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Chapter 3: Beyond This Nature There’s No Buddha

Their allegiance is to Mara, not to the buddha. Unable to distinguish white from black, how can they escape birth and death?
Whoever sees his nature is a buddha. Whoever doesn’t is a mortal. But apart from our mortal nature if you can find a buddha-nature somewhere else, where is it? Our mortal nature is our buddha-nature.

It only needs recognition. There is no other difference. One who recognizes and is aware of his nature is a buddha. One who does not recognize his own self-nature, who has never gone inwards, is a mortal. But the difference is only of recognition, of awareness; there is no qualitative difference between you and the enlightened man. The difference is only that he knows it and you are unaware of your own treasures.

Hence, Bodhidharma declares: Our mortal nature is our buddha-nature.

Beyond this nature there’s no buddha. The buddha is our nature.

But unless we are aware we will remain mortals.

There’s no buddha besides this nature. And there’s no nature besides the buddha.

The word buddha will be repeated again and again by Bodhidharma so you have to understand what it means. It is not a personal name of anybody. Buddha simply means one who is awakened. Gautam Buddha is the most famous awakened person but that does not mean that he is the only awakened person. There have been many buddhas before him and there have been many buddhas after him and as long as every human being can become a buddha, there will go on springing up new buddhas in the future.

Because everybody has the potentiality.it is only for a time, the right time that you are waiting. Some day, tortured by the outside reality, in despair of having seen everything and found nothing, you are bound to turn inwards.

Gautam Buddha’s personal name was Siddhartha. Gautama is his family name so his name was Gautama Siddhartha. Buddha is not his name, it is his awakening. Because I have named our discos Zorba The Buddha, the ambassador of Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country - the ambassador wrote a letter to me, saying, “It is very disrespectful and it hurts our religious feelings that you have given the name Zorba The Buddha to discos. Please take the buddha out of it.”