Chapter 6: Bodhisattvahood
A bodhisattva is one who has so much that he needs to give it, who has so much that when you accept his love, his being, his enlightenment, you oblige him. He is like a flower full of fragrance.and the fragrance wants to be freed to the winds. Or he is like a cloud full of rainwater and is searching a thirsty earth which can welcome it, which can absorb it. So is a bodhisattva.a cloud full of rainwater, moving hither and thither in search of a thirsty soul, in search of somebody who will welcome it. The bodhisattva is obliged to you when you accept his gift.
Bodhisattvahood is a state of consciousness. It is nonsense, true. It is not a thing, true - but it happens. It is very illogical. It is illogical, it looks absurd, because it does not relate to your experience yet. But soon many of you are going to enter into that realm. I see many of you just standing on the threshold. You cannot see. I can see that you are on the threshold, getting ready to take the ultimate jump. When it has happened then you will know what Buddha is talking about.
The Diamond Sutra is not preached to the layman, it is preached only to the sannyasins, only to those who are coming to bodhisattvahood or those who have come. In fact it has to be preached before one is coming to bodhisattvahood, because in that moment of bodhisattvahood, if you don’t know anything about what to do, if you are not aware that there is a way to unburden - that you can release your blissfulness, that there is no need to contain it - if you don’t know anything about it, it will be difficult for you, very difficult. Your very blissfulness will become a pain in the chest, will become an ache in the heart. Rather than becoming a dance and a song it will become painful.
Do you know, when bliss becomes very intense it becomes painful. When light is too intense it is too dazzling, and you almost go blind. When love is too much you cannot bear it. When joy is too much your heart can stop; it can be too painful. And you don’t know anything. When bodhisattvahood happens the joy is such, the magnitude of it, the blissfulness is such, the intensity of it, that you can die just out of it or you can go mad.
Buddhism is the only tradition in the world where bodhisattvas have not been known to go mad. Why? In Sufism they go mad, in Hinduism they go mad, many of them go mad. Sufis have a special name for them - mastas. But there is nothing like that in Buddha’s tradition. Why? Buddha is so aware of all the possibilities and is preparing the path so scientifically that he goes on giving you indications, directions, suggestions, for those moments which are going to happen.
Down the ages, in these twenty-five centuries, a Buddhist saint has never been known to go mad, it is rare. In Sufism many go mad, in Hinduism many go mad. The reason is that Sufis and Hindus have nothing compared to bodhisattvahood; no instruction is given. And in the West the problem is even more complicated. Christianity has no idea about it. So in Christianity it has happened that ordinary people who were not in any way saints have been worshipped as saints, and those who were saints have been declared mad or possessed by the devil.