The gods are also asleep and dreaming beautiful dreams. The buddha is awakened, he is no longer dreaming. The Buddhist scriptures say: The day Siddhartha Gautam became a buddha gods came from the sky to worship him, to wash his feet. Hindus could not forgive this idea, because for them the gods in heaven – Indra and other gods – are the suprememost. And look at the arrogance of the Buddhists who say gods came from heaven to wash the feet of a human being.
Buddhism raised humanity to its highest pinnacle. No other religion has done that. Man becomes the center of existence. God is not the center of existence, according to Buddha, but the man who has become awakened. The periphery consists of those who are asleep and blind, and the center consists of those who have eyes, who are awakened. Gods are simply dropped; they are no longer relevant. What Nietzsche did after two thousand years, Buddha had done already.
A great poet, Chandidas, was very much impressed by Gautam Buddha as who will not be impressed by this man? He has said: Sabar upar manus satya, tahar upar nahin – the truth of man is the highest truth, there is no other truth higher than that. But let me remind you again: when Buddha talks about man, he talks about the realized man, not about you – you are only on the way, you are only in the process. You are a seed.
The seed can have four possibilities. The seed may remain a seed forever, closed, windowless, not in communion with existence, dead, because life means communion with existence. The seed IS dead, it has not yet communicated with the earth, with the sky, with the air, with the wind, with the sun, with the stars. It has not yet made any attempt to have a dialogue with all that exists. It is utterly lonely, enclosed, encapsulated into itself, surrounded by a China Wall. The seed lives in its own grave.
The first possibility is that the seed may remain a seed. That is very unfortunate – a man may remain simply a seed. With all the potential at your disposal, with all the blessings ready to shower on you, you may never open your doors.
The second possibility is that the seed may be courageous enough, may dive deep into the soil, may die as an ego, may drop its armor, may start a communion with existence, may become one with the earth. Great courage is needed, because who knows? – this death may be ultimate, there may be no birth following it. What is the guarantee? There is no guarantee; it is a gamble. Only a few men gather courage enough to gamble, to risk.
To be a sannyasin is the beginning of the gamble. You are risking your life, you are risking your ego. You are risking because you are dropping all your securities, all your safety arrangements. You are opening windows…who knows who is going to come in – the friend or the enemy? Who knows? You are becoming vulnerable. That’s what sannyas is all about. That’s what Buddha was teaching his whole life. Forty-two years continuously, transforming seeds into plants – that was his work – transforming ordinary human beings into sannyasins.