The Buddha said:
Those who have passions are never able to perceive the way, for it is like stirring up clear water with hands. People may come there wishing to find a reflection of their faces which however they will never see. A mind troubled and vexed with passions is impure, and on that account it never sees the way.
O monks, do away with passions. When the dirt of passion is removed the way will manifest itself.
The Buddha said:
Seeing the way is like going into a dark room with a torch. The darkness instantly departs while the light alone remains. When the way is attained and the truth is seen, ignorance vanishes and enlightenment abides forever.
Who is a buddha? Or what is buddhahood? Unless you have a clear concept about it, it will be difficult to understand the sayings of Buddha. To understand those sayings, you will have to understand the source from where they arise. To understand the flower, you will have to understand the roots. Unless you understand the roots, you can appreciate the flower, but you will not be able to understand it.
Who is a buddha? Or what is buddhahood? The word buddha means pure awareness, a state of absolute awareness. A buddha is not a person but a state – the ultimate state, the ultimate flowering. Buddha has nothing to do with Gautam the Buddha. Before Gautam the Buddha there have been many buddhas, and after Gautam the Buddha there have been many buddhas. Gautam the Buddha is only one who has attained to that ultimate consciousness.
The word buddha is just like christ. Jesus is only one of the christs – those who have attained to the ultimate flowering. There have been many christs and there will be many. Remember it – that buddhahood is not in any way confined by Gautam the Buddha. He is just only one example of what buddhahood is.
You see one roseflower. It is not the roseflower, it is only one of the roseflowers. Millions have existed before, millions are existing right now, millions will exist in the future. It is simply a representative. This roseflower is simply a representative of all the roseflowers that have been, are, and will be.
A Buddha is not defined by his personality. He is defined by the ultimate state of his being, which is beyond personality. And when a buddha speaks, he does not speak like a person. He speaks through his ultimate awareness. In fact to say that he speaks is not good, not right. There is nobody to speak, there is no self in him to speak. And in fact he has nothing to say. He simply responds. Just as if you go and start singing in a valley the valley responds. The valley simply echoes you.
When you come to a buddha, he simply mirrors you. Whatsoever he speaks is just a reflection. It is an answer to you, but he has nothing to say himself. If another Buddha comes to him, they both will remain absolutely silent, two mirrors facing each other…nothing will be reflected. The mirrors will reflect each other, but nothing will be reflected. Two mirrors – just think of two mirrors facing each other. If Christ comes to see Buddha, or Buddha somewhere on the roads of life comes across Lao Tzu, they will be absolutely silent – there will be no echo.