Chapter 1: We Are What We Think
These ten days have been of strange beauty, and of a mysterious majesty too. I no longer really belong to this shore. My ship has been waiting for me for a long time - I should have gone. It is a miracle that I am still in the body. The whole credit goes to you: to your love, to your prayerfulness, to your longing. You would like me to linger a little while longer on this shore, hence the impossible has become possible.
These ten days, I was not feeling together with my body. I was feeling very uprooted, dislocated. It is strange to be in the body when you don’t feel that you are in the body. And it is also strange to go on living in a place which no longer belongs to you - my home is on the other shore. And the call comes persistently. But because you need me, it is the compassion of the universe - you can call it the compassion of existence - that is allowing me to be in the body a little longer.
It was strange, it was beautiful, it was mysterious, it was majestic, it was magical. And many of you have felt it. Many of you have felt it in different ways. A few have felt it as a very frightening phenomenon, as if death is knocking on the door. A few have felt it as a great confusion. A few have felt shocked, utterly shocked. But everybody has been touched in some way or other.
Only the newcomers were a little at a loss - they could not comprehend what was going on. But I feel thankful to them too. Although they could not understand what was going on, they waited - they were waiting for me to speak, they were waiting for me to say something, they were hoping. Many were afraid that I may not speak ever again; that was also a possibility. I was not certain myself.
Words are becoming more and more difficult for me. They are becoming more and more of an effort. I have to say something so I go on saying something to you. But I would like you to get ready as soon as possible so that we can simply sit in silence, listening to the birds and their songs, or listening just to your own heartbeat; just being here, doing nothing.
Get ready as soon as possible, because I may stop speaking any day. And let the news be spread to all the nooks and corners of the world: those who want to understand me only through words should come soon, because I may stop speaking any day. Unpredictably, any day, it may happen - it may happen even in the middle of a sentence. Then I am not going to complete the sentence; then it will hang forever and forever, incomplete.
But this time you have pulled me back.
These sayings of Buddha are called The Dhammapada. This name has to be understood. Dhamma means many things. It means the ultimate law, logos. By “ultimate law” is meant that which keeps the whole universe together. Invisible it is, intangible it is - but it is certainly; otherwise the universe would fall apart. Such a vast, infinite universe, running so smoothly, so harmoniously, is enough proof that there must be an undercurrent that connects everything, that joins everything, that bridges everything - that we are not islands, that the smallest grass leaf is joined to the greatest star. Destroy a small grass leaf and you have destroyed something of immense value to existence itself.