I said, “Nagarjuna is contained in Buddha. Something that was a seed in Buddha found expression in Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna can be dropped. When it is a question of saving, trees can be dropped, but not the seeds, because the seeds will again become trees. They will become new trees. When a Buddha is born hundreds of Nagarjunas will soon be born, but no Nagarjuna can give birth to a Buddha. Buddha is the headwater of the Ganges, Nagarjuna is just a place of pilgrimage appearing along the course of the Ganges – a lovely one…but if cutting is needed then the place of pilgrimage can be dropped, but not the source of the Ganges.
“In the same way, Krishnamurti is also contained in Buddha. Krishnamurti is Buddha’s latest edition, the freshest – in today’s language. But the difference is only of language. Krishnamurti is just an elaboration of Buddha’s ultimate sutra: “Be a light unto yourself.” A commentary on this sutra – deep, profound, tremendously vast, immensely significant – but he is just an elaboration.” These were Buddha’s last words on this earth. Before leaving his body he had given this essential sutra, poured his whole life’s treasure, his whole life’s experience, into this one small sutra.
“Ramakrishna can easily be included in Krishna.
“Meera and Nanak can be dissolved into Kabir. They are like branches of Kabir. As if half of what came together in Kabir manifested in Nanak and the other half manifested in Meera. The male aspect of Kabir manifested in Nanak, so it is not surprising that Sikhism became a warrior’s religion, a religion of the soldier. Kabir’s feminine aspect is manifested in Meera – hence his entire sweetness, his entire fragrance, his entire music resounds from the bells on Meera’s ankles. The woman in Kabir has sung on the one string of Meera’s ektara. In Nanak, the man in Kabir has spoken. Both are contained in Kabir. This is how,” I said, “I made the list of seven.”
Now his curiosity had become tremendously aroused. He said, “And if you had to make a list of five?”
I said, “Then it will be even more difficult for me.”
I gave him this list: “Krishna, Patanjali, Buddha, Mahavira and Gorakh – because Kabir can be merged into Gorakh; Gorakh is the root. Gorakh cannot be left out. And Shankara easily merges into Krishna, he is the exposition of one part of Krishna. The philosophic interpretation of just one aspect of Krishna.”
Then he said, “One more time…if only four names are to be kept?”
Then I listed for him: “Krishna, Patanjali, Buddha and Gorakh – because Mahavira is not very different from Buddha, just a tiny difference, and that too only a difference in expression. Mahavira’s greatness can be merged in the greatness of Buddha.
He started saying, “Just one more time…please choose three persons.”
I said, “Now it is impossible. I cannot drop any of these four.”