The Buddha said:
There was once a man who, being in despair over his inability to control his passions, wished to mutilate himself. The Buddha said to him, “Better destroy your own evil thoughts than do harm to your own person. The mind is lord. When the lord himself is calmed, the servants will of themselves be yielding. If your mind is not cleansed of evil passions, what avails it to mutilate yourself?” Thereupon, the Buddha recited the gatha: Passions grow from the will, the will grows from thought and imagination: when both are calmed, there is neither sensualism nor transmigration. The Buddha said, this gatha was taught before by Kashyapabuddha.
The Buddha said:
From the passions arises worry, and from worry arises fear. Away with the passions, and no fear, no worry.
Man is in misery, and man has remained in misery down the centuries. Rarely can you find a human being who is not miserable. It is so rare that it almost seems unbelievable. That’s why buddhas are never believed. People don’t believe that they ever existed. People can’t believe it. They can’t believe it because of their own misery. The misery is such, and they are entangled into it so deeply, that they don’t see that any escape is possible.
The buddhas must have been imagined…people think…buddhas are dreams of humanity. That’s what Sigmund Freud says: Buddhas are wish-fulfillments. Man wants to be that way, man desires to be out of misery, man would like to have that silence, that peace, that benediction – but it has not happened. And Freud says there is no hope – it cannot happen by the very nature of things. Man cannot become happy.
Freud has to be listened to very keenly and very deeply. He cannot be simply rejected outright; he is one of the most penetrating minds ever. And when he says that happiness is not possible, and when he says that hoping for happiness is hoping for the impossible, he means it. His own observation of human misery led him to this conclusion. This conclusion is not that of a philosopher. Freud is not a pessimist. But observing thousands of human beings, getting deeper into their beings, he realized that man is made in such a way that he has a built-in process of being miserable. At the most he can be in comfort, but never in ecstasy. At the most we can make life a little more convenient – through scientific technology, through social change, through better economy, and through other things – but man will remain miserable all the same.
How can Freud believe that a buddha has ever existed? Such serenity seems to be just a dream. Humanity has been dreaming about Buddha.
This idea arises because Buddha is so rare, so exceptional. He is not the rule. Why has man remained in so much misery? And the miracle is that everybody wants to be happy. You cannot find a man who wants to be miserable, and yet everybody is in misery. Everybody wants to be happy, blissful, peaceful, silent, everybody wants to be in joy, everybody wants to celebrate but it seems impossible. Now, there must be some very deep cause, so deep that Freudian analysis could not reach it, so deep that logic cannot penetrate it.
Before we enter into the sutras, that basic thing has to be understood: Man wants happiness, that’s why he is miserable. The more you want to be happy, the more miserable you will be. Now this is very absurd, but this is the root cause. And when you understand the process of how the human mind functions you will be able to realize it.