Compassion is the proof that meditation has happened. Love is the fragrance that proves that the one-thousand-petaled lotus in the innermost core of your being has bloomed, that the spring has come – that you are no longer the same person you used to be, that that personality has ceased and individuality is born, that you are not living any more in darkness, that you are light.
These sutras are practical instructions, remember it. Atisha is not a philosopher, no wise man ever is. He is not a thinker; thinking is only for the mediocre, the foolish. The wise does not think, the wise knows. Thinking is an effort to know; it is guesswork, groping in the dark, shooting arrows in the dark.
Wisdom is knowing. And when you know, you need not guess. You are not guessing that this is morning and the birds are singing and the trees are bathed in sunlight. You are not guessing it, you are not thinking that it is so. If somebody is guessing it, then he must be blind or at least drunk. It is an experience, and every experience is self-validating.
Atisha is not a speculative thinker. What he is saying is not a philosophy or a system of thought. It is how he has attained; he is showing you the way. And the buddhas can only show the way – you will have to walk on it, nobody else can walk for you. Nobody else can do it for you; no proxy is possible in existence.
Yes, others can communicate how they attained, what pitfalls to avoid, how to go on judging whether you are moving in the right direction or not, what energies to use and what energies to discard, what is helpful and what is a hindrance. They can give you little hints about the path – and I say “little hints”; they cannot give you a complete map either, because each individual will have to follow a path that is a little bit different, and each individual will come across unique experiences that nobody has come across before and nobody may ever come across again.
Each individual is so unique that no absolute map can be given, only hints, vague hints, indications.
You are not to cling to these instructions. Just understand them, absorb them, and don’t be a fanatic. Don’t say, “This has to be like this. If it is not like this then I am not going to follow it, then something is wrong.” It will be something like this, but in a very vague way. It will have a similar fragrance but it will not be exactly the same; similar, yes, but not the same. One has to be aware of it. If one is not aware, then one becomes a fanatic – and fanatics have never arrived, their very fanaticism prevents them.
These are small hints. These are not mathematical, these are not like two plus two is four. In the world of the mysterious, sometimes two plus two is three, sometimes two plus two is five. It is very rarely that two plus two is four, very rarely; it is the exception, not the rule. It is not mathematics, it is music. It is not logic, it is poetry.
When you read a logical treatise, you read with a different mind. If you read poetry you need a totally different approach. In logic there is a clear-cut process, the process of syllogism – you know that this is so, and this is so, therefore this is bound to be so. There is a “therefore.”