Chapter 15: Life, Love, Laughter
The first question:
Is there anything you can say about what is happening to Vimalkirti?
Nothing is happening to Vimalkirti - exactly nothing, because “nothing” is nirvana. The West has no idea of the beauty of nothingness. The whole Western attitude is extrovert, oriented toward things, oriented toward actions. “Nothing” sound like emptiness - it is not so.
This is one of the greatest discoveries of the East, that nothing is not empty. On the contrary, it is just the opposite of emptiness. It is fullness, it is overflowingness. Break the word nothing in two, make it no-thingness, and then suddenly its meaning changes, the gestalt changes.
Nothing is the goal of sannyas. One has to come to a space where nothing is happening; all happening has disappeared. The doing is gone, the doer is gone, the desire is gone, the goal is gone. One simply is - not even a ripple in the lake of consciousness, no sound.
The Zen people call it “the sound of one hand clapping.” Now, one hand clapping cannot create sound - it is soundless sound, the omkar, just silence. But silence is not empty, it is very full. The moment you are absolutely silent, absolutely attuned with nothingness, the whole descends in you, the beyond penetrates you.
But the Western mind has overpowered the whole world, we have become workaholics. My whole approach is to help you to become zeros. The zero is the most perfect experience in life; it is the experience of ecstasy.
Vimalkirti is blessed. He was one of those few of my chosen sannyasins who never wavered for a single moment, whose trust has been total the whole time he was here. He never asked a question, he never wrote a letter, he never brought any problem. His trust was such that he became, by and by, absolutely merged with me. He has one of the rarest hearts; that quality of the heart has disappeared from the world. He is really a prince, really royal, really aristocratic. Aristocracy has nothing to do with birth, it has something to do with the quality of the heart. And I experienced him as one of the rarest, most beautiful souls on the earth. It is not a question at all of asking about him: “What is happening?”
Of course, one tends to think in the old ways in which one was brought up, and more particularly so about a German!
I have heard:
A German reached heaven and knocked on the doors. St. Peter opened a small window and looked out. He asked, “How old are you?” Then he looked in the records and was very puzzled because the German said, “Seventy years old.”