Chapter 28: Going Just with His Flute and a Bottle of Wine
The story about Gautam Buddha is that when he reached the gates of nirvana he stood there, his back towards the gates. The gates were opened, and the guards wanted him to enter. They were ready to welcome him - because centuries pass and then once in a while those gates open. And they are immensely happy when one man has again become a buddha.
But Buddha refused. The story is symbolic. He says, “Unless every living being passes by me into nirvana, I am going to stay here. I will be the last. I cannot go alone, I have to take everybody with me. “They are struggling in pain and misery, and do you think I should enjoy nirvana and its tremendous blissfulness? It is not possible. I will wait. You can wait; but waiting here I will try to help those struggling souls, stumbling in darkness, groping in darkness. Unless I am satisfied that everybody has passed in, I will not come in and close the doors.”
Buddha is certainly one of the most insightful men. He does not stop at himself. Anybody would have stopped there - it is a natural tendency to put oneself at the highest point and then stop.
He says: It is better to feed one who is above knowledge, one-sidedness, discipline, and enlightenment than to feed one hundred billions of buddhas, of past, present or future.
The last category is tremendously significant, because it will be the category which will be misunderstood the most. One who is above knowledge - he will not be consistent, he will be self-contradictory. One who is above one-sidedness, who cannot favor one side of the truth, one aspect of the truth - at the risk of being contradictory he will support all the aspects of truth. He will support the opposites, and naturally he will look illogical, he will look absurd. One who is above discipline - who has no discipline, who lives moment to moment, who has no certain order to follow - he does not follow anything. Each moment decides what he is going to do.
You cannot categorize such a man. You cannot call him good, you cannot call him bad; you cannot call him religious, you cannot call him irreligious, because he follows no discipline. And not only discipline, but he transcends enlightenment.
Enlightenment is the ultimate experience, but still it is an experience.the highest, but still part and parcel of all other experiences: they may be lower, this may be the highest. Finally one transcends it too. One simply forgets about it. It becomes one’s nature.
In the beginning, when you reach from your ignorance into enlightenment, it is such a difference that you are immensely gratified. But now ignorance is gone. Enlightenment slowly, slowly loses the excitement it had in the beginning. It is no longer ecstasy, it is simply your nature. And nobody remembers one’s nature.