Compassion keeps a buddha remaining a bodhisattva, just on the borderline. Yes, for a few days, a few years, one can hold, but not for long – because by and by things start disappearing on their own. When you are not attached with the body you become dislocated from there. You can come sometimes, with effort. You can use the body, with effort, but you are no longer settled there. When you are no longer in the mind you can use it sometimes, but it no longer functions as well as it used to function before. You are no longer flowing in it. When you are not using it, it is lying there: it is a mechanism, it starts gathering rust.
When a man has reached to the seventh, for a few days, for a few years, he can use the six rungs. He can go back and use them, but by and by they start breaking. By and by, they start dying. A bodhisattva can be here only for one life, at the most. Then he has to disappear, because the mechanism disappears.
But all those who have attained have tried, as far as they can, to use the body-mind to help those who are in body and mind, to help those who can understand only the language of the body and the mind, to help the disciples.
Avalokita, the holy lord and bodhisattva,
was moving in the deep course of the wisdom
which has gone beyond.
He looked down from on high,
he beheld but five heaps,
and he saw that in their own being
they were empty.
When you look from that point…. For example, I was just telling you that I salute the buddha in you. That is one vision from the beyond: that I see you as potential buddhas. And another vision is just that I see you as empty shells.
What you think you are is nothing but an empty shell. Somebody thinks he is a man; that is an empty idea. Consciousness is neither male nor female. Somebody thinks he has a very beautiful body, he is beautiful, strong, this and that – that is an empty idea, just ego deceiving you. Somebody thinks he knows much – that is just meaningless. His mechanism has accumulated memories and he is deceived by the memories. These are all empty things.
So when seen from the transcendental, on the one side I see you as budding buddhas, on another side I see you just as empty shells.
Buddha has said that man consists of five elements, five skandhas, which are all empty. And because of the combination of the five, a by-product arises called the ego, the self. It is just like a clock functioning: it goes on ticking. You can listen and the tick is there; you can open the clock, you can separate all the parts to find where the tick is coming from. Where is the tick? You will not find it anywhere. The tick is a by-product. It is just a combination of a few things. A few things functioning together were creating a tick.
That’s what your “I” is – five elements functioning together creating the tick called “I.” But it is empty, it has nothing in it. If you go and search for anything substantial in it you will not find.