The great meaning which will appear in the inner recess of the temple will not only destroy your creed, your scripture, but it will also destroy you, and in that flood everything will be drowned. Whatever is left after that flood is your very nature. In that flood whatever was the other element will be swept away; in that flood whatever were the outer coverings will be lost; in that flood your relations will break with whatever was foreign to your nature and only you will remain in your pure virginity, in your innocence.
You cannot understand that inner being without having experienced it; you have to taste it, you have to drink it and get intoxicated. Until you get drunk, until you get lost in it after losing everything, the world will remain as long as you remain. Only then godliness will begin.
The divine is not, until you are not. And the divine begins only when your ego, your separate identity is dissolved. Shankara is a hidden Buddhist because he is saying the same thing which Buddha said. Buddha was also a hidden Vedantin because he was saying the same thing which the Upanishads had said. The garments are different, and sometimes the garments even seem contradictory.
Try to understand this. Buddha opposed the Upanishads and the Vedas, and still he propounded the Upanishads and Vedas. One has to oppose. When the Upanishads were born, when the Ganges of the Upanishads was born, then the Ganges was very clean, pure; it was the Gangotri, the source. Then the Ganges flowed on – thousands of people bathed in it, it passed by thousands of villages – it became dirty, trash got into it, rivers and rivulets joined it. In Varanasi, the Ganges doesn’t have the piety which it has at Gangotri. It cannot be so. With the passing of time the original source loses its purity.
Two thousand five hundred years before Buddha, when the Upanishads were born, their grandeur was unique. Each and every word contained in them was luminous, every line was full of the divine. But that grandeur was lost by the time of Buddha – the mirror was there but lots of dust had gathered on it. Now the mirror had become blind and nothing could be reflected in it. A big belief system stood in front of the mirror. Even if Buddha tried to clean the mirror that creed would not let him do so, because what is called dust by Buddha is said to be religion by the masses. The communal mind doesn’t know the mirror, it only knows the dust gathered on it and it thinks that this dust is the decoration, the jewels. The communal mind cannot agree to the dust being wiped away; it thinks that by this its religion will be destroyed.
It was because of this dust that Buddha had to deny this mirror. People couldn’t accept another mirror until this mirror was denied. But the other mirror is exactly like the first one; the only difference is that the first one had become old, dilapidated, and dust had gathered on it.
When truth gets organized it dies. Now the other truth is again new – newly born, fresh like the morning dew. The new truth will also become old in a few days.
Buddha’s truth had become old by the time Shankara was born. Time doesn’t forgive anyone and covers everything with dust. The thing which is new today will become old tomorrow, the newborn baby of today will become old tomorrow; today he is being welcomed into this world, tomorrow good-bye will be said to him when he dies.