Chapter 3: The Halo of Yakushi-Buddha
Once meditation settles in you and you fall into rhythm with existence, compassion is a consequence. Suddenly you feel you are in love with the whole and the other is no longer the other. In the other also, you live. And the tree is no longer just “that tree there”; somehow it is related with you. Everything becomes interrelated. You touch a blade of grass and you have touched all the stars, because everything is related, it cannot be otherwise. Existence is organic. It is one, it is a unity.
Because we are not aware, we don’t see what we go on doing to ourselves. Touch one thing and something which you have never thought was related to it starts happening.
Just the other night I was reading something about smell. The sensation, the capacity of smell, has almost disappeared from humanity. Animals are very sharp: a horse can smell for miles, a dog can smell more than a man. Just by the smell the dog knows that his master is coming, and after years the dog will again recognize the smell that is his master’s smell.
Man has completely forgotten. What has happened to smell? What calamity has happened to smell? Why? There seems to be no reason why smell has been so suppressed. No culture anywhere has consciously suppressed it, but it has become suppressed. It has become suppressed because of sex. Now the whole of humanity lives with sex deeply suppressed, and smell is connected with sex. Before making love a dog will smell the partner because unless he smells a harmony deep down between the two bodies, he will not make love. Once the smell is fitting then he knows that now the bodies are in tune and they can fit and can become a song; even for a moment a unity is possible.
Because sex has been suppressed all over the world, smell has become suppressed. The very word has become a little condemnatory. If I say to you, “Do you hear.?” or if I say to you, “Do you see.?” you don’t feel offended. But if I say, “Do you smell.?” One should not feel offended, it is the same language. Smell is a capacity; just like seeing and hearing, smelling is a capacity. When I ask, “Do you smell.?” we feel offended because we have completely forgotten that it is a capacity.
There is a famous anecdote about an English thinker, Dr. Johnson. He was sitting in a stagecoach and a lady entered. She said to Dr. Johnson, “Sir, you smell!”
But he was a man of language, letters, a grammarian. He said, “No, madam. You smell. I stink!”
Smelling is a capacity. “You smell. I stink.” Linguistically he is right. That’s how it should be if you follow grammar. But the very word has become very condemnatory. What has happened to smell? Once you suppress sex, smell is suppressed.
You can read in the scriptures that people say, “I saw God.” Nobody says, “I smelled God.” What is wrong in it? If the eyes are right then why is the nose wrong? In the Old Testament it is said that your face is beautiful and your taste is beautiful, but not your smell. Smell is not talked about. We talk about God’s beatific vision; we never talk about his beatific smell.