Chapter 2: It Is Always Today
It is not just a coincidence that Buddha’s own brother, Devadatta, tried many times to kill him. His own cousin-brother.Why? Why he was so antagonistic to him? And he was also his disciple. But they were contemporaries, of the same age. They were brought up in the same palace, educated by the same teachers in the same academy, played together. And then Buddha became enlightened, and there was deep jealousy in Devadatta. First he tried on his own to become enlightened; he could not. So, unwillingly, reluctantly, he surrendered to Buddha. He must have said with deep resistance, “Buddham sharanam gachchhami; I take shelter into the Buddha, into your feet.” But deep down somewhere he must be thinking that, “We belong to the same royal family, the same blood, the same education. We have played together. So why I should surrender to this man?” And then, once he started going a little into meditation, just a little, few experiences of meditation, and he started gathering a following around himself He started to spread the rumor that he has also become enlightened.
Buddha called him, that “You will become enlightened; there is no problem about it. But right now you are just on the way. Don’t miss this opportunity.” This offended him very much. Immediately all repressed resistance asserted - he revolted. He took away few people those who had become his friends and followers, away from Buddha. And their whole effort was: How to kill this man?
Judas was the cause of Jesus’ death, and Judas was the most intellectual disciple of Jesus. Remember it. Never forget it, that he was the most sophisticated disciple of Jesus. All others were very unsophisticated, simple people, almost primitive people: villagers, fishermen, carpenters, potters, weavers; except Judas nobody was educated. Judas was really far more educated than Jesus himself, far more informed. And he was waiting that sooner or later, he will be the head. Once Jesus is removed from the scene, he will be the head of the whole commune. And there seemed to be no possibility of Jesus ever dying before him. Finally he decided that it is time that this man should be removed forcibly.
Judas was the culprit, the real murderer. He sold Jesus only in thirty silver coins. He was thinking that this is the only way to remove Jesus from the scene, then he can take over the leadership of the group, of the commune. There must have been deep down a hurt ego.
It has always happened that way. Mahavira’s own disciple, Makkhali Gosal, revolted against him and he started spreading the rumor that “Mahavira is not the true enlightened person, I am the true enlightened person.” When Mahavira heard it he laughed. When Mahavira came to the place where Gosal was staying, he went to see him and he said, “Makkhali Gosal, have you gone mad? What are you doing?”
And the man must have been immensely cunning. He said, “I am not your disciple, remember; the man who used to be your disciple is dead. The body is of Makkhali Gosal, but a great spirit has entered into the body. The spirit of Makkhali Gosal has left. I am a totally different person, can’t you see?”
Mahavira laughed and he said, “I can see perfectly well. You are the same stupid fellow, and you are still doing stupid things. Don’t waste time! Put your energies in becoming enlightened yourself Why be worried about me - whether I am truly enlightened or not. If you are not my disciple, Makkhali Gosal, if you are a totally different spirit who has entered, I accept. If you say, I accept it. But then why you are concerned with me? Twenty-four hours you are speaking against me. That simply shows that you are still carrying some grudge against me.”
It is very essential to understand because you are all disciples here, and you all will be carrying some grudge or other against me, for the simple reason because I am trying to destroy your ego. That I have to do; that’s the function of the master, to destroy your ego. And you can become very revengeful, and you can carry deep wounds through it.