coin.
THIS MIND IS THE SOURCE OF ALL VIRTUES.
Now I am helpless but to say that this is pure nonsense! And it is nonsense according to Bodhidharma. In his own sutras he has said that this mind has to be transcended, that this mind is your bondage, that this mind has to be completely silenced, emptied. In other words you have to attain to no-mind.
No-mind can be the source of all virtues, but not the mind. If the mind is the source of all virtues, then what is the purpose of no-mind? All virtues include all virtues. Only sins remain. Is the no-mind the source of all sin? Is meditation the source of all that is criminal in you, immoral in you, unvirtuous in you? Bodhidharma is not in his right senses. Once he trembled, once he lied, he has not been able to regain his balance.
THIS MIND IS THE SOURCE OF ALL VIRTUES. AND THIS MIND IS THE CHIEF OF ALL POWERS.
Then what about the buddha-nature and its power?
THE ETERNAL BLISS OF NIRVANA COMES FROM THE MIND AT REST.
Here he comes a little bit closer to the truth but not exactly to the truth. The mind at rest is still mind. Nirvana happens on the death of the mind, not just at the resting of the mind, because the mind that is at rest can any moment become restless. The mind simply has to go. Then only can you be certain of your absolute peace. The troublemaker is completely gone. The troublemaker at rest does not mean you are free of trouble. The troublemaker may be simply resting to gain a little energy to create more trouble again. He may be tired -- everybody gets tired.
I used to live in a house with a friend and his child was a continuous nuisance. His father was tired, his mother was tired but he was an only child so they loved him very much. Only I was not tired of him. They asked me, "What is the matter? He never harasses you."
I said, "I harass him. I call him and he never comes close to me."
He said, "How do you harass him? Because he is such a constant worry, never at rest, always doing something, dropping something, breaking something, jumping from the sofa onto the table. He cannot sit silently."
I said, "I will show you how he can sit silently."
As I went in he said, "I will sit silently."
His father said, "What is the matter? You have not said anything -- just your coming and he is saying, `I will sit silently.'"
I used to live in half of the house and they used to live in the other half -- but both were connected from inside. The child used to come once in a while to my side and I used to tell him, "If you want to come in you have to pay for it."
He said, "What?"
I said, "Money is not the issue. I will tell you what you have to do: first you have to go and run around the house seven times" -- it was a big house, four acres of land -- "seven times exactly, no cheating, no deceiving. Then you can come in."

After seven rounds he was so tired, he would come in and just flop on the sofa. I would say, "How are you feeling?"
He said, "I am still alive." And then I would continue my work and he would just rest.
So his father said, "This is strange ... you never told me -- and he has been torturing us."
I said, "I have found my way with him. Whenever he wants to see me or come to me, he has first to pay. And seven rounds of the house are enough. Then he does not ask for anything, then he is not in a position to ask. He is so tired he just sits on the sofa and most often falls asleep, and I continue my work."
Mind at rest is not reliable. Mind has to go completely to the point that it cannot come back ...to the point of no return.
REBIRTH IN THE THREE REALMS ALSO COMES FROM THE MIND. THE MIND IS THE DOOR TO EVERY WORLD. AND THE MIND IS THE FORD TO THE OTHER SHORE.
This is not right because if mind is also the ford to the other shore, then what is the use of meditation? All powers belong to the mind, all words belong to the mind, all eternal bliss of nirvana comes from the resting of the mind. The ford going to the other shore is of the mind -- then what is the use of meditation?
In fact, mind is not the ford to the other shore: meditation is. And meditation always means no-mind. When the mind is extinguished, the same energy that was involved in the mind becomes your meditation.
THOSE WHO KNOW WHERE THE DOOR IS DON'T WORRY ABOUT REACHING IT. THOSE WHO KNOW WHERE THE FORD IS DON'T WORRY ABOUT CROSSING IT.
THE PEOPLE I MEET NOWADAYS ARE SUPERFICIAL. THEY THINK OF MERIT AS SOMETHING THAT HAS FORM. THEY SQUANDER THEIR WEALTH AND BUTCHER CREATURES OF LAND AND SEA .... THEY SEE SOMETHING TANGIBLE AND INSTANTLY BECOME ATTACHED. IF YOU TALK TO THEM ABOUT FORMLESSNESS, THEY SIT THERE DUMB AND CONFUSED. GREEDY FOR THE SMALL MERCIES OF THIS WORLD, THEY REMAIN BLIND TO THE GREAT SUFFERING TO COME. SUCH DISCIPLES WEAR THEMSELVES OUT IN VAIN. TURNING FROM THE TRUE TO THE FALSE, THEY TALK ABOUT NOTHING BUT FUTURE BLESSINGS.
IF YOU CAN SIMPLY CONCENTRATE YOUR MIND'S INNER LIGHT, AND BEHOLD ITS OUTER ILLUMINATION, YOU WILL DISPEL THE THREE POISONS AND DRIVE AWAY THE SIX THIEVES ONCE AND FOR ALL.
I have told you that in English there is no one word which can translate DHYAN. There are three words: the first is concentration, which is the lowest. It means focusing your mind on one thing or one thought. It is useful in science; in fact without concentration there would be no science at all. Science is the by-product of concentration.
The second word in English is contemplation, which is higher than concentration. Contemplation means thinking about a certain subject matter -- not a single thought, but a stream of thoughts confined to the same subject matter. For example, somebody is thinking about light. Then he goes on thinking about light, its speed, its division into seven colors and all its possibilities -- the whole physics of light. Philosophy arises out of contemplation, just as science arises out of concentration.
And the third word in English is meditation, which is the highest. But still it is not an equivalent to DHYAN, or the Chinese CH'AN, or the Japanese ZEN which are different pronunciations of the Sanskrit word DHYAN.
DHYAN means no-mind. In concentration, mind concentrates. In contemplation, mind contemplates. In meditation, mind meditates. But in dhyan, mind simply disappears. Dhyan is a silence beyond the mind. The man who has translated these sutras has used the lowest word in English -- concentrate -- for dhyan.
This is a problem with linguistic people -- those who know the language. They translate books from one language into another, but particularly when it comes to translating poetry it becomes more difficult. And if it is a question of translating the statements of somebody who has attained to enlightenment, then it becomes even more difficult.

But the problem is that people who have attained to enlightenment are no longer interested in translating anybody's book. They are not even interested in writing their own book, they are enjoying their silence and their ecstasy so much. If they want to convey anything at all, they use the spoken word, because the spoken word has the warmth and the liveliness. And the spoken word has something of the person who is speaking it. It comes from his heart. It carries some flavor of his being. It also carries some light, some profundity which is lost in the written word. Hence, no enlightened person has ever written a single word.
IF YOU CAN SIMPLY CONCENTRATE YOUR MIND'S INNER LIGHT AND BEHOLD ITS OUTER ILLUMINATION, YOU WILL DISPEL THE THREE POISONS AND DRIVE AWAY THE SIX THIEVES ONCE AND FOR ALL.
Just change the word concentrate. If you can meditate -- and the meditation has to be understood in the sense of DHYAN -- if you can bring your no-mind to function, then all is light, then all is delight.
AND WITHOUT EFFORT YOU WILL GAIN POSSESSION OF AN INFINITE NUMBER OF VIRTUES, PERFECTIONS AND DOORS TO THE TRUTH. SEEING THROUGH THE MUNDANE, AND WITNESSING THE SUBLIME, IS LESS THAN AN EYE-BLINK AWAY.
Finally at the end he comes back again to his original status. In this sentence he is again the Bodhidharma we started with.
SEEING THROUGH THE MUNDANE, AND WITNESSING THE SUBLIME, IS LESS THAN AN EYE-BLINK AWAY. REALIZATION IS NOW. WHY WORRY ABOUT GRAY HAIR?
Why worry about tomorrow and old age?
BUT THE TRUE DOOR IS HIDDEN, AND CAN'T BE REVEALED.
This is all that he needed to say at the time he was asked from where ignorance arises. Going round and round and round, at the end he manages to come to the point. The door, the true door, is hidden and can't be revealed.
I HAVE ONLY TOUCHED UPON BEHOLDING THE MIND.
If he had only said these two sentences at that moment -- and whatever he has said in between would have been dropped -- Bodhidharma's sutras would have remained absolutely pure, impeccably pure. But I have made it clear to you, so you can choose what is right and what is just so much prose.
That which is going to help you in meditation is right, and that which is just unnecessarily metaphysical, philosophizing, has no validity and is of no use to your meditation.
In a way I feel happy that by coincidence this sutra came to be discussed and you have seen both sides. It will help you to remain aware -- aware that even at the highest peak of your enlightenment you can still commit mistakes, you can still go astray, you can still say things which are stupid. The problem is that I cannot tolerate anything which is not the best. I want you to know only the best, to experience the best, only twenty-four carat gold, no pollution, no mixture, just utter purity.
It was good to talk about these sutras, because I could go on telling you what is not right and what is right. You may be reading many books, you may be hearing many people. Just watch clearly. Every day I receive letters from sannyasins saying, "I have been to see some saint, some guru" ...and I know those people are just idiots. They write to me, "We are very impressed," and I simply say, "My God!"
I have been working with these people so hard to make every small point completely clear, and any idiot can impress them! They don't seem to have the awareness and the clarity and the capacity for discrimination.
One of the greatest Indian scriptures is Badarayana's BRAHMASUTRA. He prescribes a clear-cut capacity for discrimination as the first thing needed by the disciple. I can see why Badarayana has made discrimination his first point -- to see what is false and to see what is true, to feel what is real and to feel what is just hypocrisy. Have you seen the Catholic pope? Perhaps many of you have seen him or met him and most of you must have seen his photographs. Do you see anything that gives you an indication that this man is the representative of God? He can be a salesman of any shoe company ...but a representative of God! He should look at least once in a mirror and he himself will realize, "My God, why have you chosen me? Can't you find some other idiot? In this big world, why have you chosen poor me?"
I have heard about an old Jew dying. He was muttering something, so people of his family came close to hear what he is muttering at the time of his death. He was saying to God, "God, just only one request. We have been your chosen people for four thousand years. It is enough. Can't you choose somebody else now? If you had not chosen us we would not have suffered so much. Now be merciful; listen to a dying old man's last words. It is time that you choose somebody else as your chosen people and relieve us of that great burden. We are being continuously crushed."
Look at your popes, look at your shankaracharyas, look at your Ayatollah Khomeini, look at your Jaina monks, Buddhist monks, and you will be surprised that these people don't have the presence of the awakened person. Neither do they have the words that come from an experienced source of authority, but you become impressed by any kind of nonsense.
And this has been going on for centuries. It is time it should stop. At least everybody should be meditative enough that he can discriminate between the man who is an arrow towards the ultimate truth and its realization, and the man who is simply pretending.
These sutras were a good exercise for you to see how to discriminate. Be very alert. To be impressed easily is to be gullible. Don't be gullible, otherwise you will be exploited. Not to be gullible is what Badarayana means by being discriminative, alert, aware. There is no hurry to be impressed by anybody. Wait, watch, look at it from every aspect, and if your heart starts ringing bells, then it is a different matter altogether. But if it is just your mind saying, "I have found the right master," beware of your mind.
Your mind is your greatest enemy.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Osho.

 

 

THE END

 


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