Chapter 5: On the Qualities of the Taoist
The highest type of man, when he hears about Tao, suddenly feels in tune with it. It is not an intellectual understanding for him, his total being vibrates with a new song; a new music is heard. When he hears about truth, suddenly something fits in, he is no longer the same ( just by hearing he becomes totally a different type of man. Not that he has to bring in his intellect to understand it, because that will be delaying the understanding. The highest type of man understands immediately, with no time-gap. If he hears about truth, with just the very hearing of the truth he has understood. Not that he has brought his intelligence to understand it, no, that would be postponing ( his total being understands it, not only the intellectual part. Not only his soul, not only his mind, but even his body vibrates in a new unknown way. A new dance has entered into his being, and now he can never be the same.
Once he has heard about the truth he can never be the old again, a new journey has started. Now nothing can be done, he has to move. He has heard about light and he has been living in darkness: now unless he achieves it there will be no rest for him, he will become deeply discontented. He has heard that a different type of existence is possible: now unless he reaches it, attains it, he cannot be at ease, he cannot be at home anywhere. Wherever he will be, the constant call from the unknown will be knocking at the door continuously: waking he will hear it, sleeping he will hear it, dreaming ( and the knock will be there, he will hear it. Eating he will hear it, walking he will hear it, in the shop, in the market, he will hear it ( it will be a continuously haunting phenomenon.
Just by hearing? Mahavira said that there are two types of people, and Jainas have not understood it at all. A very revolutionary thought has been completely lost by misunderstanding. He said: There are two types of people. One, who become muktas, become liberated just by hearing. They are called shravakas. The word shravak means “one who has heard and just by hearing is transformed.” Then there is a second type who cannot become liberated just by hearing, they have to practice it. They are called sadhus.
Now a great misunderstanding exists: the shravak has to bow down before the sadhu. In fact just the opposite should be the case, because the shravak is a greater soul ( just by hearing he has attained. And the sadhu has to practice ( just by hearing he could not attain. His perceptivity is not so keen, his sensitivity is dull. He is not a first-rate mind, he is a second-rate mind, a mediocre mind.
And this you can watch. If you go and look at the sadhus of the Jainas you can immediately feel they are dull, some intelligence is lacking. They are taking years to practice a thing that can be understood immediately. Their perception is not total. They are doing it the hard way because they don’t have the intelligence to choose the easiest, most direct, straight way, simply and spontaneously. They are doing a thousand and one things to attain that which can be attained with a perceptive mind immediately without doing anything.
In fact, a man who becomes aware just by hearing has a greater quality of consciousness than a man who has had to work for it for years, to do sadhana, to practice this and that. He is a dullard, a mediocre mind. I have been observing thousands of people, I have met all types of people, but sadhus have always appeared to me to be a little dull, and I was always worried: What is the matter? Why do they look a little dull, a little mediocre? Their intelligence is not of the highest quality. And then by and by I understood. The reason is this: they could not attain to it just by hearing because they don’t have the intelligence.