Chapter 5: Suchness Is Our Self-nature
The word tathata is of great profundity. A man who understands what tathata is becomes undisturbed in every situation; nothing can disturb him, he becomes unperturbable. And tathagata means one who has been living moment-to-moment in tathata. Tathagata is one of the most beautiful words possible in any language: one who lives simply according to his nature without being bothered about other people’s nature.
Gautam Buddha used to say, “Once I was passing through a forest, and a branch of a tree fell on me. What do you think? Should I beat that branch of the tree because it hurt me, it wounded me?” The person to whom he was talking said, “There is no question of beating the branch; it had no desire to hurt you, it had no desire to fall on you. It was just a natural accident that you happened to be under the tree when the branch fell.”
Buddha said, “If somebody insults me, that is also the same. I simply happened to be there and that man was full of anger. If I had not been there he would have been angry with somebody else. It was his nature; he was following his nature. I followed my nature.”
And to be in tune with your nature, you certainly become impenetrable, unperturbable. You become so crystallized in yourself that nothing can disturb you.
Its names vary but not its essence. Buddhas vary too, but none leaves his own no-mind.
This is a significant statement to be understood. Buddhas vary too. Each awakened person has a uniqueness of his own. This has created great misunderstandings in people, because Christ does not behave like Gautam Buddha, Mahavira does not behave like Gautam Buddha, Krishna does not behave like Gautam Buddha. Even Bodhidharma, a disciple of Gautam Buddha, does not behave like Gautam Buddha. This has created a great confusion in the world. People think these people cannot all be right.
Buddhists think only Gautam Buddha is right; Christ cannot be right. The misunderstanding arises because they think every buddha down the ages is going to be the same. In existence, nothing is the same. Every person has his own uniqueness.
And when he becomes enlightened, his uniqueness becomes even more unique. He becomes a Himalayan peak, like Gourishankar, standing aloof, alone, reaching to the stars. It is not like any other peak in the Himalayas, or like any other mountain. It is just itself.
That’s why I have been speaking on so many awakened people. This has been done for the first time in the whole history of man. Hindus have been speaking on Krishna, on Rama; Buddhists have been speaking on Buddha, on Bodhidharma; Christians have been speaking on Christ, St. Francis, Meister Eckhart. Mohammedans have been speaking about Mohammed; Sufis have been speaking about Jalaluddin Rumi, Sarmad, al-Hillaj Mansoor. But nobody has dared to bring all the enlightened people together.