Whenever I recognize something like this I always appreciate it. And this is beautiful – this is what you will understand if you can understand Idries Shah’s book The Sufis. He is the man who introduced Mulla Nasruddin to the West, and he has done an incredible service. He cannot be repaid. The West has to remain obliged to him forever. Idries Shah has made just the small anecdotes of Nasruddin even more beautiful. This man not only has the capacity to exactly translate the parables, but even to beautify them, to make them more poignant, sharper. I include all of his books.
Is my number right?
Fifth, I am going to include another man, Alan Watts, with all his books. I have loved this man immensely. I have loved Buddha for different reasons; I have loved Solomon for a different reason. They are enlightened, Alan Watts is not. He is an American…not a born American, that’s his only hope; he just emigrated there. But he has written tremendously valuable books. The Way of Zen should be counted as one of the most important; This is It is a tremendous work of beauty and understanding – and from a man who is yet unenlightened; hence it is more appreciable.
When you are enlightened, whatsoever you say is beautiful; it has to be. But when you are not enlightened and groping in the dark, and yet can find a small window of light, that’s tremendous, fantastic. Alan Watts was a drunkard, but still he was very close. He was once an ordained Christian priest – what a misfortune! – but he renounced it. Very few people have the guts to renounce the priesthood, because it provides so many things of the world. He renounced all that and became almost a hobo. But what a hobo! – it reminds one of Bodhidharma, Basho, or Rinzai. Alan Watts cannot remain long without becoming a buddha. He died long ago; by this time he must be leaving school…must be ready to come to me! I am waiting for all these people. Alan Watts is one of them – I am waiting for him.
Sixth…. Just now, by the way, I mentioned the name Rinzai. My sixth is his Sayings, the collection of his sayings. Is my number correct?
That’s good. You whispered something to Ashu, so I wondered. Excuse me for interrupting you. You are concentrating so much on your notes.
Rinzai…his Chinese name is Lin Chi; in Japanese it is Rinzai. I choose the Japanese, Rinzai. Rinzai looks more beautiful, more aesthetic.
The Sayings of Rinzai are just dynamite. For instance he says: You fools, you followers of Buddha, renounce him! Unless you renounce him you will not find him. Rinzai loved Buddha that’s why he said this. He also said: Before you use the name Gautam Buddha, remember that that name is not the reality. The buddha outside in the pagoda is not the real buddha. It is within you…of whom you are completely unaware, of whom you have never heard. That is the real buddha. Get rid of the outer buddha so you can get the inner. Rinzai says: There is no doctrine, no teaching, no Buddha. And remember, he was not an enemy of Buddha but a follower, a disciple.