In the presence of Truth
What is the meaning of Life?
If we take the word “meaning” to be “goal”, the meaning of life certainly cannot be death. If death is the goal of life, then we need not be born at all. So living is the meaning. Living implies a life of meaning, a life of truth, a life wherein realities are confronted.
WHAT IS SATSANG?
Satsang is to sit, become quiet, talk spontaneously as the moment demands, chant, meditate and discuss. It expresses itself within these themes because of clarity and openness or, in other words the non-presence of the ego. It is in that what is real, direct, honest and pertinent reveals; it is engagement with ‘what is’.
Satsang is being with the master who has no thoughts. It cannot be forced, it cannot be manipulated, just be with him.
Let us see the story in Buddha’s life,
Buddha and the Philosopher.
A great philosopher had come to Gautam Buddha to discuss truth. The philosopher, Maulunkputta, had defeated many, many philosophers throughout the country. His great desire was to defeat Gautam Buddha, because that was the greatest name in those days. He had come with five hundred disciples and those five hundred disciples were five hundred philosophers that he had defeated.
He challenged Gautam Buddha:”I want to discuss truth.”
Gautam Buddha said to him, ”You are welcome, just a few preliminary things have to be settled.
One is, do you know the truth; otherwise, how are you going to discuss it?”
Such was the sincerity of people that Maulunkputta said, ”I do not know truth; I am a seeker.”
Buddha said, ”I also used to be a seeker. Now I am no more – only truth is. Do you want to discuss truth, still – with truth itself? And how will you discuss? I am feeling compassionate towards you. My suggestion is: sit by my side for two years in silence – just drinking my presence, feeling my presence, absorbing my presence. For two years you are not even to speak a single word, and after two years you can start your discussion.”
It was a strange condition: two years he has to sit in silence. But he was an authentic seeker, not just a thinker, but one who wanted to realize truth – not as a logical conclusion but as an existential realization.
He agreed. And that very moment, a disciple of Gautam Buddha, Mahakashyapa, sitting under a tree, started laughing, almost madly. Maulunkputta could not understand.
He said to Gautam Buddha, ”What has happened to this man? Suddenly, without any reason he started laughing.”
Buddha said, ”You can ask him yourself.”
Mahakashyapa said to Maulunkputta, ”If you really want to ask the question, ask now. After two years, you will have found the answer. Who will ask the question? You will have disappeared. This man is dangerous. I had also come to discuss with him and he played the same trick with me. Sitting two years silently by his side, I disappeared. Now, I am the truth, but discussion is impossible. I laughed because I thought: again, he is at his old tricks; that poor fellow will sit two years, thinking that after two years there is going to be a great discussion. I still tell you: that if you are interested in discussing, this is the moment.”
But Malunkputta agreed with Buddha and he said, ”Whatever Gautam Buddha is saying is relevant. I don’t know anything about truth; how can I discuss it? Let me sit for two years. I have wasted fifty years roaming around the country, discussing with thousands of people, arguing and arguing; and what is in my hands? – they are empty. I have wasted fifty years; I can risk two years more. And the very presence of Gautam Buddha, his silence, his serenity, his fragrance... a subtle aura around him which is almost tangible, makes me sure that he cannot deceive me, that he cannot deceive anyone.”
Two years he waited in silence; but in two years, he disappeared. His mind became so silent that he forgot even to count months, days, weeks. When two years had passed, he was not aware that two years had passed.
It was Gautam Buddha who said, ”Maulunkputta, have you forgotten our agreement? Two years have passed. This very day, two years ago, you came to me. According to the agreement, I am now ready to discuss; you can ask the question.”
Instead of asking the question, there were tears of joy in his eyes and he put his head on Gautam Buddha’s feet and he said, ”Please, forgive me. Mahakashyapa was right. I have fallen in such a rapport with you, that now there is no need for me to ask anything, or for you to answer anything.
I know you exactly in your innermost being. I have seen your light and I have seen your love and I have experienced your truth. The most amazing thing is that when I experienced them, suddenly inside me, the same experiences started flowering. ”Your truth was only a triggering point; it triggered something in me and I became aware of my own truth – and they are the same. Please forgive me. I was ignorant, egoistic, even to have the idea of discussing truth with you – truth cannot be discussed, but in silence it can be experienced.”
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