I said, “It has not only meaning, it has tremendous meaning. Whoever was writing it was absolutely aware that, at the most, he could say, ‘I have heard…perhaps Buddha was saying something else. Perhaps he was saying what I have heard, but I cannot impose my meaning, my projection on him. I can be wrong.’”
And this is true, because as Gautam Buddha died…. He never wrote anything, and he never allowed in his life that anything he said be written, for a simple reason: If you are listening, there is no need to make any notes. And if you are making notes, you are not listening; your whole mind is concerned with writing the notes. You are behaving like the modern tourist, who is a cartoon character, rushing from one place to another place with a camera hanging on one shoulder, a telescope hanging on another shoulder, many kinds of lenses in a bag. Even standing before the Taj Mahal, he is not seeing it. He is photographing it. Back home when the album is ready, he will look at it with great joy from the golden memories of his tour. But he has never really seen – his being was diverted by the camera.
When I was a teacher in the university, I never allowed any student to take notes – because the moment you start taking notes, you stop hearing. You know that later on you can read your notes, so there is no need to be in the present. That psychological truth is the reason why Buddha did not allow anybody to write down what he was saying. He said, “When I am dead you can write anything you want.”
And the first thing that his disciples did was collect forty-two years’ discourses, morning and evening, personal interviews given to emperors, to kings and to disciples. And you will be surprised to know that there were thirty-six schools immediately, saying that he has said this, not this. Their only difference was…. They were all devoted to Gautam Buddha, but they were saying that he has said this – and there were thirty-six versions.
So there are thirty-six versions of Buddhist scriptures. They are not reporting Buddha, they are reporting what they have heard – according to their consciousness, according to their intelligence, according to their presence.
So it is not just in beginning the question; it has to be a deep understanding in you: always remember to make it clear that you are reporting what you have heard. It is not necessarily synonymous with what I have said.
Maneesha is saying, “I heard you say” – and I appreciate her understanding in using the words “I heard…the other day that you want no part of any relationship we might imagine we have with you.”
You have heard rightly, Maneesha. I don’t want any part of any relationship, imagined or not imagined. It may be very real to you – it may not be your imagination, it may be factual. You are accustomed to creating relationships, from your very childhood. A strange man, and you have to create a relationship with him as your father. You cannot ever be certain that he is your father….