Chapter 2: Where Did We Come From and How Did We Become?
The first question:
How does a buddha participate totally in day-to-day life?
There is no “how” to it. When you are alert no “how” is needed. When you are awakened you act spontaneously, not with a plan in the mind, because now there exists no mind at all. A buddha responds - moment to moment. Whatsoever the situation demands, with no plan, no idea how to act, with no technique he simply responds. His response is like an echo: you go to the hills, you make noise, and the hills echo it. Have you ever asked how the hills echo? They respond. When you play on a sitar has the sitar any “how”? You may be having technique and things in the mind - what to play, what to sing - but the sitar? It simply responds to your fingers.
A buddha is a nothingness. You come around him; he responds. Remember the word responds: it is not a reaction; it is a response. When you react you have an idea in the mind - how. what. When you react you react from a position. If you come to a buddha he does not react from any position; he has none. He has no prejudice, no opinion, no ideology. He responds. He responds to the situation.
One day a man came and asked, “Does God exist?” Buddha looked at him and said, “No.” And the same day. in the afternoon. another man came. He asked. “Does God exist?” Buddha looked into him and said, “Yes.” And the same day, in the evening, a third man came. He asked, “Does God exist?” and Buddha remained quiet; he didn’t answer.
If he had a position in the mind then the answer would he consistent, because it is not a response to the situation: it is always born out of an idea in the mind; it will be consistent. If he was an atheist, not believing in God, then whosoever the questioner it makes no difference. In fact a man of ideology never looks at you, never looks at the situation. He has a fixed idea. an obsession really. Buddha would have said, “No!” if he was an atheist, to all the three persons. If he was a theist he would have said, “Yes,” to all the three persons. In fact the person, the alive situation becomes irrelevant when you have an ideology, a position, a prejudice, a pattern, a mind; then you don’t look at the situation.
Otherwise, the responses will be totally different. There will be a deep running consistency - consistency of being, not of answers. Buddha is the same when he said no. Buddha is the same when he said yes. Buddha is the same when he didn’t say anything and remained silent, but the situations were different.