When you told the story about Gautam Buddha waiting at the gate of paradise for the last human being, I cried – and I saw you, waiting for us.
My question is, if you will wait also for me? Right now, I’m putting all my energy into waking up, but everything takes time. Will there be enough time for me, too?
Gautama the Buddha, waiting at the gates of paradise until the last human being has entered in, is not just a story. It may not be factual, but it has immense truth hidden in it.
The first thing you have to understand is the difference between the fact and the truth. Ordinary history takes care about the facts – what actually happens in the world of matter, the incidents. It does not take care about the truth, because it does not happen in the world of matter; it happens in consciousness. And man is not yet mature enough to take care about the events of consciousness.
He surely takes care about events happening in time and in space; those are the facts. But he is not mature enough, not insightful enough to take care about what happens beyond time and beyond space – in other words, what happens beyond mind, what happens in consciousness. One day we will have to write the whole of history with a totally different orientation, because the facts are trivia – although they are material, they don’t matter. And the truths are immaterial but they matter.
The new orientation for a future history will take care about what happened inside Gautam Buddha when he became enlightened, what went on happening while he was in the body for forty-two years after his enlightenment. And what was happening in those forty-two years is not going to be discontinued just because the body drops dead. It had no concern with the body. It was a phenomenon in consciousness, and consciousness continues. The pilgrimage of the consciousness is endless. So what was happening in the consciousness inside the body, will go on happening outside the body. That is a simple understanding.
So this story is a story of inner happenings. For forty-two years Gautam Buddha was nothing but pure compassion. There was no need for him to live any more on this shore. He had attained everything that life is capable of giving, he had reached to the highest peak. But he continued to work, continued for forty-two years, in spite of a fragile body, old age, sickness.
His compassion was great. He was teaching his disciples that “Before you become enlightened you must learn the ways of compassion. If you become enlightened before you have learned the ways of compassion, you will think there is no need for you to linger on this miserable, sad, suffering shore. Your boat has arrived, you can go to the beyond – beyond all suffering, beyond all misery. And it is not only going beyond suffering and misery, it is going into a deeper blissfulness, eternal ecstasy.” He waited here for forty-two years, and he was teaching his students, his disciples, his devotees, the ways of compassion.