Chapter 11: Spiritual Enlightenment
Near about twelve my eyes suddenly opened - I had not opened them. The sleep was broken by something else. I felt a great presence around me in the room. It was a very small room. I felt a throbbing life all around me, a great vibration - almost like a hurricane, a great storm of light, joy, ecstasy. I was drowning in it.
It was so tremendously real that everything became unreal. The walls of the room became unreal, the house became unreal, my own body became unreal. Everything was unreal because now there was for the first time reality.
That’s why when Buddha and Shankara say the world is maya, a mirage, it is difficult for us to understand. Because we know only this world, we don’t have any comparison. This is the only reality we know. What are these people talking about - this is maya, illusion? This is the only reality. Unless you come to know the really real, their words cannot be understood, their words remain theoretical. They look like hypotheses. Maybe this man is propounding a philosophy - “The world is unreal.”
When Berkeley in the West said that the world is unreal, he was walking with one of his friends, a very logical man; the friend was almost a skeptic. He took a stone from the road and hit Berkeley’s feet hard. Berkeley screamed, blood rushed out, and the skeptic said, “Now, the world is unreal? You say the world is unreal? - then why did you scream? This stone is unreal? - then why did you scream? Then why are you holding your leg and why are you showing so much pain and anguish on your face. Stop this? It is all unreal.”
Now this type of man cannot understand what Buddha means when he says the world is a mirage. He does not mean that you can pass through the wall. He is not saying this - that you can eat stones and it will make no difference whether you eat bread or stones. He is not saying that.
He is saying that there is a reality. Once you come to know it, this so-called reality simply pales out, simply becomes unreal. With a higher reality in vision the comparison arises, not otherwise.
In the dream; the dream is real. You dream every night. Dream is one of the greatest activities that you go on doing. If you live sixty years, twenty years you will sleep and almost ten years you will dream. Ten years in a life - nothing else do you do so much. Ten years of continuous dreaming - just think about it. And every night.. And every morning you say it was unreal, and again in the night when you dream, dream becomes real.
In a dream it is so difficult to remember that this is a dream. But in the morning it is so easy. What happens? You are the same person. In the dream there is only one reality. How to compare? How to say it is unreal? Compared to what? It is the only reality. Everything is as unreal as everything else so there is no comparison. In the morning when you open your eyes another reality is there. Now you can say it was all unreal. Compared to this reality, dream becomes unreal.
There is an awakening - compared to that reality of that awakening, this whole reality becomes unreal.