Chapter 7: You Have Forgotten Your Wings
When Buddha was asked about it, he said, “There was a palace with one thousand doors; only one door was real, the remaining were fake; they appeared like doors, but when you went close to them, they were just painted doors, there was a flat wall with no opening.
“A blind man got lost in the palace. He went around groping and groping. He touched many painted doors, but they were not really doors and the time he reached the real door, the only one, a fly came to sit on his head. So he became engaged in waving it away and passed the door.”
Nine hundred and ninety-nine doors, and a chance comes; that chance is very fragile, it can be missed by anything: your head starts itching or you become so tired of groping and touching that you say, “Take a chance, leave this one, go ahead.”
So Buddha said, “My path is not of such groping. In my palace all the doors are real. And there is no need to grope because I give you eyes of meditation and a light that burns like a fire within you, which is your very life. With that light and silence of meditation you can find the door. There are a thousand doors, every door is capable of taking you out.”
I am absolutely certain that Buddha is right; but that does not mean that Ramakrishna is wrong. But Ramakrishna cannot be the rule, he can only be the exception. Buddha is providing for everybody, not for exceptions. A rule has to be for everybody. You cannot make a rule on a single exception. Of the followers of Ramakrishna not even a single one has attained samadhi. But Buddha’s followers even today, continuing as a chain, master to disciple in different countries, are attaining prajna. Whether you call it samadhi or you call it prajna, it is the same; the meaning of both is ultimate wisdom.
Buddhists don’t believe Ramakrishna to be enlightened. One very old Buddhist monk.he was an Englishman, and when he was just a child, his father was appointed to some post in Kalimpong where the child came in contact with Buddhist masters. He became a Buddhist at the age of eighteen. His whole family resisted; they were Christians and said, “What are you doing listening to the Buddhist masters?”
He could see that Christianity is very childish. It has nothing much to give to you. What can you do even if Jesus did walk on water? Even if you learn to walk on water, what spirituality can you attain through it? Even if you can turn water into alcohol, which is a crime, it does not help anyone to be spiritual. What are the teachings of Christians which can be compared to Gautam the Buddha? None comes close to him. He certainly is the Everest of the Himalayas.
So a Buddhist won’t accept Ramakrishna as enlightened. But talking to Buddhist monks and particularly this English monk, I asked him, “Have you ever tried forgetting Buddha’s method and giving some time to using Ramakrishna’s method?”
He said, “No, I have never tried it.”
I said, “Then saying that Ramakrishna never achieved samadhi is going beyond the limits of your experience.”