Buddha has said that desire is misery and you go on repeating. This is knowledge. You are desiring, and you have never seen that desire is misery. You have simply heard Buddha. This will not do. You are simply wasting your life and opportunity. Your own experience can change you; nothing else changes. Knowledge cannot be borrowed. If borrowed, it is just a fake. It looks like knowledge, but it is not. But why do we follow a Buddha or a Jesus – why? Because of our greed. We look at Buddha’s eyes, and they are so peaceful that greed arises, desire arises for how to attain this. Buddha is so blissful – every moment in ecstasy. A desire arises for how to be buddhalike. We also desire such states.
Then we go on asking how Buddha achieved this, how it happens. The “how” creates many problems because then Buddha will say that in “no-desire” it happens. And he is right, it has happened in no-desire. But when we hear that in no-desire it happens, we start practicing no-desire, we start leaving desires, and the whole effort is a desire to be master-like.
Buddha was not trying to be like someone else; he was not asking to be a buddha. He was simply trying to understand his own misery – and the more understanding dawned upon him, the more misery disappeared. Then one day he came to understand that desire is poison. If you have desire you have fallen a victim; now there is no possibility of your ever being happy. You can only hope – have hope and frustration, then more hope and more frustration: this will be your circle. And when you become more frustrated you hope more, because that is the only consolation. You go on moving in the future because in the present you always have frustration, and the frustration is coming because of your past.
In the past this present was the future, and you hoped for it. Now it is a frustration. Then you hope again for the future, and when it will become the present you will again become frustrated. Then you will hope again. Then more frustration, more hope, and with more hope, still more frustration. This is a vicious circle. This is what the wheel of sansara is.
But no buddha can give you his own eyes. And it is good that be cannot give them to you; otherwise you will remain a fake always, eternally. Then you will never become authentic. It is good to suffer because only through suffering will you become authentic and real. So the first thing: move with your desires so that you can understand what they really are. Experience whatever suffering is hidden there. Let it be revealed to you. Only that is austerity – only that is tapascharya.
Naropa has said that if you can be alert every desire leads you to nirvana, and this is the meaning, because if you are alert, you know that every desire is misery. And when you have searched every nook and corner of desiring, suddenly you stop. In that stopping is the happening, and it is always there. That happening is always waiting for you, just waiting to meet you in the present. But you are never in the present, you are always dreaming. Reality sustains you. Because of the real you are alive; because of the real you exist. But you go on moving in the unreal. The unreal is very hypnotizing.
I have heard one Jewish joke. Two old friends met after many, many years. Then one friend said to the other, “I have not seen you in twenty-five years. How is your son, your boy Harry?”