On the occasion of Buddha Pournami, Sadhguru tells us what it means and what it takes to be a Buddha.
Sadhguru: A person who grows on the spiritual path cannot ignore Gautama because his presence has become so dominant. In his own lifetime, he had forty thousand monks who went out to spread the spiritual process. In his own silent way, he changed the world forever. He has been one of the greatest spiritual waves on the planet. Buddha Pournami has always been significant in the yogic culture and was always a very auspicious day in any spiritual aspirant’s life, but today, in commemoration of Gautama Buddha we named it after him. On that full moon evening over 2500 years ago, a man blossomed into a being.
Though people generally associate the word Buddha with Gautama, he is not the only Buddha. There have been thousands of Buddhas on this planet and there still are. “Bu” means Buddhi or the intellect. One who is above his intellect, one who is no longer a part of his mind, is a Buddha.
Right now, most people are just a bundle of thoughts, emotions, opinions, and of course, prejudices. Please see, what you consider as “myself” is just a jumble of things that you have gathered from outside. Whichever kind of situations you were exposed to, that is the kind of nonsense you have gathered in your mind. Your mind is society’s garbage bin because you have no choice about what to take and what not to take. Whoever goes that way throws something into your head. You can enshrine this nonsense as divinity if you want but it will not become divinity; it is just simple mind. There is another way to experience life and go beyond the process that you call as mind. To do this, you need to shut the garbage bin and keep it aside.
The mind is a phenomenal thing, but if you get stuck to it, it will take you for a ride endlessly. If you are in the mind, you are a nonstop suffering human being – you cannot help it. Suffering is inevitable. Maybe when you are watching the sunset, it is so beautiful that you forget everything, but your suffering is sitting right behind you like a tail. The moment you look back, it is right there. What you call as “my happiness,” are those moments when you forgot your suffering. As long as you are in the mind, fears, anxieties and struggles are inevitable; that is the nature of the mind.
It is because people are unable to bear the torture of the mind that they have devised many ways in society to go below the mind. Excessive eating, alcohol, excessive indulgence in physical pleasures, these are all ways to go below the mind. People use them and for a few moments they forget the torture. You hit the bottle and sleep. For a few hours your mind does not bother you anymore because you have gone below the mind. There is great pleasure and it is so relaxing because suddenly the tortures of your mind are not there. So you get deeply addicted to it.
But the nature of the evolutionary process is such that this being which was below the mind has right now evolved into the mind. If it wants to become free, it has to go beyond the mind. There is no such thing as going back. If by using a chemical you go below the mind, you will see, life always catches up with you with more intensity after that is over. It is always so. Suffering intensifies. The process of yoga is to see how to go beyond the mind. Only when you are beyond the mind can you really be yourself.
Editor’s Note: Find more of Sadhguru’s insights on the potential of the human mind, in “Mind is Your Business”.