Buddha said to Mahakashyap, “To all others I have told that which can be told, and to you I give that which cannot be told, cannot be said.” Now for two thousand years followers of Buddha have been asking again and again and again: What was given to Mahakashyap? What was given to Mahakashyap, what was the teaching that Buddha never told to anybody, that even Buddha said cannot be told because words will not be able to carry it?
Words are so narrow, the vastness of truth cannot be forced into them – and they are so superficial, how can they carry the depth? It is just like this: How can a wave on the ocean carry the depth of the ocean? It cannot. By the very nature of things it is impossible because if a wave exists it has to exist on the surface. The wave cannot go to the depth because if it goes to the depth it is a wave no more. The wave exists only in touch with the winds – it has to be on the surface, it cannot go to the depth. And the depth cannot come to the wave because the moment it comes to the surface it itself becomes the wave, it is no more the depth.
This is the problem. The truth is the center and the words exist on the surface, on the periphery – where people meet, where the wind and the ocean meet, where the question and the answer meet, where the master and disciple meet; just there on the surface words exist. Truth cannot come to the surface, it is the very depth, and the words cannot go to the truth, they are the very surface.
So what to do? All that can be said will be just so-so; it will not be true, it will not be untrue, it will be just in the middle – and very dangerous, because if the disciple has not been in tune with the master he will misunderstand. If he has been in tune with the master, only then will he understand because then there exists a rapport.
Understanding is not a question of keen intelligence; understanding is a question of deep rapport. Understanding is not a question of reason, intellect, logic. Understanding is a question of deep sympathy, or even of deep empathy; hence the central significance of trust, faith. Understanding happens through faith, because in faith you trust, in trust you become sympathetic, in trust rapport is possible – because you are not defensive, you leave the doors open.
This monk asked Nansen: “Is there a teaching no master ever preached before?”
Yes, there is a teaching; in fact all the teaching is there which no master has ever preached before. Then why do masters go on preaching? Why is it Buddha went on talking for forty years? Why do I go on talking, whether you listen or not? Why do they talk? If that which is to be learned cannot be said, then why do they go on talking?