They came back to Gautam Buddha and they said, “We have found just one single, small argument. It is very small in comparison to all the arguments that go against, but still we would like you to consider. Our argument is that you may be misunderstood by ninety-nine percent of the people, but you cannot say that you will be misunderstood by a hundred percent of the people. You have to give at least a little margin – just one percent. And that one percent is not small in this vast universe; that one percent is a big enough portion. Perhaps out of that one percent, very few will be able to follow the path.
“But even if one person in the whole universe becomes enlightened because of your speaking, it is worth it. Enlightenment is such a great experience that even if your whole life’s effort can make one person enlightened, you have done great. To ask for more is not right; this is more than enough. And there are a few people – you must be aware, as we are aware – who are just on the borderline. Just a little push, a little encouragement, a little hope and perhaps they will cross the boundary of ignorance, they will cross the boundary of bondage, they will come out of their prisons. You have to speak.”
Gautam Buddha closed his eyes and thought for a few moments, and he said, “I cannot deny that much possibility. It is not much but I do understand that all my arguments, howsoever great, are small before the compassion. I will live for at least forty-two years, and if I can make a single individual enlightened I will feel immensely rewarded. I will speak. You can go back unburdened of your worry and concern.” And he spoke continuously for forty-two years.
And certainly not one, but nearabout two dozen people became enlightened. But these two dozen people were the people who learned the art of listening, who learned the art of being silent. They did not become enlightened because of what Buddha was saying, they became enlightened because they could feel what Buddha was – his presence, his vibe, his silence, his depth, his height.
These two dozen people were not becoming enlightened just by listening to the words of Gautam Buddha. Those words helped: they helped them to be in the presence of Gautam Buddha, they helped them to understand the beauty ordinary words take when they are used by an enlightened person. Ordinary gestures become so graceful, ordinary eyes become so beautiful, with such depth and meaning. Just the way Buddha walks has a different quality to it, just the way he sleeps has a different significance to it. These were the people who tried to understand not what Gautam Buddha was saying, but what he was being. His being is the only authentic language.
But millions heard him, became knowledgeable. And the day he died, the same day, thirty-two schools sprang up, thirty-two divisions amongst the disciples – because they differed in their interpretations of what Gautam Buddha had said. Every effort was made that they should gather together and compile whatever they had heard from Gautam Buddha, but all their efforts were failures. There are thirty-two versions, so different that one cannot believe how people can hear one person in so many ways.