So Buddha says, “These inquiries you can make later on, but first let me pull out the arrow, because you are just on the verge of death. If you think that first all these inquiries should be made and then the arrow should be pulled out, you are not going to survive.”
This story he would tell many times. What does he mean by it? He means we are all just on the verge of death, everyone. Death’s arrow has already penetrated you. You may know it, you may not know it. Death’s arrow has already penetrated you – that’s why you are suffering. The arrow may not be visible, but the suffering is there. Your suffering shows that death’s arrow has penetrated you. Don’t go on asking: “Who has created this world? Why? Why have I been created? Are there many lives or one? Am I going to survive after my death or not?”
Buddha says, “Inquire afterwards. First let this arrow of suffering be pulled out.”
Then Buddha laughs and says, “And I have never seen anyone inquiring later on when the arrow has been pulled out.”
This is yoga: more concerned with your state, real state of suffering. How to go beyond it? More concerned with your bondage, with your imprisonment – how to transcend it? How to be free? That’s why moksha is the end, the ultimate end, a practical end. It is not theoretical.
We have propounded many theories, but all theories are only devices. We have propounded many theories: nine systems we have and a vast literature, one of the richest literatures. But theories are devices. When I say theories are devices, I mean they are only to help you pull out the arrow. Really, theories are not meaningful; we have created many strange theories. But Buddha, Mahavira, they say that if a theory helps you to go beyond your bondage, it is okay.
Don’t be bothered about the theory, whether it is right or wrong. Don’t be bothered about its logic and argument. Use it, and go beyond. Why bother about a boat? If it can help you to cross the river, cross the river. Crossing is meaningful, the boat is meaningless – so any boat can help.
Because of this, Hindus could develop the only tolerant mind in the world, the only tolerant mind. A Christian cannot be tolerant; intolerance is bound to be there. A Mohammedan cannot be tolerant; intolerance is bound to be there. It is not his fault, because the boat is very important. He says, “You can cross this river only in this boat. Other boats are not boats; they are not true. The other shore is not very important. This boat on this shore is very important. So if you choose some wrong boat, you will not be able to get to the other shore.” But the Hindu mind says, “Any boat will do – the boat is irrelevant.”