And then Buddha saw a sannyasin in red robes, and he asked, “What kind of man is this, and why is he wearing red robes?”
The charioteer said, “This man has renounced the world and he has become a seeker of truth. He wants to know who he is and he wants to know whether his life is eternal or just a temporal phenomenon. Will he survive the death of the body or not? If he is not going to survive after death, then all is meaningless. Then he has no soul, then he is just matter.”
Buddha told the charioteer, “Return the chariot home. I am not going to inaugurate; somebody else can do it because I am in a great spiritual turmoil. The old man, the dead man, the sannyasin…”
That very night he escaped from the palace. He was bored with all that luxury, he was bored with all that beauty, and for the first time he saw what is going to happen next: old age, sickness, death. Then before death comes, truth has to be found.
Gautam Buddha was a Zorba up to the age of twenty-nine. Six years of deep meditation transformed the man. He became enlightened.
So when I have called the new man Zorba the Buddha, I have reasons to call it so. Every man is born as a Zorba. Your religions don’t allow you to live the Zorba, so you don’t get bored with it. They don’t allow you to live it so totally that you get finished with it. Your religions are preventing you from becoming buddhas. The word buddha means the enlightened one, the awakened one. Your religions are keeping you asleep. They are certainly functioning as opium.
My effort is to make you first totally zorbas, utterly zorbas, intensely zorbas, so that you can transcend Zorba and enter into another phase of your consciousness – the awakening.
Zorba is the foundation of the temple.
Buddha is the temple itself.
But there is a great hindrance for every human being to grow: one, you have been told that the Zorba is against the Buddha; it is not true. The Zorba is the experience which leads you towards buddhahood, towards awakening. That’s the reason for my love for Zorba. He is really a beautiful man. But don’t stop at Zorba…he is only a foundation. If you just make the foundation and don’t raise the temple, it is meaningless.
So there are people who are just living with the foundation, thinking this is the shrine – millions of people. And there are millions of people who are thinking they can make the temple without the foundation. They are fools.
Both are wrong. Zorba and Buddha can exist only together. And Zorba has a priority. He comes first; he is the natural foundation. And Buddha is the ultimate development, the ultimate peak of human reach, of human consciousness.