So they insisted, “Your arguments are all right, we agree with you. But one thing we want to say to you: that, after millions of people, a single person reaches to such heights, such depths…even if he is misunderstood, misinterpreted, it does not matter; at least one percent, probably, will understand him – and that is a big percentage as far as humanity is concerned. You cannot deny that one percent the great opportunity that has arisen in you. There may be a few people just on the verge of awakening – a little push and they may be on the same height, as awake as you are. And even if you go on missing the target, what is the harm? People were unconscious, they will remain unconscious…but you have to be compassionate, at least for the one percent that you have accepted.”
Out of his compassion, Buddha agreed. And what he had said, happened. Very few people understood him. Those who understood him became transformed beings; went through a metamorphosis. A new kind of light started shining through their being; a new aura of energy, like a cool breeze, followed them. Millions misunderstood, misinterpreted, and you can see the result. Where Gautam Buddha was born, after his death…not a single buddha in his own land, because the masses, with their ignorance, confusion, condemnation, distorted everything. Thirty-two schools arose after Gautam Buddha’s death, interpreting things in their own ways and fighting amongst themselves. And the old hold of the Indian priesthood – the Brahmins – did not miss the chance.
The priest is always afraid of the awakened one, because he is the one who can destroy his whole profession. Jesus was not crucified by ordinary people; he was crucified by the very scholarly rabbis, priests, and high priests of the temple of the Jews in Jerusalem – they insisted that he should be crucified.
Gautam Buddha has been opposed by the priests of India; the reason is the same. The priest is exploiting people in the name of God, of which he knows nothing; in the name of the spiritual, of which he has no idea. But whenever a person comes, radiant with the experience, the priest becomes afraid. It is not a question of argument; you cannot argue with a buddha – his very presence is convincing. He has not to utter even a word. If he utters some words, it is just to lead you toward wordlessness. He speaks so that you can become silent. His speaking is only a device.
These anecdotes are tremendously beautiful, and very symbolic of how masters function in different ways, on different disciples. Sometimes they succeed, but even if they succeed in awakening only one human being, it is more than one can expect. The very experience is so valuable, and so obvious, and so inner, that the ordinary humanity is not interested in it. It is involved in mediocre things, in things which ultimately mean nothing. The only thing that carries an ultimate meaning is the experience of your innermost being.
These anecdotes are all concerned about the interiority of humanity. You will not find logic in them, but you will find love. You will not find all the things that people in the world desire and long for, but you will find something superior: a great blissfulness, a peace that passeth understanding, a blessedness that becomes your very breathing, your very heartbeat. It all happens through meditation. Zen is another name of meditation.