He laughed. He said, “I have not attained anything – because whatsoever I have attained was always with me. On the contrary, I have lost many things. I have lost my ego. I have lost my thoughts, my mind. I have lost all that I used to feel I possessed. I have lost my body – I used to think I was the body. I have lost all that. Now I exist as pure nothingness. But this is my achievement.
Let me explain it to you, because this is very central.
According to Buddha’s approach, in the beginningless beginning of existence there was absolute sleep; existence was fast asleep, snoring, what Hindus call sushupti, a state of dreamless sleep. The whole existence was asleep in sushupti. Nothing was moving, everything was at rest – so tremendously, so utterly at rest, you can say it was not existing at all.
When you move into sushupti every night, when dreams stop, you again move into that primordial nothingness. And if in the night there are not a few moments of that primordial nothingness, you don’t feel rejuvenated, you don’t feel revitalized. If the whole night you dream, and turn and toss in the bed, in the morning you are more tired than you were when you went to bed. You could not dissolve, you could not lose yourself.
If you have been in sushupti, in a dreamless state, that means you moved into that beginningless beginning again. From there is energy. From there you come rested, vitalized, new, again full of juice, full of life and zest. That, Buddha says, was the beginning; but he calls it the beginningless beginning. It was like sushupti, it was tremendously unconscious; there was no consciousness in it. It was just like samadhi, with only one difference: in samadhi one is fully awake. In that sushupti, in that dreamless deep sleep, there was no consciousness, not even a single flame of consciousness – a dark night. It is also a state of sat-chit-anand, but the state is unconscious.
In the morning when you become awake, then you say, “Last night was beautiful, I slept very deeply. It was so beautiful and so full of bliss.” But this you say in the morning. When you were really in that sleep you were not aware; you were absolutely unconscious. When you awake in the morning, then you look retrospectively backwards and then you recognize: “Yes, it was beautiful.”
When a person awakes in samadhi, then he recognizes that: “All my lives of the past, they were all blissful. I have been in a tremendously enchanted, magic world. I have never been miserable.” Then one recognizes, but right now you cannot recognize – you are unconscious.
The primordial state is full of bliss, but there is nobody to recognize it. Trees still exist in that primordial state; mountains and the ocean and the clouds and the deserts, they still exist in that primordial consciousness. It is a state of unconsciousness. This Buddha calls nothingness, pure nothingness, because there was no distinction, no demarcation. It was nebulous: no form, no name. It was like a dark night.