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Chapter 3: True Balance

The turmoil, the disturbance, the ugliness all around has to be destroyed, and it cannot be destroyed by anybody who is using destructive means. It can be destroyed only by silence, by peace, by love, by compassion.

Sitting in your presence is such a beautiful experience. We call it discourse. This word seems to me so poor next to what is happening here. Is there a word in any language that could point to, if not describe, what is happening between the master and the disciple?

There is no word in any language for what transpires between the master and the disciple. It is the strangest phenomenon in life. It is not a relationship, it is something far deeper, far greater, far more eternal. Once you have known the taste of being a disciple, the last problem for the master will be how to help you drop it - the idea of disciplehood - because it is so fulfilling, so perfect, that one doesn’t want to stop it.

It is said about Mahakashyap, one of Gautam Buddha’s disciples, that he never said anything. He was asked again and again by other disciples - because he was a great philosopher before he came to Gautam Buddha, and he had thousands of followers; he was one of the sharpest minds around Gautam Buddha, perhaps next only to Gautam Buddha - “Why don’t you speak? Why don’t you say anything?”

Because the disciples were persistently harassing him, he finally said, “The truth is that I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to go beyond disciplehood. Saying anything, coming into the light, becoming important in Gautam Buddha’s eyes, is dangerous. I simply want to sit in a corner and just enjoy the presence of the master. I had come to seek truth, but now I do not have any desire for it. I had come here for enlightenment - I have dropped the idea. Just to be in the presence of this man - just to feel his love showering, his silence penetrating to the very core of my being - is so much, that to ask for more is simply ungratefulness.”

But these are the paradoxes of life: Mahakashyap was the first to become enlightened. His totality in being a disciple was enough to make him enlightened. And the only thing known about him in the Buddhist scriptures is that he laughed. That was the first time that he made any gesture.

Buddha looked at him and said, “Mahakashyap, you never speak - why are you laughing?”

He said, “It’s hilarious! I was trying to hide myself so that I wouldn’t come into the direct focus of you. And there are so many who are desirous of enlightenment, of truth, of the ultimate, that I thought, ‘Let all of them reach; I can wait. This waiting is so beautiful.’ But I had to laugh because I’m the first to have entered the world of enlightenment - and I never asked about it.”

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