Chapter 11: Sammasati - the Last Word
Finally, he remained alone, and he dropped all yoga disciplines. He had his own five disciples, who thought that he was a great ascetic. But when they saw that he had dropped all yoga discipline, and he was no longer fasting, they dropped him. All the five disciples left him - “He has fallen from his greatness; he is no longer a saint; he has become ordinary.”
But in that ordinariness, when he had dropped everything - just being tired and exhausted - that full-moon night when the five disciples left him, he slept under the bodhi tree, completely free from this world and completely free from the very search for that world. For the first time he was utterly relaxed: no desire to find anything, no desire to become anything. And in that moment of non-desiring, he suddenly awakened and became a buddha. Buddhahood came to him in a relaxed state.
You don’t have to work for twelve years, you can just start from the relaxed state. It was the last point in Gautam Buddha’s journey. It can be the first point in your journey.
And the first thing Gautam Buddha did after he became awakened was to go in search of those five disciples to share what had happened to him. And when he reached those five disciples - they saw him coming. It is a very beautiful story:
They decided, “Gautama is coming, but we are not going to pay any respect to him. He has stopped being a holy man; he has started living a relaxed and comfortable life.”
But as Buddha came closer, all five disciples stood up. Although they had decided not to pay him any respect, in spite of their decision, they could see that Gautama had changed completely - “He is no longer the same person we used to know. He is coming with such a silence, with such contentment. It seems he has found it.” And they all touched Gautam Buddha’s feet.
And Gautam Buddha’s first statement to them was, “When you had decided not to pay attention to me, why are you paying such respect?”
All the five asked to be forgiven. They said, “We were thinking you were the same old Gautama. We used to know you - for five years we have been together, but you are not the same person anymore.”
Enlightenment is such a transformation that you are a totally different person. The old person dies away, and a totally new awareness, a fresh bliss, a flowering, a spring which has never been there.
It took twelve years for Gautam Buddha. It need not take even twelve minutes for you. It is simply an art, to relax into yourself. In the traditional Zen they are still doing whatever Buddha did in his ignorance, and finally they drop it.
I am telling you, why not drop it right now?
You can relax this very moment!
And in that relaxation you will find the light, the awareness, the awakening.