Chapter 13: Mind Is the Bondage
“Without the mind there’s no buddha” means that the buddha comes from the mind. . Whoever wants to see a buddha sees the mind before he sees the buddha. . Once you’ve seen the buddha, you forget about the mind. If you don’t forget about the mind, the mind will confuse you. .
Mortality and buddhahood are like water and ice. To be afflicted by the three poisons is mortality. To be purified by the three releases is buddhahood. That which freezes into ice in winter melts into water in summer. Eliminate ice, and there’s no more water. Get rid of mortality, and there’s no more buddhahood. Clearly, the nature of ice is the nature of water. .
Mortals liberate buddhas and buddhas liberate mortals. This is what’s meant by impartiality. Mortals liberate buddhas because affliction creates awareness. And buddhas liberate mortals because awareness negates affliction. There can’t help but be affliction. And there can’t help but be awareness. If not for affliction, there would be nothing to create awareness. And if not for awareness, there would be nothing to negate affliction. When you’re deluded, buddhas liberate mortals. When you’re aware, mortals liberate buddhas. Buddhas don’t become buddhas on their own. They’re liberated by mortals. Buddhas regard delusion as their father and greed as their mother. Delusion and greed are different names for mortality. .
When you’re deluded, you’re on this shore. When you’re aware, you’re on the other shore. But once you know your mind is empty and you see no appearances, you’re beyond delusion and awareness. And once you’re beyond delusion and awareness, the other shore doesn’t exist. The tathagata isn’t on this shore or the other shore. And he isn’t in midstream. Arhats are in midstream, and mortals are on this shore. On the other shore is buddhahood.
Bodhidharma has insights which are unparalleled. There have been many disciples of Gautam Buddha who have attained to enlightenment, but nobody has shown such great insightfulness. Either they have remained silent or they have spoken, but neither their silence nor their speaking has reached to the heights and to the depths of consciousness.
Perhaps the reason is that Bodhidharma is unafraid of what he is saying. He knows no fear. He has no concern with what people will think about his statements. He does not take into account anybody else when he is speaking. It is almost as if he is speaking to himself.
For nine years he was sitting before a wall and when people would come, they would have to sit behind him. They could ask questions but Bodhidharma would answer only to the wall. He was not at all concerned about who was asking the question; he was more concerned with his own insight.
Just last night I received the last book of J. Krishnamurti, in which he is not speaking to anybody - he is speaking just to himself. The words are recorded but there was no audience, and perhaps in this book he comes closer to truth than in any of his other books. The audience is a limitation.