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Chapter 5: The Taste of Enlightenment

So Buddha says: “I have not given any doctrine to you. I have given you only the key to open the door so that you can come out of the dark cave of your being and you can see yourself what is the case - yatha bhutam, that which is.” Nothing has been said about it; that’s why it is not a doctrine. Buddha is not a philosopher, he is a physician. That’s exactly what he has said: “I am a physician, not a philosopher.”

A philosopher is one who goes on talking about color and light to a blind man, and goes on confusing him and confounding him. The blind man is incapable of understanding anything about light. Buddha says: “I am not going to philosophize about light, I will simply give you a medicine, I will try to cure your eyes. Then you can see for yourself.” This is called the good doctrine, this is called dharma. This is a totally different vision.

The second thing to understand.Buddha says to Subhuti: Do not speak thus. Why? - because this idea has been persistently arising in people, even in people like Subhuti, of the highest spiritual qualities.that they are special, that their time is special, that their age is special, that never again will people be able to touch such heights. This is an egoistic, a subtle egoistic attitude. It shows much about Subhuti. He is still carrying a subtle ego.

Down the ages almost all people have suffered from this disease; they think that their time is something special. No time is special. The divine is available in all times. In India, Hindus say that now nobody can become enlightened because it is Kali Yuga, it is the last, the dirtiest age - nobody can become enlightened. Jainas say that nobody can become enlightened because it is Pancham Kal, the fifth epoch. Even Buddhists, perfectly aware of The Diamond Sutra, go on saying that nobody can become enlightened in this age, and even they try to interpret Buddha’s words in such a way that it starts appearing as if nobody can become enlightened.

Just the other night I was reading a commentary on The Diamond Sutra. The commentary says, “Yes, Buddha says that people will be there who will be able to understand a little bit of the truth, and great will be their merit - but merit is not enlightenment. Merit is just the ground.”

So the interpreter, the commentator says, “In this age nobody can become enlightened; at the most you can attain to some merit. You have to wait for the right age to become enlightened. Your merit will be of great help, it will put the foundation, but you cannot make the shrine right now.” This is how people go on.

What Buddha is saying is simply this fact, that all time is similar for the seeker - and so it is for the non-seeker. In Buddha’s time there were millions of people who never became enlightened. It is not like spring - that when spring comes all the trees bloom. If that is the case, then all the people in Buddha’s time would have become enlightened. Only a few people became enlightened. So it is not like spring, it is not a question of climate; it is not a particular auspicious time that makes people enlightened.

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