A siddhanta is one which you have seen, which has been revealed to you, which has become your own experience, which you have encountered. A doctrine is almost imaginary, it is not real. A doctrine is almost always borrowed. You can hide your borrowing in many ways – subtle, cunning ways. You can reformulate, you can take from many sources and you can rearrange everything, but a doctrine is a borrowed thing – nothing original in it.
A siddhanta is absolutely original, new. It is your authentic experience. You have come to see what reality is. It is an immediate perception, it is a benediction, it is a blessing, it is a grace, a gift. You have arrived and you have seen what truth is. The statement of a realization is siddhanta. Propounding a doctrine is one thing; giving expression to a siddhanta is totally different.
I have heard:
Once Mulla Nasruddin was talking to a few of his friends. He was telling his pals about the wonderful vacation he and his family had just had in the United States.
“It is a wonderful country,” he exclaimed. “Nowhere in the world is a stranger treated so well. You walk along the street and you meet a well-dressed fellow with lots of dollars. He tips his hat and smiles at you, and you talk together. He invites you into his big car, and shows you the town. He buys you a fine dinner, then takes you to the theater. You have more fine food and plenty of drinks, and he invites you to his house and you sleep nice all night. Next morning…”
“What, Nasruddin,” a listener said, “did all this really happen to you?”
“No, not exactly, but it all happened to my wife,” said Nasruddin.
A doctrine is that which has happened to somebody else. You have heard about it. It has not happened to you – it is borrowed, dirty, ugly. A siddhanta is virgin.
A doctrine is a prostitute. It has been moving through many minds, through many hands. It is like dirty currency; it goes on changing its owner. A siddhanta is something absolutely fresh. It has never happened before, it will never happen again. It has happened to you. A siddhanta is deeply individual, it is a personal vision of reality.
What happened to Buddha is a siddhanta – what Buddhists propound is a doctrine. What happened to Christ is a siddhanta – what Christians talk about is a doctrine. What happened to Krishna is a siddhanta – what Hindus go on bragging about is a doctrine. What I am saying to you is a siddhanta – if you go and repeat it, it will be a doctrine. That’s why I say it is a very unfortunate choice of words to put into Buddha’s mouth.
My doctrine is to think… No, let it be: My siddhanta is to think, my realization is to think, my own understanding is to think…. He is not proposing a theory, he is simply expressing an experience.
A few more things before we enter into the sutra.