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Chapter 15: One Coin, Two Sides

You will be surprised to know that even the statue of Gautam Buddha is not his own - the face has been taken from Alexander the Great. But Buddha cannot prevent it. It was five hundred years after Gautam Buddha had died that Alexander came to India. He was a beautiful man - almost like a statue - and he impressed the Indian sculptors. There was no photograph of Buddha available, no painting, so there was no difficulty - the statue that you see of Gautam Buddha made in India is the statue of Alexander the Great; it is his face, it is his nose.

Gautam Buddha must have looked far different, because he was born just on the boundary between India and Nepal. He may have looked more like a Nepalese than like an Indian. And you can see it: the Japanese statue of Buddha is different, the Chinese statue of Buddha is different.

Now it is in your hands; Buddha cannot do anything. Whatever you want - a long nose, closed eyes or open eyes - it is up to you. The poor guy cannot prevent you. This is the time for him to sleep, but you have fixed him into a lotus posture. The whole night he is sitting in a lotus posture, and do you think that Gautam Buddha used to sit in a lotus posture the whole night? - Twenty-four hours in a lotus posture?

And now you can do anything you like.once a master dies people start editing his words according to their own idea of what he should have said. The day Buddha died, just the next day, there were thirty-two schools immediately, thirty-two sects differing about what Buddha had said. Now the Ceylonese Buddhist does not agree with the Tibetan Buddhist, neither does the Tibetan Buddhist agree with the Japanese Buddhist, nor does the Japanese Buddhist agree with the Indian idea of Buddhism.

Now it is in your hands. And Buddha was absolutely right: “Don’t make a statue of me, and be a light unto yourself. Search and seek, and if you can find a living master, then don’t let me hinder you, because all living masters are exactly the same. Their faces may be different, their languages may be different, but their grace, their awareness, their truth is exactly the same.”

It would have been a great blessing to humanity if every great master had told his disciples, “When I am gone, search for another living master.” And he should have made the criterion that the living master is one who does not listen to you, and who does not fulfill your expectations.

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