And everybody is deceiving: a few are deceiving by earning money and thinking that when they are super-rich they will have reached to the realization of their potential; a few are deceiving by accumulating knowledge; a few are deceiving by becoming powerful, respectable; a few are even deceiving by becoming saints, ascetics. But whatever you do, unless it leads to awareness of your nature, it is a deceiving.
Even if you have mountains of jewels and as many servants as there are grains of sand along the Ganges, you see them when your eyes are open. But what about when your eyes are shut?
They all disappear. Bodhidharma is saying that this is just a small experiment for you. As you close your eyes, your palaces disappear, your whole world disappears almost in the same way as when in the morning, you open your eyes, all your dreams disappear. And have you ever watched one very strange thing? In the day sometimes, you can suspect perhaps it is not real because there is no way to be certain about its reality. You are sitting here – can’t you think it is just a dream? It is possible that you are dreaming. How do you know that it is true and not a dream? The only difference is that your eyes are open. But in a dream in the night – you never suspect in a dream that it may be a dream. This is one of the strangest mysteries. In real life, fully awake, you can doubt its reality; in a dream nobody ever doubts the reality of the dream. Nobody thinks it is a dream. It is so real.
Bodhidharma is trying to give you an example. When you die, your eyes will be closed…. In the East it is a tradition: the moment somebody dies, immediately his eyes are closed. From my very childhood I have been interested in the idea – why? Let him die if he wants to die with open eyes. Why should others be interfering – you cannot even allow him a little freedom of keeping his eyes open after death? I asked everybody, because whenever somebody died I was always present. The moment I heard somebody had died in the neighborhood or somewhere, I immediately went to see the whole thing, what was happening. And I have asked many but nobody was able to answer why it mattered, why they closed the eyes.
Most often people die with open eyes. It is very rare to die with closed eyes for the simple reason that for closing the eyelids, you need life energy; just as you cannot die with a fist, because to keep your hand as a fist you need a certain life energy. Everybody dies with an open hand; now there is no more energy, how can you keep the fist? In the same way almost everybody dies with open eyes.