Chapter 5: In the Litter of the Wayside
This bondage Buddha calls sansara - the world. And he calls the freedom, the freedom of the fragrance, nirvana: total cessation, disappearance, dissolution. The part disappears into the whole, the dewdrop slips into the ocean and becomes the ocean. The day you disappear and become the ocean is the day when in one sense you are no more, and in another sense you are for the first time - you have attained beinghood.
This beinghood is real godhood. This beinghood, this crystallized, oceanic experience, is liberation, salvation, moksha, kaivalya, nirvana. You can use any word that you want to use but they all mean the same: absolute freedom of the soul, with no boundaries, with no limitations.
The perfume of sandalwood,
rosebay, or jasmine,
cannot travel against the wind.
Obviously! The fragrance of sandalwood, rosebay or jasmine is part of the material world. It can travel only with the wind, not against the wind. It has to follow the laws of matter. It IS matter. Because it has to follow the laws of matter it is not really free - free only in a relative sense. The fragrance is more free than the flower, the flower is more free than the tree, the tree is more free than the seed. But these freedoms are only relative, not absolute.
And Buddha says, remember: the target is absolute freedom, transcendence of all laws. It is only in transcending all laws that you will become part of the ultimate law: Aes dhammo sanantano. It is only by transcending all limitations of gross matter that you will be able to become as infinite as the sky.
Unless you become universal you have not attained to your potential. You are meant to become universal, and you have become small persons, confined, almost as if you are living in a prison cell, dark and dismal, no door, no window, an ugly existence, surrounded by all kinds of pathologies - ego, greed, anger, lust, jealousy, possessiveness. These are your companions. What fragrance have you experienced in life?
You have not yet known love without lust. You have not known yet any state where no limitation exists. You are bound to certain very gross laws. You are part of the gravitation, you have not yet known anything of grace. You go on and on downwards, because those laws of gravitation go on pulling you downwards. You don’t know how to rise, soar upwards. You don’t know anything about levitation.
In science, they don’t talk about levitation, they only talk about gravitation, the downward pull. But this is such a simple phenomenon to understand, that in nature everything is balanced by its polar opposite. If there is a downward pull, gravitation, then there must be an upward pull to balance it - that is levitation. In a more poetic language it is called grace.
There are two laws: the law of gravitation, the earthly law, gross, material; and the law of grace, the divine law, what Buddha calls the divine law - aes dhammo sanantano - the eternal, inexhaustible law, the divine law, which pulls you upwards.