Can Buddha or Christ be created or developed out of every common human being? Or is Buddha or Christ only born as such? Every man is Buddha, every man is Christ: I feel it is not true.
The Buddha or Christ cannot be created because the Buddha is your intrinsic nature. It need not be created. It has not to be developed either; it is already there; it is already the case. It has only to be unfolded, it has to be discovered. The treasure is there; you have to find the key to unlock the door. The treasure is not to be created; the treasure is not to be developed; you only have to find the right key. You have forgotten about the key — the key is also with you. God provides you with everything that is needed on the journey; you come absolutely prepared. But society disturbs every child, distorts every child, because a Buddha or a Christ is useless to the society; they don’t serve any utilitarian purpose.
What can you do with a Buddha? What purpose is he going to serve? He will be a beautiful flower, but flowers don’t serve any purpose. Flowers have to be enjoyed, appreciated, loved. You can dance around them, you can drink their beauty, but they are not commodities in the marketplace. What can you do with the full moon? You cannot sell it, you cannot purchase it, you cannot be profited by it. You cannot have a bigger bank balance because of the full moon.
Hence the society is not interested in a Buddha or a Christ. Buddha is a full moon, a Buddha is a lotus flower; a Buddha is a bird on the wing. The Buddha is a poem, the Buddha is a song, the Buddha is a celebration. Because they are utterly beyond utility, the society is not interested in them; it is really afraid of these people. It wants you to be slaves, to be cogs in the wheel of the society. It wants you to be servants to the vested interests. It does not want you to be rebels — and a Buddha is bound to be a rebel.
A Buddha cannot follow stupid commandments given by the politicians or the moralists or the puritans or the priests. And these are the people who are exploiting humanity, oppressing humanity. They start destroying every possibility of every human child ever becoming a Buddha. They start crippling, they start poisoning. And down the centuries they have learnt many ways to poison. It is a miracle that once in a while a child has escaped — must have somehow been a mistake on the part of the priests and the politicians that a child escaped from the trap and became a Buddha.
Bal Krishna, every man is born to be a Buddha; every man has the seed of Buddhahood in him. But I can understand your question.
You say: I feel it is not true.
Yes, if you look at the masses it doesn’t seem to be true. If it were true there would be many Buddhas, but one rarely hears about a Buddha. We only know that somewhere, twenty-five centuries ago, a certain Siddhartha Gautam became Buddha. Who knows whether it is true or not? It may be just a myth, a beautiful story, a consolation, an opium for the masses, to keep them hoping that one day they will also become Buddhas. Who knows whether Buddha is a historic reality?
And so many stories have been woven around the Buddha that he looks more like a mythological figure than a reality. When he becomes enlightened, gods come from heaven, play beautiful music, dance around him. Now how can this be history? And flowers shower on him from the sky — flowers of gold and silver, flowers of diamonds and emeralds. Who can believe that this is history?
This is not history, true, I agree. This is poetry. But it symbolizes something historical, because something so unique has happened in Buddha that there is no other way to describe it than to bring poetry in. Real flowers have not showered on Buddha, but whenever somebody becomes enlightened, the whole existence rejoices — because we are not separate from it.
When you have a headache your whole body suffers, and when the headache goes your whole body feels good, a well-being. We are NOT separate from existence. And until you are a Buddha you are a headache — a headache to yourself, a headache to others, a headache to the whole existence. You are a thorn in the flesh of existence. When the headache disappears, when the thorn becomes a flower, when one man becomes a Buddha, a great pain that he was creating for himself and others disappears. Certainly — I vouch for it, I am a witness to it — certainly the who]e existence rejoices, dances, sings. How to say it? It is nothing visible; photographs cannot be taken of it. Hence the poetry; hence these metaphors, symbols, similes.
It is said that when Buddha was born his mother immediately died. It may not be a historical fact, it may be. But my feeling is that it is not a historical fact — because it is said that whenever a Buddha is born, the mother immediately dies. That is not true. There have been many Buddhas — Jesus’ mother did not die, Mahavira’s mother did not die, Krishna’s mother did not die. Maybe Siddhartha Gautam’s mother died, but it cannot be said that whenever a Buddha is born the mother dies, not historically. But I know it has some significance of its own which is not historical. By ‘the mother’ is not really meant the mother; by ‘the mother’ is meant your whole past. You are reborn when you become a Buddha, your whole past functions as a womb, the mother. And the moment a Buddha is born, the moment you become enlightened, your whole past dies. That death is necessary.
Now, this is absolutely true. It happened with Mahavira, with Krishna, with Jesus; it has happened always. To say it, it is said that whenever a Buddha is born the mother dies. You will have to be very, very sympathetic to understand these things.
I can understand that it is difficult; looking at the greater part of humanity, to see that there is any possibility of every human being becoming a Christ or a Buddha. Looking at a seed can you believe that one day it can become a lotus? Just looking at the seed, dissecting the seed, will you be able to infer, conclude, that each seed is going to become a lotus? There seems to be no relationship at all. The seed looks nothing, and when you dissect it you find nothing in it, only emptiness. Still each seed carries a lotus within it — and each human being carries the Buddha within him.
You ask me: Can Buddha or Christ be created or developed…?
No, they cannot be created, and they cannot be developed: they have to be discovered, they have to be uncovered. They are already there. You just have to reach your innermost core and you will find the Buddha enshrined, you will find the Christ. Christ and Buddha mean the same: the ultimate state of consciousness.
And you say: . . . out of every common human being?
I have never come across a single common human being. I have come across thousands of people, I have looked into the depths of thousands of different people, but I have never come across a common, ordinary man. Every human being is unique, extraordinary, uncommon, exceptional. God never creates common human beings; God only creates unique consciousnesses.
Drop this idea of a common human being. This is an insult to humanity.
And you say: Is Buddha or Christ only born as such?
No. Nobody is born as such. We are all born alike. That too is again a trick of the mind to avoid growing. If it is settled that a Buddha is born as a Buddha, and a Christ is the only begotten son of God, and Krishna is a reincarnation of God, this is a beautiful strategy to avoid: “Then what can we do? If we are not Buddhas it is not our fault – we are not born like that. And if Buddha is a Buddha, so what? He is born a Buddha. No credit to him; he has not done anything special. If we were born like Buddha we would be Buddhas too. But we are born as common human beings.”
This is a strategy. Very cunning is the mind, and subtle is its cunningness: beware of it. Nobody is born as a Buddha, yet everybody brings the potential of being a Buddha. And don’t say, “I feel it is not true” — because how can you feel unless you have become a Buddha? You can only infer, you can only think, you cannot feel.
Listen to me! I feel that everybody can become a Buddha. And I feel it because I was also a common human being . . . and then suddenly this explosion, then suddenly this light, then suddenly this meditativeness blossomed. You can also become a Buddha; it is your birthright. Don’t be tricked by your mind — remain alert, aware.
From Be Still and Know, Discourse #1
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