Seeing this cunningness of the human mind, Buddha simply dropped the words self, self-realization. He stopped talking about what will happen when your ego is dropped. He said, “That is not my business and that is not your business either. You simply drop the ego and wait and see what happens, but don’t conceive it from the very beginning. Don’t make it a goal, an ambition. The moment you make it an ambition, the ego has come back from the hidden, secret door of your being.”
Buddha was very much misunderstood. It was obvious, particularly in this land where for thousands of years before him the religious people have been talking about self-realization. But Gautam Buddha had a far deeper and clearer insight than anyone who has preceded him. He saw behind this self-realization nothing but a deep ego.
He changed the whole language of spirituality. In the language he used to speak – Pali is its name – the self is called atta. Buddha dropped the word completely and he started using a negative word, anatta. Atta means self; anatta means no-self. It was against the whole tradition, not only of this country but of all the countries. Nobody had ever heard about no-self, no-mind, no-realization.
Then people started asking him, “What is the point of all this effort, meditation, disciplines, fastings, austerities…? What is the point if finally we are going to be nobody? – it is a strange effort! Such a long journey, so arduous, just to find in the end that you are not.”
They were logical. But whenever you encounter a man like Gautam Buddha, his love is far stronger than your logic can ever be. His presence is far stronger than your reason, your mind, your personality, your ambitions, your desires. His very presence is so powerful, so magnetic that people start – against themselves, in spite of themselves – on a journey which ends in no-self.
Just the other day I came to know about a child who was born in France. The mother had been working in an atomic research center. While she was pregnant she continued to work, so the radiation of atomic energy was surrounding her continually while she was pregnant. Just three or four days ago she gave birth to a child. The doctors were very interested to see what had happened to the child, because he had been exposed to radiation for nine months continually – he may be blind, he may be crippled…is there going to be something strange?
The whole medical staff, all the surgeons and doctors were watching breathlessly as the child came out of the womb and the doctor put the child on the table. He was perfectly healthy – not blind, not crippled. All their fears were negated. But something they never expected happened. On the table all the instruments of the surgeon and the doctor started moving towards the child. The child had become magnetic! The child will have to live a very strange life. Wherever he will go things will start moving towards him.