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Chapter 3: Where Buddha Ends Krishna Begins

So there is a period of effort, of sadhana, in the lives of Buddha and Mahavira, followed by a state of fulfillment, attainment. Krishna is ever a siddha, a fulfilled one; there is no such thing as a period of sadhana in his whole life. Have you ever heard that Krishna went through any sort of spiritual discipline? Did he ever meditate? Did he practice yoga? Did he ever fast and undergo other austerities? Did he retire to a jungle to practice asceticism? There is nothing, absolutely nothing like a sadhana in his whole life.

What Buddha and Mahavira attain after heroic efforts Krishna already has, without any effort whatsoever. He seems to be eternally enlightened. Then why a sadhana? For what? This is the fundamental difference between Krishna and others. So there is no way for the ego to affect Krishna’s vision in the least, because there is no “thou” for him, no one is the other for him.

I was talking about Kabir only this morning. There is another anecdote, which is as beautiful, in the life of Kabir and his son Kamal.

One morning Kabir sends Kamal to the forest to bring green grass for the cattle. Kamal goes to the forest with a sickle in his hands. Plants are dancing in the wind, as they are dancing right here before us. Morning turns into midday and midday passes into evening, and yet Kamal does not return home from the forest. Kabir is worried, because he was expected to be back home for his midday meal. Kabir makes inquiries and then goes to the forest with a few friends in search of his son. On reaching the forest, he finds Kamal standing in the thick of grass tall enough to reach his shoulders. It is wrong to say that he is standing, he is actually dancing with the dancing plants. The wind is dancing, the plants are dancing and Kamal is dancing with them. His eyes are closed and he is wholly absorbed in the dance. Kabir finds that he has not chopped a single blade of grass for the cattle. So he gently puts his hands on his shoulders and asks, “What have you been doing, my son?”

Kamal opens his eyes and looks around. He tells his father, “You did well to remind me,” and then picks up his sickle with a view to his assigned task. But he finds it is already dark and not possible to cut any grass.

The people with Kabir asked him, “But what have you been doing for the rest of the day?”

Kamal says, “I became just like a grass plant; I forgot I was a man or anything. I also forgot this was grass I came to chop and take home to my cattle. The morning was so beautiful and blissful, it was so festive and dancing with the wind and the trees and the grass, it would have been sheer stupidity on my part not to have joined the celebration. I began dancing, forgetting everything else. I did not even remember I was Kamal who had come here to collect food for my animals. I am aware of it again only now that you come to remind me.”

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