Chapter 7: A Dweller in Peace
Always remember that: never decide about the other. Even if Buddha is mad, take it as a challenge. You will not lose anything. If he is mad, then too you would have gone beyond your boundaries just in the effort to understand him. If he is not mad, then you have met with something precious, then you have stumbled upon a great treasure.
The Lord then said: Yes, Subhuti.. For the Tathagata has taught that the dharmas special to the buddhas are just not a buddha’s special dharmas. That is why they are called the dharmas special to the buddhas.
Now look at the absurdity - but it is significant, it is very meaningful. What are the dharmas of the buddhas, the special characteristics of a buddha? His special characteristic is that he has no characteristics, that he is utterly ordinary, that if you come across him you will not recognize him.
He is not a performer, he is not a politician, he is not an actor. He has no ego to perform. He is not there to convince anybody about his importance. He is utterly absent - that is his presence. That’s why these absurd statements. His characteristic is that he lives as if he is dead; that he walks and yet nobody walks in him, that he talks yet nobody talks in him.there is utter silence, never broken.
Zen monks say Buddha never uttered a single word, and Buddha spoke for forty-five years continuously. If anybody can surpass him, it is me; nobody else can surpass him. And I say to you, I have also not uttered a single word. Zen people are right. I agree with them with my own experience. I go on saying things to you and yet deep inside there is absolute silence, not disturbed by what I say. When I am speaking the silence is there, not even a ripple arises in it.
I am here, in a way utterly present, in another way absolutely absent, because there is nothing arising in me which says “I.’” Not that I don’t use the word; the word has to be used, it is utilitarian - but it connotes to no reality. It is just a utility, a convenience, a strategy of language; it corresponds to no reality.
When I say “I,” I am simply using a word to indicate towards me, but if you look into me you will not find any “I” there. I have not found. I have been looking and looking and looking. The more I have looked in, the more the “I” has evaporated. The “I” exists only when you don’t look inwards. It can exist only when you don’t look. The moment you look, the “I” disappears.
It is just like when you bring light in a dark room, darkness disappears. Your look inwards is a light, a flame. You cannot find any darkness there - and your “I” is nothing but condensed darkness.
The basic characteristic of a buddha, the Buddha dharma, his unique quality, is that he is not, that he has no attributes, that he is indefinable, that whatsoever definition you put upon him will be unjust because it will demark him, it will limit him, and he is not limited. He is pure void. He is a nobody.