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Chapter 18: Wakefulness Is Awareness

The Jaina tirthankara, Mahavira, became enlightened sitting in a certain pose which is very strange because you are rarely found in that pose. In yoga that posture is called, “cow-milking posture.” In India, machines are not used; men sit on a tripod and milk the cows by hand. But what was Mahavira doing? - because he was certainly not milking a cow so why should he sit in the milking-a-cow posture?

That can be done only for one reason.and I will not tell you the reason. You can ask Morarji Desai; tell him, “You are doing perfectly. Just remember, sit in the right cow-milking pose. Collect the milk and drink, and enlightenment is sure.”

Now, after Mahavira, Jaina monks had been thinking one could not become enlightened because to sit in that posture is very difficult. You cannot sit long enough - and it is a very strange posture. To meditate one needs to sit in such a way that one is relaxed, at ease. Mahavira’s is a very tense posture.

But what is accidental, people start thinking of as if it is the cause - as if that posture is a necessity for enlightenment. Nothing is a necessity for enlightenment because enlightenment is not caused by anything that you can do. Enlightenment happens only when you are absent, so utterly silent that it is not your doing.

You cannot brag, “This is my enlightenment. I have done it.” When enlightenment happens, you can simply say, “I was not. And because I was not, I was so silent, so absent - just a pure nothing, only a receptivity - it happened.” It came from the beyond just as sun rays come to the flowers and they open their petals. Something from the beyond comes into you and your lotus opens its petals and releases all its inexhaustible fragrance. But there is no cause.

Cause and effect are scientific terms. They don’t have any significance in the mystery of your inner life. There is nothing caused, nothing effected. The buddhahood, the enlightenment, the awakening, the liberation is already there. It is not to be created, hence no cause is needed. It has only to be looked at. You have just to turn your eyes inwards and see it. It is a discovery. It has been there for millennia so you can do it at any moment - just a small thing which is not a cause - you just open your eyes inward. And that’s what I call meditation.

Mind opens outside; meditation opens inside. Mind is a door that leads you outside in the world; meditation is the door that leads you to your interiority - to the very innermost shrine of your being. And suddenly, you are enlightened. Enlightenment is always sudden; it is never gradual.

And Bodhidharma knew it. His own enlightenment was a sudden experience. But just so as not to contradict the tradition, not to annoy the people, not to make enemies, he compromised. I categorically condemn this compromise.

A man of his genius should not have compromised on any ground. Even if all Buddhism in China disappears, nothing is lost.

But Bodhidharma compromising has destroyed his own integrity, his own sincerity, his own authority. He has become a pygmy when actually he was a giant.