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Chapter 1: The Buddha Within

The word bhagavan simply means “the blessed one.” Then one has become the blessed one. Now his blessing is eternally his; it depends on nothing, it is independent. It is not caused by anything so it cannot be taken away. It is uncaused, it is one’s intrinsic nature.

And he is called bodhisattva. Bodhisattva is a very beautiful concept in Buddhism. Bodhisattva means one who has become a buddha but is still holding himself in the world of time and space - to help others. Bodhisattva means “essentially a buddha,” is just ready to drop and disappear, is ready to go into nirvana. Nothing remains to be solved, all his problems are solved. There is no need for him to be here, but he is still here. There is nothing else to be learned here, but he is still here. And he is keeping himself in body-form, in mind-form - he is keeping the whole ladder. He has gone beyond, but he is keeping the whole ladder - to help, out of compassion.

A story is told that Buddha reached the doors of the ultimate, nirvana. The doors were opened, the angels were dancing and singing to receive him - because it rarely happens in millions of years that a human being becomes a buddha. Those doors open, and that day is naturally a great day of celebration. All the ancient buddhas had gathered, and there was great rejoicing, and flowers were showering, and music was played, and everything was decorated - it was a day of celebration.

But Buddha did not enter the door. And the ancient buddhas, all with folded hands, asked him, requested him to come in: “Why is he standing outside?” And Buddha is reported to have said, “Unless all others who are coming behind me enter, I am not going to enter. I will keep myself outside, because once I come in then I disappear. Then I will not be of any help to these people. I see millions of people stumbling and groping in the dark. I have myself been groping the same way for millions of lives. I would like to give them my hand. Please close the door. When everybody has come I myself will knock, then you can receive me.”

A beautiful story.. This is called the state of bodhisattva: one who is ready to disappear but still is holding - in body, in mind, in the world, in time and space - to help others.

Buddha says: Meditation is enough to solve your problems, but something is missing in it - compassion. If compassion is also there, then you can help others solve their problems. He says: Meditation is pure gold; it has a perfection of its own. But if there is compassion then the gold has a fragrance too - then a higher perfection, then a new kind of perfection, gold with fragrance. Gold is enough unto itself - very valuable - but with compassion, meditation has a fragrance.