Gautama the Buddha was not a poet if you understand him directly,
but if you understand him via me, he IS a poet. When I am speaking
on Buddha it is very natural that my color is reflected in him.
I love poetry and I go on finding poetry even where it is not.
Buddha is like a desertland - but I love oases and I go on discovering them. If you had seen Buddha you would have seen immediately that he couldn′t have anything to do with poetry. Poetry was fiction for him, as much fiction as it was for Plato. In his Republic, Plato says, poets will not be allowed, for the simple reason that they are liars, they live in lies. What is poetry? Beautiful lying! Buddha was also of the same mind; he would have agreed with Plato. He was very insistent on truth.
My approach is different. I don′t see religion as a dry, dead thing. To me religion is a song, a dance. If I am going to create a republic, a utopia, then poets will be the only citizens there; they will be the only ones allowed - because beauty is far more valuable than truth itself. And the poet discovers beauty - not only discovers, he creates. The poet is creative.
It is because of me that in Buddha you will find poetry. Excuse me, I cannot do otherwise. That′s why Buddhists are not happy with me; particularly Buddhist scholars are not happy at all. They say I go on finding in Buddha things which are not there. I am not much concerned whether they are there or not. I use Buddha only as an excuse, just as I use Jesus and I use Mahavira and I use Patanjali. I am not a commentator - I have my own vision. I use them as pegs to hang myself on.
When you are hearing Buddha through me, it is a totally different phenomenon. You are looking through MY eyes; hence Buddha will look like a poet - but he was not. He was a very logical man; hence I say he was one-dimensional. He was utterly logical, as logical as Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Wittgenstein says you should not speak about something which cannot be spoken of. That′s exactly Buddha′s standpoint; Buddha would have immediately agreed with Wittgenstein. That′s exactly what he said twenty-five centuries before Wittgenstein. He never spoke about God because nothing can be spoken about God; hence don′t say anything. Even to say that nothing can be spoken about God is to say something about God; better not to say even that.
The Upanishads say: Nothing can be said about God; he is indefinable. Buddha will not say even that because that is self-contradictory. To say that nothing can be said about God is self-contradictory because you have said something already. Even to say that nothing can be said is saying something. Buddha was utterly logical, absolutely logical. He kept absolutely silent.
Whenever he would enter a town, a city, a village, his disciples would go ahead of him to declare, "Don′t ask these eleven questions to the Buddha, because he is not going to answer, so don′t waste your time and his time." Those eleven questions consisted of everything that philosophy, theology, metaphysics is made of. If you don′t ask those eleven questions, nothing is left to ask - nothing metaphysical. Then you can ask only actual problems. You can ask about your anger, your greed, your sex. You can ask about your misery, suffering, how to get rid of it, but you cannot ask whether God is. You cannot ask what will happen after death. You cannot ask what is truth, what is beauty, what is good; he forbade it. He was a very logical man and one-dimensional.
Life is three-dimensional. And up to now there have been people, great people, but they were all one-dimensional. For example, Buddha is logical, so is Socrates. There have been great poets - Kalidas, Rabindranath, Shelley, Shakespeare. They are one-dimensional: beauty is their god. And there have been moral people, absolutely moral people, virtuous people whose whole life was devoted to being just as virtuous as possible: Mahavira, Lao Tzu. But all are one-dimensional.
Humanity has come now to a crossroads. We have lived the one-dimensional man, we have exhausted it. We need now a more enriched human being, three-dimensional. I call them three C′s, just like three R′s.
The first C is consciousness, the second C is compassion, the third C is creativity.
Consciousness is being, compassion is feeling, creativity is action. My sannyasin has to be all the three simultaneously. I am giving you the greatest challenge ever given, the hardest task to be fulfilled. You have to be as meditative as a Buddha, as loving as a Krishna, as creative as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci. You have to be all together simultaneously. Only then your totality will be fulfilled; otherwise something will remain missing in you. And that which is missing in you will keep you lopsided, unfulfilled. You can attain to a very high peak if you are one-dimensional, but you will be only a peak. I would like you to become the whole range of the Himalayas, not just a peak but peaks upon peaks!
The one-dimensional man has failed. It has not been able to create a beautiful earth, it has not been able to create paradise on the earth. It has failed, utterly failed! It created a few beautiful people, but it could not transform the whole humanity, it could not raise the consciousness of the whole humanity. Only a few individuals here and there became enlightened. That is not going to help anymore. We need more enlightened people, and enlightened in a three-dimensional way.
That is my definition of the new man.
You ask me, Was Buddha not a poet?
He was not! But the people who will become awakened here with me are going to be poets. When I say "poets" I don′t mean that you have to write poetry - you have to be poetic. Your life has to be poetic, your approach has to be poetic. Logic is dry, poetry is alive. Logic cannot dance; it is impossible for logic to dance. To see logic dancing will be like Mahatma Gandhi dancing! It will look very ridiculous. Poetry can dance; poetry is a dance of your heart. Logic cannot love; it can talk about love, but it cannot love. Love seems to be illogical. Only poetry can love; only poetry can take the jump into the paradox of love. Logic is cold, very cold; it is good as far as mathematics is concerned, but it is not good as far as humanity is concerned. If humanity becomes too logical then humanity disappears; then there are only numbers, not human beings - replaceable numbers.
Poetry, love, feeling give you a depth, a warmth. You become more melted, you lose your ice-coldness. You become more human.
Buddha is superhuman, about that there is no doubt, but he loses the human dimension. He is unearthly. He has a beauty of being unearthly, but he does not have the beauty that Zorba the Greek has. Zorba is so earthly.
I would like you to be both together: Zorba the Buddha! One has to be meditative, but not against feeling. One has to be meditative but full of feeling, overflowing with love. And one has to be creative. If your love is only a feeling and it is not translated into action, it won′t affect the larger humanity. You have to make it a reality, you have to materialize it.
These are your three dimensions: being, feeling, action. Action contains all creativity, all kinds of creativity: music, poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture, science, technology. Feeling contains all that is aesthetic: love, beauty. And being contains meditation, awareness, consciousness.
You ask me, It seems awareness is your basic teaching, as well as that of Buddha....
I have no basic teaching, I cannot have a basic teaching. I am not a teacher at all. I don′t teach you, I am simply a presence. You can learn, but I don′t teach. You can imbibe my spirit, and my spirit and its implication will depend on you.
There are people to whom awareness will help as a basic teaching; they will learn awareness from me. And there are people to whom love will help; then they will learn love as a basic teaching from me. It will depend on you. I am multidimensional, hence I can absorb all kinds of people.
Buddha would not have accepted you all, remember, neither would Jesus or Mahavira; they would have chosen. A few people would have been chosen by Buddha and a few would have been chosen by Jesus and a few would have been chosen by somebody else. But I don′t choose at all, I am absolutely choiceless. Whosoever comes to me is accepted, absolutely accepted, totally accepted, because I don′t have a basic pattern. I have only hints - and hints for all, for all kinds of people.
It is not a teaching; teaching becomes rigid, becomes defined. It is only a presence. I am only a window; through me you can look into God. And once you have looked into God, then you can look into God on your own - I am not needed anymore.