There Is Nothing to Attain
Only if the person truly possesses the faculty of wisdom and will power will he consent to step back and reflect.
Yung Chia also said, “The real nature of ignorance is identical to the nature of enlightenment. Original inherent nature is the naturally real enlightened one.” If you think like this, suddenly, in the place where thought cannot reach, you will see the body of reality in which there is not a single thing – this is the place for you to get out of birth and death. What I said before, that one cannot seek the dharma, which has nothing to attain, with the attitude that there is something to attain, is just this principle.
Gentlemen of affairs make their living within the confines of thought and judgment their whole lives: as soon as they hear a man of knowledge speak of the dharma in which there is nothing to attain, in their hearts there is doubt and confusion, and they fear falling into emptiness.
As soon as you hear it said that you shouldn’t think, immediately you are at a loss and can’t find your grip. You’re far from realizing that this very lack of anywhere to get a grip is the time for you to let go of your body and your life.
If correct mindfulness is present at all times, and the attitude of fear for birth and death doesn’t waver, then, over long days and months, what was unfamiliar will naturally become familiar, and what was stale will naturally become fresh. But what is the stale? It’s the brilliance and cleverness, that which thinks and judges. What is the unfamiliar? It’s enlightenment, nirvana, true thusness, the buddha-nature – where there’s no thought or discrimination, where figuring and calculating cannot reach, where there’s no way for you to use your mental arrangements.
This is a special evening, because one of us has left for the other shore. Anand Maitreya was certainly a man of tremendous courage. He met me sometime near 1960. He had already been a member of parliament for twelve years and he was very close to the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. But the moment he heard me he simply dropped his whole political career.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru tried to persuade him, saying, “There is every chance for you to become the chief minister of your state.” – he was from Bihar, the land of Buddha.
But Maitreya said, “I want one thing understood clearly: ambition is hell and I am not going to look back; politics is finished for me. All ambitions are finished for me.” And since then he has been with me.
He has never asked a single question. He has never doubted, his trust was absolute. In these years, thousands of people have come to me; many have been lost, but he remained unwavering. He could not conceive how people can find contradictions in my statements.