Asleep in the night, you all dream, but you may not have observed that the state of time in a dream undergoes a radical change from what it is in your waking hours. A person dozes for only a minute and in that brief minute he dreams about something that would ordinarily take years to happen in the waking world. He dreams he has married a woman, that his wife has borne him children, that he is now busy with the marriages of his sons and daughters. Events that would take years are compressed into a tiny minute. When he tells us his whole dream after waking up, we refuse to believe how it could happen. But he says it is a hard fact. The mind undergoes a change in the dreaming state, and with it the concept of time changes.
And time stops altogether in the state of deep sleep, which is called the state of sushupti in Sanskrit. When you wake up in the morning and report you had a deep sleep last night, this knowledge is not derived from the state of sleep itself, but from your awareness of the time of your going to bed in the night and of leaving it in the morning. But in case you are not aware of it, you cannot say how long you slept.
Recently I visited a woman who has been in a coma for the last nine months, and her physicians say that she will remain in the coma for three years and will also die in the coma. There is hardly any possibility of her regaining consciousness. But if by some chance she regains her consciousness after three long years, will she be able to say how long she has been in the coma? She will never know it on her own.
In deep sleep the mind goes to sleep, and so it has no awareness of time. And in samadhi the mind ceases to be. Samadhi is a state of no-mind.
So one cannot know through samadhi when Krishna was born and when he died.
Rinzai was a famous Zen monk. One fine morning, in the course of his lecture, he said that Buddha never happened. His listeners were stunned. They thought perhaps Rinzai had gone out of his mind, because he had been living in a Buddhist temple where he worshipped Buddha’s idol and was a lover of Buddha. Sometimes he was even seen dancing before the statue of the Sakyamuni, and now the same person was saying, “Who says Buddha ever happened?”
His audience said, “Have you gone mad?”
Then Rinzai said, “Yes, I was mad for so long, because I believed that Buddha happened. One who happens in time will someday cease to happen. So there is no sense in saying about the eternal that it happens. That is why I say Buddha never happened, and all stories about him are lies.”
But the listeners said, “How can you say that when the scriptures say that Buddha happened, that he walked on this earth, and that there are eyewitnesses to this event?”
But Rinzai insisted that Buddha never happened. “Maybe his shadow arose and walked. But Buddha? Never.”
That which is now born and then dies, which now appears and then disappears, is nothing more than our shadow; we are not it. So, deliberately, no chronological records of Krishna’s life were maintained.