Read Book

OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart
1 2 3 4 5 > »

Chapter 4: Enter the Door of Anatta

A monk asked Rinzai, “What is the attitude of the heart which does not change from moment to moment?”
The master said: “From the moment you set yourself to ask this question, there is already the difference, and your essential nature and your action become separate..Do not be deceived. In and out of the world there is not a thing that has a self-nature, nor a nature that is productive of a self. All is but empty names, and the very letters of these names are also empty.
“If you take these empty names for real, you make a big mistake. For though they exist, they belong in the realm of dependent change, are like robes to put on and off.
“There is the robe of bodhi, of nirvana, of deliverance, of the trikaya, of objective wisdom, of bodhisattvas and of buddha.
“What are you seeking in the realm of changing dependence? The three vehicles and the twelve divisions of the teachings, all are so much old paper to mop up messes. The buddha is an illusory phantom. The patriarchs are old monks. You yourselves, are you not born of a mother?
“If you seek the buddha, you will be caught by the buddha demon; if you seek the patriarchs, you will be bound by the patriarch demon. Whatever you are seeking, all becomes suffering. It is better to have nothing further to seek.”

Maneesha, the clouds and the rain and the silent bamboos, and ten thousand people sitting silently, is a rare phenomenon. This kind of assembly has disappeared from the world. It used to be, when Buddha was walking, or when Rinzai was alive..You are representative of a forgotten past, which is not the past of the crowd but only the past of the awakened ones.

Rinzai’s statement is tremendously significant, but before I say something about it, as a preface..

Man’s personality has been divided in concentric circles. The first circle is the body. Within it, another circle is the mind. Within that, another third circle is the heart. And within the third circle, the center is the self. Buddha goes beyond it.

The atheists belong to and believe only in the first circle. They deny all other circles as imagination. Mind also is a function of the body. The theists believe in all the four circles: the body, the mind, the heart, and the self. Their insistence is that the first three circles are insignificant or illusory, they are not your true reality. Your true reality is the fourth center.

Buddha is breaking new ground. He goes beyond the fourth; he goes beyond the self. No-self, anatta, is your true existence. When you are not, you are. Of course, not in the same form as you have known yourself. You are spread all over the cosmos.

This is something unique, for which Buddha fought for forty-two years, because every religion stops at the self, the atma. Buddha is alone in the whole field, in saying that unless you go beyond self, you cannot enter into the universal, into the cosmic. You cannot become the rains and you cannot become the bamboo and you cannot become the roses.Why remain contained in a small bag? Why not be the whole? According to Buddha, to be the whole is the only holiness.

Rinzai is making his statement in this context; and very perfectly.

A monk asked Rinzai, “What is the attitude of the heart which does not change from moment to moment?”

The problem is perennial. The master says something - of course he has to use words, language, concepts, but that is not what he wants to say. That is sheer helplessness, sheer poverty of language; nothing can be done about it. We have to use the marketplace language in a world where neither the body exists, nor the mind exists, nor the self exists, but just a silence. How to convey it? Some word has to be used, some language, to communicate. And immediately the problem arises - the disciple clings to the words.

1 2 3 4 5 > »