Never again will there be another man like Gautam Buddha. There may be many buddhas, but each buddha will have his own statement, his own individuality, his own manifestation. He will not be a true copy of Gautam Buddha. All true copies are, after all, carbon copies. They don’t have the beauty of the original. And people go on following precepts given in the scriptures. Those precepts are dead. Just as you will find in the scriptures beautiful roses, dried out – dead. People keep them in the holy Bible, in the holy Koran, in the holy Gita, but they are not alive anymore.
I had a beautiful garden – I have always had a beautiful garden wherever I have been – and there were two temples nearby, and the worshipers in those temples would simply come into my garden and start picking flowers to worship a god. In India it is absolutely impossible to prevent somebody when he is picking flowers to worship gods. I had to put a notice in front of my garden that except for religious people, everybody was allowed to pick the flowers. Those worshipers were very shocked. As a group they brought what was almost a deputation, saying, “What kind of man are you? Religious people are not prevented from picking flowers anywhere else, because those flowers are going to be offered to a god.”
I said to them, “Those flowers in this garden are already offered to God, and I will not allow flowers of God, which are alive and dancing in the wind and in the sun, to be destroyed by you idiots. These flowers are living gods and you are going to destroy their life for your dead gods.” That’s why I have made it clear on the notice: except for religious people, anybody can pick the flowers. If somebody wants to give a flower to his girlfriend or to her boyfriend, they are perfectly welcome. These flowers are divine, and perhaps they may also transform their love into a divine affair. But one thing is certain; at least they are going to offer the flowers to someone who is alive. You are going to offer them to dead statues, stones. This cannot be tolerated.
The so-called saints pick up precepts, disciplines, from the scriptures. They are like dead flowers, thousands of years old, dried up. They don’t have any fragrance anymore.
It is something very significant to remember, that every discipline is a device given by a living master. Every precept is a certain strategy given by a living master; without the master all those devices, precepts, commandments become dead. Then you can go on following them with absolute sincerity, but they will bring only torture and suffering to you and nothing else. Following the dead, you are going to become slowly, slowly dead. Your so-called saints are almost dead, dried up. They have lost touch with life. They have created a thousand and one barriers between themselves and existence and those barriers they call discipline, austerity, religious practice.
I can consider that these sutras are beyond the ken of these people – the so-called saints and the ordinary mortals who are not aware of their immortality. But they are not beyond the ken of arhats. Arhats are absolutely on the same heights as any bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas have nothing more than the arhats have. They have followed different paths, from different directions, but they have reached to the same peak. The peak is always only one; the paths leading you to it can be thousands.