Chapter 80: All and Nothing Mean the Same
Ramanuja, one of Shankara’s greatest critics, says that Shankara is just a hidden Buddhist. He is not a Hindu, he only appears to be because he uses positive terms. That is all the difference there is. Wherever Buddha says nothing, he says brahma - all else is the same. Ramanuja says that Shankara is the great destroyer of Hinduism because he has brought Buddhism in from the back door by just using a trick - wherever a negative term is used, he uses a positive term, that’s all. He calls him a “Prachchhanna-Bauddha,” a crypto-Buddhist. And he is right in a way because there is no difference. The message is the same.
So it depends on you. If you feel an affinity with silence, nothingness, then call that great being Emptiness. If you don’t feel an affinity, if you feel afraid, then call that emptiness The Great Being. But then your techniques will be different. If you feel scared with emptiness, aloneness, nothingness, then the four techniques I talked about last night will not be of much use to you. Forget them. There are other methods about which I have been talking. Use positive techniques.
But if you are ready and have the courage to be supportless, to move into emptiness, alone, ready to cease completely, then these four techniques will help you tremendously. It depends on you.
The second question:
If there is absolute emptiness inside an enlightened one, then how is it that he seems to be making decisions, discriminating, liking this or disliking that, saying yes or no?
This will really look a paradox. If an enlightened one is simply emptiness, then for us it becomes a paradox. Then why does he say yes or no? Why does he choose? Why does he like some things and dislike other things? Why does he talk? Why does he walk? Why does he live at all?
For us this is a problem; but for the enlightened one it is not a problem. Everything is done out of emptiness. The enlightened one is not choosing. It looks like choice to us but the enlightened one simply moves in one direction - that direction comes from the emptiness itself.
It is just like this. You are walking. Suddenly a car comes in front of you and you feel that an accident will happen. You don’t decide what to do. Do you decide? How can you decide? There is no time. A decision will take time. You will have to ponder and think, weigh up the pros and cons, decide whether to jump this way or that. You don’t decide. You simply jump. From where does that jump come? Between the jump and you there is no thinking process. Suddenly you become aware that the car is in front of you and you jump. The jump happens first. Then later on you can think. In that moment you jump through hastiness; your whole being jumps without any decision.