Don’t Follow – In Gita Verse 3.29 Bewildered by the modes of material nature, the ignorant fully engage themselves in material activities and become attached. But the wise should not unsettle them, although these duties are inferior due to the performers’ lack of knowledge.
Krishna tells Arjuna that as soon as you become self-unconscious immediately you will find anxiety, anger, tubulances, you will become bewilder, you will not know how to act and you will try to follow your intellect who will guide you to imitate. In the process you will not be able to respond to the present moment.
Imitation is a substitute for understanding:
Let me tell you one anecdote first. When Rabbi Nor, son of Rabbi Mordekai, assumed the succession after his father’s death, his disciples noted that there were a number of ways in which he conducted himself differently to his father, and asked him about this. ‘I do just as my father did,’ he replied.’ He did not imitate and I do not imitate.’
Meditate over this anecdote. He said, ‘I do just as my father did. He did not imitate and I do not imitate.’ If you really understand Joshu, Bodhidharma or Osho, you will not imitate — because Osho have not imitated, because Bodhidharma never imitated anybody.
Joshu used to say to his disciples, ‘If you utter Buddha’s name, go and rinse your mouth immediately.’ Joshu also used to say, ’If you meet the Buddha on the way, kill him immediately.’ And he used to worship Buddha every day.
Ordinarily Zen looks puzzling, but it is clear-cut. It is following Buddha. When Joshu says, ‘If you meet the Buddha on the way kill him,’ he is a right disciple because that was Buddha’s essential message. When Buddha was dying, his last utterance in this world was, ’APPO DEEPO BHAVA’ — ‘Be a light unto yourself.’
Don’t follow anybody. Anand was crying, weeping because Buddha was leaving the body and he said to Buddha, ‘You are leaving and I have not yet become enlightened. What about me? What will happen to me? The world will be absolutely dark for me — you were the light. And now you are going. Have compassion on us.’ Buddha opened his eyes and said, ‘APPO DEEPO BHAVA. Be a light unto yourself, Anand, nobody can be a light for you.’
Means this cannot be taught but you have to learn.
When Joshu says,’Kill the Buddha if you meet him on the way,’ he is a true follower of Buddha. In Zen, following is very, very delicate. Great intelligence will be needed if you want to be a follower of Zen. It is very easy to be a Christian or a Hindu; it is very mathematical. To follow Zen it is very, very delicate and poetic — because the very following means not following; because that is the message of the Zen Masters, don’t follow.
This is going to happen. If details are so important, this is going to happen. Zen Masters have not given any details. They simply impart their awareness and say, ‘You be aware. Awareness will show you the way in each moment. What is needed, you will know. Respond knowingly, alert, that’s all.’ How can it be decided beforehand what you should do? Who knows? Each circumstance is so unique that it is difficult to decide. And people who decide always encage humanity, imprison humanity.
Zen is a path of liberation. It liberates. It is freedom from the first step to the last. You are not required to follow any rules; you are required to find out your own rules and your own life in the light of awareness.
Krishna very compassionately tell Arjuna that in you self-unconsciousness you will be imitator and univers don’t want imitators. Universe wants everyone to respond to the present moment, Universe gives every moment new opportunity to celebrate that moment with fresh respond, he don’t repeat and he don’t want you to repeat. As Universe consider you and honour you as part of it. Just full of joy respond to present moment.