But the moment you state something, it can at the most only be half the truth. No statement can cover the whole truth. If any statement wants to cover the whole truth, then the statement will have to be, of necessity, self-contradictory, then it will have to be, of necessity, illogical. Then the statement will look crazy.
Mahavira did that: he is the craziest man because he tried to state the whole truth and nothing but the whole truth. He drives you crazy, because each statement is immediately followed by its contradiction. He developed a sevenfold way of making statements. One is followed by its contradiction, that is followed by its contradiction…so on and so forth. He goes on contradicting seven times, and only when he has said seven different things contradictory to each other seven times, then he says, “Now the truth is told perfectly” – but then you don’t know what he has said.
If you ask him, “God is?” he will say, “Yes,” and he will say, “No,” and he will say, “Both,” and he will say, “Both not,” and so on and so forth he goes…. Finally you don’t come to any conclusion. You cannot conclude. He does not give you any chance to conclude; he leaves you hanging in the air. This is one possibility, if you are insistent on saying the truth.
The other possibility is that of Buddha: he keeps silent, knowing that whatsoever you say will be only half. And half is dangerous. He does not say anything about ultimate truths. He will not say the world is a flux, and he will not say that the world is permanent. He will not say that you are, and he will not say that you are not. The moment you ask anything about the absolute truth, he prohibits. He says, “Please don’t ask, because by your question you will put me into trouble. Either I have to be contradictory, which is going crazy; or I have to utter a half-truth, which is not truth and dangerous; or I have to keep quiet.” These are the three possibilities. Buddha had chosen to keep silent.
This is the first thing to be understood about today’s sutras, then with this context it will be easy to understand what Saraha is saying.
The first sutra:
As a cloud that rises from the sea
Absorbing rain, the earth embraces,
So, like the sky, the sea remains
Without increasing or decreasing.
He is saying to the king: Look at the sky. There are two phenomena, the sky and the cloud. The cloud comes and goes. The sky never comes and never goes. The cloud is there sometimes, and sometimes it is not there; it is a time phenomenon, it is momentary. The sky is always there; it is a timeless phenomenon, it is eternity. The clouds cannot corrupt it, not even the black clouds can corrupt it. There is no possibility of corrupting it; its purity is absolute, its purity is untouchable. Its purity is always virgin, you cannot violate it. Clouds can come and go, and they have been coming and going, but the sky is as pure as ever; not even a trace is left behind.