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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 11
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Chapter 7: Beyond the Beyond

And there is no question of dependence. If there had been no Buddha you could still be awakened, if there had been no Christ you could still be enlightened. Your enlightenment is absolutely your own, it is individual. That’s the beauty of religion; that’s why religion cannot be taught. Science can be taught; religion has to be discovered again and again by each and every individual, by each and every seeker. The path of science is like walking on the earth; you leave your footprints. Buddha has said: The path of religion is like birds flying into the sky - they don’t leave any footprints.so nobody can follow a buddha.

You can love a Buddha, but you cannot follow him. You can love a Christ, but you cannot follow him. Yes, your love will help you, will help you to understand, will give you courage to inquire, will strengthen your spirit to go into the unknown. It will be a tremendous help because the journey is without any maps and you are going into the ocean. The other shore, the farther shore is not visible; there is no guarantee that you will ever reach it. By loving a Buddha, a Christ, a Zarathustra, a Krishna, a Lao Tzu, a deep trust arises in you about the farther shore - that it exists: “If I search with my total being there is a possibility I may discover it.” But the risk is great and everything has to be done by you. You have to go alone. You have to be totally alone; nobody can accompany you on the way.

The master can show you the path, but he cannot go with you. He can push you, he can encourage you, he can help in many ways, but still you have to go alone. You have to discover everything, each detail of the truth, again.

In science it is totally different: once a truth is discovered it is discovered for the whole of humanity. Once electricity is discovered there is no need for everybody to discover it again and again. That will be stupid, utterly stupid. Once discovered it becomes part of the whole humanity’s heritage.

But it is not true about the inner, subjective truth. Thousands of times it has been discovered, but when it comes as a question, as an inquiry for you to discover it, you have to go again from ABC, as if you are the first, as if nobody has preceded you. You have to break the ice, you have to move in the virgin land.

This is a great challenge. Cowards shrink from it, but courageous people feel tremendously attracted. Courageous people find it almost like a magnetic force pulling them. Hence Buddha always talks about fearlessness. He says: Without fear, go.

Other religions, particularly the organized religions, are rooted in fear. If Buddha had written the ancient parable of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from heaven he would have written it in a totally different way. He would have appreciated Adam and Eve. He would not have called it the original sin, he would have called it the original virtue - that they rebelled, that they were not afraid of God and the punishment, that they were fearless people.

He would not have condemned them, that much is certain; he would have praised them immensely. It was a challenge to their spirit, to their very soul, to have been told, “Don’t eat from this tree, the tree of knowledge, because if you eat from this tree you will be punished, tremendously punished - not only you but your progeny also will be punished for ever and ever.”

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