Chapter 1: The Most Excellent Way
Buddha’s religion is supra-rational, but not against reason. This has to be understood in the very beginning. It has something to do with the beyond, supra-rational, but that supra-rational is not against the rational. It is in tune with it. The rational and the supra-rational are a continuity, continuous. This is the rarity of Buddha.
Krishna says to Arjuna, “Surrender to me.” Buddha never says that. He convinces you to surrender. Krishna says, “Surrender to me, then you will be convinced.” Buddha says, “Be convinced first, then surrender comes like a shadow. You need not worry about it, don’t talk about it at all.”
Because of this rational approach he never brings any concept which cannot be proved. He never talks about God. H. G. Wells has said about Buddha, “He is the most godly and the most godless man in the whole history of man.” Yes, it is so - most godly and most godless.
You cannot find more godly a person than Buddha. Every other personality simply fades before him. His luminosity is superb, his being has no comparison, but he does not talk about God.
Because he has never talked about God, many think that he is an atheist - he is not. He has not talked about God because there is no way to talk about God. All talk about God is nonsense. Whatsoever you can say about God is going to be false. It is something that cannot be said.
Other seers also say that nothing can be said about God, but at least they say this much - that nothing can be said about God. Buddha is really logical, he will not say even this, because he says, “Even to say that nothing can be said about God, you have said something. If you say, “God cannot be defined,” you have defined him in a negative way - that he cannot be defined. If you say, “Nothing can be said,” that too you are saying.” Buddha is strictly logical. He will not utter a single word.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the greatest thinkers of this age, one of the greatest of all the ages also, has said, “That which cannot be said must not be said. That which cannot be said, one must be silent thereof.” Because to utter something about something which is unutterable is a sacrilege.
Buddha is not an atheist but he never talks about God. That’s why I say he is a rarity. He brings many people to godliness - he brought more people than anybody else has done. Millions of people were brought to become godly in his presence, but he never uttered the word. Not only God, but even soul, self - he has no theory about it. He simply says, “I can show you the way how to go in. You go and see.” He says, “Buddhas can only indicate the path, they cannot provide you with a philosophy. You are there, go in and see.”
One man came to Buddha. He was a great scholar, a sort of professor, had written many books, was known all over the country. Maulingaputta was his name. He said to Buddha, “I have come with dozen questions and you have to answer them.”