Possessing Nothing, Wanting Nothing
Only a meditator becomes adult. Otherwise, your chronological age may be seventy, eighty or ninety, it does not matter – you are only an old child.ninety years old but still immature because still interested in toys, still carrying your teddy bears, still interested in possessing more and more toys. Children can be forgiven, but you cannot be forgiven. Only a meditator comes of age; for the first time he becomes mature, grown-up. All childishness disappears from him.
And the beauty is, when all childishness disappears from you, you again become childlike but on a different plane. No childishness but absolutely childlike – the same purity, the same innocence, the same wonder, the same awe. Again existence becomes a mystery. But it is not that you are childish – you are childlike. It is a totally different phenomenon. Childishness is immaturity; to have a childlike purity is maturity. They are polar opposites.
Possessing nothing, wanting nothing. the master is at home. He is no longer running after shadows, he is not running at all. Just now to say to you that you are also buddhas will look absurd; at least to you it will look absurd. You will listen, you love me and you will try to understand what I am saying, but deep down you will not be convinced that you are buddhas.
That’s why we have been finding every possible rationalization to prove to ourselves that buddhas are a totally different race. Every country has tried to prove to its own heart’s content that “Buddha belongs to some other plane of existence, Christ belongs to some other plane of existence. They are amongst us, but they are totally different from us. They are strangers, they are outsiders. Whatsoever they say is true, but it is not applicable to us, it has no relevance to our world. We live in an ordinary world and they come from some extraordinary existence – from the beyond.”
Every country, every race has convinced itself that Moses, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed are not ordinary people. In some way or other we have been trying to prove that they are extraordinary. Not that we are much interested in their being extraordinary, we are simply interested in one thing: if they are extraordinary then we need not worry. Then we can go on the way we are going, we need not change. We can simply remain the same, as we are. To avoid a radical change we create these great rationalizations.
I say unto you that they are all as ordinary as you are – or as extraordinary as you are. No difference at all. Just a very small difference which is not a difference really: you are asleep and they are awake. You can be awakened, you can wake up – unless you decide not to wake up. But right now it is difficult for you to understand that you are buddhas.
The function of the master is to remind you that you may be believing that you are slaves, but you are not – that is only your belief. You are masters. The function of the master is to remind you, to go on reminding you again and again that you are buddhas. If you are behaving like fools that is your choice. You have the freedom to behave like fools, but you also have the freedom to transform your being totally, to become as centered as a Buddha.
Excerpted From The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 12 CH: 9