Chapter 15: You Need to Wake Up
Now and then, maybe once in a thousand years, someone awakens. And whenever a single individual awakens, that door which is usually closed opens, even for those who are still asleep. Here we are so many people: suppose we are all asleep, then who will awaken us? If even one of us wakes up, the door opens up for the awakening of us all, because the one who is awake can awaken the sleeping ones, he can shake them to wake up.
It is another matter that you may still not wake up, you may turn over and go to sleep again, you may turn a deaf ear to it all. The awakened one’s calls may get lost in your dreams, or even become part of your dreams. We have become so skilled in dreaming that we have no difficulty assimilating even the external realities into our dreams.
You go to bed at night and set the alarm because it is very urgent for you to be up early in the morning. Morning comes, the alarm goes off, and you start dreaming that bells are ringing in some temple. The sound of the alarm is coming from outside you, but you have taken it as a part of your dream - and then the alarm is futile. Now you will not wake up, there is no need to - you have forgotten all about the clock and all about the alarm. What was an external stimulus has now become a part of your internal dream. The mind is certainly wonderful, and it has great cunningness. It will create a dream in which bells are ringing; the sound of bells has been taken in, now there is no reason to wake up.
I have heard about a colonel who retired from military life. He called his orderly, whose name was Rama, and told him that he was to live with him. The colonel lived on his own, he had no wife or children, so he told Rama, “Your only duty will be to wake me up at four a.m. just as you have been doing all these years. For years you have come to me at four in the morning with the words, ‘Wake up, sir, it’s time for the parade.’ All I want you to do from now on is to come to me at four in the morning and say, ‘Wake up, sir, it’s time for the parade.’ And then I’ll say to you, ‘The parade can go to hell,’ and I’ll turn over and go back to sleep. This has been my lifelong desire which I have not been able to fulfill up to now. My whole life I wanted to skip the parade but could not do so. Now I am retired, so..”
Such is our mind. It wants to sleep, and when it is time to wake up, then we get even more pleasure from going on sleeping if we are given the chance. Now this colonel is insane, but he really represents man. Now he can go on sleeping uninterrupted, now there is no need to keep the orderly any more to wake him up at four in the morning. But the real interest is in someone making the effort to wake him up and his turning over and going on sleeping and ignoring him. This satisfaction is not possible even in the natural uninterrupted sleep.
So when buddhahood happens to someone and he comes to shake you up from your sleep, your interest in sleeping actually deepens. You turn over and go on sleeping. Then you turn that buddha also into a part of your dreams. You start dreaming about him, you do not allow him to become your path leading you to awakening. You turn him also into a support to deepen your sleep.