There will be a similarity in the way that scholars use words – in their complexity. And if you are impressed by them, the only reason for it is that you don’t have penetrating eyes. If you have penetrating eyes then the ugliness hidden behind the beautiful coverings will be clear to you. This is why scholars never leave an eternal impression.
Hegel has written very wonderful books, wonderful only in the sense that they are very complicated. While Hegel was alive people were amazed, because to pass through the forest of his language and reach its core was very difficult. After Hegel died and people studied deeply, slowly, slowly Hegel’s influence began to decrease. Before a hundred years had passed Hegel had disappeared from people’s minds, because the more people were able to understand him, they found that there was nothing inside. It was like the skins of an onion: they went on peeling the skins of the onion and found nothing inside. Nothing was in their hands; they found only a vacuum.
A scholar is very influential in his own time because it takes time to understand him. Usually a sage cannot become influential in his own time because he says things in such a simple way that it will be clear to you only if you have meditation. It will not be understood at all through thinking. If you also are silent, only then will your heart beat with the sage’s heart. You will breathe in the same rhythm as he breathes and then inevitably a sweetness will surround you. There will be a delicious taste, you will experience a nectar within.
Whenever you drink from this same well there will be a similar resonance and a similar melody in your voice. You will find that all the sages are saying the same thing. However differently they may have said it, whatever different words they may have used, the melody is the same. If you cannot hear this melody then you will create a religion around the sage; if you can hear the melody then you will grow in religiousness. A scholar creates a religion, a sage creates religiousness….
A very surprising event happened in the history of India. Religiousness descended into Mahavira, but those who collected Mahavira’s words were all brahmins, scholars. Mahavira was a warrior, yet all his eleven chief disciples were brahmins, great scholars. My observation is that whatever was given by Mahavira was extinguished by these eleven scholars. Whatever descended through Mahavira into this world, as soon as it descended these eleven scholars covered it with scriptures, they extinguished it. The same thing happened with Buddha.
In this sense Sahajo, Kabir and Dadu are fortunate. These were such simple people and they came from such poor families that they did not attract great scholars as their disciples. Mahavira and Buddha attracted these scholars as their disciples because they were from royal families, they were descended from dynasties. To stand near them would give great satisfaction to a scholar’s ego. This turned out to be a misfortune because the scholars crowded around them, they surrounded them. They showed more interest than the common people because just to be near Buddha gave nourishment to their egos.