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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1
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Chapter 10: Neither This nor That

The first question:

What is the difference between you and other godmen?

I am not a godman, I am simply godliness - as you are, as trees are, as birds are, as rocks are. I don’t belong to any category. “Godman” is a category invented by journalists. I simply don’t belong to any category. You don’t belong to any category either. All categories are false. The deeper you go into yourself, the more and more you will find that you simply are - neither this not that. The seers of the Upanishads say: “Neti, neti - neither this nor that.” No category is applicable.

There is a beautiful story about Buddha:

He was sitting under a tree. An astrologer approached him - he was very puzzled, because he saw the footprints of the Buddha on the wet sand and he could not believe his eyes. All the scriptures that he had been studying his whole life had been telling him about certain signs that exist in the feet of a man who rules the world - a chakravartin - a ruler of all the six continents, of the whole earth. And he saw in the footprints in the wet sand on the riverbank all the symbols so clearly that he could not believe his eyes! Either all his scriptures were wrong and he was wasting his life in astrology. Otherwise, how was it possible on such a hot afternoon, in such a small, dirty village, a chakravartin would come and walk barefoot, on the burning hot sand?

He followed the footprints, just in search of the man to whom these footprints belonged. He found Buddha sitting under a tree. He was even more puzzled. The face was that of a chakravartin - the grace, the beauty, the power, the aura - but the man was a beggar, with a begging bowl.

The astrologer touched the feet of Buddha and asked him, “Who are you, sir? You have puzzled me. You should be a chakravartin, a world ruler. What are you doing here, sitting under this tree? Either all my astrology books are wrong, or I am hallucinating and you are not really there.”

Buddha said, “Your books are absolutely right - but there is something which belongs to no category, not even to the category of a chakravartin. I am, but I am nobody in particular.”

The astrologer said, “You are puzzling me more. How can you be, without being anybody in particular? You must be a god who has come to visit the earth - I can see it in your eyes!”

Buddha said, “I am not a god.”

The astrologer said, “Then you must be a gandharva - a celestial musician.”

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