THE BUDDHA SAID:
YOU SHOULD THINK OF THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF WHICH THE BODY IS COMPOSED. EACH OF THEM HAS ITS OWN NAME AND THERE IS NO SUCH THING THERE KNOWN AS EGO. AS THERE REALLY IS NO EGO, IT IS LIKE UNTO A MIRAGE.
Buddha says ego is just a concept, an idea; it does not exist in reality. When a child is born he is born without any 'I'. By and by he learns it, by and by he learns that there are other people and he is separate from them. Have you watched small children when they start speaking? They don't say, 'I am thirsty.' They say, 'Bobby is thirsty.' They don't say, 'I am thirsty.' They don't have any 'I'.
By and by they learn the 'I', because they start feeling 'thou'. Thou comes first, then comes I, as a reaction to thou. They started feeling that there are other people who are separate from Bobby, and they are called 'thou', you. Then by and by he starts learning the 'I'.
But it is just a utility. Useful, perfectly useful -- use it. I'm not saying stop using 'I', because that will create troubles. But know well that there is no 'I' within you; it is just a linguistic convenience. Just as the name is a convenience so is the 'I'. When a child is born he has no name. Then we call him Ram or Krishna, and he becomes a Ram. Later on if you insult the name 'Ram' he will start fighting, and he had come in the world without a name. And he has no name, it is just a label -- utilitarian, needed, but nothing true in it. He can as well be called Krishna or Mohammed or Mansoor or anything. Any name will do because he is nameless.
That's why I change your names when I initiate you into sannyas -- just to give you a feeling that the name can be changed, it does not belong to you. It can easily be changed. It has a utility in the world, but it has no reality. The child learnt that his name is Ram. The name is for others to call him. He cannot call himself Ram because that too will be confusing. Others call him Ram, he has to call himself something else, otherwise it will be confusing.
Swami Ram Teerth used to call himself Ram, in the third person. It was very confusing. He was a beautiful man, and just not to use 'I' -- because the 'I' has created so much trouble -- just as a gesture, he used to call himself Ram. When he went to America he would say suddenly, 'Ram is thirsty,' and people would not understand. What does he mean? -- 'Ram is thirsty.' They would look around -- who is Ram? And he would say, 'This Ram is thirsty.' But this is confusing. You say, 'I am thirsty,' and things are settled. Because when you use the name it seems that somebody else is thirsty.
So there is a need for a name others can call you, and there is a need for something, a symbol, that you can call yourself. It is a need of the society, it has nothing to do with existence or reality.
YOU SHOULD THINK OF THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF WHICH THE BODY IS COMPOSED...
Buddha says the body is composed of fire, earth, water, air -- these four things are there, they are real things, and there is nothing else. Behind these four things there is just pure space inside you. That pure space is what you really are -- that zero space.
Buddha does not want to call it even a self, because the self carries again some distant reflection of the ego. So he calls it no-self, ANATTA. He does not call it ATMA, self, he calls it ANATMA, no-self. And he is right, he is absolutely right. One should not call it any name.
I have come across it. It has no name, and it has no form. It has no substance, and it has no center. It is just immense, pure, empty, full. It is pure bliss -- satchidananda. It is truth, it is consciousness, it is bliss, but it has no 'I'-sense in it. It is not confined by anything, it has no boundaries. It is pure space. To attain to that purity is what Buddha says is nirvana.
The word nirvana is beautiful. It means 'blowing out a flame'. There is a lamp, you go and blow the flame of the lamp. Then Buddha says, 'Do you ask where the flame has gone now? Can anybody answer where the flame has gone now?' Buddha says it has simply disappeared into infinity. It has not gone anywhere, it has gone everywhere. It has not gone to any particular address, it has become universal.
Blowing out a flame is the meaning of the word nirvana. And Buddha says when you blow out your ego, the flame of the ego, only pure space is left. Then you are nobody in particular, you are everybody. Then you are universal. Then you are this vast benediction, this bliss, this beautitude. Then you are IT.
I would like everyone to live in more comfort, in more luxury, in better health, better nourished, better fed, better educated. But that's not all -- that is only the circumference of life, not the center. Religion provides the center. It gives you a soul. Without it science is a corpse -- a beautiful corpse maybe. You can paint the corpse, you can wash the corpse and put beautiful garments on it, but a corpse is a corpse! And, remember, the same is the case with religion. Religion alone is not enough at all. Religion alone makes you a ghost, maybe a holy ghost, but it makes you a ghost. You can see this happening in India. The whole country has become a holy ghost -- the body has disappeared, the physical health has disappeared, the material wealth has disappeared. And when there is no body to support a soul, you are simply talking nonsense. You can go on talking about the Brahman -- the ultimate reality -- but on a hungry stomach it does not work. It may be just an escape from reality. If religion itself is not realistic it becomes an escape from reality. If religion is not materialistic enough it becomes an escape, it becomes a dreamworld, a Disneyland. That's what has happened in the East: we talked too much of the spirit and forgot all about the reality that surrounds us. We became introverts, too much concerned about ourselves. We forgot all about the beauties of the trees and the mountains and the sun and the moon and the stars. Humanity in the East became ugly. It has a center but no circumference. Everything has shrunk to the center.
The West has a circumference but no center. People have everything, but something essential is missing. Science and religion are becoming one. They are already becoming one. I am not saying they will become one, they are already becoming one. All the greatest scientists -- Eddington, Planck, Einstein -- people of the highest caliber in the world of science, became aware that science alone is not enough. There is something far more mysterious which cannot be grasped only through scientific methodology and means, which needs a different approach, which needs more meditative awareness. Eddington says in his autobiography, "When I started my career as a scientist I used to think that the world consisted of things, but as I am growing old I am becoming more and more aware that the world does not consist of things but of thoughts." Reality is far closer to thoughts than to things. Reality is far more mysterious than you can weigh, measure, than you can experiment with. Reality is not only the objective but also the subjective. Reality is not only content but also consciousness. And the greatest religious people, like J. Krishnamurti, are aware that religion cannot exist as it has existed up to now anymore. Something of a radical change is needed. My own approach is that we have to create Zorba the Buddha. Today, just by coincidence, is Buddha's birthday, also his enlightenment day, and also the day of his death. He was born on this day, he became enlightened on this day, he died on this day. Today's full moon belongs to him. It is a strange coincidence that this long series of Buddha lectures -- one hundred and twenty-six lectures in all... when I started I had no idea that it would end today. Just the other night Laxmi told me, "Tomorrow is Buddha Purnima" -- Buddha's full moon. Let this day also be the birth of a new buddha.
The new buddha will be a synthesis of Zorba the Greek and Gautama the Buddha. He cannot be just Zorba, and he cannot be just Buddha. And that's my whole effort here, Raju, to create a bridge between Zorba and Buddha -- to create a bridge, a golden bridge, or a rainbow bridge, between the earth, this shore, and the farther shore, the beyond. It is happening here! You can't see it happening anywhere else.... We have all kinds of scientists here. Now, Raju himself has become a sannyasin. He has great scientific intelligence. He is young, but of tremendous intelligence. He is one of those scientists who put the first man on the moon -- he belongs to that project. There are so many other scientists here. There are poets and musicians, painters -- all kinds of people, and they have all joined together in one great effort: meditation. There is only one meeting-point here and that is meditation. Only on one point do they meet; otherwise they all have their own individualities. Out of this meeting a tremendous explosion is possible. It is already happening. Those who have eyes can see it happening.