Chapter 10: A Song Untouched by Time
Now you will miss. Now you will go to the forest, you will cut wood, but you will miss the whole point. Cutting wood you will be thinking, “When is it going to happen? It has not happened yet. That feeling has not yet exploded - How wondrous!” And you are waiting all around, and you look at the sun, and you look at the trees, but they look like ordinary trees, and the sun is ordinary, and the birds - the same old, stupid birds chattering. And, yes, the grass is green, but so what! - grass has always been green. You know all the poetry about grass, you are a professor; and you know all the great paintings, so what is new? You look all around and it is not happening. And you go on chopping wood. And you have never chopped wood; you start feeling tired. You look all around and there seems to be no wonder happening. And you say, “How miserable! Nothing is happening! This Zen master cheated deceived me. What is there to call wondrous?”
No, you miss the point. The master has not cheated you. He is not saying you should become a woodcutter. Remain a professor! People are as beautiful as trees. Young people are as beautiful as young grass. Go on teaching! Teaching is as wondrous as carrying fuel. The master was simply saying that whatsoever you are doing, if you are utterly there, the mind not wavering anywhere else.then suddenly the beauty is there, the benediction is there. The benediction is part of being present.
But don’t make an ideal out of it! Thousands of people renounced their homes and became Buddhist monks when Buddha walked and he talked about “How wondrous!” But I don’t think they arrived anywhere. They renounced the world, but it was a desire. Buddha had renounced the world for a totally different reason: the desire had been understood. See the point!
Buddha renounced the world seeing the futility of desire. Seeing that desire cannot lead anywhere - it leads into misery and hell again and again - seeing it there, seeing the whole mechanism of it, seeing the repetitious wheel of many lives, seeing that all that you can do you have done, but where is bliss? Where is equilibrium? Where is that benediction? Where is real life?.seeing that not even for a single moment has that happened, he renounced the world.
That renunciation came out of understanding. When he renounced the world and became a buddha.and naturally he had great grace, great joy around him, great silence, so wherever he moved many people became desirous. They saw this man walking: “So this man has arrived, so this is the way to arrive.” They are not yet finished with desire. They have created a new desire. Looking at Buddha they have become lustful for buddhahood!
It is almost the same. You see a Cadillac car passing by, and a desire arises - you should own it. It is nothing different! You see a Buddha passing by, and a desire arises - “Why should not I have this grace? Why should not I have this calm, quiet silence? Why should not I be so joyful as Buddha is? Why not I?” Desire has arisen. It is the same desire!
Seeing a beautiful woman pass by with somebody else - somebody else’s wife - and a desire starts lingering inside: “Why should not I have a beautiful wife like that?” It is the same game played on different planes, in different ways. But the trick is the same.
So seeing a buddha, many people became desirous. And they renounced, but they renounced for a wrong reason. Buddha’s renunciation was a natural outgrowth of understanding. Their renunciation is part of the same desire. so it happens many times that they are working hard, but waiting from the corner of the eye: “When is it going to happen?”
I have heard these two stories: