Tag Archives: enlightenment

Dogen…

Book on Dogen:
Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment (in English)

Before I explain Dogen to you, let this be the introduction, because this is what he is trying to say: that everything passes and yet there is something that never passes; that everything is born and dies and yet there is something that is never born and never dies. And unless you get centered into that eternal source you will not find peace, you will not find serenity, you will not find blissfulness, you will not find contentment. You will not feel at home, at ease in the universe. You will remain just an accident, you will never become essential.

Dogen is a very unique genius. He is saying, “You may be aware of your buddhahood or not aware of your buddhahood — don’t be worried. When the right time and the right season come you will blossom into a buddha.” Just wait … wait intelligently, wait without desire; enjoy waiting, make waiting itself a blissful silence, and whatever is your birthright is bound to flower. Nobody can prevent a bird from flying, nobody can prevent a cuckoo from singing, nobody can prevent a rose from blossoming. Who is preventing you from becoming buddhas? Except you, nobody is responsible for it.
– Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment, Chapter #3

Dogen, a Zen master, used to say, when he felt hungry he would say, “It seems the universal feels hungry through me.” When he would feel thirsty he would say, “The existence is thirsty within me.” This is what this meditation will lead you to. Then everything disperses from your ego and becomes part of the universe. Then whatsoever happens, happens to existence itself; you are no more here. Then there is no sin, then there is no responsibility.
– Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, Chapter #39

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

Bodhidharma…

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

Ashtavakra

Books on Ashtavakra:
Enlightenment : The Only Revolution (in English)
Ashtavakra Mahageeta (6 volumes in Hindi)

Ashtavakra is not for synthesis — he is a man of truth. He speaks the truth just as it is, without any artifice or coloring. He is not concerned about the listener, he does not care whether his listener will understand or not. Such a pure expression of truth has never happened anywhere before, nor has it ever happened again.

No one is concerned with Ashtavakra, because to accept Ashtavakra you are going to have to drop yourself — unconditionally. You cannot bring yourself along. Only if you stay behind can you come near him.

If you really want to understand Ashtavakra you will have to descend into the depths of meditation. No commentary, no interpretation will be of any help.

And for meditation Ashtavakra does not ask us to sit and chant “Ram, Ram.” He says that anything you do will not be meditation. How can there be meditation when there is a doer? As long as there is doing, there is illusion. As long as the doer is present, the ego is present. Ashtavakra says becoming a witness is meditation. Then the doer disappears; you remain only as watcher, nothing but the observer. When you are nothing but the observer then only is there darshan, seeing; then only is there meditation, then only is there wisdom.
– The Mahageeta, Vol 1, Chapter #1

Ashtavakra, one of the greatest seers of this country, says: The sannyasin is one who is dead even while he is alive. But the person who is dead while he is alive will be alive when he is dead.
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5, Chapter #4

Ashtavakra says, “Rest in yourself, and you will attain all.” Because resting in yourself you will know who you are.
– The First Principle, Chapter #9

“One very great mystic of India — I have spoken on him for almost half a year continuously. His name was Ashtavakra. And what he has written is tremendously important; each sentence has so many dimensions to be explored, but the man himself was in a very difficult situation.

Ashtavakra — the name was given to him, because he was almost like a camel. In eight places he was distorted in the body — one leg was longer, one arm was shorter, his back was bent — in eight places he was distorted. That’s how he was born, with a crippled, distorted body. But even in a crippled and distorted body the soul is as beautiful as in the most beautiful body.

He became enlightened, but his body was too rigid to change with his inner change. His eyes started showing something of the beauty, but the whole body was in such a mess.”

“It is one of the strangest things in this country that on every book written by any prominent mystic there have been hundreds of commentaries, but nobody has commented before me on Ashtavakra. And he must be at least five thousand years old. For five thousand years nobody has bothered to look into his statements, which are so significant.

But his inner enlightenment, his inner understanding could not change his outer appearance. And yet for those who are going deeper into themselves, the outer does not matter. They would have seen even in Ashtavakra tremendous beauty, but it would not have been of the outer circumference, but of the center.
Most often the inner change changes the outer, if the outer is not too rigid. But the outer never changes the inner.

You need to have eyes, going deep into people’s beings, which is possible only if you are going inwards yourself. The deeper you go into yourself the deeper you can look into other people’s beings. And then a totally new world opens its doors.”
– Sat Chit Anand, Chapter #27

Just a few days ago I was talking about Ashtavakra. Yes, he is exactly like Lao Tzu; he also praises the quality of sublime laziness. He calls it ALASI SHIROMANI. the emperor of laziness, a great king of laziness, the highest peak of laziness. But remember, inactivity plus energy, plus vitality. And not a single effort has to be made, because in the effort so much energy will be wasted that you will be less radiant. And God comes to you only when you are so vital — optimumly vital, optimum… at the peak — that you cannot be any more vital. At that peak you meet the divine. Your highest energy comes closest to God’s feet; God’s lowest energy is closest to man’s highest energy, and there is the communion.
– Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, Chapter #2