Chapter 20: The Radiation of Enlightenment
A blind man was brought to Gautam Buddha, and the people who had brought him told Buddha, “This man is not only blind, he is a genius in logic, in argumentation. We all know there is light. We all know there is the sun, there is the moon, there are the stars, but we cannot convince this man. He lives in our village and he argues so well against all of us that sometimes we start thinking that perhaps we are deluded.
“His arguments are very strong. He says, ‘I am absolutely willing to accept your sun, your moon, your stars, your light, but just let me touch your light. I want to feel it. If touching it is difficult, let me smell it. If that too is difficult, beat it like a drum so I can hear the sound of your light. Or I am ready even to swallow it, to have some taste of it. But unless out of my four senses at least one sense is convinced, I can only say to you that you are in an illusion. And moreover, I feel that you want to humiliate me by declaring this stupid idea about light, so that you can claim you have eyes and I don’t have eyes. You simply want to insult me.’
“Hearing that Gautam Buddha was passing by the nearby village, we rushed here. We thought that perhaps this would be the only moment, the only chance and opportunity to take this blind man to a man who is ultimately awakened and may be able to convince him about light. If he fails, then there is no hope.”
Gautam Buddha laughed and he said, “As far as I am concerned, I absolutely agree with the blind man, because he confirms my attitude about truth. Unless you experience it, don’t believe it. And because he cannot experience light, it does not matter whether light exists or not. He is absolutely correct not to believe in it because every belief is far more dangerous than blindness, because every belief is spiritual blindness.”
The blind man could not believe that for the first time somebody of the status of Gautam Buddha would support him. Tears came from his blind eyes. Gautam Buddha said, “Don’t be worried. I have the best physician of the land with me.” A great king, Prasenjita, had offered Gautam Buddha his own personal physician, because he was fragile, old, and he needed somebody to look after him.
So Gautam Buddha said, “Don’t be worried. I will call the physician; he is just in another camp. Let him treat you. You don’t need an awakened man, you need a talented physician, a genius - because no other argument can convince you, and you should not be convinced by any other argument.”
The blind man was taken to the physician, and Gautam Buddha said, “Stay in this village till you have cured his eyes.”
It was not a difficult job. Within six months the man’s eyes were cured, and the moment he saw the light he rushed to the other village, far away, where Buddha was. Dancing, in utter joy, he fell at Gautam Buddha’s feet and told him, “If you had not met me I would have remained blind. In fact with all my arguments I was defending my blindness. But you are a man of tremendous discrimination. You did not argue with me; you simply said, ‘I am not a physician and your problem can be solved only by a physician.’”