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NO MIND: THE FLOWERS OF ETERNITY

Chapter 3: A meeting of two rivers

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen             No Mind: The FLowers of Eternity

 

BELOVED BUDDHA,
ONCE KAKUSAN WENT TO SEE KYOZAN. RAISING HIS FOOT, KAKUSAN SAID, "THE TWENTY-EIGHT INDIAN PATRIARCHS WERE LIKE THIS, AND THE SIX PATRIARCHS OF THE COUNTRY OF T'ANG WERE LIKE THIS, AND YOU ARE LIKE THIS, AND I AM LIKE THIS!"
KYOZAN CAME DOWN FROM THE ZEN SEAT AND HIT HIM FOUR TIMES WITH THE WISTERIA STAFF.
AFTER KAKUSAN BECAME ENLIGHTENED, AN ASCETIC ONCE SAID TO HIM, "WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF BUDDHISM?"
KAKUSAN REMAINED SILENT AND BOWED TO HIM.
THE ASCETIC ASKED, "ARE YOU BOWING TO A MAN OF THE WORLD?"
KAKUSAN REPLIED, "DON'T YOU SEE WHAT I AM SAYING? I AM YOUR FAMOUS DISCIPLE!"
AT ANOTHER TIME KYOZAN, ON SEEING A MONK APPROACH HIM, RAISED HIS MOSQUITO FLAPPER. AT THIS, THE MONK SHOUTED LOUDLY, "KWATZ!"
KYOZAN COMMENTED, "THERE IS SUCH A THING AS SAYING `KWATZ,' BUT TELL ME, WHERE WAS MY MISTAKE?"
THE MONK REPLIED, "IN IMPROPERLY POINTING TO AN EXTERNAL OBJECT" -- AT WHICH KYOZAN HIT HIM.

Maneesha, the new situation, the new responsibility that I have taken upon myself has raised many questions from different quarters. Perhaps it will take a little time to clarify any questions, doubts, suspicions or mere curiosities.
The first thing is from the chief of staff of United Press International. He has sent a telegram asking me, now I have allowed Gautam Buddha to be my guest, have I become a Buddhist? In the same reference he has asked: "What about your followers? Are they also now part of an organized religion? Have they also become Buddhists?"
The question is absolutely relevant, but my answer may baffle the chief of staff of UPI.
Gautam the Buddha has taken shelter in me. I am the host, he is the guest. There is no question of any conversion. I am a buddha in my own right, and that is the reason he has felt to use my vehicle for his remaining work. He has been waiting, a wandering cloud for twenty-five centuries, for a right vehicle.
I am not a Buddhist. Neither is Gautam the Buddha's intention to create Buddhists, or to create an organized religion. Even twenty-five centuries before, he never created an organized religion. The moment truth is organized it becomes a lie. An organized religion is nothing but a hidden politics, a deep exploitation by the priesthood. They may be shankaracharyas, imams, rabbis, or popes, it makes no difference.
Gautam Buddha did not leave behind him any successor. His last words were, "Don't make my statues, don't collect my words. I don't want to become a symbol which has to be worshipped. My deepest longing is that you will not be imitators. You don't have to be Buddhists because your own potential is to be a buddha."
I would like to say: I don't teach Buddhism, or any `ism' for that matter. I teach the buddha himself. The people who are with me are not part of any organized religion. They are independent, individual seekers. My relationship with them is that of a fellow traveler.
By the way, I have to remind you of Gautam Buddha's prophecy twenty-five centuries ago: "When I come again I will not be able to be born through a woman's womb. I will have to take shelter in a man of similar consciousness and the same height and the same open sky. I will be called `The Friend.'"
A tremendous freedom is implied in the word. He does not want to be anybody's guru, he simply wants to be a friend. He has something to share, with no conditions attached to the sharing.
This also will help you, because a few sannyasins have been confused how they will make the difference between the ancient Gautam Buddha and me. Gautam Buddha's prophecy helps to clarify the confusion.
Although he has taken shelter in me, I will not be called Gautam the Buddha. I will love to be called according to his prophecy: Maitreya The Buddha. `Maitreya' means the friend. That will keep the distinction. There will not be any confusion.
As far as I am concerned, I have always been against any organized religion. My love, my longing is to create as many individuals in the world as possible, utterly independent, in absolute freedom of their soul, no fetters of Christianity or Hinduism or Mohammedanism. No scriptures, no teachings... no discipline except a self-awareness, a flame burning in your very soul, making you aware and alert and a witness.
There is a small community of Buddhists in Maharashtra. They are Buddhists newly converted by Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar. These are the untouchables whom Hindus have been exploiting for centuries, humiliating them utterly disgracefully. These are the most oppressed, exploited, humiliated human beings upon the earth.
But Babasaheb Ambedkar could not convert all the untouchables, who are one-fourth of the Hindu fold. He himself was not a meditator. His effort to convert the untouchables into Buddhists was in order to take them out of the Hindu fold, so they can gain their dignity as human beings. This was a political step, a social revolution, but it has nothing to do with spirituality.
I have received a message from that small community that Doctor Ambedkar converted, hoping that perhaps I will give them an organized religion. I am sorry to say, the very word `organization' is irreligious.
I do not teach religion, I teach religiousness -- a quality, not a membership of any church but a quality that transforms your being, brings the flowering of your potentiality.
Those Buddhists who have been left in a kind of darkness and in difficulties, I am available to help them not to be Buddhists but to be buddhas. Less than that is below my comprehension. I want a world full of buddhas, absolutely free to fly in the open sky.
Truth brings freedom, meditation brings freedom -- freedom from scriptures and freedom from the words of the ancients. It brings a silence, a peace, and a sense of eternity, immortality, deathlessness. It brings a dance to your life, a new song, a new music, a new way of living in grace and love. But it has nothing to do with any organized religion.
All organized religions have proved criminals, murderers. They have done nothing but massacre. They have burned living human beings all over the world. If we want a new world, we have to get rid of all organized religions. Religiousness is just like love. Have you ever heard of organized love?
It reminds me....
Just the other day in England the Duke of Edinburgh made a very strange statement. In the parliament they were discussing curtailing hunting because so many species of animals are simply disappearing.
The Duke of Edinburgh is a well-known hunter. He did not agree with the parliament, and he said, "There is no difference between hunting and purchasing meat from a butcher's shop." And to give an example, perhaps not knowing its implications, he said, "The difference between hunting and purchasing meat from a butcher is the difference between a married woman and a prostitute, and there is no difference between a married woman and a prostitute." The parliament was shocked.
They have prevented me from entering England, but I have my own ways of entering...! I have been saying this again and again for three decades, that there is no difference between marriage and prostitution. Marriage is a little longer contract, prostitution is a shorter contract. Both are purchased with money.
But he did not think it through. What does it mean? Queen Elizabeth is a prostitute? England is ruled by a prostitute? But it is true! And prostitution will be dropped only if marriage disappears. Prostitution is a by-product of marriage, and while marriage remains there is no way to avoid prostitution.
For centuries, every society has tried to destroy prostitutes, but they don't understand that it is a by-product. No by-product can ever be destroyed. Can you destroy your shadow? Your shadow is simply a by-product.
Marriage creates a bondage, and every bondage creates a tremendous desire to have a little freedom at least once in a while. That freedom creates the prostitutes.
But why keep all the women either as slaves in the name of marriage or as prostitutes? It is so ugly, so barbarious. Just drop marriage and let every woman be utterly free and independent.
Love cannot be purchased, and if you purchase it, it cannot be love. You can love out of freedom, and your love should enhance the freedom. If it destroys freedom it is committing suicide itself.

One sannyasin has asked: "Now you have disconnected yourself absolutely and categorically from the Hindu fold and the Jaina fold, in fact, from the whole past of this country. Will you still be criticizing Hindus and Jainas?"
Of course. Now my sword will be sharper, and my hammer will be bigger. In fact, I have disconnected myself absolutely from any fold, any organization for this very purpose. And on my own I am not going to create any organization. That will be against my very being, against my whole life's effort.
My love is freedom, and those who have gathered around me -- and many more will be coming -- they have to remember it. You are not becoming a member of any church. You are just joining hands with friends who are traveling on the same path. At any moment you can leave the path. Everyone is welcome to join, and everyone is welcome in freedom, with blessings, if he wants to go to seek somewhere else.
I bless all kinds of seeking on all paths.

Before the sutras, a little biographical note:
KAKUSAN WAS A DISCIPLE OF KYOZAN. AFTER HIS ENLIGHTENMENT HE LIVED ON MOUNT KAKU FROM WHICH HIS NAME IS DERIVED -- KAKUSAN.
WHEN HE WAS ABOUT TO DIE, KAKUSAN COLLECTED A PILE OF FIREWOOD DEEP IN THE FOREST. AT NOON HE REFUSED HIS MEAL, WENT TO THE PILE OF WOOD, LIT IT AND CLIMBED ON TOP.
KAKUSAN THEN PUT HIS UMBRELLA BEHIND HIS HEAD TO MAKE A HALO. THUS HE ENDED HIS LIFE IN THE FLAMES, HOLDING OUT HIS STAFF LIKE THE DEMON-SUBDUING VAJRA.

Standing, he died in the fire. It must have been a very strange sight: when the fire cooled, he was still standing -- utterly burned, dead, but holding his staff straight. That staff has made many seekers enlightened.
It has to be remembered that a man of the quality of Kakusan I call a religious man. Only one who knows his life can know his death; they are two sides of the same coin. If you have never known life, you will never know death. And to miss life and death and the whole beauty of both is to miss the very meaning of existence.

The sutra:

BELOVED BUDDHA,
ONCE KAKUSAN WENT TO SEE KYOZAN. RAISING HIS FOOT, KAKUSAN SAID, "THE TWENTY-EIGHT INDIAN PATRIARCHS WERE LIKE THIS" -- standing on one foot....

The meaning of it is: utter balance, no trembling inside, utter silence.
I am reminded of one of the most important disciples of Gautam Buddha, Vimalkirti. He was a great philosopher. When for the first time he came to see Buddha, he was very proud of his philosophical trainings. He said to Buddha, "You talk so much about freedom. What is freedom?"
Buddha said to Vimalkirti, "You can lift up one of your feet and stand on the other." He lifted his left foot up and was standing on the right foot when Buddha said, "Now, lift the right foot up also."
Vimalkirti said, "What nonsense! One foot is enough, two feet is impossible."
Buddha said, "You seem to be a man of understanding."
Freedom is standing on one foot; the other foot is responsibility. Freedom brings tremendous responsibility -- not in the old sense that you have been told about, not as a duty, but as a spontaneous and conscious "response-ability."
There are two kinds of possibilities: either you react or you respond. A man who lives in his mind, reacts. He reacts according to his conditioning as a Christian, as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan. But his reaction is mechanical, any robot can do it. He has been conditioned to do it, hence he is doing it. But it is not out of his own spontaneity, it is not coming from his state of no-mind. When you respond from the state of no-mind -- out of your meditation, not out of your conditioning -- it is response, it is not reaction.
Freedom brings responsibility. You act not according to any commandments, you act not according to Manu or Moses or Jesus, you act according to your own light. And whenever you act according to your own light, there is immense fulfillment, a deep rejoicing.

ONCE KAKUSAN WENT TO SEE KYOZAN. RAISING HIS FOOT, KAKUSAN SAID, "THE TWENTY-EIGHT INDIAN PATRIARCHS WERE LIKE THIS" -- standing on one foot in utter balance -- "AND THE SIX PATRIARCHS OF THE COUNTRY OF T'ANG WERE LIKE THIS TOO, AND you ARE LIKE THIS, AND I AM LIKE THIS!"

Every man of consciousness has a tremendous balance in his life, in his actions, in his gestures. His whole life becomes a dance in balance. And those are the few people who have known the ultimate flowering of consciousness.

KYOZAN CAME DOWN FROM THE ZEN SEAT AND HIT HIM FOUR TIMES WITH THE WISTERIA STAFF.

Kakusan was standing on one foot. KYOZAN CAME DOWN FROM THE ZEN SEAT AND HIT HIM FOUR TIMES WITH THE WISTERIA STAFF -- the Zen staff. What is the meaning of this? He hit him four times because unless you can remain balanced in times of difficulties, in dark nights of the soul when the dawn seems to be almost impossible... when you have lost every hope of finding the truth, when you have lost the friend who was sharing his insight with you and you feel utterly blind, in all these situations if you can still remain balanced, then there is no problem. Your balance will start flowering on its own accord.
Hitting him four times, Kyozan watched. Kakusan did not move, did not lose his balance, did not even ask him, "Why are you hitting me?" A man of balance does not care whether the night is dark, whether life is coming to an end. In every situation and circumstance his balance is never lost.

AFTER KAKUSAN BECAME ENLIGHTENED, AN ASCETIC ONCE SAID TO HIM, "WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF BUDDHISM?" KAKUSAN REMAINED SILENT AND BOWED TO HIM.

Without saying a word, he has said more than can be said. His silence is not a dead, negative state. His silence is full of peace and love. He showed in his silence the meaning of the whole teaching of Buddha and to this stranger he bowed. It does not matter whether you are enlightened or not. In any case, in the deepest center of your being you are a buddha. And this is the very meaning of Buddha's whole teaching.

THE ASCETIC ASKED, "ARE YOU BOWING TO A MAN OF THE WORLD?"
KAKUSAN REPLIED, "DON'T YOU SEE WHAT I AM SAYING? I AM YOUR FAMOUS DISCIPLE!"

The man was an ordinary man of the world. He could not believe that an enlightened man, a buddha, would bow down to him. He was surprised. He said, "Don't you see, I am an ordinary man of the world. Are you bowing to a man of the world?"
Kakusan replied -- what a beautiful answer -- "DON'T YOU SEE WHAT I AM SAYING?" And he has not said anything. But silence is also saying something. Bowing down is also saying something. "DON'T YOU SEE WHAT I AM SAYING? I AM YOUR FAMOUS DISCIPLE!"
A man who is enlightened is the disciple of everyone in the world because what you cannot see, he can see with absolute clarity and certainty. Where you can see only a seed, he can see roses blossoming. Where you can at the most feel some potential, he sees your ultimate destiny. Where you are on the path, he sees you have reached home.
One of the most beautiful sayings that I have loved comes from Mahavira, a contemporary of Gautam Buddha. A very strange statement -- Mahavira says, "If you have started the journey you have reached already."
If a seed has started sprouting the spring is not far away. Soon, where there was nothing there will be beautiful flowers, with great fragrance. Mahavira is saying that if you have started the journey you have already reached. You may not see it like that because your comprehension is very limited. You cannot see your own future flowering. But if a man of enlightenment cannot see either, then what is the difference? You are both blind.

AT ANOTHER TIME KYOZAN, ON SEEING A MONK APPROACH HIM, RAISED HIS MOSQUITO FLAPPER. AT THIS, THE MONK SHOUTED LOUDLY, "KWATZ!"
KYOZAN COMMENTED, "THERE IS SUCH A THING AS SAYING `KWATZ,' BUT TELL ME, WHERE WAS MY MISTAKE?"
THE MONK REPLIED, "IN IMPROPERLY POINTING TO AN EXTERNAL OBJECT" -- AT WHICH KYOZAN HIT HIM.

A man like Kyozan always points inwards. Whatever he does, whatever he says, is always pointing towards the internal.
Just on the margin... Gautam the Buddha never went outside the state of Bihar, except once. For forty-two years he went round and round in a small state. It has got its name, Bihar, because of Gautam Buddha's walking continuously around and around. `Bihar' means the place where the Buddha walked.
He went only once out of Bihar, to Sarnath -- a small village near Varanasi. But he stayed there only one day, and for twenty-five centuries people have been wondering.... He stayed in Vaishali at least twenty times, and in some places for many months because every rainy month he would not move; so every year for four months he stayed in one place. It's significant to note why he escaped from Sarnath after only one day.
There exists now in Sarnath a great institution teaching the philosophy of Buddha and his language, Pali. The director of the institute, Bhikkshu Jagdish Kashyap, invited me to his institute to speak on Gautam the Buddha, but I had to leave after one day. He had come to take me to the station. He said, "This is strange; why are you leaving after one day?"
I said, "For the same reason that Gautam Buddha left this place after one day."
He said, "It is strange, but we have been discussing..." and he was a Buddhist, "We have been discussing for all these centuries why he did not stay."
I said, "You are all idiots! Just see! I have moved around the whole country but I have never seen such big mosquitoes." And Buddha was not using mosquito nets. It would have been difficult carrying a mosquito net, he was traveling and traveling.
But I told Jagdish Kashyap, "You should at least give mosquito nets to every student and scholar and researcher in your institute, not only for the night but for the day too."
I stayed there for twenty-four hours inside a mosquito net!

Basho wrote:

DYING CRICKET
-- HOW FULL OF LIFE, HIS SONG.

It is dying.... DYING CRICKET -- HOW FULL OF LIFE, HIS SONG.
That is the way for the awakened one to live, with overflowing life, radiating with an abundance of energy; and that is the way for the awakened one to die, still radiating and overflowing his joy, his bliss, his ecstasy.

 

 

Next: Chapter 3: A meeting of two rivers, Question 1

 


Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen             No Mind: The FLowers of Eternity

 

 

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