“Vainly I sought the builder of my house
through countless lives.
I could not find him…
How hard it is to tread life after life!
“But now I see you, O builder!
And never again shall you build my house.
I have snapped the rafters,
split the ridgepole
and beaten out desire.
And now my mind is free.”
There are no fish in the lake.
The long-legged cranes stand in the water.
Sad is the man who in his youth
lived loosely and squandered his fortune.
Sad is a broken bow,
and sadly is he sighing
after all that has arisen and passed away.
Gautama the Buddha is the greatest breakthrough that humanity has known up to now. Time should not be divided by the name of Jesus Christ, it should be divided by the name of Gautam Buddha. We should divide history before Buddha and after Buddha, not before Christ and after Christ, because Christ is not a breakthrough, he is a continuity. He represents the past in its tremendous beauty and grandeur. He is the very essence of the whole search of man before him. He is the fragrance of all the past endeavors of man to know God, but he is not a breakthrough. In the real sense of the word he is not a rebel. Buddha is, but Jesus looks more rebellious than Buddha for the simple reason that Jesus’s rebellion is visible and Buddha’s rebellion is invisible.
You will need great insight to understand what Buddha has contributed to human consciousness, to human evolution, to human growth. Man would not have been the same if there had been no Buddha. Man would have been the same if there had been no Christ, no Krishna; there would not have been much difference. Remove Buddha and something of tremendous importance would have been lost, but his rebellion is very invisible, very subtle.
Before Buddha the search, the religious search, was fundamentally a concern with God – a God who is outside, a God who is somewhere above in the heavens. The religious search was as concerned with an object of desire as the worldly search. The worldly man sought money, power, prestige, and the otherworldly man was seeking God, heaven, eternity, truth. But one thing was common, both were looking outside themselves, both were extroverts. Remember this word, because this is going to help you understand Buddha.
Before Buddha, the religious search was not concerned with the within but with the without. It was extrovert, and when the religious search is extrovert it is not really religious. Religion begins only with introversion, when you start diving deeply within yourself.