Why does everybody think enlightenment is a joke?
Sarito, it is! But only a child can ask such a beautiful question – Sarito is only twelve years of age. Enlightenment is a joke because it is not something that you have to achieve, yet you have to make all possible efforts to achieve it. It is already the case: you are born enlightened.
The word enlightenment is beautiful. We come from the source, the ultimate source of light. We are small rays of that sun, and howsoever far away we may have gone, our nature remains the same. Nobody can go against his real nature: you can forget about it, but you cannot lose it. Hence attaining it is not the right expression; it is not attained, it is only remembered. That’s why Buddha called his method sammasati.
Sammasati means right remembrance of that which is already there. Nanak, Kabir, Raidas, they have all called it surati. Surati means remembering the forgotten, but not the lost. Whether you remember or not, it is there – it is there exactly the same. You can keep your eyes closed to it – it is there. You can open your eyes – it is there. You can keep it behind your back – it is there. You can take a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn and see it – it is there. It is the same.
George Gurdjieff used to call his method self-remembering. Nothing has to be achieved, nothing at all, but only to be discovered. And the discovery is needed because we go on gathering dust on our mirrors. The mirror is there covered by the dust. Remove the dust, and the mirror starts reflecting the stars, the beyond. Krishnamurti calls it awareness, alertness, attentiveness. These are different expressions for the same phenomenon. They are to remind you that you are not to go anywhere, not to be somebody else. You just have to find out who you are, and the finding is not difficult because it is your nature – just a little reshuffling inside, a little cleaning.
It is said that when Bodhidharma attained enlightenment, he laughed for seven days continuously. His friends, his disciples, thought he had gone mad. They asked him, “Have you gone mad?”
He said, “I was mad, now I have become sane. I have gone sane!”
“Then why are you laughing?” they asked.
He said, “I am laughing because I have been searching for thousands of lives for something which was already within me! The seeker was the sought, and I was looking everywhere else – I was looking everywhere except inside.”
The famous Sufi woman, Rabiya al-Adabiya, one evening when the sun was setting, was found searching for something just in front of her door on the road. A few people gathered and they said, “Rabiya, what have you lost? We can help you.”