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Beloved Master, Can I Also Become a Gautama the Buddha?

 

Govind, yes and no. Yes because buddhahood is nobody's personal possession. Gautama does not have it as a personal attribute; he is not the owner of it and he is not the only buddha. There have been many buddhas before him, there have been many buddhas after him. The word 'buddha' simply means the awakened one.

You are asleep. Naturally, if you can be asleep you can wake up. One who is capable of sleep is also capable of waking up; the very phenomenon of sleep implies the capacity to wake up. If you are incapable of waking up you will be incapable of sleeping too; they are two sides of the same coin. So, Govind, if you can sleep, if you can dream, you can wake up, you can be a buddha. Hence I say yes – but you cannot be a GAUTAMA the Buddha; Gautama you cannot be. You can be Govind the Buddha, but not Gautama the Buddha; that is not possible. Nature never repeats. They say history repeats – and it certainly repeats because history consists of stupid human beings. What else can they do? They can only repeat. But nature never repeats; it never creates the same person again, the same form again. Nature is immensely innovative.

  

That's the meaning when we say God is a creator. A creator is never repetitive, he never creates the same painting again and again. He goes on creating something new, he is always on a new venture.

Govind, God has never created another person like you and will never create another person like you. He loves individuality, he loves uniqueness. That's his way of showing respect to you, tremendous respect. And it is not only so with human beings: go into the garden, watch the leaves minutely – you will not find even two leaves exactly the same. Not on the whole of the earth will you find two leaves exactly the same, or two pebbles exactly the same on all the seashores.

Everything is unique, everything has its own signature. Just as your thumb is unique and its print is unique – there is nobody else who has the same print – what to say about your soul? Even about such small details God is so careful – or you can say "nature," if "God" has lost its appeal for you. If the word 'God' has lost its appeal for you, 'nature' is as beautiful, or 'existence', or whatsoever you want. Buddha likes the word 'dhamma' – the universal law. Lao Tzu loves the word 'tao' – the harmony of existence, the inner order.

The universe is not a chaos, that much is certain. Whether there is a God or not is irrelevant, the universe is not a chaos. That's why we call it a universe. It has a certain unity, hence "universe," otherwise we would have called it a "multiverse." It is not a chaos, there is an order running inside it, a thread which joins everything together. Even the smallest grass blade is joined to the biggest star. Nothing is separate, and yet everything is unique and individual. This is the tremendous beauty of existence: it loves and respects the individual, it nourishes the individual.

Hence, Govind, you cannot be Gautama the Buddha, but there is no need to be Gautama the Buddha. That will be ugly, that will be imitative. Never try to imitate because then you will always be only a carbon copy and never something original. And unless you are something original you are not using your life's opportunity to its maximum, you are wasting it.

Don't be a Christian – be a christ. And don't be a Buddhist – be a buddha. The Christian is trying to be like Jesus Christ, the Buddhist is trying to be like Gautam Buddha, and this is not possible. What is possible is that you will become an imitator, an actor. And you can act beautifully. You can walk like Buddha, you can talk like Buddha, you can sit like Buddha. You can use the same words, the same language, the same gestures, but still deep down you will be Govind, not Gautam. And you will know it! That all that you are doing is just on the outside. And it is ugly because it will create a kind of hypocrisy in you.

Hence all Christians are hypocrites and all Buddhists are hypocrites. All followers are bound to be hypocrites because they are divided persons, split persons. And whatsoever they show is only on the surface, and whatsoever they really are is hidden behind. And there is a constant conflict between these two, they live two kinds of lives. Avoid this.  I know this desire arises. This desire seems to be very prevalent.

Jesus and Moses were playing golf. When they came to a two-hundred-yard water hazard. Jesus took out a five iron club. Moses warned him that two hundred yards were too far for a five-iron, but Jesus insisted, "If Arnold Palmer can make it with a five-iron, so can I!"

He hit the ball and it landed in the middle of the lake.

"Will you get the ball for me, Moses?" asked Jesus.

"Just this once," he replied, walked over, raised his club, and parted the water. Then he walked out and brought the ball back to Jesus.

Again Jesus took a five-iron and again Moses warned, "If you don't make it, I'm not going to get it for you!"

Jesus reassured him, "If Arnold Palmer can do it, surely I can do it!"

Again he swung the five-iron and again the ball fell in the water. This time Jesus walked out on the water, reached down, and was picking up the ball when the next foursome came up to the tee where Moses was standing. The leader of the group asked Moses, "Who does he think he is, Jesus Christ?"

"No," replied Moses, "he thinks he is Arnold Palmer!"

Govind, you just be Govind the Buddha. There is no need for you to be Gautama the Buddha. Gautama was beautiful, but once it is beautiful – twice it is too much. And what is the point? What will your contribution to existence be if you are Gautama the Buddha? No contribution. Gautama has done it, he has done what a Gautama can do. You cannot improve upon it.

You do something that YOU can do and no Gautama can ever do. God has great hopes for you: he hopes you will contribute something to existence. He never loses hope, that's why he goes on creating people. Although people go on deceiving, people go on misusing the opportunity, people go on wasting time, but still God goes on hoping. With each child a new hope is born in the world. You have to contribute something that only you can do and nobody else can do, hence YOU have to do it. Forget this whole idea of being Gautama the Buddha – just be yourself.

And that's exactly what Buddha has taught, that's exactly his essential message. His last words to his disciples were: APPA DEEPO BHAVA – be a light unto yourself.

When he was dying, naturally thousands of disciples had gathered and they started crying and weeping. The master was leaving, it was natural, and the master had lived with them for forty-two years and they had loved the man, they had loved his vibe. He was one of the most beautiful men who has ever walked on the earth. Not only was he spiritually beautiful, physically he was also one of the most beautiful men. About Jesus that cannot be said. He was spiritually beautiful, but the ancient scriptures say that physically he was not beautiful. He was only four feet five inches and, moreover, a hunchback. Buddha was one of the most beautiful expressions physically too, really a lotus flower. And they had all loved him. They had renounced everything and risked everything for this man and now he was leaving. They started crying. One can understand their crying and their weeping and their tears.

But Buddha said, "Stop! Stop all this nonsense! Why are you crying? What difference is it going to make? I was not your light, you have to be your own light. And," Buddha said to them, "it may be a blessing in the form of a curse, because when I am gone you will try to find yourselves. While I was here you were more interested in me; although I was insisting: Go in! you were focused on me. Now I will not be here, you are bound to go inside."

And that's exactly what happened: many people became enlightened after Buddha died. When they were asked, "Why did so many people become enlightened when Buddha died?" they all said, "Now we understand what he meant, that in the form of a curse it is a blessing – because once you have seen a buddha and he is gone there is nothing worth seeing outside. So we closed our eyes.

"We have seen all that was the most worth seeing: we have seen the most beautiful person. What else is there? There is nothing worth hearing, worth seeing. We closed our eyes, we turned inwards and because Buddha was not there anymore we heard his words for the first time. When he was here we were able to postpone, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. We were so much enchanted by his personality, by his charisma. Once he was gone we had to fall back upon our own selves. Maybe that was his last device."

Govind, be Govind the Buddha!

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 12 Discourse 8

 

Updated on 21-01-2019







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