I have heard a very beautiful legend. The legend is, there was a great Master in India, the twenty-seventh successor of Gautam the Buddha; his name was Hanyatara. A king in south India requested him to come to his court. The king himself came, bowed down to Hanyatara, touched his feet, and said, “Please, come to my court, to bless us. And this has been my desire, to listen to some sutras of Gautam the Buddha by a man who is a Buddha himself, so I have been avoiding scholars, pundits, professors. I have been avoiding, I have been waiting, because those sutras that Buddha uttered are so pregnant that only a man who has attained to that consciousness will be able to give expression to them.”
Hanyatara came to the court with an attendant. The king was thrilled; it was his dream for his whole life one day to have a Buddha in his court, in his palace. The whole palace was decorated, the whole town was decorated; the whole capital was celebrating. It was a great day of celebration. But the king was puzzled, a little bewildered: Hanyatara sat silently, not saying a single word, and the attendant recited the sutra. Now, this was not the purpose at all. The king could have found better people to recite the sutra than the attendant. He was just an attendant who looked after Hanyatara, just used to do small errands, a very ordinary man, not even a great scholar. His grammar was faulty; his pronunciation was not exactly as it should be. He was an ordinary man.
Just out of respect, the king kept silent. When the sutra was finished, he touched the feet of Hanyatara and said, “Sir, enlighten me about this; otherwise I will remain puzzled. Why did not YOU recite the sutra?”
And Hanyatara said, “What, I did not recite the sutra? Then what else was I doing the whole time here? You fool!”
The king was even more puzzled, because he had kept quiet; he had not said a single word. The king said, “Please, explain it to me. I don’t understand. I am an ordinary, ignorant person. I may not know the ways of the Buddhas.”
And Hanyatara said, “I sat silently, breathing in, breathing out. That was my sutra. What else is there in life? Breathe in, breathe out. Be alert, aware. When I breathed in, I was aware; when I breathed out, I was aware. It was all awareness! What else is a sutra? Awareness. If you had listened to the rhythm of my breathing you would have understood. I have recited it! Words are one way to recite it. Breathing silently, but with full awareness, is another way to recite it — and far better a way. I have been very expressive today, as I have never been before. Thinking that you have been waiting for so long, I thought, ‘Why not give the real thing?’ ”
The king was thrilled, seeing the compassion. Now he felt there was a certain rhythm in his silence. Now he became aware, retrospectively of course, that this man was not silent in the ordinary way. He had seen silent people; sometimes he himself had sat in silence. This was a different silence. There was a song, certainly there was a song. There was a fragrance around this man. There was a vibe of a different quality; he was vibrating. Strange it was, but now he remembered, yes, it was there. And the way he was breathing was no ordinary way. Not that he was doing anything special in the breathing: his breathing was pure, natural, like a small baby.
When you breathe, your breathing is never natural. If you are a little angry, your anger changes your breathing. If you are full of passion, lust, your lust changes your breathing. If you are greedy, your greed is reflected in your breathing. Continuously your mind mood infiltrates breathing and changes it. You can watch it. When you are angry, try not to disturb the breathing, and you will be completely unable to be angry. Just try not to change the breathing. Let the breathing remain as it was before you became angry, and then try to be angry. It will be impossible. The breathing has to change first. Through the breathing the body changes; the mind first affects the breathing. When you are in a moment of lust, watch, keep the breathing natural, and you will suddenly find the lust has disappeared, the moment came and passed.
By and by you will be able to see each mood is reflected in your breathing, so your breathing is never natural, because there is some mood or other. The natural breathing means there is no mood: that means there is no mind — neither anger nor greed nor lust nor jealousy nor love nor hate. No — mood means no-mind. In that state of no-mind the breathing is natural. Then there is a song to it, then there is a totally different quality to it. Then it is pure life. Then the flame is without smoke.
Yes, the king remembered, there was something strange, something was happening. He had missed it. He started crying. He said, “I have missed it. Why didn’t you tell me before? Now I know there was something, and I had even felt it, but my consciousness is not so developed, so I could not understand what was happening.
“And I was too concerned about that foolish sutra. I was continuously thinking about why you were not reciting the sutra and why this attendant was reciting the sutra. I was so much concerned about the sutra that I missed.
“But I am grateful that you showed such compassion, that you showed your being so naked, so true, so authentic.”
Story 2 : No ordinary diamond
He presented a great diamond, the most valuable he had, to Hanyatara, and then he said to Hanyatara, “I have three sons. Sir, be kind enough. I will call them. Bless them.”
Thinking that young people are young people, and the youngest was only seven, they may disturb the sutra reciting; he had not called them to participate before.
The three young princes came in.
Rather than blessing them, Hanyatara showed the diamond that the king had presented to him to the first prince, the eldest. He must have been somewhere near fifteen. The prince looked at the diamond and said, “A great diamond, of the finest water, purest water. Where could you get it? It is rare. It is no ordinary diamond.”
Yes, his understanding about the diamond was perfectly true. It was a rare diamond, of the most perfect water. Even Hanyatara had never seen such a thing.
Then he called the second prince, who must have been near about ten, and the second prince looked at the diamond, and he said, “Not only the finest, not only the best, it is certain that it belongs to my father because in this kingdom nobody can have such a diamond. It is rare. Sir, it does not belong to you, it cannot. To protect this diamond you will need a great army, otherwise you cannot have it. Just this attendant won’t do.”
Yes, his understanding was also very correct.
And then the third son was called. He was only seven. He looked at the diamond, looked at Hanyatara, and laughed and said, “What? Do you want to befool me?” He was only seven, and he said, “Do you want to befool me? You cannot! Because the real diamonds are never of the outside. And what are you trying to show me? You have the real diamond within YOU. I can see it! This is just a stone that you have in your hand. Throw it, sir!”
And it is said that Hanyatara hugged this small boy.
This boy’s name was Bodhitara, and Hanyatara changed his name to Bodhidharma. He became the twenty-eighth successor of Buddha; he was the first patriarch of Zen in China, this small boy Bodhitara, whose name Hanyatara changed to Bodhidharma.
Hanyatara said, “This boy has looked into the deepest reality anybody can look into. DHARMA means’the ultimate reality’. He has penetrated to the ultimate reality.” He said to the king, “Even you could not see who I am. That’s why you missed my sermon, my silent sermon. That’s why you missed my silent song. I was singing here but you missed. But this boy, yes, I cannot befool him. This boy is going to be my successor.”
And then he said to the king, “Sir, forgive me. I have not come for you and I have not come because you requested me to. I had to come because of this boy. I have been in search of this boy! This has been a promise from the past life, and this has been a decided gesture: in the past life I told this boy,’I will seek you and find you and I will show you a diamond, and that will be the moment of your examination. If you can see my inner diamond and you are not befooled, you will be my successor.’”
The legend is of tremendous value. First, the silent sermon. Yes, sometimes a mystic can be silent — but he is not silent! His silence is a very telling silence. He may not do anything, he may not even move his eyes, he may not move any of his limbs, but still his presence goes on doing a thousand and one things. Just to be in his presence, just to breathe with him in the same rhythm, and something is transferred: his song, his silence, his dance. You will never be the same again.
Osho – “The First Principle”