A man came to Bahauddin Shah and said, “First I followed this teacher and then that one. Next I studied these books, and then those. I feel that although I know nothing of you and your teachings, this experience has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.”
The Shah answered, “Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here. If you are to stay with us, you will have to abandon all pride in the past. That is a form of self-congratulation.”
A young man has asked why there seems to be no meaning in life. Because meaning does not exist a priori. There is no meaning existing in life – one has to create it. Only if you create it will you discover it; first it has to be invented. It is not lying there like a rock, it has to be created like a song. It is not a thing, it is a significance that you bring through your consciousness. Don’t wait for it. It never comes by just waiting. One has to become a lab, one has to become a womb, one has to give birth to it.
This is one of the most significant things to be understood – otherwise you will go on missing meaning. People have a wrong notion. They think that meaning is already there, existing somewhere. It is not so. Buddha creates the meaning and then he discovers it. That’s why his meaning will never become your meaning. The meaning remains individual. Each one has to create it for himself, it cannot be borrowed.
That’s the difference between the scientific truth and the religious truth. The scientific truth is a dead thing. Once discovered by one it is discovered for all. Once Newton has discovered something – for example, the law of gravitation – then you need not discover it again and again. Then it becomes a collective property. Newton may have worked for many years to discover it, may have devoted his whole life to it, but now a schoolchild will learn it within minutes. He will not have to go through all the bother.
Scientific truth is a dead thing – it is a thing. Hence once discovered, it is discovered forever. When one person has discovered it then it becomes the property of all.
Religious truth is not a thing. It is a significance, it is a meaning. Each one has to discover it, each one has to go on the exploration. Buddha’s truth disappears with Buddha. Mohammed’s truth disappears with Mohammed. It was a fragrance of a flower that had opened in the heart of Mohammed – how can the fragrance remain when the flower has gone? Now the Koran is dead, so is the Dhammapada, so is the Gita, and so are all the scriptures. A scripture is alive only when the flower is there. With the flower, the fragrance is alive; when the flower is gone, all is gone.
Scientific truth can be learned. You can go to a school, you can learn it from a teacher. Religious truth cannot be learned. It has to be created, not learned. You cannot go to a teacher. It cannot be taught, there is no way to teach it. You will have to go to a master not to a teacher – and that is the difference between a teacher and a master: a teacher deals in dead things, a master lives his truth.