Chapter 21: Medicine Heals the Body, Meditation Heals the Soul
There have been painters who became enlightened. Then certainly their painting has a quality which no other painter can compete with. It is luminous with something mysterious. They have poured into the canvas something which only they can. Some enlightened people become.became sculptors. Their sculpture is something to sit silently and meditate upon. They were not just creating art, they were using art to express the inexpressible. The way I am using words, they were using marble, stones, paints.
But thousands of enlightened people have lived on the earth and died silently because they did not have any talent to make their enlightenment available to other people in some way.
And there have been teachers who were not enlightened but many of their disciples became enlightened. These teachers had the articulateness of expressing something which they don’t know, they have just heard about.
You will be surprised to know that every Buddhist scripture starts with the words, “I have heard.” It is written by a teacher, not by a master - every scripture. Buddha has not written anything. He was a master. Ananda, his disciple, who goes on writing, is very sincere. He simply goes on writing every scripture with the words, “I have heard Gautama the Buddha saying this.” He does not say, “This is my experience” - he cannot say it. But he was very articulate. He managed to collect tremendous treasure for centuries to come. Many have become enlightened through Ananda and his scriptures, but he himself became enlightened only after Buddha’s death.
And then comes a second surprise. When he became enlightened, he never spoke. Asked why, he said, “That will be ungrateful towards the master. I cannot say things the way he could. I cannot put the same fragrance in my words, the way he was capable of. It is better for me to remain silent now. All that is worth saying he has said, and I have collected it.”
But when he collected it, he was not enlightened. And when he became enlightened he declined to write anything, to say anything, for the simple reason, “It will be sheer ungratefulness to the master and it will be cheap compared to him. He has showered such a treasure and I am a poor man: whatever I say will not stand any comparison. I know now what he knew, but he was he and I am I. I am still just a disciple.”