Chapter 4: You Are Ancient Pilgrims
The first question:
I have worn the mala for less than a month, but I understand how feeling you is important. But these feelings are mixed up. I respect and love you, but I don’t look at you as His Holiness. Strange, but I look at you as a buddha. Only that, without anything added or taken away from your being. And what a buddha is I don’t know. How come I love you? I respect you because you are my master - but love? Also I see that I can play with you with joy and you are so far away -or so close? Respect, love, joy - are they the same?
It is good that you cannot think of me as “His Holiness,” because I am neither His Holiness nor His Unholiness. It is good and beautiful that you think of me as a buddha, because that’s exactly what I am - simply a buddha.
A buddha means one who is awake. It has nothing to do with holiness, nothing to do with unholiness. Holiness, unholiness, both are dreams; for dreams you have to be asleep. A buddha is awake; all dreams have disappeared. A buddha is not a saint, is not a sinner either. A buddha is not God and is not the Devil either. All dualities are irrelevant as far as Buddha is concerned. Buddha is simply a witness of all the mystery that surrounds you within and without.
It is absolutely right, you are moving in the right direction. If you start looking at me as a buddha, that is a fundamental step to understanding me. If you think of me as a saint you have misunderstood me.
That’s one of the fundamental problems with Indians who come here - they start thinking about me as a saint. Then a thousand and one problems arise because they have certain ideas about how a saint should be They have a thousand and one expectations: how I should live, what I should eat, how I should talk, what I should say and what I should not say.
I am not a saint, hence I cannot fulfill any of their expectations. Then they feel very frustrated and out of frustration they become enraged. It has nothing to do with me; it is their own minds, their own expectations. I am not here to fulfill anybody’s expectations; I am here to be myself, simply to be myself. I am not here to be somebody else’s carbon copy.
A Jaina comes and thinks in terms of Mahavira and compares me with Mahavira - certainly I am not a Mahavira. The Christian comes with the idea of Christ and starts comparing me with Christ - certainly I am not a Christ either. I am simply myself. You can understand me only if you drop all comparisons, if you forget all the ideas that have been imposed on your mind. If you simply look at me without any prejudice things will be very clear.