I have carried this sutra you spoke on in Pune with me for many years. It reads:
The Buddha said,
It is better to feed one good man
than to feed one hundred bad men.
It is better to feed one who observes
the five precepts of Buddha
than to feed one thousand good men.
It is better to feed one srotapanna
than to feed ten thousand of those
who observe the five precepts of Buddha.
It is better to feed one skridagamin
than to feed one million of srotapannas.
It is better to feed one anagamin
than to feed ten millions of skridagamins.
It is better to feed one arhat
than to feed one hundred millions
It is better to feed one pratyak buddha
than to feed one billion of arhats.
It is better to feed one of the buddhas
either of the present or of the past
or of the future
than to feed ten billions of pratyak buddhas.
It is better to feed one who is above
knowledge, one-sidedness, discipline, and
enlightenment than to feed one hundred billions
of buddhas of past, present, or future.
It says so much about your height and our darkness, and has produced two feelings in me: the blessing and joy of being in your magnificence, and the arduousness of how far we have to travel just to have a taste of your consciousness.
Would you please speak on this again?
One of the most fundamental things to be understood is that the distances are only dream phenomenon, they do not exist in reality. One may be asleep very lightly, one may be asleep very deeply, one may be almost in a coma.
There are distances…. If you want to wake them up, then the first, who is in a very light sleep, half awake, half asleep, can be awakened soon; but every one of them can be awakened. It is only a question of the intensity of the effort needed to awaken from the outside, and the intensity needed to be awake from the inside.
You all must have felt moments of nightmare when you want to wake up but you cannot move. And then, in a minute, you wake up. It looks so strange that just a moment before it looked impossible even to open your eyes or move your hands, and after just one minute you are fully awake.
The distance between me and you is only a dream distance, so there is no need to feel any sadness, no need to feel that it is going to be a very arduous and long journey. It is a very simple and very natural phenomenon. If you can relax – and nothing can be easier than relaxation – things will start happening on their own.