But life has its own way…. Soon they started making temples. In the first temples there was only a carved tree in marble, no statue of Buddha. But the decline started, and it was not far away that soon the tree was replaced by the statues of Buddha. The world is so strange that the man who has died with his last wish that his statues should not be made, has the greatest number of statues in the world. There are millions of temples in China…particularly one temple which has ten thousand statues of Buddha. These are dead flowers. The fragrance does not arise any more. You can call them art, but they are not the fulfillment of the master’s final statement.
And he was right that “within five hundred years my religion will disappear.” It was exactly after five hundred years…his temples, statues, priests and rituals surrounded the whole of the East. But the trust disappeared, the love disappeared, the sensitivity and gratitude disappeared.
You can have thousands of statues – it can be a good collection of pieces of art, but it is not religion. The statue has no heart and you cannot commune with the statue the way you had communed even with the feet of Buddha. Life was flowing in its most beautiful and highest consciousness.
The West has never understood why in the East disciples touched the feet of the master. They don’t understand a simple thing, because it has not happened there – something invisible, non-objective. When the disciple, with total love and humbleness, dissolves himself in touching the feet of the master, the energy that is flowing, the energy that has come to its purest form, thrills the disciple. And remember, energy always flows downwards, energy never flows upwards.
If the master touches the head of the disciple, that is immensely important, but very esoteric because that creates a circle of energy: from his hands the energy is flowing into the disciple, from his feet the energy is flowing into the disciple. The disciple is almost flooded with the master’s being, his ecstasy.
The West has missed a tremendously significant experience. In the West to touch somebody’s feet looks humiliating, disrespectful. In the East if the master moves his feet and does not allow you to touch his feet that means you are not prepared, you are not open; the energy cannot move in you. And the master, encompassing the disciple from both ends, turns the wheel of his life to new dimensions.
So it does not matter whether it is the feet or the eyes, or just the remembrance or just the heart throbbing with love and gratitude.
The door will open – there is no mystery. It is a simple arithmetic – but not the arithmetic that is being taught to you. It is the arithmetic of the spiritual world, and those who have not tasted the feeling, the fragrance of it are certainly very poor.
Little Ernie is taken to the dentist’s office for a checkup. “It is okay, Doc,” says Ernie. “You can take off the mask, I have already recognized you.”