I feel like I know the answers. Why do I still allow the questions to become problems?
Savita, there are not answers, there is only The answer. And that answer is not of the mind, that answer cannot be of the mind. Mind is a multiplicity. Mind has answers and answers, but not the answer.
That answer is a state of no-mind. It is not verbal. You can know it but you cannot reduce it to knowledge. You can know it, but you cannot say it. It is known in the innermost recesses of your being. It is light that simply illuminates your interiority.
It is not an answer to any particular question. It is the end of all questioning; it refers to no question at all. It simply dissolves all the questions and a state is left without any question — that’s the answer. Unless that is known, nothing is known.
Hence, you may feel that you know the answers, but still questions will go on popping up, still questions will go on torturing you. Still questions are bound to arise because the root is not cut yet. New leaves will be sprouting, new branches will be arising.
The root is cut only when you disconnect yourself from the mind, when you become so aware, so watchful that you can see the mind as separate from you. When all identity with the mind is dropped, when you are a watcher on the hills and the mind is left deep down in the darkness of the valleys, when you are on the sunlit peaks, just a pure witness, seeing, watching, but not getting identified with anything — good or bad, sinner or saint, this or that — in that witnessing all questions dissolve. The mind melts, evaporates. You are left as a pure being, just a pure existence — a breathing, a beating of the heart, utterly in the moment, no past, no future, hence no present either.
Unless that state arrives you will feel many times that you know the answers, but each answer will only create new questions. Each answer will trigger new chains of questions in you. You can read, you can study, you can think, but you will get more and more in the mire of the mind, more entangled, more entrapped. Slip out of the mind!
Hence, I am not giving you answers; I am trying to point out the answer. You cannot use the plural for it because it is one. It is a state of utter silence, peace, no-thought. Buddha calls it right mindfulness — sammasati. And he says that those who are rightly mindful, alert, aware, the truth comes to them of its own accord. You need not go anywhere, it comes. You need not even seek and search, because how can you seek and search? Out of your ignorance, whatsoever you do will bring more ignorance. Out of your ignorance, wherever you go you will go astray. Out of your confusion, how can you find clarity? Out of your confusion you will become more and more confused — in search of clarity.
Hence Buddha says: The master watches, the master is clear. Aes dhammo sanantano — this is the law, the ultimate, eternal, inexhaustible law.
To be silent is to have the answer. To be silent is to be without questions…and the root is cut, then no leaves arrive anymore.
Savita, you say, “I feel like I know the answers.”
That is only an illusion. And the mind is very clever in creating new illusions. The mind is very deceptive: it can deceive you in knowledge too. It can deceive you in everything! It can even make you believe that you are enlightened, that you are a Buddha already. Beware! The only enemy is the mind; there is no other enemy.
The old scriptures talk about the mind. They have a special name for it — they call it the Devil. The Devil is not somebody outside you; it is your own mind that goes on tempting you, that goes on cheating you, deceiving you, that goes on creating new illusions in you. Beware, watch the mind! And in watching, questions disappear — not that they are answered, let me repeat it again.
The Buddha knows no answers — not that he has come to the conclusion of all questions, no, not at all. On the contrary, he has no questions anymore. Because he has no questions anymore, his whole being has become the answer.
Savita, that moment is possible.
That’s my whole work here. I am not here to give you more information; that you can get anywhere. Thousands of universities exist, thousands of libraries exist. Information you can get anywhere, you can become knowledgeable anywhere. My effort is to make you unlearn whatsoever you have learned up to now, to make you innocent so that you can start functioning from a state of not-knowing. So that you don’t have any answers, so that you act spontaneously, not out of the past and out of the conclusions already arrived at. So that you don’t have any ready-made formula for anything…so that you are like a small child mirroring reality.
And when you are silent, no knowledge clamoring inside you, your perception is clear — no dust on the mirror…you reflect that which is. And out of that reflection whatever action arises is virtue.
From The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1, Discourse #6
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