The first question:
You continually speak of dropping the ego, but how can I do so when I can’t distinguish between what is the ego and what is my true nature?
The ego cannot be dropped. It is just like darkness – you cannot drop darkness, you can only bring light in. The moment light is, darkness is no more. You can say this is the way of dropping darkness, but don’t take it literally. Darkness does not exist at all – it is absence of light. Hence you cannot do anything directly to it. You can only do something to light – either bring light in or take light out. If you want darkness, put the light off; if you don’t want darkness, put the light on. The ego cannot be dropped.
Meditation can be learned. Meditation functions as a light, meditation is light.
Become light, and you will not find the ego anywhere.
If you want to drop it you will be in trouble, because who is this one who wants to drop it? It is the ego itself – now playing a new game, the game called spirituality, religion, self-realization. Who is asking this question? It is the ego itself, befooling you. And when the ego asks how the ego can be dropped, naturally you think, “This can’t be the ego. How can ego ask for its own suicide?” That’s how ego goes on deceiving you.
Your self-nature has no questions, it needs no answers. Your self-nature is absolutely light, full of light. It knows no darkness, it has never met any darkness.
Bodhidharma reached China. He was one of the greatest buddhas of all the ages. After Gautam Buddha, Bodhidharma seems to be the most precious person in the Buddhist heritage. When he reached China, his fame had reached far ahead of him. Even Emperor Wu who ruled over the whole of China came to receive him at the boundary. And the conversation that transpired between the two is of immense importance. It has to be meditated upon again and again. It has a tremendous message for you all.
Emperor Wu was not only a great emperor, he was very religious too, and he had done much for Gautam Buddha’s message. In fact no other person except Emperor Ashoka had done so much for Buddhism as Emperor Wu had done. He transformed the whole of China into a Buddhist world. He made thousands of temples for Buddha, he made hundreds of monasteries – millions of Buddhist monks were supported by the royal treasury. He translated all the Buddhist scriptures into Chinese. Thousands of scholars worked for years, almost their whole lives. He had done great work. Naturally, he wanted to know from Bodhidharma, “What is my merit?”