Why am I not getting enlightened soon? Why is there so much delay?
Sagaram, the cause must be in you. In fact, you are the cause. You are not trying to understand what I am saying. Now enlightenment has become an object of your desire—a and enlightenment happens only when there is no desire left. And when I say no desire I exactly mean no desire—absolutely no desire. The desire for enlightenment is still a desire. If you go on desiring enlightenment it is not going to happen, neither sooner nor later. It is never going to happen. You will have to drop the desire.
See the point, because mind is so cunning and so stupid too that it can go on being clever. You can even say, “Okay, then I will drop the desire—but is it guaranteed that when I drop all the desires, the desire for enlightenment included, is it guaranteed that I will become enlightened?” You miss the point again: it can’t be guaranteed. And dropping desire to attain enlightenment is not dropping at all—the desire is coming from the back door again. You are not getting enlightened because you want to get enlightened, and it is not something that can be wanted, can be desired. You can’t be ambitious for it.
Then what is to be done? Try to understand the futility of desire. Try to see that desire is the culprit, that desire goes on taking you away from the present moment. It is desire that is not allowing you to be meditative. It is desire that goes on creating the mind and goes on creating hindrances for meditation. Mind is a hindrance for meditation. It is desire that goes on creating time and time prevents eternity, becomes a rock between you and eternity.
See the point—simply see it! It is not a question of having to drop it. Just see the point, that desire is your hell. Seeing it, desiring disappears, because if you see it clearly, totally, one hundred percent, how can you go on desiring anymore? It will slip out of your hands on its own accord. And in that very moment is enlightenment. That moment is enlightenment.
Enlightenment is not something that is going to come to you from somewhere else. Desire dropped, and you are a buddha. The only difference between you and a buddha is desire.
It happened to Gautam Siddhartha exactly the same way. For six years he was also, Sagaram, continuously hankering for enlightenment and could not attain it. For six years he tried hard, harder than any man has ever done. He risked all. He was a warrior, a Kshatriya—a man who knew only how to fight. He fought with God, with existence. He wanted to conquer truth; he wanted to become a conqueror. And after six years of arduous effort he was reaching nowhere, not even a single inch closer to truth than when he started.
One full-moon night sitting under the tree, he started looking backwards. Six years have passed since he renounced his family, his palace, his kingdom. All that is written in the scriptures he has done and all that the teachers he came across told him to do he has done—and he has done it with totality. Now there is nothing more to do. This whole project has failed.
Then suddenly he became aware that “Although I was searching for truth, I was searching for God, I was still the same person—the same ego, the same desire, the same ambition: the ambition to conquer, to be victorious. I was the same old man; these six years nothing has changed. Objects of desires have changed—they are no longer worldly, they are otherworldly—but what difference does it make? Desire is desire, worldly or otherworldly, it doesn’t matter. Desire is desire; its nature is the same.”
Seeing it and seeing the futility of it, that evening he dropped… or it will be better to say, desire dropped itself. That evening as the moon rose, a totally new being arose in him: a desireless consciousness, a non-ambitious being, not asking for anything. His eyes were clear for the first time, unclouded, no smoke of desire. His flame was burning bright. That night he slept for the first time in his life without dreams, because once desires disappear, dreams disappear. Dreams are reflections of your desires.
And early morning just before the sun was to rise, he opened his eyes. There was nothing to do that day, all is finished. He is no longer interested in the world; he is no longer interested in the other world. He remained in the moment; there were no projects to do. He was utterly empty. He looked at the rising sun… and that was the moment when he became enlightened.
What is enlightenment?—The insight that desire is futile, that ambition is illness. Then suddenly you are thrown back to the present moment. To be in the present is to be enlightened. To be now and to be here is to be enlightened.
You are all buddhas—dreaming, desiring. Understand the desire and let it go.
Enough for today.
From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.7, Discourse #2
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