Mahakashyapa used every now and then to come to ask Buddha when samadhi would happen. Buddha would tell him not to worry, and that he would not need to come and ask him when it happened. When it happens you will recognize it, and not only will you recognize it, whosoever sees you will recognize it if they have even a little bit of ability to see, because when that revolution happens within its rays shine out, piercing their way through the person’s body, being and everything.
On the step of assimilation the seeker will know that he is a different person, that he is new, that he is born again. He will know that he is not the same person who had gone into samadhi. Someone had gone in, somebody else has come out.
The next step below assimilation is contemplation. When the seeker comes into the mind further down from assimilation, the moment of contemplation will arise. Now the seeker will be able to think, look back and contemplate as to what really happened: “What did I see? What is it that I came to know? What did I live?” Now he will try to put his experience into thoughts, words and concepts.
It is those who have been able to put their experience into words at the step of contemplation who have given birth to the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bible and the Koran. Many have reached the state of samadhi, but it is a difficult task to bring back to the step of contemplation what has been known.
Remember, the earlier journey towards samadhi is not as difficult as we think it is. If we compare it with the return journey it is very easy. This return journey is very difficult. Thousands attain samadhi, but only very few of them are able to come back and take a footing at the step of assimilation. Still fewer are able to descend to the step of contemplation, and still fewer make it to that first step called listening.
The name of this step is changed on the return journey, about which I shall talk to you later. Thousands reach to the state of samadhi, but rarely does one of them become a buddha. ‘Buddha’ means one who is able to climb down all the four steps and give to the world what he has known. Contemplation means putting all that is thoughtless into thoughts on the return journey. Putting that which cannot be spoken, cannot be thought, within the boundaries of words is the most impossible thing in this world.
You see it when the morning sun rises. Seldom is a painter able to catch that rising aspect of the sun in his painting. It is not very difficult to paint the sun, any painter can do that, but to catch the rising aspect of it is difficult. The phenomenon of rising, that quality of growth which is continuously growing – if that gets painted, so that seeing the painting one feels that the sun is about to move…now, now it is rising up, up…. This seldom happens. To catch a tree in a painting is not difficult, but to catch its aliveness is difficult. Looking at it one may feel that the leaves are about to flutter any moment, a slight breeze and the flowers will fall off. This is very difficult to paint – very difficult. And that is the difference between photography and painting. No matter how sharp a photograph may be, it portrays only the dead aspects, it does not portray the aliveness.