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Chapter 7: Lion Buddha

If you enter with a curious mind, nothing is available to you, because the curious mind itself prevents you to seeing. You are preoccupied with your question. You are preoccupied with your knowledge. You ask because you think you know. Somebody comes and says, “Who created the world?” In fact he already carries the idea that God created the world. He has come to ask only to be confirmed. If you confirm him, he is very happy. If you negate, he becomes angry at you. He was not a real seeker, he was seeking support for his belief.

A man asked Buddha one day, early in the morning.. Buddha was for his morning walk, and the man asked, “Is there God?”

Buddha looked for a moment into the eyes of the man and said, “No. There is no God at all - never has been, never will be. You get rid of all this nonsense.”

The man was shocked.

Ananda was following Buddha. He always followed him like a shadow, just to be at his service any moment, if any need arises. He listened, he had listened to many answers from Buddha, but it was like a hammer, so crude, so cruel it looked. But he saw the face of Buddha - tremendous compassion.

In the afternoon another man came on the same day and he asked, “Is there God?”

Buddha said, “Yes, there is - always has been, always will be. Seek and find.”

Ananda was very much puzzled. He has not forgotten the answer the Buddha gave just this morning, but he could not ask because there were so many other people.

And before he could ask, another man came by the evening just as the sun was setting. And Buddha was sitting outside underneath a tree, just watching the sunset, the beautiful clouds, and the man asked, “Is there God?”

Buddha simply motioned his hand, gestured to the man - sit down. Himself closed his eyes. The man followed. They sat in silence for a few moments, then the man rose up. It was getting dark, the sun had set. He touched the feet of Buddha, said, “I am grateful for the answer. Thank you very much,” and went away.

Now Ananda was all boiling up. When there was nobody, Ananda asked, “I will not be able to sleep tonight unless you answer me. In a single day, the same question - and you answered in three ways. To the first person you said ‘No, there is no God’. To the second you said, ‘Yes, there is’. And to the third you simply motioned with such love to sit down and close his eyes. You didn’t answer anything to him, but something must have transpired, because the man fell into deep silence. He touched your feet, he thanked you also for your answer, although I was there and you had not answered at all. What is going on? You have puzzled me very much.”

Buddha said, “No answer was given to you. Why should you be puzzled? It was their question, it was my answer. You were not a party to it.”

But Ananda said, “I am not deaf, I was there and I simply listened. And now those three answers are keeping me very much confused.”

Buddha said, “The first man was a believer, he believed in God. He had not come really to inquire, he had come to be confirmed. He wanted his belief to be supported by me, so he can go and tell people, ‘Not only I that believe in God, Buddha also believes’. He wanted to use me for his own purposes, hence I had to say no.

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