The first thing: out of hundred cases, ninety-nine cases will be of imagination. You imagine – that’s why to a Christian Krishna never appears in visions, to a Hindu Mohammed never appears in his visions. Leave Mohammed and Jesus; they are far away. But to a Jain, Ram never appears in his visions, cannot appear. To a Hindu, Mahavira never appears. Why? You don’t have any imagination for Mahavira.

If you are born a Hindu, you have been fed with the concept of Ram and Krishna. If you are born a Christian and you have been fed – your computer, your mind, has been fed – with the image of Jesus. Whenever you start meditating, the fed-in image comes up in the mind; it flashes in the mind.

Jesus appears to you; Jesus never appears to Jews. And he was a Jew. He was born a Jew, he died a Jew, but he never appears to Jews because they never believed in him. They thought he was just a vagabond; they crucified him as a criminal. Jesus never appears to Jews; he belonged to Jews – he had Jewish blood and bones.

I have heard a joke that in Nazi Germany soldiers of Hitler were killing Jews in a town. They had killed many. Few Jews escaped. It was a Sunday morning. They escaped; they reached a church because they thought that would be the best hiding place, the Christian church. The church was filled with Christians; it was a Sunday morning. So a dozen Jews were hiding there.

But the soldiers got the news that some Jews have gone to the church and they are hiding there, so they went into the church. They told the priest that, “Stop your services!” The leader of the soldiers went to the rostrum and said that “You cannot deceive us. There are a few Jews hiding here. So anyone who is a Jew should go out and stand in a line. If you follow our orders you can save yourself. If someone tries to deceive, he will be killed immediately.”

So, by and by, Jews came out of the church and they stood in a line. Then suddenly the whole crowd in the church became aware that Jesus had disappeared, the statue of Jesus. He was also a Jew, so he was standing outside in the line.

But Jesus never appears to Jews. He was not a Christian. He never belonged to any Christian church. If he comes back, he cannot recognize a Christian church, he will move to the synagogue; he will go to the Jewish community. He will go to see the rabbi; he cannot go to see a Catholic or Protestant priest. He doesn’t know. But he never appears to Jews because he has never been a seed into their imaginations. They refused him, so the seed is not there.

So whatsoever happens, ninety-nine possibilities are it may be just fed-in knowledge, concepts, images. They flash before your mind, and when you start meditating you become sensitive. You become so sensitive that you can become a victim of your own imagination. And the imagination will look so real, and there is no way to judge whether it is real or unreal.

Only in one percent cases it will not be imaginary, but how to know? In that one percent of cases, there will be no image really. You will not feel that Jesus is standing before you crucified, you will not feel Krishna standing before you, dancing with him, you will feel the presence, but there will be no image, remember this. You will feel a descendence of divine presence. You will be filled with something unknown, but without any form. There will be no dancing Krishna and there will be no crucified Jesus and there will be no Buddha sitting in siddhasana, no! There will simply be a presence, a vital presence that is flowing within you, in and out. You are overwhelmed, you are in the ocean of it.

Jesus will not be within you, you will be in Jesus. That will be the difference. Krishna will not be in your mind, an image, you will be in Krishna. But then Krishna will be formless. It will be an experience, but not an image.

Then why call it Krishna? There will be no form. Why call it Jesus? These are simply symbols, linguistic symbols. You are acquainted with the word “Jesus”, so when that presence fills you and you become part of it a vibrating part of it; when you become a drop in that ocean, how to express it? You know the most beautiful word for you may be “Jesus” or the most beautiful word may be “Buddha” or “Krishna” – these words are fed in the mind, so you choose certain words to indicate that presence.

But that presence is not an image; it is not a dream. It is not a vision at all. You can use Jesus, you can use Krishna, you can use Christ, or whatsoever, whatsoever name has appeal to you, whatsoever name has a love appeal for you. That’s up to you. That word and that name and that image will come from your mind, but the experience itself is imageless. It is not an imagination.

One Catholic priest was visiting a Zen Master, Nan-in. Nan-in has never heard about Jesus, so this Catholic priest thought, “It will be good. I should go and read some parts from THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, and I will see how Nan-in reacts. And people say that he is enlightened.”

So that Catholic priest went to Nan-in and he said, “Master, I am a Christian, and I have got a book and I love it. And I would like to read something from it just to know how you respond, how you react.” So he read a few lines from THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT – New Testament. He translated it into Japanese because Nan-in could understand only Japanese.

When he started translating, the whole face of Nan-in changed completely. Tears started flowing from his eyes, and he said, “These are the words of Buddha.” The Christian priest said, “No, no, these are the words of Jesus.” But Nan-in said, “Whatsoever you give the name, but I feel these are the words of the Buddha because I know only Buddha and these words can come only through Buddha. And if you say they have come through Jesus, then Jesus was a Buddha; that doesn’t make any difference. Then I will tell my disciples that Jesus was a Buddhist.”

This will be the feeling. If you feel the presence of the divine, then names are just immaterial. Names are bound to be different for everyone because names come from education, names come from culture, names come from the race you belong to. But that experience doesn’t belong to any society, that experience does not belong to any culture, that experience doesn’t belong to your mind, the computer – it belongs to you.

So, remember, if you see visions, they are imagination. If you start feeling presences – formless, existential experiences – envelop in them, merge in them, melt in them, then you are really in contact.

You can call that presence Jesus, you can call that presence Buddha, it depends on you; it makes no difference. Jesus is a Buddha and Buddha is a Christ. Those who have gone beyond the mind, they have also gone beyond personalities. They have also gone beyond forms. If Jesus and Buddha are standing together, there will be two bodies, but one soul. There will be two bodies, but not two presences, one presence.

It is just like you put two lamps in a room. The lamps are two, just their bodies, but the light has become one. You cannot demarcate that this light belongs to this lamp and that light belongs to that lamp. The lights have merged. Only the material part of the lamp has remained separate, but the non-material part has become one.

If Buddha and Jesus come close, if they stand together, you will see two lamps, separate, but their lights have already merged. They have become one. All those who have known truth have become one. Their names are different for their followers; for them, now there are no names.


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