He Is At Hand
GETHSEMANE, AND SAITH UNTO THE DISCIPLES: SIT YE HERE, WHILE I GO AND PRAY YONDER.
AND BEGAN TO BE SORROWFUL AND VERY HEAVY.
EVEN UNTO DEATH. TARRY YE HERE, AND WATCH WITH ME.
PRAYED, SAYING: O MY FATHER, IF IT BE POSSIBLE, LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME. NEVERTHELESS NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS THOU WILT.
ASLEEP, AND SAITH UNTO PETER: WHAT, COULD YE NOT WATCH WITH ME ONE HOUR?
SPIRIT INDEED IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK.
MY FATHER, IF THIS CUP MAY NOT PASS AWAY FROM ME, EXCEPT I DRINK IT, THY WILL BE DONE.
THIRD TIME, SAYING THE SAME WORDS.
ON NOW, AND TAKE YOUR REST. BEHOLD, THE HOUR IS AT HAND, AND THE SON OF MAN IS BETRAYED INTO THE HANDS OF SINNERS.
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar.
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
THESE lines from T.S. Eliot are very significant, tremendously meaningful. Man, in his ignorance, is just a negative emptiness; stuffed with straw, hollow within.
Just observe yourself. What have you gained in life? You may have lost much, but you have not gained anything. It is not only that your hands are empty, your whole being is empty. And empty not in the Buddhist sense: empty not in the sense of silence, empty not in the sense of fullness of being; but empty because the consciousness is lacking, empty because the awareness is missing. You are not a presence, you are an absence - hollow within, stuffed with straw. That straw may be gold, it may be money; that straw may be power. A thousand and one are the names of that straw, but it is straw because it does not nourish the soul. It does not create the soul, it is destructive. At the most, it gives you a feeling of fullness, a very deceptive feeling.
These are the two ways to live: either to attain to true emptiness, a positive emptiness - that is the way of meditation, prayer, the way that moves, by and by, towards God; the other way is just to go on stuffing yourself with useless, futile things, with no ultimate meaning in them. At the most, for the moment they keep you occupied. But sooner or later, one comeS to discover that one has missed the opportunity.
When Woodrow Wilson became the President of America, the whole family was celebrating. His friends all over the country were dancing in happiness, he was crying and weeping in his room. The wife approached. She could not believe her eyes because Woodrow Wilson was sitting on his chair near the window, head leaning downwards, as sad as he had ever been seen before, with tears rolling down. With deep love the wife asked the husband,'What has happened? Why are you crying and weeping?' Helooked up with sad eyes. He said,'Now that I have become the President of the most powerful country, now that I have become the most powerful man, I realize tremendously the whole absurdity of it. Nothing is gained, and I have wasted my whole life. Now I understand the futility of power, because sooner or later, death will be coming, and I am powerless against it.'
And if your power is powerless against death, then it is just a deception. Unless you attain to the deathless, your power is not power, it is a false coin.
And who can attain power against death? - one who attains to true emptiness, positive emptiness. The other name for that emptiness is deep inner fulfillment.
You are not filled with straw, but you are filled with your own awareness. You are not filled with furniture: cars, houses, money, and other nonsense. You are just filled with your being, the sheer am-ness, the sheer existence. Then there is no death for you. This is the last night of Jesus with his disciples, and it is very meaningful, because he will not ever be seen again. I have told you before, and it will be good to remember it again, to be reminded, that Jesus is a bridge. He is man plus God. Buddha is sheer godliness; the man has disappeared completely.
You cannot conceive of Buddha being sorrowful, you cannot conceive of Buddha asking anything from God. Jesus is both; that is his paradox, and his beauty. He is a bridge between these two distant phenomena: man and God - son of man and son of God. When Jesus is praying in these sutras, his son-ship is praying to his own father-ship. Christians have missed that point completely. It is not a prayer addressed to some God in heaven; his own two polarities are in deep dialogue: Jesus as son of man in deep dialogue, communion, with Jesus as son of God. This is an inner phenomenon. Let me read you the sutra.
THEN COMETH JESUS WITH THEM UNTO A PLACE CALLED GETHSEMANE, AND SAITH UNTO THE DISCIPLES: SIT YE HERE, WHILE I GO AND PRAY YONDER.
These words:'Sit ye here', are exactly the meaning of what Zen people call zazen.
Zazen means: just sitting, doing nothing. When Jesus said,'Sit ye here,' he said to them:'You simply sit, don't do anything. Just remain alert, silent - a silent pool with no ripples of thought, just sitting.' Zen people know the meaning of it, Christianity has completely forgotten. In Christianity, the very idea of just sitting has disappeared. Christian interpretations are there. They think Jesus is simply telling them to sit there. When a man like Jesus speaks, his words are not to be interpreted in an ordinary way. His language is not ordinary. The words may be ordinary, but his meaning never is. He is saying to his disciples,'Be in zazen.'
Let me explain to you what zazen is. Zazen is a deep unoccupiedness - not doing anything outwardly, not doing anything inwardly. It is not even meditation because when you meditate you are making some sort of effort, you are trying to do something: chanting a mantra, remembering God, or even remembering yourself. But these efforts create ripples, these efforts create vibrations and your sitting becomes corrupted. Then your sitting is not innocent.
Zazen means: sit, and just sit, nothing else. There is no doing on the part of the body, no doing on the part of the mind. It's a state of non-doing. That does not mean that you are fast asleep, because sleep is a doing. That does not mean that you are dead, because if you are dead you cannot just sit. That simply means that you are tremendously alive, intensely alive, a fire of being, but not moving anywhere - a reservoir of energy in a deep awaiting. You are just waiting for something to happen, not even expecting, because expectation will again create a ripple of thought and the mind will start functioning. Everything is suspended.
You breathe, and that's all that you do. But that is not a doing, because breathing goes on its own accord. You have not to do anything but just sit silently.
It is said about Bodhidharma that he sat for nine years facing the wall of his cave.
The story says that his legs withered away. Nine years sitting silently, not doing anything: he was not chanting a mantra, he was not remembering any God, he was not doing any prayer. He was just sitting, facing a wall. His legs withered away. It is very significant, because legs are symbolic of activity, of movement.
All movement disappeared. Whether his legs actually withered away or not is not the point. The point is that all movement disappeared. The consciousness became an unmoving reservoir of energy, just pure energy not going anywhere.
Then came his first disciple, because he would not accept any disciple unless he showed a tremendous intensity to follow. Hui Kujo came. It is said that he cut off his hand and offered it to Bodhidharma, and said,'Turn towards me, otherwise I will cut off my head.'
Bodhidharma had to turn. That was the first movement he had made in nine years. He said,'Wait - so the man has come to whom I can deliver my message.'
Again it may or it may not be that the disciple offered his hand. Again, it is a symbol: hands mean activity. Legs mean movement, hands mean activity. With activity offered, only then is being revealed. Bodhidharma gave his message, his all, to this man who had symbolically shown that he was ready to lose activity.
When Jesus said to his disciples,'Sit ye here,' he meant zazen: that,'You simply sit and wait, because a tremendous event is on the way. Something is going to happen that I will never be repeated again in the whole history of man.
Something unrepeatable, something unique is on the way. You wait, sit, and watch. Don't make any movement, because even a slight movement of thought, emotion, body, and you may miss the point. The son of man is going to be delivered to God. The son of man is going to disappear, and the son of God is going to appear. The greatest event ever is going to happen: sit ye here.'
And the word 'here' is also very, very meaningful.'Sitting' shows: don't move in space, and 'here' shows: don't move in time. Just be here, now - no movement in space, no movement in time. It would have been easier for the disciples - because it was late and they were tired of the whole day's celebration, activities, and they would have liked to fall asleep - it would have been easier if they had been allowed to walk around. They would have kept awake. But Jesus said,'Sit.
SIT HERE, don't walk around. Don't move in space and don't move in time.'
The body moves in space; mind moves in time. Body is part of space, mind is part of time. Jesus says,'Sit - here.' By sitting, you stop the movement in space; by being here, just being here, you stop the movement of mind. This is the whole meaning of zazen. If it can be rightly interpreted, Jesus said to his disciples: Do zazen...
... WHILE L GO AND PRAY YONDER.
Jesus is going to pray; prayer is a bridge. The son is going to pray to the Father; the lower is going to pray to the higher; the earth is going to pray to the sky; the seed is going to pray to the tree, to the future.
Prayer is love.
Jesus says,'I am going to offer myself to my God. Sit silently, watchful, alert' - as watchful as the beloved awaits the lover, as alert. If anything moves, she suspects that maybe the lover has come; these may be the footsteps of the lover.... She runs to the door. It may be just a wind passing by, it may be just wind playing with the dry leaves on the street, it may be just a beggar, it may be just a stranger, but a beloved remains alert, watchful, waiting - passionately, intensely focused.
Jesus says,'Watch ye, sit here. I am going to pray.'
When a man like Jesus prays, God answers. If your prayers have not been answered, don't complain. It simply shows that you have not prayed. If your prayers have not been answered, it simply shows that you have done something else, not prayer. Prayer is a total, unconditional offering, saying,'I am yours. Thy will be done.' Jesus is going to pray. When Jesus goes to pray, the earth is going to meet the sky. If the disciples can be silently watchful, they will become witnesses to the greatest event, to a tremendous event: the sky coming down to meet the earth, the God descending to meet the son. A great phenomenon within Jesus' heart is going to happen: the polarities are going to become one, the opposites are going to meet. Rightly he said to his disciples,'Sit ye here while I go and pray yonder.'
One more thing, and then we can move on.
A meditation is just sitting. A meditation is just being where you are. Prayer is a going, meditation is a sitting. In prayer you extend your being. In prayer you rise like high waves in the ocean to touch the beyond. In meditation you simply wait.
Meditation is passive, prayer is not; prayer is active. In meditation, you simply open the doors of your heart and you wait. In prayer that is not enough - you open the doors and you run towards the height. That's why Jesus says,'While I GO and pray yonder. You meditate while I pray.'
When a Master is praying, if the disciples can simply wait and meditate, much will happen to them. Because, when the love of the whole descends on the Master, it will naturally shower on the disciples also. Only a Master can pray; a disciple can only meditate. Because prayer is possible when you have known what God is. Prayer is possible when you have known the whole. Meditation is possible without knowing anything about God. In fact, for meditation, God is not needed. That's why the religions which are based on meditation are atheistic:
Jainism and Buddhism are both atheistic; they don't believe in any God. There is no need. They are meditative religions: they simply sit and wait. Whenever they are ready, God comes. The religions of prayer: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, don't just sit, they RUN towards God. They move. You can think of Buddhism or Jainism as a silent ocean with no ripples, no waves. You can think of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, as the ocean in high tide - great waves rising to meet the sky.
Prayer is different from meditation: meditation is passivity, prayer is activity.
That's why Buddhism and Jainism teach renunciation, moving away from activity. Christianity teaches service, moving into the marketplace, going to seek and search God. But only a Master can pray, because love is possible only when you know the other. How can you call God? - you don't know. How can you call Him 'thou'? - you don't know. At the most, He remains a hypothesis, and a hypothesis cannot be called 'thou'. At the most it will remain 'it'; it can never become a 'thou'. It can be used, but cannot be loved. Nobody can love a mathematical theorem. Nobody can love the greatest formula there is, the Einsteinian formula: E = MC2. How can you love it? How can you call this formula 'thou'? How can you bow down before it? How can tears go on flowing from your eyes; how can you dance around it? Maybe the formula is very great, explains much, but an explanation cannot be worshipped. God, when known, is touched as you touch your beloved, kissed as you kiss your beloved, looked deep into the eyes of as you look deep into the eyes of your beloved. Unless God comes to you like a lover, prayer is not possible. Your prayer will be false.
But a Master can pray. When he is praying the sky descends over him, surrounds him, touches him from all over, from all dimensions. And if the disciples are just there, sitting silently in deep zazen, meditating, their hearts will be thrilled. The unknown will touch them also, the unknown will penetrate their beings also.
Because when it rains, when God rains, it does not rain like a miser. When God rains, it rains tremendously; it fills the whole earth. Even one Jesus prays, and God rains and fills the whole earth. Wherever people are waiting silently, meditating, suddenly they will be full of Him. Then prayer becomes possible, not before it. A real touch is needed, a contact is needed. God has to be touched, one has to be touched by God; only then, trust arises.
Meditation does not need God. You can discard the hypothesis and meditate. If you go on meditating, then one day God will fill your heart. But if you have a Master who can pray on your behalf, who can pray for you, who can simply pray, you will gain much of which you were not yet worthy.
It is the last night, Jesus is going to leave the next day. He would like to give them a gift, a gift of God. He said to them,'Sit ye here while I go and pray yonder.' He wants to go into deep isolation, alone, because even the presence of the disciples can be a disturbance. Meditation can be done in a group. Prayer is such an intimate phenomenon; it is a meeting of two lovers. Nobody should be a witness to it, nobody should be a bystander to it, nobody should observe it.
Otherwise, the very fact that somebody is there will become a jarring note.
Prayer is always in the alone.
And look at the foolishness: people meditate alone, and pray together.
Meditators move into loneliness, and when you want to pray you go to the church, you go to the temple and you pray together. Prayer has to be in absolute aloneness, because prayer is love. Meditation can be done in a group: it is a technique. In fact, if you meditate in a group, you will meditate deeply because the group helps, enhances. It fosters confidence. A group mind is created, a great wave of group consciousness is created and you simply move on the wave.
But to pray is to love. One should pray as one loves. You cannot make love in a marketplace. In the West it is happening, and because of it love is losing all meaning. It needs privacy, it needs intimacy. In the West now, love has become a public affair. In a public garden you can find lovers in deep embrace, even making love publicly. This is profane; something sacred is being destroyed.
Something very intimate is being made public, corrupted. The innocence will be lost.
Love needs intimacy, love needs darkness. In fact, love needs so much aloneness that women always close their eyes while love is made to them. Even the presence of the lover, to see the lover, is a disturbance. They close their eyes, they are totally alone. Even the lover is not to be seen, otherwise the other will be there, and the presence of the other is always a tension. When the other is completely forgotten, when deep in darkness the other is lost, then love arises to its highest peak, to the greatest orgasm.
Remember this: Jesus was trying to give them his last gift; but the gift was invisible, and the gift was such that nothing could be said about it. Only those who were capable would receive it, and those who were not capable would miss it.
THEN COMETH JESUS WITH THEM UNTO A PLACE CALLED GETHSEMANE, AND SAITH UNTO THE DISCIPLES: SIT YE HERE, WHILE I GO AND PRAY YONDER. AND HE TOOK WITH HIM PETER AND THE TWO SONS OF ZEBEDEE, AND BEGAN TO BE SORROWFUL AND VERY HEAVY.
Three disciples he took with him. These three disciples were as if they were not.
They had lost their egos; they could be allowed to be there. Their presence would not be a jarring note because they had no presence of their own. They were like shadows of Jesus, part of his being.
... AND BEGAN TO BE SORROWFUL AND VERY HEAVY.
This is the beauty of Jesus, that he can be sorrowful. A Buddha cannot be. Jesus is more flowing; he can comprehend the opposites.
I have heard about one great Zen Master, Lin Chi. Somebody asked,'You have become enlightened. Tell us something: what has happened to you after enlightenment?'
He laughed and he said,'I was miserable before enlightenment. Enlightenment has happened, and I am miserable yet.'
It is very difficult to understand what he means to say. He is saying that enlightenment is not going to destroy the polarity. Rather, on the contrary, enlightenment is going to create a higher synthesis of the paradox, of the polarity. It is not that an enlightened man does not become sad, but that he becomes sad in a different way. His sadness has a totally different quality to it.
His sadness is happier than your happiness. His sadness has a depth, his sadness has a beauty - a silent song without any sounds.
... AND BEGAN TO BE SORROWFUL AND VERY HEAVY.
This is the son of man who began to be sorrowful, because soon this shore had to be left. The ship had arrived, and no more would he be here. But why is he sorrowful? - because he is son of man, he belongs to this earth also. He is not only the sky. He would have to leave this earth, and he had loved this earth also, he had loved this body also. His love was great enough to comprehend all. He had enjoyed a thousand and one enjoyments. He delighted here; he was not an ascetic. He was celebrating life here; and now, no more of that celebration, no more of that delight. No more would he again be able to sing that song of the earth. Jesus was a very earth-rooted man.
THEN SAITH HE UNTO THEM: MY SOUL IS EXCEEDING SORROWFUL, EVEN UNTO DEATH. TARRY YE HERE, AND WATCH WITH ME.
To these three disciples he said,'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, my cup of sorrow is overflowing.' He is like a river that is going to fall into the ocean. The river hesitates; it looks backwards - all those beautiful terrains, those beautiful Himalayas far off, those glaciers, those peaks: the trees, the forest, the banks, the people - millions of experiences. Now, within a minute, everything would be ended. The river wants to linger a little on the verge before falling into the ocean and disappearing. The river hesitates. The speed slows down; it looks backwards, full of nostalgia. This is what was happening to Jesus. He had lived, and he lived profoundly. His true life has not been said, because Christians are afraid. They have made an ascetic out of him. He was not. He loved eating, he loved wine, he loved women; he loved the small joys of life. He was a man very much of this earth, plus. The earth was not denied, the earth was made holy in him. The earth was not rejected, the earth was celebrated as a gift of God.
Buddha is different. He would not look when his river was going to fall, he would not look backwards. In fact, his speed would be increased: this is the ocean for which he had been waiting and longing. He would really jump into the ocean. He would not even give a 'thank you' to the earth.
Jesus is different; their personalities are different. And it is good that life produces different types of buddhas. Life is richer for it - so many types of flowers with such different fragrances. Life is not monotonous. Life does not produce buddhas as a Ford factory produces Ford cars. Each buddha is unique.
Buddha has his own beauty, the beauty of the sky. Epicurus has his own beauty, the beauty of the earth. And Jesus is something: Epicurus plus Buddha - the beauty of this earth and of that sky - a great synthesis, an infinite harmony.
MY SOUL IS EXCEEDING SORROWFUL, - EVEN UNTO DEATH. TARRY YE HERE, AND WATCH WITH ME.
He had left the other disciples a little behind. He told them to sit quietly, to be in zazen, to meditate. He had brought the closest ones near him, and he said to them,'Tarry ye here, and watch with me' - move around near me, and be watchful. Why this difference? Why could he not bring all of the disciples close?
Only those can be allowed to be very close who have almost disappeared. They will not be a disturbance.'Tarry ye here, and watch with me' - something tremendous is on the way; be watchful.
AND HE WENT A LITTLE FARTHER, AND FELL ON HIS FACE... the earth that he loved too much. He fell on the earth... AND PRAYED, SAYING: O MY FATHER, IF IT BE POSSIBLE, LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME.
This is the son of man, the helpless man, the helpless earth, the earth speaking to the sky,'Oh Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.' Jesus would have liked to live a little longer. Jesus would not have liked to leave this earth so soon; he loved it.
NEVERTHELESS, NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS THOU WILT.
These two trends are continuously in him. The earth part says,'If it be possible, oh my God, oh my Father, let this cup pass from me. Don't force me to fall into the ocean so soon.' But the other part, the son of God, the other polarity of his being, says,'Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.'
AND HE COMETH UNTO THE DISCIPLES AND FINDETH THEM ASLEEP, AND SAITH UNTO PETER: WHAT, COULD YE NOT WATCH WITH ME ONE HOUR? - because when he prayed, the earth and the sky met. When he prayed, the son and the God met. When he prayed, a great symphony arose within him where the son of man was no more separate from the son of God. His body and soul danced together in a mysterious harmony.
AND HE COMETH UNTO THE DISCIPLES AND FINDETH THEM ASLEEP...
There are gifts which cannot be given to you until you are ready to receive them.
There are gifts which can be given to you whether you are ready to receive them or not, and those are the gifts of the world. There are gifts which can be given to you only when you are ready to receive them - those are the gifts of the invisible, of the other world, of the other shore. Jesus created a situation, but the disciples missed.
... AND FINDETH THEM ASLEEP, AND SAITH UNTO PETER: WHAT, COULD YE NOT WATCH WITH ME ONE HOUR? - is sleep that important?
Could you not remain alert and aware for only one hour? WATCH AND PRAY, THAT YE ENTER NOT INTO TEMPTATION. THE SPIRIT INDEED IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK. He said to them again... the compassion of a Master is infinite! You go on missing, and he goes on giving to you.
WATCH AND PRAY, THAT YE ENTER NOT INTO TEMPTATION. THE SPIRIT INDEED IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK. Deep down, who is not willing? But on the surface is the problem. Deep down, you would like to attain to truth, but the surface, the flesh, is unwilling.
HE WENT AWAY AGAIN THE SECOND TIME, AND PRAYED, SAYING: O MY FATHER, IF THIS CUP MAY NOT PASS AWAY FROM ME, EXCEPT I DRINK IT, THY WILL BE DONE.
Again he said the same prayer. Why did Jesus repeat these prayers? It was not for himself. For himself, once was enough. Twice, thrice he repeated them, for the disciples. He was trying to transfer the key. He was ready to give them the greatest science, the science of how to get out of their imprisonments. But they wouldn't listen, they wouldn't understand. They thought,'One hour's sleep is far better than being alert.'
And remember, this is the case with you, and with everybody. You can miss a meditation just because in the morning you are feeling a little too lazy and too sleepy. And who knows? - that meditation could have been a conversion.
Nobody knows. You may have missed something, and you will never become aware that you missed. Your sleep is really deep. You live an almost unconscious life.
I will tell you one story I was reading.
A lion was captured and placed in a large yard surrounded by a high fence. He soon became acquainted with the social life of the other lions who had been there a long time. The lions had divided themselves into several clubs: political, religious, and others, each with its own activities, philosophies, dogmas, scriptures, ideologies. One group met regularly to hate and slander the captors, that was their whole activity - as if just by hating and slandering the captors something was going to happen. Another group met to sing sentimentally about a future jungle having no fences. They must have been utopian, imaginary people who live in fantasy. They depicted a future jungle with no fences, in beautiful colors, and they sang about it in as beautiful poetry as possible. They must have been very romantic, utopian, imaginary people. And a third group met to secretly plan violence against the other groups, to plot violence against the other groups. Those were the conspirators; they were not so much against the captors as they were against the other groups of lions.
Each club tried to pressure the newcomer into joining, but something held him back. His hesitation was caused by observing one particular lion who kept to himself, and who seemed always to be in deep thought and meditation. And this lion who used to be alone, a loner, attracted the newcomer. He had some quality of magnetism around him: a certain power, a certain magic. The newcomer shyly approached the solitary lion and requested an explanation of his apartness. The very apartness must have given him a quality of charisma, a glow around him.
Because people who live in crowds lose their individuality and their charisma; people who live alone always gather around them an aura of authority, of majesty. This loner looked like a king. He had something of the imperial in him.
'Join nothing!' replied the lion, the meditator.'These foolish creatures do everything but the necessary. I am doing what is essential, so one day I will be out of here. You are welcome to all the facts I have uncovered.'
'But what is this necessary thing that you are doing?' asked the newcomer.
'Listen carefully,' said the loner, the meditator lion.'I am studying the nature of the fence. That is the only essential thing to do in life: to understand the nature of the fence.'
Where is your fence? Where are the walls of your prison? - in your sleep, in your unconsciousness, in your behavior like a robot's. That's what Jesus was trying to show his disciples that night:'If you can be alert, you will be free.' Awareness is freedom, sleepiness is bondage. But even on that last night, the night of departure - and these disciples will repent for centuries, and in their repentance they will worship Jesus, and they will create millions of churches for him - when he was alive and he was departing, they were not even able to do that much for his sake: to be alert and watchful for a few hours.
AND HE CAME AND FOUND THEM ASLEEP AGAIN, FOR THEIR EYES WERE HEAVY. AND HE LEFT THEM., AND WENT AWAY AGAIN, AND PRAYED THE THIRD TIME, SAYING THE SAME WORDS.
Why did he do it the third time? He didn't wake them the third time; the compassion of a Master is infinite. He understood that it was impossible for them to be awake, so he tried to pray:'Let it be so, that they are fast asleep. But if God showers, even in their unconsciousness some seed may fall, even in their sleep they may hear something. Even fast asleep they may come to know something that they are unaware of; they may carry some quality.' Much would have been possible if they had been aware and alert, but that seemed impossible. He had tried twice. The hours were passing fast; soon he would be betrayed, caught and killed:'No time is to be lost. Let them sleep.'
Many times, the same happens: here, I go on looking into your faces; you seem to be listening to me, but you rarely listen. You are more or less asleep. But I go on; I go on calling you, provoking you. Maybe even if a word falls deep down into you, even while you are asleep, that seed will some - day bring fruit. Much would have been possible, much was available, but you were not present.
Just the other day I was telling you that Buddha gave his flower to Mahakashyap, Jesus gave bread and wine to his disciples. And I told you that Buddha chose a flower because a flower is the most unearthly thing on the earth.
So elusive is the beauty of the flower. In the morning it is there; by the evening, gone. It looks like a dream; it does not look material. It can be crushed, destroyed so easily; it gives no resistance. How it exists is a miracle. A rose flower - how does it exist in this world of stones and rocks? It is a miracle; it is something from the beyond. Buddha chose the flower. Jesus chooses bread - very ordinary, common; and wine, even more earthly. It is good, because he loved the earth. But there is one thing that I must tell you: when Buddha gave the flower to Mahakashyap, the flower was received in perfect awareness. When Buddha gave the flower, Mahakashyap was totally alert and aware. But when Jesus gave the bread and the wine, to whom did he give them? They were not like Mahakashyap; they were not so aware. It was given to them out of Jesus'
compassion. When Buddha gave to Mahakashyap, Mahakashyap had earned it; it was not simply out of Buddha's compassion. Of course the compassion was there, but Mahakashyap had earned it. He was ready to receive it.
In Jesus' case, there is only compassion, pure compassion. Those disciples were not yet ready. But the time had come for Jesus to leave; he gave them something they would become aware of only after many lives. He gave them the key to a treasure. They might not open it for lives, but the key would remain with them in their unconscious. Some day, whenever they become alert, they will be able to use the key.
It is said by Zen people that whatsoever was given to Mahakashyap was beyond scripture, beyond words, beyond knowledge. Let it be said about Jesus also: that whatsoever he gave was not only beyond scripture and beyond words, it was also beyond consciousness. He gave to them in their unconsciousness. They were asleep, and his time had come. He simply gave the key, closed their fists, and withdrew to his eternal home. Some day, whenever their morning comes and they open their eyes, they will find the key in their hands.
AND HE LEFT THEM, AND WENT AWAY AGAIN, AND PRAYED THE THIRD TIME, SAYING THE SAME WORDS. THEN COMETH HE TO HIS DISCIPLES, AND SAITH UNTO THEM: SLEEP ON NOW - now you can sleep as much as you like, because the moment has been missed. Now you cannot miss anything by sleeping - AND TAKE YOUR REST. BEHOLD, THE HOUR IS AT HAND, AND THE SON OF MAN IS BETRAYED INTO THE HANDS OF SINNERS. RISE, LET US BE GOING. BEHOLD, HE IS AT HAND THAT DOTH BETRAY ME.
The crowd was approaching with Judas leading it. In the dark night their footsteps could be heard, their torches could be seen. And Jesus said - he must have said it in deep sadness - 'Sleep on now, take your rest'; because one who was disturbing your sleep now has to be moving. The one who was trying to disturb your dreams, and your sleep, and your rest, has been betrayed, and the enemy is approaching.'RISE, LET US BE GOING. BEHOLD, HE IS AT HAND THAT DOTH BETRAY ME.'
This sentence is very pregnant. Jesus could have waited there; the enemy was approaching. But the story says that he walked towards the enemy to meet them.
It is symbolic of one who knows that death is not going to destroy. It is also symbolic of one who welcomes death, who goes to meet it. It is symbolic that Jesus accepts whatsoever is God's will. He has surrendered. The earth has surrendered to the sky; the body has surrendered to the soul; the son of man has surrendered to the son of God.
RISE, LET US BE GOING. BEHOLD, HE IS AT HAND THAT DOTH BETRAY ME.