Chapter 7: How Sweet It Is
Rabindranath has a beautiful parable. In one of his poems he sings: I searched for God for many lives. I saw him sometimes far away on a star, but by the time I reached there he had left the star long before; he was somewhere else. He was always somewhere else and I was chasing him. The very adventure was beautiful; I was enjoying the thrill of it.
And then one day I happened to reach his home. For a moment I was ecstatic that I had arrived, but the next moment I became very sad. Standing at his door I was just going to ring the bell, but my hand became frozen. I thought for a while, “If I ring the bell and he comes out, then what? Then what am I going to do? And after that whom am I going to search? All is finished! My whole past has been nothing but a search for God; it was meaningful because of the search. If the search disappears, all meaning will disappear.”
So Rabindranath says, “I descended back from his steps. I took my shoes in my hand so that he would not hear that somebody had come. Otherwise, who knows? He may simply open the door and he will say, ‘Come in!’ And then I ran away from the place as fast as I could.
“And again I am searching for God, and now I know where he is so I avoid that space only and I search everywhere else, knowing perfectly well that I am not going to meet him there and my search can continue. I can go on hoping and desiring and deep down I know the whole ridiculousness of it - because he is just by the corner; I can reach his home any moment.”
This is a true parable about man: you also know where he is. If he is anywhere at all he is within you, not even by the corner. If he is anywhere, he is in your consciousness, in your heart of hearts. He is your life. There you don’t look at all, afraid you may find him. And you go on searching in Kaaba, in Kailash, in Kashi, and you go on and on searching knowing perfectly well that you will not find him. And the search can continue and the thrill can continue and you can go on hoping and desiring.
Buddha simply cuts all your hoping and desiring. He does not say there is no God, he does not say there is. He simply says it is irrelevant. It does not matter whether he is or he is not; it is absolutely beside the point. What matters is your inner transformation, and the inner transformation cannot be postponed for tomorrow; it can happen right now.
That’s the trouble with Buddha: if you go with him you have to drop your hopes, you have to drop your desires. You have to be in the present, utterly silent. And then life has a new color, a new joy, a new music. Then life has a new beauty.
Right now, in the first place, you cannot meet God because you don’t have eyes to see him and you don’t have ears to hear him and you don’t have the right heart to feel him. You are not loving enough. Your eyes are not clear; they are so full of dust - dust of knowledge, memories, experiences. Your ears only appear to hear, but they don’t listen.