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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4
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Chapter 4: Truth Is Very Simple

This is impossible: to translate something for which no word exists, to translate something that is transcendental into the languages which belong to the world of duality. It is like talking about light with a blind man; talking about beautiful music to one who cannot hear, who is deaf; talking to a person who is suffering from fever and whose taste is lost about “sweet.” The taste of sweetness is meaningless; he has lost all taste. But a little bit is possible because he used to taste before; he can remember.

But you cannot even remember when you used to taste God; you have completely forgotten the taste. Maybe in your mother’s womb there was some experience similar - maybe not exactly the same, but similar.

I cannot tell you what it feels like, but I can show you the way. I can push you into the abyss.that is the only possibility. You can also taste it, and then you will become as dumb as I am, you will become as dumb as all the buddhas have been.

Just try to see the point of translating.

Rabindranath was given the Nobel prize for his book Gitanjali. He had written it in his own mother tongue, Bengali. It has a different beauty in Bengali. Bengali has a music to it; it is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. It has a certain flavor of the heart. Its very constitution is poetic, it is made of poetry, the language itself. Hence Gitanjali in its original form is an altogether different experience.

Rabindranath himself translated it into English, but he felt very miserable. For years he tried. He knew English perfectly well, but he could see the difference - the difference was vast. While the original was somewhere on Everest, the translation was just on the plains; the difference was vast. In translation something was lost, something which was really precious.

He asked a very famous Englishman, C.F. Andrews, to help him. Andrews was enchanted with the beauty of the book, because he knew nothing of the original. That’s why you are enchanted with the words of buddhas, because you don’t know anything of the original. If you knew anything of the original then the words of the buddhas would look just rubbish compared to the original; compared to those virgin peaks of the Himalayas the words will look mundane, of the marketplace. They are of the marketplace, they are meant for the marketplace.

Andrews was enchanted. Rabindranath said, “But I have shown you the book to help me.”

Andrews suggested only four corrections; they were grammatical. Each language has its own grammar. He said, “These four words you change; they are a little bit grammatically wrong.”

Rabindranath immediately changed those words. Then he went to England. In a poets’ gathering - a great English poet, Yeats, had called a gathering of the poets, the critics, and the people who love poetry, to listen to Rabindranath’s Gitanjali - Rabindranath read the poetry. They were all fascinated; it was something superb, something rarely known in the West, because it has the same quality as the Upanishads. If you have read Kahlil Gibran.it has the same quality.

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