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Buddhahood and Consciousness

Gautama Buddha is the scientist of both the inner world and of religion; a rare combination. To be religious is simple, to be a scientist is simple — but to synthesise these two polarities is incredible.

There are three approaches towards truth: of power, of beauty, and of grandeur. The scientific approach is the search for power. Science has made man very powerful, so much so that man can destroy planet earth. For the first time in the history of consciousness man is capable of committing global suicide, collective suicide. Science is continuously searching for more and more power. This, too, is an approach towards truth, but a partial approach.

Then there are poets, mystics, people with aesthetic sense. They look at truth as beauty as did Jalaludin Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore and others. They create much art, new sources of beauty in the world. The painter, poet, dancer, musician, they also approach truth from a totally different dimension than power. The scientist works with analysis, reason, observation. The poet functions through the heart. He has nothing to do with mind and reason.

The greater part of religious people belong to the second dimension. The Sufis, the Bauls — they all have an aesthetic approach. Hence so many beautiful mosques, churches, cathedrals, temples, Ajanta and Ellora were created by religious people. Whenever religious activity predominates, art is created, music is created, great painting is created; the world becomes a little more beautiful. Maybe it doesn’t become more powerful, but it becomes more beautiful, more lovely, worth living.

The third approach is that of grandeur. The Old Testament prophets — Moses, Abraham; Islam’s prophet Mohammed; Krishna and Ram — their approach is through the dimension of grandeur... the awe that one feels looking at the vastness of the universe. The Upanishads, Vedas, they all approach the world of truth through grandeur. They are full of wonder. It is unbelievably there, such grandeur, that you simply bow down before it — nothing else is possible.

These are the three dimensions ordinarily available to approach truth. The first dimension creates the scientist; the second, the artist; the third, the prophets. The rarity of a Buddha consists of this — that his approach is a synthesis of all the three, and beyond the three. He is a rationalist. Any scientist will be immediately convinced of his truth. His approach is purely logical, he convinces the mind. You cannot find a loophole.

You need not be a religious person to be convinced by Buddha, that’s his rarity. You need not believe at all. You need not believe in God, you need not believe in the soul, anything — still you can be with Buddha, and by and by you will come to know about the soul and about God also.

No belief is required to travel with Buddha. You can come with all scepticism possible. First he convinces your mind, and once your mind is convinced and you start travelling with him, by and by you start feeling that he has a message which is beyond mind, a message which no reason can confine. But first he convinces your reason.

Because of this rational approach he never brings any concept which cannot be proved. He never talks about God. H G Wells has said about Buddha, “He is the most godly and the most godless man in the whole history of man”. Because he has never talked about God, many think that he is an atheist — he is not. He has not talked about God because there is no way to talk about God.