And the people like, for example, Patanjali, who have grown from a seed to a big tree, not like a jump, who have grown like a small child growing towards youth, step by step – he charts the whole map: from the body to the mind, from the mind to the soul, from the soul to the infinite. He charts the whole process; he is gradual. Now, he will be against Hui Neng, because when Patanjali talks about the eight limbs of Yoga, Hui Neng talks only about the eighth – samadhi – the seven are dropped, the seven are not included at all. For Hui Neng, those seven are a kind of postponement: Why waste time with yoga asanas – yoga postures – what are you doing? Enlightenment has nothing to do with the body. In what posture you are, enlightenment has nothing to do with that. You can be standing on your head, you can be sitting buddhalike, you can be lying down – it can happen! It can happen in any posture because it is not a physical phenomenon at all.
No yoga posture has any relevance! Certainly not for Hui Neng, because he was passing through the market, somebody else was reading the Diamond Sutra, he simply heard it…and hearing it, it happened. There is no question of any yoga posture. There is no question of a certain diet. There is no question of any practice of breathing. All the seven limbs are dropped; only the eighth – samadhi, ecstasy…. He immediately became ecstatic. It happened to him, so he is right; he says, “It has happened to me – -it can happen to you, it can happen to everybody. Why waste your time practicing unnecessary things? All else is arbitrary. The essential is samadhi.”
Now, Patanjali knows differently. Samadhi has not happened immediately to him; he has been growing towards it, slowly, slowly. It has been a growth – not only of one life, but many lives. It has been gradual, it has been slow; it has been like a seed becoming a tree. And he will say, “Don’t listen to such people – these people are mad. Things don’t happen like that! No seed has ever been known to suddenly become a great cedar of Lebanon – no seed has ever been known to. This Hui Neng has gone mad!”
Or, Patanjali will find some way to explain it. He will say, “Hui Neng must have been doing all the other things in his past lives; he was ready – he had fulfilled the seven limbs in his past lives. That’s why suddenly the eighth has happened, but the eighth cannot happen unless those seven have been fulfilled. Hui Neng looks sudden, but is not sudden.”
And ask Hui Neng, “What about Patanjali?” and he will say, “He is befooling himself. The thing could have happened directly – he was unnecessarily going round and round. He could have jumped.” And the difference…. Hui Neng will say, “Man is not a seed – man is already a cedar of Lebanon. Just forgotten! If man is a seed, then time is a must to become a tree” – -but Hui Neng’s whole point is: “Man is already the tree. Just fallen asleep. In sleep dreaming that ‘I am a seed.’ He has to be simply shocked and awakened. Just the dream has to be broken. Once the tree opens its eyes, it will know that there is no need for any growth.”
For Patanjali, becoming is the most valuable word; for Hui Neng, being is the most valuable word.
To me, both are true. I am a bridge between Patanjali and Hui Neng. And I understand: Hui Neng is ultimately true, but “ultimately” true; and very rarely will you be able to find a person who becomes enlightened by hearing four lines…it is not easy to find such a person. But it is possible; I don’t say it is impossible.