Chapter 24: Nirvana Means Nothingness
This takes a turn: finding yourself in a situation where this is not possible - or perhaps there is too much competition and you will be crushed; there are far bigger people, far more dangerous in the competition - it is better to withdraw within yourself and try to find a power that has no reference to other people, that is independent of other people. Even this much connection is enough for me to conclude that now you are going on another trip of the same kind. First you were trying to dominate others, now you will try to dominate yourself. That’s what people call discipline.
I am reminded of Aesop’s very famous fable. The season of mangoes has come, and a fox is trying to reach the ripe mangoes but they are too high. The jump of the fox is not high enough to get them. She tries a few times; then seeing the impossibility she looks all around to see whether anybody is watching or not. A little rabbit has been watching the whole scene. The fox walks away, not showing her defeat, but the rabbit asks, “Auntie, what happened?” The fox says to the rabbit, “My son, those mangoes are not yet ripe.”
If you change your desire for power, it should not be like Aesop’s fable. You should first understand from where the desire to power has been arising. It has been arising from your emptiness, inferiority.
The only right way to be freed from this ugly desire to dominate is to enter into your emptiness, to see exactly what it is. You have been escaping from it through your power trips. Now put your whole energy not into torturing yourself, not into making any discipline of masochism, but simply into entering your nothingness: what is it?
And there blossom roses into your nothingness. There you find the source of eternal life. You are no more in the grip of an inferiority complex and you don’t have any reference to other people.
You have found yourself.
Those who are intrigued with power are going away and away from themselves. The farther away their minds go, the more empty they will be. But words like emptiness, nothingness, have been condemned, and you have accepted the idea. Rather than exploring the beauty of nothingness..
It is utter silence. It is soundless music. There is no joy that can be compared to it. It is sheer blissfulness.
Because of this experience, Gautam Buddha called his ultimate encounter with himself nirvana. Nirvana means nothingness. And once you are at ease with your nothingness, all tensions, conflicts, worries, disappear. You have found the source of life which knows no death.
Still, I would like to remind you: don’t call it power. Call it love, call it silence, call it blissfulness, because that “power” has been so much contaminated by the past that even the word needs tremendous purification. And it gives wrong connotations.