Enlightenment is always sudden. There is no gradual progress towards it, because all gradualness belongs to the mind and enlightenment is not of the mind. All degrees belong to the mind and enlightenment is beyond it. So you cannot grow into enlightenment, you simply jump into it. You cannot move step by step; there are no steps. Enlightenment is just like an abyss, either you jump or you don't jump.
You cannot have enlightenment in parts, in fragments. It is a totality - either you are in it or out of it, but there is no gradual progression. Remember this thing as one of the most basic: it happens unfragmented, complete, total. It happens as a whole, and that is the reason why mind is always incapable of understanding. Mind can understand anything which can be divided. Mind can understand anything which can be reached through installments, because mind is analysis, division, fragmentation. Mind can understand parts; the whole always eludes it. So if you listen to the mind you will never attain.
That's what happened: this nun, Chiyono, studied for years and years and nothing happened. Mind can study about God, about enlightenment, about the ultimate. It can even pretend that everything has been understood. But God is not something you have to understand. Even if you know everything about God, you don't know him; knowledge is not 'about'. Whenever you say 'about', you belong to the outside. You may be moving round and round, but you have not entered the circle.
When someone says, "I know about God," he says he doesn't know anything at all, because how can you know anything about God? God is the center, not the periphery. You can know about matter - because matter has no center in it, it is just the periphery. You cannot know about consciousness:
there is no self, there is no one inside. Matter is only the outside; you can know about it. Science is knowledge. The very word science means knowledge - knowledge of the periphery, knowledge about something where the center doesn't exist. Whenever the center is approached through the periphery, you miss it.
You have to become it; that is the only way to know it. Nothing can be known about God. You have to be; only being is knowledge there. With the ultimate, 'about and about' means missing and missing again. You have to enter and become one.
That's why Jesus says, "God is like love" - not loving, but just like love. You cannot know anything about love, or can you? You can study and study, you can become a great scholar, but you have not touched, you have not penetrated. Love can be known only when you become a lover. Not only that: love can be known only when you become love. Even the lover disappears, because that too belongs to the outside. Two persons in love become absent. They are not there. Only love exists, the rhythm of love. There may be two poles of the rhythm but they are not there. Something of the beyond has come into being. They have disappeared.
Love exists when you are empty. Knowledge exists when you are filled. Knowledge belongs to the ego, and the ego can never penetrate to the center; it is the periphery. The periphery can know only the periphery. You cannot know something which is of the center through the ego. The ego can study, the ego can make you a great scholar, maybe a religious scholar, a great pundit. You may know all the Vedas, all the Upanishads, all the Bibles and Korans, and still you know nothing - because it is not knowledge from the outside, it is something which happens when you have entered and you have become one.
THE NUN CHIYONO STUDIED FOR YEARS...
She may have studied for lives. You have been studying for many lives. You have been moving and moving in a circle. But when somebody moves in a circle, a very great illusion is created: you feel you are progressing. You always feel you are moving, and you are still not going anywhere, because you are moving in a circle. You go on repeating. That is why Hindus have called this world samsara.
Samsara means the wheel, the circular. You move and move and move and never reach anywhere, and you always feel that you are reaching. "Now the goal is nearer because I have walked so much."
Just try moving in a big circle. You can never see it as a circle, because you know only part of it. So it is always a road, a way. This is what has been happening for many lives.
Chiyono studied and studied, BUT WAS UNABLE TO FIND ENLIGHTENMENT - not because enlightenment is difficult, but because when you study it you miss the whole point. You are on the wrong track. It is as if someone is trying to enter this room through the wall. Not that entering this room is difficult, but you have to enter through the door. If you try through the wall it looks difficult, almost impossible. It is not. It is you who are on the wrong track. Many, many people, whenever they start the journey, they start through study, through learning, through knowledge, information, philosophy, systems, theology. They start from the 'about'; then they are knocking against the wall.
Jesus says, "Knock and the door shall be opened unto you." But please remember if it is a door or not. Don't go on knocking on the wall, otherwise no door shall be opened unto you. And, in fact, when you knock at the door, when you really reach near the door, you will find it has always been open. It has always been waiting for you. A door is a waiting, a door is a welcoming, a door is a receptivity. It has been waiting for you, and you have been knocking on the wall. What is the wall?
When you start through knowledge and not through being, you are knocking at the wall.
Become, be! Don't gather information. If you want to know love, be a lover. If you want to know God, be meditation. If you want to enter the infinite, be prayer. But be! Don't know about prayer.
Don't try to accumulate what others have said about it. Learning will not help; rather, unlearning will help. Drop whatsoever you know, so that you can know. Drop all information and all scriptures, forget all Korans and Bibles and Gitas; they are the barriers, they are the wall. And if you go on knocking against that wall, those doors will never open, because there are no doors. And people are knocking against the Koran, knocking against the Vedas, knocking against the Bible, and no door opens. They go on studying and studying, and they go on missing like the nun Chiyono: she STUDIED FOR YEARS, BUT WAS UNABLE TO FIND ENLIGHTENMENT.
What is enlightenment? It is becoming aware who you are. It is nothing to do with the outside world.
It is nothing to do with what others have said. What others have said is irrelevant. You are there!
Why go and consult the Bible and the Koran and the Gita? Close your eyes and you are there in your infinite glory. Close the eyes and the doors are open. Because you are there you need not ask anybody. You ask... then you will miss. The very asking shows that you think you are somewhere else. The very asking shows that you are asking for a map. And for the inner world there is no map - there is no need, because you are not moving to an unknown destination.
Really, you are not moving at all. You are there. You are the goal. You are not the seeker, you are the enlightenment. So what is enlightenment? One state - when you seek without - is unenlightenment; another state - when you seek within - is enlightenment. So the only difference is of a focusing. If you focus out, you are unenlightened. If you focus in, you are enlightened. So the only question is of a turning.
The Christian word conversion is beautiful, but they have used it in a horrible way. Conversion doesn't mean to make a Hindu a Christian or to make a Christian a Hindu. Conversion means a turning. Conversion means a turning to the source, turning within; then you are converted. And your consciousness can flow in two ways, outwards or inwards; these are the two possibilities for the stream of your consciousness to flow. Outwards it can flow for many, many lives - it will never reach to the goal, because the goal is at the source. The goal is not ahead, it is behind. The goal is not somewhere where you will reach. The goal is somewhere where you have already left. The source is the goal. This has to be understood very deeply. If you can go backwards to the first point of your beginning, you reach the goal.
Enlightenment is to go to the source, and the source is within you; life is there flowing, throbbing, continuously beating within you. Why ask others? Studying means asking others. Asking about yourself and asking others? This is foolishness par excellence. This is absolute absurdity - asking about yourself and asking others. That's what study means: looking for the answer. And you are the answer!
CHIYONO STUDIED FOR YEARS, BUT WAS UNABLE TO FIND ENLIGHTENMENT.
It is natural, obvious. Nothing was wrong in it. She was looking out, studying.
Another thing to remember: your being is life, and no scripture can be alive. Scriptures are bound to be dead. Scriptures are corpses, and you are asking the dead about your life. This is not possible.
Krishna will not be of much help, neither will Jesus - unless you become a Krishna or a Jesus. Life cannot be answered by the dead. And if you think that you will find the answer, you will be more and more burdened by the answers, and the answer will remain unknown. This is what happens to a man who is studying, who is a thinker, who is a philosopher. He goes on being burdened by his own efforts - words and words and words - and is lost. And the answer was always there. Just a turning-in was needed.
No, nobody will answer you. Don't go to anybody, go to yourself. And whenever you reach a master, all that he can do is help you to reach yourself, that's all. No master can give you the answer, no master can give you the key. The master can only help you to look within, that's all. The key is there, the treasure is there, everything is there.
You are also carrying a very, very old, ancient pail filled with water. That is your mind, filled with thoughts. It is the most ancient thing that you are carrying, almost dead.
Mind is always old, it is never new. It cannot be, by its very nature, because mind means the memory.
How can the memory be new? Mind means the known. How can the known be new? Mind means the past. How can the past be new? Look at your mind: all that it carries is old, dead. The moment you come to know, it is already past. When you recognize something that you have known, it is already gone. It is not here and now, it has moved into the world of the dead.
So mind by its very nature, mind as such, is old. That's why, through mind, nothing original is ever born. Mind cannot be original, mind can only be repetitive. So mind goes on repeating. It may repeat in thousands of ways, it may repeat in new words, but the thing remains the same. Mind cannot know, cannot come to encounter the fresh, the young, the new. Whenever you encounter the fresh, the young, the new, mind has to be put aside, because only then your eyes are not filled with the past, not filled with the dust of the past; then your mirror can mirror that which is here and now.
All that is new is born out of consciousness, not out of mind. Consciousness is your innermost source. Mind is the dust gathered in many of your journeys, as if you have never taken a bath. And you have been journeying and journeying, and everything gets dirty and dust gathers, and you have never taken a bath. Your mind has never taken a bath. You cling to it. It is absolutely dirty. And all methods of meditation are nothing but methods to bathe this mind, to take a bath, the inner bath, so the dust is thrown away and the hidden consciousness comes to the surface and can encounter the reality.
The reality is there, you are there, but the encounter is not there because between you and the reality is the mind. Whatsoever you see, you see through the mind. Whatsoever you hear, you hear through the mind - and then you are almost deaf, almost blind. Jesus goes on saying to his disciples, "If you have ears to hear, hear me. If you have eyes to see, see." They all had eyes like you. They all had ears like you. But Jesus knows, as I know, that you are deaf, you are blind.
Whenever you hear through the mind you are not hearing, because the mind interprets, the mind colors, the mind changes, mixes itself; and anything that reaches to you is now already old. The mind has done its trick. The mind has given its own meaning, the interpretation. The mind has commented.
That's why, unless you become a right listener.... Right listening means the capacity to listen without the mind. Right seer means the capacity to look without the mind, the capacity to look without interpreting, judging, condemning; without evaluation, without saying yes or no. When I speak to you, I can even see your mind nodding yes or no. Even if the nod is invisible, I can see it. You may not be aware, sometimes you say yes - the mind has interpreted. Sometimes you say no - the mind has interpreted, the mind has come in, evaluating. You have missed.
Just listening, not judging, suddenly you become aware that this mind has been the whole trouble.
It is old - one thing to remember - and it can never be new. So never think that you have an original mind. No mind can be original, all minds are old, repetitive. That's why mind always likes repetition, and is always against the new. Because the mind has created the society, the society is always against the new. The mind has created the state, the civilization, the morality; they are all against the new.
Whatsoever is created by the mind will always be against the new. You cannot find anything more orthodox than mind.
No revolution is possible with the mind. So if you are a revolutionary through the mind, don't deceive yourself. A communist cannot be a revolutionary, because he has never meditated. His communism is through the mind. He has changed bibles - he doesn't believe in Jesus, he believes in Marx; or he believes in Mao, the latest edition of Marx - but he believes. He is as orthodox as any Hindu, any Catholic, any Mohammedan. The orthodoxy is the same, because orthodoxy doesn't depend on what you believe. The orthodoxy depends on whether you believe through the mind; the orthodoxy depends on the mind. Mind is the most orthodox element in the world, the most conformist.
So whatsoever mind creates can never be new, will always be old, and will always insist against the new; it will be always counter-revolutionary. That's why in the world there is no revolution other than the religious revolution; there cannot be. Only religion can be revolutionary, because religion hits at the very source. It drops the mind, the old pail, and then, suddenly, everything is new, because mind was making everything old through its interpretation. Suddenly you are a child again. Your eyes are fresh and young, you look at things without knowledge, without learning. Suddenly the trees have a freshness. The greenery has changed - it is not dull, it is alive. Suddenly the song of a bird is absolutely different.
This is what is happening to many people through drugs. Aldous Huxley became so fascinated with drugs because of this. All over the world the new generation is so attracted by drugs. The reason is this: because the drug for a moment, or for a few moments, chemically puts the mind aside. You look at the world - now the colors all around are simply miraculous. You had never seen such a thing. An ordinary flower becomes the whole existence, carries the whole glory of the divine. An ordinary leaf becomes so deep, as if the whole truth is revealed through it. Everything and anything immediately changes. The drug cannot change the world; the drug is only chemically putting your mind aside.
But you can become addicted to it - then the mind has absorbed the drug also. Only once, in the beginning, for the first time, or twice or three times, you can deceive the mind chemically. By and by, the mind becomes attuned to the drug, the mind again takes its mastery. The original shock is lost.
It becomes addicted to the drug. Then it demands, and now the demand is coming from the mind.
Now, by and by, even chemically you will not be able to push the mind aside. It will be there, you will be addicted. Trees will again become old, colors will not be so radiant, things will again become dull. The drug has killed you; it couldn't kill the mind.
The drug can only give you a shock treatment. It is a shock to the whole body chemistry. In that shock, the old adjustment is broken. Gaps are there; through the gaps you can look, but this cannot be made a practice. You cannot practice a drug. Sooner or later it becomes part of the mind; the mind takes over. Then everything is old again.
Only meditation can kill the mind, nothing else. Meditation is mind suicide, mind committing suicide.
If you can put the mind aside - without any chemicals, without any physical means - then YOU become the master. And when you are the master, everything is new. It has been always so. From the very beginning to the very end, everything is new, young, fresh. Death has never occurred in this world. It is life eternal.
You are also carrying the old pail filled with water. Mind is the old pail, and thoughts are the water.
And because you value thoughts so much, you cannot throw this old pail. Because then what will happen to your thoughts? You cling to them as if they are a very deep source of bliss, a deep source of silence; as if through thoughts you are going to achieve life and the hidden treasures of life. You have never achieved anything like that through thoughts. It is simply a hopeless hope.
What have you achieved through thoughts? Nothing but anxiety, tension. But you cling to them in the hope that some day or other, somewhere in the future, through your thinking, you are going to achieve the truth. Up to now, nothing like that has happened, and it is not going to happen any day.
It is not going to happen ever, because truth is nothing to be thought. It is there. You just have to look. There is no need to think about it. Thinking is needed if it is not there, if you are groping in the dark. But there is no darkness in existence; existence is absolute light. You need not grope. You are unnecessarily groping with closed eyes, and you think, "If I leave groping, I will be lost." Thinking is groping.
Meditation is opening the eyes. Meditation is looking. That is why Hindus have called it darshan.
Darshan means looking - looking at, not thinking about. The very looking transforms. But you carry thoughts in this old pail, and you go on patching the pail, caring about it: if it breaks, what will happen to your valuable thoughts? And they are not valuable at all.
One day do this, a little experiment. Close your doors and sit in the room, and just start writing your thoughts - whatsoever comes in your mind. Don't change them, because you need not show this piece of paper to anybody. Just go on writing for ten minutes and then look at them: this is what your thinking is. If you look at them, you will think this is some madman's work. If you show that piece of paper to your most intimate friend, he will also look at you and think, "Have you gone crazy?" And it is the same situation with him also. But we go on hiding the craziness. We have faces, and behind those faces we are madmen.
Why do you value this thinking so much? You have become addicted to it - it is a drug, it is chemical.
Remember well, thinking is chemical, it is a drug. Whenever you start thinking, you are in a sort of hypnotic sleep. That's why you have become addicted - just like opium. You can forget the world, the worries, the responsibilities. You just start a different type of world within yourself: dreaming, thinking.
Those who have been working for a long time on the science of sleep, they say that sleep is needed for dreaming. And if you ask them why dreaming is needed, they say it is needed so that you can remain sane, because in dreams you can throw your insanity. The whole night is a catharsis. In your dreaming you are throwing your insanity, and by the morning you can behave sanely. The whole day you can behave in a sane way, because the whole night is there to behave in an insane way.
Scientists say that if you are deprived of your dreaming and sleep for a few days you will go mad, because the catharsis will not be there and then madness will start erupting. You will explode.
In the night you dream - that's a catharsis. In the day you think - that is also a catharsis, and it helps you to be sleepy. It is a drug. You need not worry what is happening. You just close yourself within your thoughts. And they are well known to you, you feel cozy, it is your own home; howsoever dirty and old, but you have been living in it for so long that you are accustomed to it. You have become accustomed to your prison. It happens to prisoners: if they are for a long time in the jail, they become afraid of coming out, they become afraid of freedom. There is a fear of freedom, because it will bring new responsibilities. And there is nothing like coming out of the mind - it is absolute freedom. Hindus have called it moksha, the absolute freedom. There is nothing like it - the prison is shattered, you are simply under the infinite sky. Fear grips you; you want to go back to your home - your cozy home, walled, fenced.
If the infinite is not there, you are not afraid. The infinite always looks like death. You have become accustomed to the finite, with boundaries clearcut, distinctions clearly made. That's why you cannot throw the thoughts, you cannot throw the pail. Rather, you go on making the pail bigger and bigger and bigger, and it is just like your belly; the more thoughts you put in it, the more it goes on expanding. And the belly may burst if you eat too much, but not the mind.
An ordinary mind can contain all the libraries of the world. In your small head there are seventy million cells, and each cell can carry at least one million pieces of information. No computer has yet been developed which can be compared to your mind. Within your small head, you carry the whole world. And it goes on expanding.
Chiyono studied and studied - she put more and more water in the old pail. She could not find enlightenment. But:
The full moon was there high in the heaven, and in the water, in the pail, it was reflected, and she was looking at it. That is what is happening to everyone. This is not a story, this is not an anecdote, it is a fact - this is happening to you. You have never looked at the full moon. You cannot. You always look at the moon reflected in your water, in your thoughts. That's why Hindus - particularly Shankara - have said: All that you know is maya, illusion. It is as if you are looking at the moon in the water, a reflection, not at the true moon. And you think this is the moon.
Whatsoever you see, you see through the reflection. Your eyes reflect; your eyes are just mirrors.
Your ears reflect - all your senses are just mirrors, they reflect. And then there is the greatest of all mirrors, your mind; it reflects. It not only reflects, it comments, interprets. With the reflection it gives a commentary side by side. It distorts.
Have you seen distorting mirrors? No need to go anywhere, you have that within you - it distorts everything. Whatsoever you have known up to now has not been the real moon in the sky, because with this old pail filled with water, how can you look at the real moon? You go on looking at the reflection, and the reflection is illusory. That is the meaning of maya, illusion. Whatsoever you know is maya, it is appearance, not the real. The real comes only when the pail is broken - water flows out, reflection disappears.
It happened suddenly; it is like an accident. Try to understand this phenomenon. Enlightenment is always like an accident because it is unpredictable - because you cannot manage, you cannot arrange so that it happens, you cannot cause it to happen. If you can cause it to happen, it can never be beyond your mind. And if you manage for it to happen, it will be just a trick of the mind.
Many people try to manage it. They do this and that, just creating the cause for enlightenment to happen, but it is not a causal thing. If you cause it, it cannot be greater than you. If you cause it, it is absolutely useless. It happens, it cannot be caused. It is not a continuity with your mind, it is a discontinuous abyss. Suddenly you are not there and it is there. How can you manage it? If you manage, you will be there.
When Gautam Siddhartha became enlightened, became a Buddha, was he the same man? No! If the same man becomes enlightened... it is impossible. The continuity is broken; the old man has simply disappeared. This is an absolutely new man. Siddhartha Gautam, the prince who had left his palace, wife and child, is there no more. That ego is there no more; that mind is there no more.
That old man is dead - the old pail has broken. Now this is absolutely new; this has never been there. That's why we give him a new name, we call him Buddha. We drop the old name, because that old name belonged to some other identity, to some other personality, to somebody else. That old name never belonged to this man.
Enlightenment is a discontinuous phenomenon. It is not continuous, because if it is continuous it can only be at the most a modified past; it cannot be absolutely new, because the past will continue - modified, changed a little bit here and there, painted, polished, but the old will continue. It may be better, but it will still remain the old.
Enlightenment is like an accident. But don't misunderstand me, because when I say enlightenment is just like an accident, I am not saying don't do anything for it. That is not the meaning. If you don't do anything for it, even the accident will not happen. The accident happens only to those who have been doing much for it; but it never happens because of their doing. This is the problem: it never happens because of their doing; it never happens without their doing. That doing is not a cause for it to happen. The doing is just a cause which creates the situation in them so they become accident-prone, that's all.
All your meditations will create just an accident-proneness, that's all. That's why even a Buddha cannot say when your enlightenment is going to happen. People come to me and they ask; I tell them, "Soon." It means nothing. Soon may be the next moment, soon may not come for many lives, because an accident cannot be predicted. If it can be predicted it is not an accident at all, then it is a continuity.
But don't stop doing things. Don't think that if it is going to happen, it will happen; then it will never happen. You have to be ready for it, ready for the accident, ready for the unknown - ready, waiting, receptive. Otherwise the accident may come and may pass you. You may be asleep. The unknown may knock at the door and you may not listen. You may be fast asleep, or you may be talking to someone, or you will interpret that it may be just wind knocking at the door. You can think so many things - everybody is a great thinker.
Be ready for the accident. And remember: all that you do is not a cause for it, all that you do simply creates a situation in you, all that you can do is not a cause, but only an invitation. The difference is great, because if you think it is a cause then you start demanding. If you think it is a cause then you say, "Why is it not happening? Why has it not happened to me up to now?" It creates an inner tension, and if tension is there then it is impossible for it to happen. You have to be caught unawares.
You should be waiting, but not anxious - relaxed. You should invite it, but don't be certain that the guest will be coming.
Finally it depends on the guest, not on you. But without the invitation the guest will never come, that is certain. With your invitation it is not certain that he will come; but with your no-invitation it is certain that he will not come. With your invitation he may come, the possibility is there. So wait at the door, but don't be anxious, don't be too certain.
Certainty is of the mind, waiting is of the consciousness. And mind is shallow, all its certainties are shallow. It can happen any moment. Whenever you are ready to see, to look, you will come to know that it has always been happening just by the side. You were not looking at that, you were not looking at that corner.
I have heard: once it happened, Mulla Nasruddin was resting in his chair. His wife was looking at the street and he was looking at the wall. They were sitting back to back, as husbands and wives always sit.
Suddenly the wife said, "Nasruddin, look! The richest man of the town is dead, and thousands of people are going to give him the last send-off."
Nasruddin said, "What a shame I am not facing that way!"
"What a shame I am not facing that way." He will not look - just a turn of the head.... But this is what is happening to you. What a shame. You are not looking that way where the accident is passing, where the unknown is passing.
All meditations will help you only to look towards the unknown, to look towards the unaccustomed, to look at the stranger. They will make you more open, more open for the accident. But you cannot cause it.
Even if you are ready, you may have to wait. You cannot force it; you cannot bring it to you. If you can force it, then religion will be just like science. That's the basic difference between science and religion. Science can force things because it depends on cause, not on invitations. Science can make anything because it finds the cause. Once the cause is known, then anything can be done.
Science knows that if you heat water up to one hundred degrees it will evaporate - that's a cause.
You can be certain: once it is a hundred degrees, the water starts evaporating. You can force the water to evaporate by heating. You can mix oxygen and hydrogen and you can force them to become water. You can cause. Science tries to know the cause.
Religion is different, basically different. And religion can never become a science in that sense, because it is looking for the uncaused, it is looking for the discontinuous; it is looking for an absolute conversion. A relative conversion can be caused, a partial transformation can be caused. But absolute? Nothing of the old and everything new? - then there must be a gap. The link cannot be there. There must be a jump. So suddenly the old goes out of existence and the new comes into existence, and they are not joined together - the gap is there. Siddhartha Gautam simply disappears. Gautam Buddha appears - there is a gap.
This gap has to be remembered. That's why I say enlightenment is just like an accident. But you have to be continuously working for it, that's the paradox. Listening to me, don't become lazy.
Listening to me, don't just go to sleep. Listening to me, don't start thinking and reasoning that, "If it is an accident and we cannot cause it, then why meditate? Then why do this and that? Then simply wait." No, your waiting must not be a lazy waiting. Your waiting must be alive. You must wait with absolute energy at your disposal. You should not be waiting like a dead man: you should wait young, fresh, alive, throbbing. Only then that unknown can happen to you. When you are at the best of your life, at the best of your capacity, when you are most alive, when you are at the peak - only then it happens. Only a peak can meet that great peak; only peaks - only the similar can meet the same.
Go on working as much as you can, but don't create any demand out of it. Don't say, "I have done this, now it must happen." There is no must about it. It is a stranger. You go on writing invitations to it, but it has no address so you cannot post them. You go on throwing your invitations to the winds; they may reach, they may not reach. God is always a 'perhaps'; but it is beautiful when things are 'perhaps'. When things are certain, the beauty is lost.
Have you ever observed that in life only death is certain and everything else is uncertain? Everything is uncertain! Whether love will happen or not, nobody knows. Whether you will be able to sing a song or not, nobody knows. One thing is certain: death. Certainty belongs to death, never to life.
And if you are in search of life eternal, then live in the perhaps. Live open, waiting, but remembering continuously you cannot cause it to happen. When it happens, you will disappear.
That is the meaning of this beautiful happening:
Suddenly it happened. But she was working, studying, meditating. She was a great nun. She had lived for at least thirty, forty years with the master, and she had worked tremendously.
I must tell you something about Chiyono. She was a very beautiful woman - rarely beautiful, unique.
When she was young, even the emperor and the princes were after her. She refused, because she wanted to be a lover only to the divine, so nobody was up to her expectations, nobody was able to fulfill them.
She went from one monastery to another to take sannyas, to become a nun; but even great masters refused - because she was so beautiful she would create trouble. There were so many monks - and of course monks are repressed people - and she was so beautiful that they will forget God and everything. And she was really beautiful, so everywhere the door was closed.
The master said, "Your search is okay, but I have to look towards my followers also. There are five hundred sannyasins; they will go mad. They will forget their meditations, their scriptures, everything.
You will become the god. So Chiyono, don't disturb these poor people, you go."
So what did Chiyono do? Finding no way, she burned her face, scarred her whole face. And then she went to a master; he couldn't even recognize whether she was a woman or a man. Then she was accepted as a nun.
She was so ready. The search was authentic. The accident was worthy, the accident was earned.
She studied, meditated for thirty, forty years continuously. Then suddenly, one night, the stranger came to her door.
She was looking at the moon - it was beautiful. Even reflections are beautiful, because they reflect the absolute beauty. The world is also beautiful because it is a reflection of God. So don't say the world is ugly. How can the reflection be ugly when it reflects the divine?
So those who say that the world is ugly and renounce it are absolutely wrong, because if you renounce this world, deep down you are renouncing the creator. Don't renounce. Even a woman's face is beautiful, because it reflects. A man's face is beautiful, the body is beautiful, because they reflect. The trees are beautiful, the birds are beautiful, because they reflect. The reflection is so beautiful - what to say about the original?
So a real seeker is not against the world. A real seeker loves the world so much, he loves the reflection so much that he wants to see the original. He loves this reflection so much that a desire arises to see, to see the full moon in the sky. He leaves this reflection, not because he is against it, he leaves this reflection just in search of that which has been reflected in it. He is not against love, his prayer is not against love. He has known such beauty in love that now he wants to go deeper. Prayer is the deepest 'in-love'. He has known so much in the reflection, it was so beautiful, so fragrant, such music was there, that now a desire has arisen to know the source. And if the reflection is so musical, what harmony must there be in the original source.
A real seeker is never against anything. He is for something, but never against something. He is for God, but never against the world, because finally the world belongs to God. If I see your face in a mirror and it is beautiful, should I be against the mirror? Really, I should be thankful because it reflected you. But I will not focus myself on the mirror; I will be in search of you who was reflected in the mirror. I will have to leave the mirror, but not because I am against it. I will have to turn my face away from the mirror, but not because I was against it. I will be thankful to it because it mirrored something, and in the reflection it was so beautiful - but now I must go to find the original source.
She was looking at the moon reflected in the pail. Suddenly the pail fell down, the water rushed out, and the moon disappeared - and that became the trigger-point.
There is always a trigger-point from where the old disappears and the new starts, from where you are reborn. That became the trigger-point. Suddenly, the water rushed out and there was no moon.
So she must have looked up - and the real moon was there. And this became a parable, this became an inner phenomenon. The same was happening inside: everything was seen through the mind - it was a mirror. Suddenly she became awakened to this fact, that everything was a reflection, an illusion, because it was seen through the mind. As the pail broke, the mind inside also broke. It was ready. All that could be done had been done. All that could be possible, she had done it. Nothing was left, she was ready, she had earned it. This ordinary incident became a trigger-point.
But remember: don't follow Chiyono. It will not happen to you that way. Because you know the story you can break the pot, and the water rushes out, and the reflection disappears - and nothing happens within you. It cannot be made a ritual.
But this is how the foolish humanity has been acting for centuries and centuries. Trigger-points are known, but they are always individual and unique. They cannot be repeated, because nobody can be a Chiyono again. The world never repeats. God is so original, he never repeats. Chiyono is born only once, never again - never, never again. So you cannot repeat it, because you are not Chiyono.
But that's what goes on and on, because our mind works as a logical system. If it happened to Chiyono carrying a water-pail, then the water-pail dropping, breaking, water flowing, reflection gone, enlightenment happening - make it a ritual. That is what is being done in churches, mosques, temples - rituals.
How did it happen to Buddha? Sit the same way, plant a bodhi tree, sit under it with closed eyes, just Buddha-like - and you are just stupid. You will not become a Buddha, you are simply stupid.
You would not have repeated it otherwise. Rituals are repeated by idiots. Because this much understanding... that it is not a question of sitting under a bodhi tree. The long preparation that Buddha underwent, the millions of lives that he passed - he is a unique personality. This is the last trigger-point. It is a concluding thing. Many, many lives of effort, search... and then comes this climax.
This is just accidental that he was sitting under the bodhi tree. It would have happened anyway. If he was not sitting there, then too it would have happened. If there was no tree, then too it would have happened. It was not necessary that he must be sitting - he may have been walking and it would have happened. It is a conclusion. It is just coincidental that he was sitting under the bodhi tree in a particular posture. The posture is not the cause, the tree is not the cause, the way he was sitting is not the cause. If it was a cause, then you could repeat it. Heat it to one hundred degrees and water evaporates. Sit under the bodhi tree exactly in a Buddha posture, even more perfect than him, and enlightenment happens.
No, it is not that way. And don't be stupid, don't follow blindly, and don't make anything a ritual.
Understanding is needed, not ritual. It is good to sit in a Buddha posture, but remember well that you are not Buddha and the same trigger-point is not going to work for you - something else. And if you go on following Buddha, absolutely blind, then you may miss your trigger-point; that is the problem, because that will not happen with this repetitive ritual, you have to seek your own. Take the help of all the buddhas, but don't be blind. Understand them as deeply as you can, because they have attained - but there is no path.
The spiritual dimension is just like the sky: no trace is left, you cannot follow. A bird flies, no trace is left. The sky remains empty, no path is created. It is not like the earth. If many people pass, then a footpath is there; you can follow. The spiritual dimension is the dimension of the sky, because it is non-material, it is not earthly, no trace is left. Buddha flies; look at the flight, the beauty of it, the glimpse, the light; enjoy it, understand it, but don't try to follow, don't be blind. Blindness won't help.
Chiyono became enlightened, and this way has never been so with anybody else. Buddha was not carrying a pail of water, neither was Mahavira, nor Krishna, nor Lao Tzu, nor Zarathustra - nobody was carrying a pail of water. And after Chiyono many have carried because it seems so simple. You can manage it, it seems so simple, no difficulty is involved. Fullmoon night comes every month; you can wait and do it again.
Don't be ritualistic. Ritual is not religion. Ritual is the most anti-religious thing in the world. You are unique - remember. And something unique is going to happen to you which has never happened before, which will never happen again. Not only your fingerprints are unique, your soul is unique.
I was just reading a scientific research work which proves that every part of the body is unique - not only fingertips: you have a different liver, a different type of heart, a different type of stomach; nobody else has got that. And in the textbooks where you read and you see the figure of the stomach, you will never find that stomach anywhere; that is just average, imaginary. If you look at the stomachs of real people they will all be different.
'Average' is not the truth; average is just a mathematical approximation, it is not a fact. The fact is always unique. You have a different type of being and it differs in every way. And it is good and it is beautiful that you are different - not a repetition, not like a Ford car. A million cars can be produced all alike. You are not a machine, you are a man. And what does your manhood, your humanity consist of? Where are you different from a machine? In your uniqueness. Machines are repeatable - they can be repeated - replaceable. You can replace one Ford car with another Ford car; there is no problem. But no man can be replaced, never. It is such a unique flowering, it happens only once.
So don't be ritualistic - understand. Let understanding be the law, the only law that has to be followed.
Chiyono wrote this verse afterwards. She celebrated this phenomenon with a verse, with a song.
THIS WAY AND THAT WAY I TRIED TO KEEP THE PAIL TOGETHER, HOPING THE WEAK BAMBOO WOULD NEVER BREAK.
SUDDENLY THE BOTTOM FELL OUT.
NO MORE WATER; NO MORE MOON IN THE WATER - EMPTINESS IN MY HAND.
THIS WAY AND THAT WAY I TRIED TO KEEP THE PAIL TOGETHER.... You have been trying this way and that way to keep the pail together. You have been supporting your mind in every way to remain together. And the mind is the barrier - and you think mind is the friend. Mind is the enemy, and you have been supporting it in every way.
I am saying many things to you which are against mind, and you will take those things into your minds and make them a support. If whatsoever I say becomes knowledge to you, when you leave me and go away from me you are more knowledgeable. Then, even things against mind have been converted into supports. Whatsoever I say, don't make it a learning, don't make it your knowledge.
Rather, look at what I am saying and drop all that you know. Don't make it a new addition to your old mind.
THIS WAY AND THAT WAY I TRIED TO KEEP THE PAIL TOGETHER, HOPING THE WEAK BAMBOO WOULD NEVER BREAK.
Can you find anything weaker than the mind? Can you find anything more filmy than thoughts? Can you find anything more impotent than thoughts? Nothing happens out of them, nothing comes out of them; they just continue. They are made of the same stuff dreams are made of - nonexistential really, just whirlpools in the emptiness of your being.
SUDDENLY THE BOTTOM FELL OUT - and Chiyono says, "It was nothing on my part. Rather, I was doing the contrary; keeping the pail together this way and that way and hoping that THE WEAK BAMBOO WOULD NEVER BREAK. SUDDENLY THE BOTTOM FELL OUT - it was nothing that I have done, it was not my doing."
SUDDENLY THE BOTTOM FELL OUT - it was an accident. NO MORE WATER; NO MORE MOON IN THE WATER - EMPTINESS IN MY HAND.
"And the water disappeared. And the pail disappeared. And only emptiness in my hand."
And this is what a Buddha is: emptiness in the hand. When you have emptiness in the hand you have all, because emptiness is not a negative thing. Emptiness is the most positive thing, because everything comes out of nothing. This all is born out of emptiness. Emptiness in the hand means source in the hand.
A seed is there, so small, and then a big tree is born. From where does this tree come? Look in the seed, break it, and try to find out. If you break the seed you will find emptiness there. From that emptiness comes this big tree, from that emptiness comes this whole universe - from nothing comes being.
Emptiness in my hand means all in my hand - the very source from where everything arises, and to where everything goes back, returns. Emptiness in my hand means all in my hand, everything in my hand.
"And suddenly it happened. I cannot congratulate myself for it. Suddenly it happened. I was doing the contrary."
That is why saints have always said... those who believe, or those who use the terminology of God, they say it happens through his grace. Chiyono or Buddhists don't believe in any God, they don't use that symbology. So Chiyono cannot say, "Out of his grace" - she cannot. Eckhart would say, "Out of his grace - no qualification on my part. I have done nothing for it. I have not caused it."
Meera would say, "Krishna's grace." Theresa would say, "Jesus and his grace."
Buddhists don't believe in any personalized God; their approach is absolutely beyond personalized symbols. They are not anthropocentric. So Chiyono cannot say 'grace', she simply says, "Suddenly it happened," but the meaning is the same. "Suddenly it happened. I was doing rather the contrary.
Everything disappeared: water flowed out, the moon disappeared - EMPTINESS IN MY HAND."
And this is enlightenment: when emptiness is in your hand, when everything is empty, when there is nobody, not even you - because if you are there, the pail is there, the old pail. If you are not there and the room is totally empty, your being is not filled at all, you have become the source. You have attained to the original face of Zen.
And this is the most blissful moment possible. And this moment becomes eternal - then there is no end to it. This moment becomes eternity. Then you can never be anything otherwise, because you are no more. Who can be sad? Who can be in sorrow? Who can be disappointed? Who can desire and feel frustrated? Emptiness cannot be frustrated. Emptiness cannot desire. Emptiness cannot expect anything, so it remains absolutely in bliss, absolutely bliss.
If you are, you will be in misery. If you are not, there cannot be any misery. So the whole problem is: To be or not to be?
And Chiyono suddenly found that she is not: Emptiness in the hand.
Enough for today.