Chapter 3: The Quiet Way to the Happy Country
These sutras are for the bodhisattvas. Now Buddha is saying to his bodhisattvas - to those disciples who are going to become helpers to mankind, who are ready to go into the world and to help people who are drowning in their own insanity - Buddha is saying to his bodhisattvas, “These are the basic things you have to start your teaching with.”
The first thing he says: Tell the people that.. You have no name and no form - because that is where millions are stuck. People live and die for name and fame. It seems their life purpose is to have a name known to the whole world, a name which is going to be written in golden letters in history, a name which will go on resounding down the corridors of time for ever and ever.
And the whole thing is so stupid, so ridiculous, because you don’t have any name in the first place. You are born nameless, you are nameless. All names are arbitrary. Don’t sacrifice your life for a name. Don’t sacrifice the real for something unreal. We are sacrificing something true for something which is untrue and cannot be made true.
When a child is born, you know he does not bring a name with him; he is born as namelessness. But of course a name is needed; it has a certain utility but no reality. It is arbitrary. You can call him anything, any name will do - x, y, z will do. In a more scientific age there is every possibility that we will drop these old names. Somebody will be O-11, somebody will be X-13. Names are going to be more mathematical one day because they will be more precise. And there is no need to have the same name for two persons; computers can decide. The computer can say that this is a new name, nobody has it all over the world. Right now so many people have the same name; it is bound to happen. It is not very scientific, but it works.
Buddha wants his bodhisattvas to tell the people the first thing: You are nameless. So don’t be worried about your name or your fame. You are also formless: your innermost being has no form. Your body has a form, but your body goes on changing; every day it changes. Within seven years your body is completely new, entirely new. Not even a single cell of the old exists in it, everything goes on changing.
If you come across the first sperm of your father that started your life, will you be able to recognize it as yourself? Impossible. Will you be able to recognize your mother’s egg as yourself? Impossible. That was your form one day, but you were not it. And then in nine months’ time in the mother’s womb you passed through many forms.