Chapter 1: The World Is on Fire
Buddha has not renounced the world, he has renounced his illusions about it. And that too is a happening, not an act. When renunciation comes as a happening it has a tremendous beauty, because there is no motive in it. It is not a means to gain something else. It is total. You are finished with desiring, you are finished with the future, you are finished with power, money, prestige, because you have seen the futility of it all.
Seeing is transformation. Remember this as very fundamental, then these sutras will have a totally different meaning for you. The meaning depends on the context. If you place these sutras in the wrong context they will have a different meaning, and that’s what has happened to Buddha.
I repeat: he has been misunderstood more than anybody else in the world. And the reason is that he is one of the most profound masters of the world. His insight is so deep that it is bound to be misunderstood.
Jesus speaks to the common masses in parables, in simple language. He is not a philosopher, he is not very educated or cultured either. He is a son of the earth. He had been working for years with his father as a carpenter - carrying wood from the forest, cutting wood, helping the old man.
Buddha is a totally different kind of person. He is not a son of the earth, he is a prince. He has never mixed with the crowds, he does not know their language. He speaks a language which can be understood only by the very sophisticated. He tried hard to bring it to the level of the masses, but it was almost impossible. And it is not only a question of language either.
Jesus talks about prayer, which is simple to understand, because prayer is a duality and the whole world consists of dualities. Prayer is a duality because it is a dialogue between you and an imaginary God, but still a dialogue. In prayer you again desire, asking to be forgiven for your sins, to be rewarded. Your prayer is a demand; you are a beggar when you are praying. Prayer is based on the idea of God, and God is nothing but a projection of the human mind. God is anthropocentric. The Bible says God created man in his own image. The truth is just the contrary: man has created God in his own image. Your God simply represents you, your ambitions, your ideals. Your God is a projection of your mind. It is easy to talk about God, and it is easy to be understood when you talk about God. It is easy to talk about prayer, and easy to be understood when you talk about prayer, because everybody is living on that plane.
Buddha talks about meditation, not about prayer. Prayer has no place in his vision. Buddha never talks about God because he knows perfectly well that God has been manufactured by man, either out of fear or out of greed; that God is the greatest desire of man and it is because of God that man remains in bondage. He never becomes a light unto himself, he always remains a beggar, dependent, a slave.
Buddha wants you to become emperors, not beggars. He wants you to be free of all projections - God, paradise, the other world, are all included in your projections. Buddha wants you to get rid of mind itself, because that is what meditation is all about: entering the world of no-mind. This is something very subtle, of immense depth; it is not easy to be understood.