So what does this mean, Listen well and attentively? It means a few things which have to be understood. One: when a man like Subhuti is there, there is no question of ear locks, not at all. There is no question of his openness to Buddha; there is no doubt about it, he is open. There is no doubt that he is no longer arguing with Buddha; he is totally with him, flowing with him. But when a person has attained to bodhisattvahood, when one has come very close to buddhahood, there arise a few new problems.
Each new stage of consciousness has its own problems. This is the problem with a bodhisattva: he is open, he is receptive, he is ready, but he has become uprooted from the body. His heart is open, his being is open, but he is no more rooted in the body. He has become detached from the body, the body is just hanging around. He does not live in the body, he is almost unidentified with the body – that is the problem.
When someone says to you, “Listen well,” he means that your body is listening but you are not listening. When Buddha says it to Subhuti he means, “You are listening, but your body is not listening.” It is just the opposite. When you listen your body is here, you are not here. The words reach to the ear, they make sound and noise there, and from the other ear they go out. They never cross your being; your being does not touch them. With a man like Subhuti just the opposite is the case. His being is there but his body is not there. He has lost track of the body. He forgets, he tends to forget the body. There are moments when he will not think of the body at all. He will be there but the body will not be there. He has come to bodilessness.
Now, listening is possible only when body and soul both are together. In you the body is present, the soul is absent. In Subhuti, the soul is present but the body is absent. That is the meaning of Buddha when he says, “Subhuti, listen well.” Bring your body here. Let your body function. Get into the body, be rooted in the body, because the body is the vehicle, the body is the instrument, the medium.
And Buddha says,…and attentively. Is Subhuti lacking in attention? That is not possible, otherwise he would not be a bodhi-being. A bodhi-being is one who has attained to attention, who is aware, who is alert, who is conscious, who is no more a robot. Then why does Buddha say, “Be attentive, listen attentively?” Again a different meaning has to be understood.
A man like Subhuti tends to go inwards. If he is not making an effort he will drown into his being, he will be lost there. He can be outside only if he makes an effort. Just the opposite is with you. With a very great effort you can rarely move into your inner being. For a single moment thoughts stop and you are lost into the inner splendor. But it rarely happens, and after long arduous efforts – meditation, yoga, this and that – and then only for a few moments you have that beauty, that benediction. The sky opens, the clouds disappear and there is light and there is life and there is utter joy. But only for rare moments…again and again it is lost. If you make great effort to be attentive, you attain the inner experience.