Chapter 3: Here, Now, This
The Hindu God is far more sophisticated. Krishna with his flute is far more cultured. But Buddha reaches to the very peak because he drops the idea of God. He talks about godliness. The very word God makes God like a thing: defined, clear-cut, solid, concrete, like a rock. Buddha drops the very idea. He says, “There is godliness but there is no God. There is divineness. Existence is full of divineness, bhagwat, but there is no God like a person sitting there on a golden throne controlling, managing, creating. No, there is no God as a person. The whole existence is full of divinity, that is true. It is overflowing with godliness.”
Now this is a far higher concept. we drop the limitations of a person. We make god more like a process. The ancient concept says that God created the world, he was the creator. Buddha does not agree. He says, “God is creativity, not a creator.” God is one with his creativity. So whenever you are creating something you participate in God.
When a painter is lost in his painting, when he is completely absorbed in his painting, he is no longer an ordinary painter. He is divine in that moment of absorption. Then the union.. then the fusion.
A dancer lost utterly in his dance is a human no more; hence the beauty, hence the utter beauty. Even those who are just spectators, even they start feeling something strange, incredible, fantastic, happening.
It happened that for nine years before al-Hillaj Mansoor was crucified he was confined in a jail. And he was tremendously happy because he used those nine years for constant meditation. Outside there were always disturbances, distractions - friends, followers, the society, the world, the worries. He was very happy. The day he was put into jail he thanked God from his very heart. He said, “You love me so much. Now you have given me complete protection from the world and there is nothing left except you and me.” Then the union.then the fusion.
Those nine years were of tremendous absorption. And after those nine years it was decided that he had to be crucified, because he had not changed a bit. On the contrary, he had gone farther in the same direction. His direction was that he started declaring, “I am God - an-el-haq! I am the truth, I am the reality.”
His master, al-Junnaid, tried to persuade him in many ways - “Don’t say these things! Keep them inside you, because the people won’t understand it and you will be getting into trouble unnecessarily!”
But it was beyond Mansoor. Whenever he was in that state - what Sufis call hal - whenever he was in that state, he would start singing and dancing. And those utterances would simply overflow; it was not possible for him to control them. There was nobody to control; all control was lost. Junnaid understood his state, but he knew the state of the people too - that sooner or later Mansoor would be thought to be anti-religious. His declaration, “I am God,” was a fact, his experience was there behind it, but people didn’t understand it. They would take it as arrogance, as ego, and there would be trouble. And the trouble came.
After nine years they decided that he had not changed a bit; in fact he had grown deeper into it. Now he was continuously declaring, “an-el-haq! I am the truth! I am God!” So finally they decided that he had to be crucified.