Featured Books Life Love Laughter THE KEY BEYOND WORDS (Part 9)



Look at Bodhidharma's painting. He must have been one of the most beautiful men; that he was otherwise is not possible, because whenever a man becomes enlightened a beauty descends, a beauty which comes from the beyond. A blessing comes to his whole being. But look at Bodhidharma's painting. He looks ferocious and dangerous. He looks so dangerous that you will become scared if he comes to visit you in the night-never again in your life will you be able to sleep. He looks so dangerous, as if he is going to kill you. It was just disciples laughing at the master, creating a ridiculous portrait. It looks like a cartoon.

All Zen masters are depicted in a ridiculous way. Disciples enjoy it. But those portraits carry a quality that Bodhidharma is dangerous, that if you go to him he will kill you, that you cannot escape him, that he will follow you and haunt you, that wherever you go he will be there, that unless he kills you he cannot leave you. That is the thing depicted with all Zen masters, even Buddha.

If you look at Japanese and Chinese paintings of Buddha, they don't look like the Indian Buddha. They have changed him totally. If you look at Indian paintings of Buddha, his body is proportionate, as it should be. He was a prince, then a buddha, a beautiful man, perfect, proportionate. A big-bellied Buddha?-he never had a big belly. But in Japan, in his paintings, his scriptures, he is painted with a big belly, because a man who laughs must have a big belly. Belly laughter-how can you do it with a small belly? You cannot do it. They are joking with Buddha, and they have said such things about Buddha-only very deep love can do that, otherwise it looks insulting.

Osho, A Bird on the Wing, Talk #10
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