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Chapter 10: Self Actualization: The Basic Need

A buddha is a self-actualized person. That is why we picture Buddha, Mahavira and others - why we have made sculptures, pictures, depictions of them - sitting on a fully blossomed lotus. That fully blossomed lotus is the peak of flowering inside. Inside they have flowered and have become fully blossomed. That inner flowering gives a radiance, a constant showering of bliss from them. All those who come even within their shadows, all those who come near them feel a silent milieu around them.

There is an interesting story about Mahavira. It is a myth, but myths are beautiful and they say much which cannot be said otherwise. It is reported that when Mahavira would move, all around him, in an area of about twenty-four miles, all the flowers would bloom. Even if it was not the season for the flowers, they would bloom. This is simply a poetic expression, but even if one was not self-actualized, if one were to come in contact with Mahavira his flowering would become infectious, and one would feel an inner flowering in oneself also. Even if it was not the right season for a person, even if he was not ready, he would reflect, he would feel an echo. If Mahavira was near someone, that person would feel an echo within himself, and he would have a glimpse of what he could be.

Self-actualization is the basic need. And when I say basic, I mean that if all your needs are fulfilled, all except self-realization, self-actualization, you will feel unfulfilled. In fact, if self-actualization happens and nothing else is fulfilled, still you will feel a deep, total fulfillment. That is why Buddha was a beggar, but yet an emperor.

Buddha came to Kashi when he became enlightened. The king of Kashi came to see him and he asked, “I do not see that you have anything, you are just a beggar, yet I feel myself a beggar in comparison to you. You do not have anything, but the way you walk, the way you look, the way you laugh makes it seem as if the whole world is your kingdom. And you have nothing visible - nothing! So where is the secret of your power? You look like an emperor.” Really, no emperor has ever looked like that - as if the whole world belongs to him. “You are the king, but where is your power, the source?”

So Buddha said, “It is in me. My power, my source of power, whatsoever you feel around me is really within me. I do not have anything except myself, but it is enough. I am fulfilled; now I do not desire anything. I have become desireless.”

Really, a self-actualized person will become desireless. Remember this. Ordinarily we say that if you become desireless, you will know yourself. The contrary is more true: if you know yourself, you will become desireless. And the emphasis of Tantra is not on being desireless, but on becoming self-actualized. Then desirelessness follows.

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