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Fifth: This man is known only to very few people, for the simple reason that he never wrote and he never spoke. Mahakashyapa. All that is known of him is this anecdote.
One day, Buddha came to his morning discourse with a lotus flower in his hand. He sat silently looking at the flower, not saying a single word. The assembly of ten thousand sannyasins was bewildered. This was unheard of. In the first place Buddha, who had never before come with anything, comes with a lotus flower; secondly, he used to speak immediately, but today minutes and hours have passed, and he is just looking at the flower. Many must have thought he must have gone mad. Only one man did not agree. He laughed. That man was Mahakashyapa.
Buddha raised his eyes, laughed and called Mahakashyapa to him, gave him the flower and told the assembly that the sermon was over, saying, “I have given to you what you are entitled to, and I have given to Mahakashyapa what he deserves, and rightly so. I have talked to you for years in words, and you never understood. Today I have spoken in silence, and the laughter of Mahakashyapa has shown that he has understood.” In this mysterious way the successor was found. Mahakashyapa became Buddha’s successor. A strange way....
The disciples of Mahakashyapa have written a few things about him that can be called his book. But really he has not written them, nor have his disciples signed them. They are anonymous. But whatsoever was written is of immense beauty. A few fragments, just like pieces of the full moon: if you can put them together there will be the full moon again. The secret to put them together is meditation.
The tradition that followed Mahakashyapa is Zen. He is the first patriarch of Zen, of dhyana. Strange...not even Buddha, but Mahakashyapa is the first. ...Because Buddha spoke for forty years, Mahakashyapa never spoke; the only noise that he ever made was that of laughter. If you can call it speaking, that’s another matter. In a way it is speaking – it is saying that the whole existence is a joke. It is saying to Buddha, “What a joke!”
The moment you understand that the whole existence is a joke, you have understood. There is no other understanding, no other enlightenment. Everything else is pseudo.
Can you, Devageet, remind me of the number? – Because even in the posthumous record, the postscript, I have to make it ten. What is the number you said?
“Number six, Osho.”
Good. It is so beautiful that I said posthumous. I am really dead, that’s why I allow you to call me “blessed one”. If I am not dead then to call me the blessed one is not right.
The word posthumous came to me accidentally. I was going to say postscript, but sometimes truth comes out accidentally. It is not arranged, ordered, it just erupts like a volcano. I was not going to say it, but it came out on its own. Truth has its own ways. I am really a posthumous man; I died long ago.