Bodhidharma looked with compassion and said, “You are right, but not enough. You have my skin.”
And he moved towards the next, who said, “You have come here to give an experience of silence, of truth, of beauty, of blissfulness.”
Bodhidharma again looked with deep compassion and said, “A little better – you have my bones.”
And he turned to the third disciple who said, “Your coming has been the greatest phenomenon in the history of China. Your purpose was to impart meditation.”
Bodhidharma said, “You are not wrong, but not right either.”
He turned towards the fourth. And the fourth started crying with tears flowing down, not out of any misery but out of tremendous joy. And he collapsed at the feet of Bodhidharma without saying a single word. Bodhidharma took him up, hugged him, and said to him, “You have said it. I don’t know; you don’t know either. You are going to be my successor. Spread this luminous ignorance as far and as wide as possible.”
Luminous ignorance – yes, that is the ultimate state of silence. That is the only living water which can quench your thirst. Questions won’t do it. I allow you to ask questions – it is just an indirect way of taking away all your foolishness. I don’t answer your questions, I simply destroy them. If I can succeed in taking away all your questions my purpose is fulfilled and your destiny too. It is not that my answers are needed, it is that your questions have to be utterly, mercilessly destroyed. You are to be left without questions, and that is the answer.
Haridevi, you are saying, “Anyway, did you know that you are not only the most beautiful and gorgeous master…?” I don’t even know that I am a master.
Just yesterday I saw your question, and for the first time in my whole life I looked seriously into the mirror. Because if Haridevi thinks that I am the most beautiful and gorgeous master, there is bound to be something wrong. I tried hard but I could not find anyone there in the mirror. I have been absent for almost thirty-five years.
Once I used to be…but for thirty-five years I have been just empty, a hollow bamboo. In the right hands that hollow bamboo can become a flute. I have allowed my hollow bamboo to bring to you any music, any song, any ecstasy that existence wants to share with you. But on your part, perhaps listening to a beautiful flute player, you start looking at the flute, thinking perhaps the music is of the flute. The music is not of the flute. I am singing songs of existence. My gestures are not my gestures.