The man of great knowledge, a scholar, a pundit, a rabbi, is not going to get free from the wheel of birth and death. And he is not going to be free from the suffering in the three realms. According to Gautam Buddha, heaven, the earth, and hell, all three are nothing but different kinds of sufferings. Buddhism reaches to the highest peak, because even heaven is not considered to be the ultimate home. It is still a suffering – very refined suffering, but suffering all the same. One has to be free from all three; then it is nirvana, then it is enlightenment.
Long ago, the monk Good Star was able to recite the entire canon. But he did not escape the wheel because he did not see his nature. If this was the case with Good Star, then people nowadays who recite a few sutras or shastras and think it’s the dharma are fools.
It can be taken for granted that Bodhidharma must have said this. It is beyond the capacity of a disciple to call knowledgeable people who can recite all the Buddhist sutras, fools. Only Bodhidharma can do that, not out of any arrogance, not out of any ego, not to condemn them, not to humiliate or insult them, but for Bodhidharma, it is simply the fact.
And the fact has to be stated. He is not a man of manners and etiquette and all that rubbish. He simply says whatsoever is the truth. I absolutely agree with him. My own experience with great learned scholars is that they are learned fools. They have big degrees, great honors from universities, but as far as their own consciousness is concerned, it is of the same quality as anybody else’s. They are just parrots. And perhaps parrots are more intelligent than your pundits.
I have heard about a parrot:
It was wintertime and the lady to whom the parrot belonged used to cover the parrot and his cage with a thick blanket so that he would not feel cold. In the day she used to remove the blanket. One day she removed the blanket as the sun was rising and the parrot started singing, the way all parrots sing, not a song taught to him, but a song that is natural and spontaneous to all the parrots even if they are wild – meaningless to us, but tremendously joyful to them. And just then the lady heard her husband’s car stopping near the porch. Her husband was on an emergency army duty, so once in a while he used to come home without notice.
She immediately put the blanket back on the parrot and went to her bed. The parrot said, “My god, today’s day has been very short.”
Now nobody has taught him this. This was coming out of his own intelligence. It was strange…every day the blanket was removed in the morning, and in the evening the blanket was put back. What happened today? The day had been really too short.
But your so-called learned people around the world don’t have even that much intelligence, for the simple reason that their knowledge becomes mountainous and every possibility of intelligence becomes lost in their knowledge. The burden of knowledge is too heavy. They cannot afford to be intelligent against their knowledge.