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Now the postscript. In the last session, when I said this is the end of this series of fifty books that I wanted to include in my list, it was only arbitrary. I don’t mean the end, but the number. I had chosen fifty because I thought it would be a good number. Anyway one has to decide, and all decisions are arbitrary. But man proposes and God disposes – God, who is not.
When I said this is the end of the series, the crowd that was bugging me – Jaydeva of Geet Govind, Madame Blah-Blah Blavatsky of The Secret Doctrine, and the whole company, many of whom I know but don’t even want to recognize, what to say of including them in my list. Hearing that this is the end, they all dispersed.
Then, to my utter joy, I saw the meaning of Jesus’ saying: Blessed are the meek, for theirs is the kingdom of God. He also says: Blessed are those who stand at the end, the last, who don’t try to push – in short, who are not pushy, who just stand and wait. When the crowd dispersed I saw those blessed few; hence the postscript.
Even I myself could not believe that I had not included Gautama the Buddha’s Dhammapada. Gautam Buddha was sitting there silently in the last row. I love the man as I have loved nobody else. I have been speaking on him throughout my whole life. Even speaking on others I have been speaking on him. Take note of it, it is a confession. I cannot speak on Jesus without bringing Buddha in; I cannot speak on Mohammed without bringing Buddha in. Whether I mention him directly or not that’s another matter. It is really impossible for me to speak without bringing Buddha in. He is my very blood, my bones, my very marrow. He is my silence, also my song. When I saw him sitting there I remembered. I cannot even apologize, it is beyond apologizing.
Dhammapada literally means ‘the path of truth’, or even more accurately ‘the footprints of truth’. Do you see the contradiction?
leaves no trace behind,
nor it needs a guide.
Truth is unspeakable. There are no footprints. Birds flying in the sky don’t leave any footprints...and buddhas are birds of the sky. But buddhas always speak in contradictions, and it is beautiful that at least they speak. They cannot speak without contradicting themselves, they cannot help it. To speak of truth is to contradict yourself. Not to speak is again to contradict, because even when you are trying not to speak, you know that your silence is nothing but an expression, without words maybe, but an expression all the same.
Buddha gave the name Dhammapada to his greatest book, and there are contradictions upon contradictions. He is so full of contradictions that, believe me, except me nobody can defeat him. Of course he would enjoy being defeated by me, just as a father once in a while enjoys being defeated by his own child. The child sitting on his father’s chest victorious, and the father has simply allowed him to win. All the buddhas allow themselves to be defeated by those who love them. I allow my disciples to defeat me, to go beyond me. There cannot be anything more joyous than seeing a disciple transcend me.
Buddha begins with the very name Dhammapada – that’s what he is going to do: he is going to say the unsayable, to utter the unutterable. But he uttered the unutterable so beautifully that Dhammapada is like an Everest. There are mountains and mountains, but not one rises to the height of Everest.
I saw Buddha sitting. I saw others also, the most beautiful ones, the meekest – not like Blavatsky hammering on the door shouting, “Let me in!” I saw Mahavira naked...because truth is naked, standing in utter silence. His disciples were holding his book, not he himself.