In fact it is better to know that the darkness is there, and something has to be done to create light, to destroy darkness. Knowing about light is of no help; real light is needed. The strange coincidence is that both Gautam Buddha and Mahavira were surrounded by brahmin scholars. And all that they have said has been compiled by the same people against whom they were speaking their whole lives.
Mahavira had eleven intimate disciples – they were all brahmin scholars of great integrity, of great learning, of great knowledge, but their ignorance was just the same as anybody else’s. Ignorance can decorate itself with knowledge, but that only hides it; it does not destroy it. One has to discover one’s own light, one’s own being, one’s own self-nature. The moment one discovers one’s inner being, all darkness starts disappearing, because at the very center of your being is nothing but pure light. But it has to be discovered.
The people who are interested in knowledge, or interested in scriptures, or interested in learning from other wise men, are not doing anything to reach to their own light, to the very source of enlightenment.
The same happened with Gautam Buddha. His closest disciples were brahmins and hence a great misunderstanding has arisen in their reportings. What they have reported about Gautam Buddha is mixed, polluted, corrupted by their own knowledgeability, by their own learning. Their minds have come in and interfered with the message that was given in silence – a message that was transmitted heart to heart, being to being, but not from mind to mind.
The same unfortunate situation has happened with Bodhidharma – even on a far greater scale because Bodhidharma was born in India, but he was teaching in China. The people who surrounded him, who became interested in him, were the people who were interested in knowledge. And certainly he had the golden key that opens all the mysteries of life. His every word comes from an authentic experience. He attracted thousands of monks, but the problem is that those were the people who crammed his words and forgot the phenomenal presence of Bodhidharma. And they have written these sutras. Naturally, there are great mistakes but even though there are many stones, there are a few diamonds, and we can find those diamonds.
Even though they were not able to experience in the same way as Bodhidharma, they were certainly impressed by his charismatic being. Just like moths come to the flame of a candle, they came from faraway provinces in China, just to sit at his feet. But it is not enough. It is a good beginning, but it is not the end of the journey. They could not forget their own minds. Even while listening to him, they were still thinking their own thoughts, they were still comparing whether it fits with their ideology or not. They were interpreting, giving new meanings, new colors to his words.