Chapter 17: Wake up the Slave
The teaching of the buddhas is: find time and a place to remain unoccupied. That’s what meditation is all about: find at least one hour every day to sit silently doing nothing, utterly unoccupied, just watching whatsoever passes by inside. In the beginning you will be very sad, looking at things inside you; you will feel only darkness and nothing else, and ugly things and all kinds of black holes appearing. You will feel agony, no ecstasy at all. But if you persist, persevere, the day comes when all these agonies disappear, and behind the agonies is the ecstasy.
So the first thing: whenever the buddha appears the world is against him. The world is fast asleep, dreaming, and the buddha tries to wake people up. There are a thousand and one other reasons why the world wants to destroy a buddha, and why Atisha is saying:
Meditate on the three things not to be destroyed.
Had Jesus’ disciples known something like this they would have tried in every way to protect Jesus, but they were not aware at all. Jesus could live only three years as a buddha. He could have lived to a very old age, he could have helped millions of people on the path, but the disciples were not aware that a great treasure was in their possession and it had to be protected and guarded.
There are many reasons. One reason why people are against is because whenever a buddha appears in the world he is unique, he cannot be compared to any other buddha of the past; that is the problem. People become accustomed, slowly, slowly, to the past buddhas, but whenever a new buddha arrives he is so new, so unique, so different, that they cannot believe he is a buddha because they have a certain conception.
Those who have known Mahavira, how can they recognize me as a buddha? - because I am not standing naked. Those who have seen Jesus, how they can recognize Atisha as the buddha? - because Atisha is not curing the ill and helping the dead to be raised again, is not helping the blind to see. Atisha is a totally different kind of buddha; he is not serving the poor, his work is on a totally different plane.
The Christian cannot recognize Buddha as a buddha. What to say of the Christian - Mahavira and Buddha were contemporaries, but Jainas don’t recognize Gautam Buddha as the awakened one, and Buddhists don’t recognize Mahavira as the awakened one. Both were contemporaries, in the same province, sometimes lived in the same town and once stayed in the same serai. But each buddha has a unique quality, incomparable; hence no previous buddha can be used as a criterion. That creates difficulty.
Buddhas are unrecognizable, because your life has no experience through which you can recognize a buddha. The sexual person can recognize the sexual, the money minded can recognize the money minded, but how can you recognize a buddha? You don’t have any experience of awareness. In the buddha you will only see your own mind reflected. It is natural.