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Chapter 20: Base Your Rule on the Rule

But Buddha says, “Even to find God you will have to pass through the swamp of hopes and fears, attachments and jealousies. Why should a river yearn to reach the sea? What is she going to achieve if she finds the sea? There is not much difference between the two except that there is a lot more water in the sea than in the river.” Buddha then says, “Whatever I am, I am; I am utterly contented, I am in perfect peace.” So his indifference has no objective, no goal whatsoever to achieve. Look at Buddha’s face, his eyes; there is not a trace of agitation in them. They are as silent as silence itself. It is like a still lake where not even a ripple rises.

Naturally Buddha’s peace is negative; it can have neither Krishna’s outspoken bliss nor Mahavira’s subtle joy. It is true that a man of such tremendous silence, who has no desires whatsoever - not even the desire to find the ultimate - will attain to bliss without asking. But this bliss will be his inner treasure, this lamp of bliss will shine in his interiority, while his whole external milieu will be one of utter peace and silence. His halo will reflect only harmony, stillness and order. Bliss will form his base and peace will make his summit.

One cannot think of Buddha and movement together; he is so relaxed and rested. Looking at his statue you cannot imagine that this man has ever risen from his seat and walked a few steps or said a word. Buddha is a statue of stillness. In him all movements, all activities, all commotions, all strivings have come to a standstill. He is peace itself.

Buddha represents cessation of all tensions, of all desires, including the desire for liberation. If someone says to him he wants to find freedom, Buddha will say, “Are you crazy? Where is freedom?” If someone says he wants to discover his self, his soul, Buddha will say, “There is nothing like a soul.” In fact, Buddha will say, “So long as there is the desire to find something, you can never find. Desiring takes you nowhere except to sorrow and suffering. Cease seeking and you will find.”

But Buddha does not say in words that “You will find”; he keeps silent on this point. He is aware that the moment he talks about finding freedom or something, you will begin to desire it and run after it. So he negates everything - God, soul, freedom, peace - everything. So long as there is something positive before you, you will want to find it and so long as you strive to find something you cannot find it. It is paradoxical, but it is true. It is only in utter stillness, in absolute silence, in total emptiness - where all movement ceases - that truth, nirvana, or whatever you call it, comes into being.

Desiring, which is tanaha in Buddha’s language, keeps you running and restless. So desiring is the problem of problems for Buddha. And indifference, upeksha is the solution, the key that releases you from the bondage of desiring. So Buddha says over and over, “Don’t choose, don’t seek, don’t run, don’t make something into a goal, because there is nothing like a goal, a destination. Everything is now and here.”

Jesus has a goal, a destination. This is why, while he talks of holy indifference toward the world, he cannot be indifferent to God. Indifference to God cannot be holy in the eyes of Jesus, he will call it unholy indifference.

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