Chapter 1: Man: Only a Possibility
What is the difference between a Christian and a Hindu and a Jew? If you look deep down there is no difference; all the difference is formal, and they are obsessed with the formalities. Dehydrated stuff has become much too significant.
The Silversteins sent their son to a highbrow New England boarding school. A few months later he returned home for the Christmas holidays.
“Samela,” greeted his mother. “It is so good to see you.”
“Mother,” he replied, “stop calling me Samela. I’m grown up now and I wish you would refer to me as Samuel.”
“I am sorry,” said Mrs. Silverstein. “I hope you ate only kosher foods while you were away?”
“Mother, it is ridiculous to still cling to those old-world traditions. I indulged in all types of food, kosher and non-kosher, and you would be better off if you did.”
“Well, did you at least go to the synagogue occasionally?”
“Really!” replied the young Silverstein. “Going to a synagogue when you are associating with mostly non-Jews is preposterous. It is unfair to ask it of me.”
“Tell me son,” said Mrs. Silverstein, “are you still circumcised?”
But these are the differences between Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians and Jews and Jainas. What have we made of religion? We have not listened to the buddhas; we have not understood Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mahavira, Buddha. We have misunderstood them, and we are living according to our misunderstanding.
These sutras of Buddha will give you an insight, an insight into the heart of an awakened one, how he sees things, how he feels, what is his understanding of the world. But please remember to listen to his words very carefully. Put your minds aside. If you listen through your minds, you will listen to something else, you will misinterpret, you will come in between. The words can’t carry the meaning to you if you interfere - and we are constantly interfering. That’s why everybody knows how to hear, but very few people know how to listen.
Hearing is simple, listening is an art. Be a listener for these twenty days, while we will be talking on these tremendously significant sutras of Buddha. They can reveal to you a totally new vision of life.
Margaret got smashed at the company’s Christmas office party. The sales manager, Harvey, offered to drive her home. She staggered out to his car, gave him her address and away they drove.
Fifteen minutes later, she leaned over and said, “Harv, you are passionate.” Immediately he reached for her thigh. Margaret slapped his face.
They drove in silence, and then..