Tag Archives: enlightened

Gautama Buddha (The Buddha)…

Books on Buddha:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha (12 volumes in English)
The Diamond Sutra (in English)
The Discipline of Transcendence (4 volumes in English)
The Heart Sutra (in English)
Ais Dhammo Sanantano (12 volumes in Hindi)

I love Gautama the Buddha because he represents to me the essential core of religion. He is not the founder of Buddhism — Buddhism is a byproduct — but he is the beginner of a totally different kind of religion in the world. He’s the founder of a religion less religion. He has propounded not religion but religiousness. And this is a great radical change in the history of human consciousness.

Before Buddha there were religions but never a pure religiousness. Man was not yet mature. With Buddha, humanity enters into a mature age. All human beings have not yet entered into that, that’s true, but Buddha has heralded the path; Buddha has opened the gateless gate. It takes time for human beings to understand such a deep message. Buddha’s message is the deepest ever. Nobody has done the work that Buddha has done, the way he has done. Nobody else represents pure fragrance.

Other founders of religions, other enlightened people, have compromised with their audience. Buddha remains uncompromised, hence his purity. He does not care what you can understand, he cares only what the truth is. And he says it without being worried whether you understand it or not. In a way this looks hard; in another way this is great compassion.
– The Diamond Sutra, Chapter #1

Buddha is one of the most important masters who has ever existed on the earth — incomparable, unique. And if you can have a taste of his being, you will be infinitely benefited, blessed.
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, Chapter #1

GAUTAM BUDDHA is like the highest peak of the Himalayas, like Gourishanker… one of the purest beings, one of the most virgin souls, one of the very rare phenomena on this earth. The rarity is that Buddha is the scientist of the inner world — scientist of religion. That is a rare combination. To be religious is simple, to be a scientist is simple — but to combine, synthesize these two polarities is incredible. It is unbelievable, but it has happened.
– The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 1, Chapter #1

But as far as Gautam the Buddha is concerned, I welcome him in my very heart. I will give him my words, my silences, my meditations, my being, my wings. From today onwards you can look at me as Gautama the Buddha.
– No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity, Chapter #1

Buddha says: Meditation is enough to solve your problems, but something is missing in it — compassion. If compassion is also there, then you can help others solve their problems. He says: Meditation is pure gold; it has a perfection of its own. But if there is compassion then the gold has a fragrance too — then a higher perfection, then a new kind of perfection, gold with fragrance. Gold is enough unto itself — very valuable — but with compassion, meditation has a fragrance.
– The Heart Sutra, Chapter #1

Even I myself could not believe that I had not included Gautama the Buddha’s DHAMMAPADA. Gautam Buddha was sitting there silently in the last row. I love the man as I have loved nobody else. I have been speaking on him throughout my whole life. Even speaking on others I have been speaking on him. Take note of it, it is a confession. I cannot speak on Jesus without bringing Buddha in; I cannot speak on Mohammed without bringing Buddha in. Whether I mention him directly or not that’s another matter. It is really impossible for me to speak without bringing Buddha in. He is my very blood, my bones, my very marrow. He is my silence, also my song. When I saw him sitting there I remembered. I cannot even apologize, it is beyond apologizing.
DHAMMAPADA literally means ‘the path of truth’, or even more accurately ‘the footprints of truth’. Do you see the contradiction?
Coming in
going out
the waterfowl
leaves no trace behind,
nor it needs a guide.
Truth is unspeakable. There are no footprints. Birds flying in the sky don’t leave any footprints… and buddhas are birds of the sky.
But buddhas always speak in contradictions, and it is beautiful that at least they speak. They cannot speak without contradicting themselves, they cannot help it. To speak of truth is to contradict yourself. Not to speak is again to contradict, because even when you are trying not to speak, you know that your silence is nothing but an expression, without words maybe, but an expression all the same.
Buddha gave the name DHAMMAPADA to his greatest book, and there are contradictions upon contradictions. He is so full of contradictions that believe me, except me nobody can defeat him. Of course he would enjoy being defeated by me, just as a father once in a while enjoys being defeated by his own child. The child sitting on his father’s chest victorious, and the father has simply allowed him to win. All the buddhas allow themselves to be defeated by those who love them. I allow my disciples to defeat me, to go beyond me. There cannot be anything more joyous than seeing a disciple transcend me.
Buddha begins with the very name DHAMMAPADA — that’s what he is going to do: he is going to say the unsayable, to utter the unutterable. But he uttered the unutterable so beautifully that DHAMMAPADA is like an Everest. There are mountains and mountains, but not one rises to the height of Everest.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #6


Books on Bodhidharma:
The White Lotus (in English)
Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master (in English)

I have a very soft corner in my heart for Bodhidharma. That makes it a very special occasion to speak about him. Perhaps he is the only man whom I have loved so deeply that speaking on him I will be almost speaking on myself.
– Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master, Chapter #1

I AM ECSTATIC because just the name of Bodhidharma is psychedelic to me. In the long evolution of human consciousness there has never been such an outlandish Buddha as Bodhidharma — very rare, very unique, exotic.
There have been many buddhas in the world, but Bodhidharma stands out like Everest. His way of being, living, and expressing the truth is simply his; it is incomparable.
– The White Lotus, Chapter #1

Bodhidharma reached China. He was one of the greatest buddhas of all the ages. After Gautam Buddha, Bodhidharma seems to be the most precious person in the Buddhist heritage.
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 12, Chapter #10

Bodhidharma is one of the greatest enlightened men who has ever existed, and one of the most unique amongst all the enlightened men. In many ways he surpasses his own master, Gautam Buddha.
– From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter #7

I also forgot THE NOTES OF THE DISCIPLES OF BODHIDHARMA. When I talk of Gautam Buddha I always forget Bodhidharma, perhaps because I feel as if I have included him in his master, Buddha. But no, that is not right; Bodhidharma stands on his own. He was a great disciple, so great that even the master could be jealous of him. He himself did not write a word, but a few of his disciples, unknown because they did not mention their names, wrote some notes of Bodhidharma’s words. These notes, though few, are as precious as the Kohinoor. The word Kohinoor, do you know, means the light of the world. Noor means the light, kohi means of the world. If I had to describe anything as Kohinoor, yes, I would indicate towards those few notes by the anonymous disciples of Bodhidharma.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #2

But who are they to decide how an enlightened or illuminated person should speak? Have they known Bodhidharma? Have they seen his picture? They will immediately conclude that an enlightened or illuminated person cannot look like that. He looks ferocious! His eyes are those of a lion in the forest, and the way he looks at you is such that it seems he will jump from the picture and kill you instantly. That’s how he was! But forget Bodhidharma, because now fourteen centuries have passed.

I knew Bodhidharma personally. I traveled with the man for at least three months. He loved me just as I loved him. You will be curious to know why he loved me. He loved me because I never asked him any question. He said to me, “You are the first person I have met who does not ask a question — and I only get bored with all the questions. You are the only person who does not bore me.”
I said, “There is a reason.”

He said, “What is that?”
I said, “I only answer. I never question. If you have any question you can ask me. If you don’t have a question then keep your mouth shut.”

We both laughed, because we both belonged to the same category of insanity. He asked me to continue the journey with him, but I said, “Excuse me, I have to go my own way, and from this point it separates from yours.”

He could not believe it. He had never invited anyone before. This was the man who had even refused Emperor Wu — the greatest emperor of those days, with the greatest empire — as if he was a beggar. Bodhidharma could not believe his eyes, that I could refuse him.

I said, “Now you know how it feels to be refused. I wanted to give you a taste of it. Goodbye.” But that was fourteen centuries ago.
– Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Chapter #6


Book on Atisha:
The Book of Wisdom (in English)

Atisha is one of the rare masters, rare in the sense that he was taught by three enlightened masters. It has never happened before, and never since. To be a disciple of three enlightened masters is simply unbelievable — because one enlightened master is enough. But this story, that he was taught by three enlightened masters, has a metaphorical significance also. And it is true, it is historical too.

The three masters that Atisha remained with for many years were: first, Dharmakirti, a great Buddhist mystic. He taught him no-mind, he taught him emptiness, he taught him how to be thoughtless, he taught him how to drop all content from the mind and be contentless. The second master was Dharmarakshita, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him love, compassion. And the third master was Yogin Maitreya, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him the art of taking the suffering of others and absorbing it into your own heart: love in action.

This could happen because all these three masters were great friends. They had started their search together; while they were on the way they had remained together, and when they attained they were still together.

Atisha became a disciple of Dharmakirti. Dharmakirti said to him, “I will teach you the first principle. And for the second you go to Dharmarakshita, and for the third to Yogin Maitreya. This way you will know all the three faces of the ultimate reality, the three faces of God — the trinity, the TRIMURTI. And this way you will learn each face from the person who is the most perfect in it.”
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #1

Because Atisha learned under three enlightened masters, he is called Atisha the Thrice Great. Nothing more is known about his ordinary life, when and where exactly he was born. He existed somewhere in the eleventh century. He was born in India, but the moment his love became active he started moving towards Tibet, as if a great magnet were pulling him there. In the Himalayas he attained; then he never came back to India.

He moved towards Tibet, his love showered on Tibet. He transformed the whole quality of Tibetan consciousness. He was a miracle-worker; whatsoever he touched was transformed into gold. He was one of the greatest alchemists the world has ever known.

These “Seven Points of Mind Training” are the fundamental teaching that he gave to Tibet — a gift from India to Tibet. India has given great gifts to the world. Atisha is one of those great gifts. Just as India gave Bodhidharma to China, India gave Atisha to Tibet. Tibet is infinitely indebted to this man.
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #1

Atisha is really very very scientific. First he says: Take the whole responsibility on yourself. Secondly he says: Be grateful to everyone. Now that nobody is responsible for your misery except you, if it is all your own doing, then what is left?
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #5