Yes, it is absolutely inevitable. It can′t be otherwise. A Buddha is bound to be misunderstood. If a Buddha is not misunderstood then he is
not a Buddha at all. Why is it so? - because the Buddha lives in a state which is beyond mind, and we live in minds. To translate something from
the beyond to the mind is the most impossible thing in the world. It can′t be done, although every Buddha has tried to do it. That too is
inevitable; no Buddha can avoid it.
The Buddha has to say the unsayable, he has to express the inexpressible, he has to define the indefinable. He has to do this absurd act, because the moment he reaches beyond the mind great compassion arises. He can see people stumbling in the dark, he can see people suffering unnecessarily - creating their own nightmares, creating their own hell and drowning in their own created hells. How can he avoid feeling compassion?
And the moment compassion arises he wants to communicate to them that this is your own doing, that you can get out of it; that there is a way out of it, that there is a state beyond it; that life is not what you think it is - your thinking about life is just like the thinking of a blind man about light. The blind man can go on thinking about light, but he will never be able to come to a true conclusion. His conclusions may be very logical, but still they will miss the experience. Light is an experience; you don′t need logic for it - what you need is eyes.
Buddha has eyes - and eyes are attained only when you have gone beyond the mind, when you have become a witness of the mind, when you have attained to a higher state than psychology; when you know that you are not your thoughts, not your body, when you know that you are only knowing - the energy that reflects, the energy that is capable of seeing: that you are pure seeing.
Once Buddha was asked, "Who are you?" He was such a beautiful man and the Buddhahood had conferred such grace on him, that many times he was
asked, Who are you?" He looked like an emperor or a god who had come from heaven, and he lived like a beggar! Again and again he was asked,
"Who are you?" And the man who was asking was a great scholar.
He said, "Are you from the world of gods? Are you a god?"
Buddha said, "No."
"Then are you a Gandharva?"
Gandharvas are the musicians of the gods. Buddha had such music around him - the music of silence, the sound of no sound, one hand clapping - that it was natural to ask him, "Are you a Gandharva, a celestial musician?"
Buddha said, "No."
And the man went on asking. There are many categories in Hindu mythology from Gods to man. Then finally he asked, "Are you a great king, a Chakravartin, one who rules over the whole world?"
And Buddha said, "No."
Annoyed, the scholar asked, "Are you a man, or not even that?"
Buddha said. ′Don′t be annoyed, but what can I do? I have to state the truth as it is. I am not a man either."
Now the scholar was very very angry, enraged. He said, "Then are you an animal?"
Buddha said, "No, not an animal, not a tree, not a rock."
"Then who are you?" the man asked.
Buddha said, "I am awareness, just pure awareness, just a mirror reflecting all that is."
When this moment arrives, great compassion happens. Buddha has said that those who know are bound to feel compassion for those who don′t know. They start trying to help. And the first thing that has to be done is to communicate to people who are blind that eyes are possible, that you are not really blind but only keeping your eyes closed. You can open your eyes. You are not born blind, you have only been taught to remain blind.
Your society teaches you to be blind because the society needs blind people. They are good slaves because they are always dependent on the
leaders, politicians, pundits, priests. They are very convenient people, they never create any trouble. They are never rebels. They are obedient,
always ready to submit to any kind of nonsense, to any stupid politician, to any stupid priest.
And in fact, who else wants to be a politician except stupid people, and who wants to be a priest except stupid people? These are the dimensions for the mediocre, for the inferior. Those who are suffering from an inferiority complex, they become politicians - just to prove that they are not inferior, to the world and to themselves.
The society, the establishment, wants you to be blind. From the very beginning it teaches every child: "You are blind"; it conditions every child: "You are blind." Your whole educational system is nothing but a conspiracy against every child - to keep you blind. It does not teach you meditation, because meditation is the art of opening your eyes.
When somebody arrives at awareness he naturally feels great compassion. All around he sees that people who have eyes - who have inbuilt capacities to see the truth, who are from their very birth capable of becoming Buddhas, enlightened ones, awakened ones - are suffering. And the whole suffering is ridiculous! It need not be so.
Compassion happens and compassion starts communicating. But communication is difficult, impossible.
Buddha speaks from the hilltop and you live in the dark valleys where light never reaches. He talks in words of light; by the time they reach you their meaning changes. By the time your mind catches hold of them it colors them in its own color.
It is not only so about Buddhas - even ordinary communication seems to be impossible. The husband cannot communicate with his wife, the parents cannot communicate with their children, the teachers cannot communicate with their students. What to say about Buddhas? People who exist on the same level, even they cannot communicate, because words are tricky things. You say one thing, but the moment it reaches the other person then it is in his power how to interpret it.
The Queen was traveling in England′s back country when she saw a man, his wife, and a flock of children.
Impressed, the Queen asked, "Are all of these your children?"
"Yes, Your Highness," answered the man.
"How many children do you have?" asked the English sovereign.
"Sixteen," was the reply.
"Sixteen children," repeated Her Highness. "We should give you a knighthood."
"He has one," piped up the lady, "but he won′t wear it.
Or, if you have missed, another story for you:
Thor, the Germanic god of thunder, was feeling restless so he decided to have a weekend fling. Taking a handful of jewels from the Valhalla petty
cash department he slipped down to earth, got himself an elegant disco suit and a few gold chains, and began hitting the Saturday night dance
After a big night on the town he finally took home the most beautiful woman he had seen and spent the rest of the night and morning satisfying his heroic libido. When he got out of bed and began dressing, he realized that the exhausted girl on the bed lacked his godly sexual stamina. By way of explanation, he leaned down over her and whispered, "Honey, I think you should know - I am Thor."
Wide-eyed, the girl exclaimed, ′Thor! You big thon-of-a-bitch, I can′t even stand up!"
Ordinary communication, very mundane communication, even in the marketplace, is difficult. And a Buddha wants to communicate to you something
which he has found in a state of no-mind, which he has found when all thoughts disappear, which he has found when even he himself is no more -
when the ego evaporates, when there is utter silence, absolute peace, the sky is without clouds.
Now how to bring this infinite experience into words? No word is adequate enough - hence the misunderstanding.
Yes, Madira, it is absolutely inevitable that a Buddha will always be misunderstood. Only those few people can understand a Buddha who are disciples and devotees.
By disciple is meant one who has put aside all his prejudices, one who has put aside all his thoughts, and is ready to listen - not to his own mind and his mind′s interpretations, but to the words of Buddha; who is not in a state of argument with the Buddha, who is not inside thinking about what Buddha is saying, who listens to a Buddha as you listen to classical music, who listens to a Buddha as you listen to the sound of running water, who listens to Buddha as you listen to the wind passing through the pine trees or the cuckoo calling from the distance. That is the state of a disciple, or if you rise a little higher and become a devotee...
A devotee is one who has not only dropped his mind but has brought his heart in, who listens from the heart - not from logic but from love. The disciple is on the way to being a devotee. The disciple is the beginning of being a devotee, and the devotee is the fulfillment of being a disciple.
Only these few people understand a Buddha. And in understanding a Buddha they are transformed, transported into another world - the world of liberation, nirvana, light, love, benediction.