Chapter 7: Living the Dhamma
Just think, when India became free and they had to choose a symbol for the flag, they chose a Buddhist symbol. Is Hinduism lacking in any way about symbols? There are millions of beautiful symbols in Hinduism. But why have they chosen the Buddhist wheel for the flag? Now Buddha is their heritage. Now they would like to claim that Buddha was born here in this country, in this religious country, that he is ours. When he was alive you were throwing stones at him, now you claim he is yours.
When Buddha was alive, in every town he was condemned, wherever he was passing he was condemned. Now every town claims that he has been here, that he was born here, that he died here, that he stayed here in this house, that for forty years continuously he was coming here, twenty times he came. Every town in Bihar claims.
The whole of Bihar condemned him. Now the name “Bihar” is because of him, because he walked there. Bihar means “where Buddha walks.” Now the whole place is called Bihar. Now we go on claiming. Nehru took his bones back, brought his bones back to India. Nehru was not a religious person at all, not at all. Why? Now the Indian ego can feel very fulfilled. Buddha has to be brought home. The same ego was condemning him, now the same ego goes on worshipping him. Remember it. Your ego always denies - watch it.
These sutras are for you. Remember. They are not airy-fairy things, they are not theories. They are very empirical, pragmatic: Buddha was a very pragmatic man.
Just the other day it happened, Mulla Nasruddin came to see me - after yesterday’s morning talk. He shook hands with me and said, “Wonderful, wonderful sermon. Everything you said applies to somebody or other I know.”
These sutras apply to you, not to somebody or other you know. If somebody says that “X” has become enlightened, what is your first reaction? Watch it. You say, “X? That fool. He has become enlightened? Impossible!” Just watch your first impression. Be alert what happens in your mind. And immediately you will start talking about all the defects and faults that you know. And watch that you are also exaggerating.
Sometimes it happens that if somebody says to you that some person has become enlightened, he has become very wise, you will say, “That man? I know him well from his very childhood. I have seen him, I have watched him. Enlightenment doesn’t happen in a day. It is a process. It is not possible.” Or you find something irrelevant.
Buddha used to say that once in a town a man said to his friend, “Have you heard about our neighbor? He is such a virtuous man.”
The other said, “How come? It is not possible, it is impossible. I live by his side, we have lived together - how can it happen without me knowing it before you knew it? We are neighbors and I know everything, in and out. It is just a pretension. He is pretending, but who does he think he can befool?”