Chapter 3: Where Buddha Ends Krishna Begins
In one of his poems Rabindranath Tagore has made a beautiful joke about Buddha’s renunciation, When Buddha returns to his home after his enlightenment; his wife Yashodhara tells him, “For a long time I have had only one question to ask of you. And now that you are here again I want to know if what you achieved in the jungle was not available right here?” Buddha finds it very difficult to answer her. If he says it was available in his home - and it is true, what is available in the vastness of a forest can also be available in one’s home - Yashodhara will remind him that she had told him so. And Yashodhara really had said it. It was for this reason that Buddha had left his house in the dead of night without informing her. If he accepts that truth is everywhere, Yashodhara will immediately say there was no point in renunciation, that it was sheer madness on his part. And it would be a falsehood to say that truth is not to be found in the home, that it is only to be found in the forest, because Buddha now knows for himself that what he found in the wilderness is available right in his own home, it is available all over.
Krishna is not for renunciation: he does not run away from anywhere, he does not give up any, thing. What Buddha comes to see at the last hour, Krishna sees at the very first. What is it that Buddha comes to know at the end of a long and arduous search? It is that only truth is, and that truth is everywhere. Krishna knows it from the beginning, that only truth is, and that it is everywhere.
I have heard about a fakir who spent his lifetime living on the outskirts of a town. Whenever someone asked him why he did not do some sadhana or spiritual practice to achieve the supreme he always said, “What is there to achieve? It is already achieved.” If someone asked him why he did not go on a pilgrimage, he said, “Where to go? I have already arrived.” And when someone asked if he did not have something to seek, he said, “What one seeks is already found.” Now this fakir does not need sadhana, spiritual discipline.
Hence no sadhana, no spiritual discipline could grow in the tradition of Krishna. You will not come across anyone who can be called a sadhaka or seeker on the path of Krishna. What is there to seek? You seek that which you don’t have, and you can have it only if you make efforts for it. Effort is needed to achieve something which you have not yet achieved. Sadhana means the search for the probable. No effort is needed to achieve what is already achieved. We strive for what should be, not for what is. There is no point in achieving the achieved.
When at long last Gautam Siddhartha attained to enlightenment, when he became the Buddha, the awakened one, someone asked him, “What is it that you have achieved?”
Buddha is reported to have said, “I achieved nothing. I only came to know what was already the case. I discovered what I already had with me. Earlier I did not know that it had been with me forever and ever; now I know it. It is nothing new that I have come upon, it has always been there. Even when I was unaware of it, it was very much there, not an iota less than it is now.”
What Buddha says in the last moment, Krishna will say at the very first. Krishna will tell you, “What is the point of going anywhere? You are already where you want to go. What you think to be a stopover on your journey is actually your destination - where you happen to be right now. Why run in any direction? You are already in that place you want to reach to after you have done your running. You have already arrived.”