Chapter 24: Imitation Is Your Cremation
There is one statement of Gautam Buddha which Buddhists try to avoid because they don’t have the understanding to explain it. And it is so clear, they cannot even explain it away. The statement that Buddha makes is, “unless you hate your father, your mother, your brother, you cannot follow me.” Now, what kind of statement is this? - “Unless you hate your father, your mother, your family, you cannot follow me.”
The Buddhists don’t quote it. In no Buddhist monastery does anybody even give a sermon on it. Monks just pass it by quickly. How to explain it? A man like Buddha who teaches love, non-violence, is saying to hate your mother and father.
Then Jesus certainly seems to be far superior: “Love your enemy; not only the enemy, love your neighbor” - which is certainly far more difficult. The enemy is far away and once in a while maybe there is some trouble, but the neighbor is a twenty-four hour trouble, and just a pain in the neck continually, twenty-four hours a day. And Jesus says, “Love your neighbor just like yourself.”
Naturally if you compare these statements Jesus will look far more religious than Buddha. But before I say anything else, let me quote Bodhidharma, who defeated his own master, Buddha, in every possible way. And that is the only joy of a real master, that he should be defeated by his disciple. Of course, they were not contemporaries; there was at least eleven hundred years’ difference between Buddha and Bodhidharma.
Bodhidharma says: “First go and kill your father and mother, then come to me. First, be finished with your father and your mother and then come to me. Otherwise go somewhere else - I am not for you.” How you are going to explain it? And I say to you that what Jesus says is just hocus-pocus.
What Bodhidharma is saying is pure psychology. He is not saying that you should kill your father and mother, but in a certain way you have to kill the father that has entered you, and the mother that has entered you. That is your family inside, which is surrounding your being, which won’t allow any ray of light to reach your innermost corner. The crowd has gathered there, and because of that crowd the inner center is in darkness.
Bodhidharma brings Buddha’s statement to its logical conclusion. Why just hate? - be completely finished, because hating is again a relationship, just like love. If you love somebody, you remember him; you cannot forget him - you are not supposed to forget the person you love. Sometimes you may forget the person you love, but you cannot forget the person you hate. Although all the so-called moral teachers have been telling you to forgive and forget, you can neither forgive nor can you forget. Perhaps you can forgive, with effort, but how can you forget? Then you will remember two things: first, that you hated him and second, that you have forgiven him - now you will remember even more. So what have you done?
You cannot forget your enemy. It is a relationship, a very close, very intimate relationship. And that’s why it is very easy for lovers to become haters, friends to become enemies, enemies to become friends. It is very easy because both are relationships: just a little turn, a little change in the situation.