You ask me: What happened when you became enlightened?
I laughed, a real uproarious laugh, seeing the whole absurdity of trying to be enlightened. The whole thing is ridiculous because we are born enlightened, and to try for something that is already the case is the most absurd thing. If you already have it, you cannot achieve it; only those things can be achieved which you don’t have, which are not intrinsic parts of your being. But enlightenment is your very nature.
I had struggled for it for many lives—it had been the only target for many many lives. And I had done everything that is possible to do to attain it, but I had always failed. It was bound to be so—because it cannot be an attainment. It is your nature, so how can it be your attainment? It cannot be made an ambition.
Mind is ambitious—ambitious for money, for power, for prestige. And then one day, when it gets fed up with all these extrovert activities, it becomes ambitious for enlightenment, for liberation, for nirvana, for God. But the same ambition has come back; only the object he changed. First the object was outside, now the object is inside. But your attitude, your approach has not changed; you are the same person in the same rut, in the same routine.
“The day I became enlightened” simply means the day I realized that there is nothing to achieve, there is nowhere to go, there is nothing to be done. We are already divine and we are already perfect—as we are. No improvement is needed, no improvement at all. God never creates anybody imperfect. Even if you come across an imperfect man, you will see that his imperfection is perfect. God never creates any imperfect thing.
I have heard about a Zen Master Bokuju who was telling this truth to his disciples, that all is perfect. A man stood up—very old, a hunchback—and he said, “What about me? I am a hunchback. What do you say about me?” Bokuju said, “I have never seen such a perfect hunchback in my life.”
When I say “the day I achieved enlightenment,” I am using wrong language—because there is no other language, because our language is created by us. It consists of the words “achievement,” “attainment,” “goals,” “improvement” “progress,” “evolution.” Our languages are not created by the enlightened people; and in fact they cannot create it even if they want to because enlightenment happens in silence. How can you bring that silence into words? And whatsoever you do, the words are going to destroy something of that silence.
Lao Tzu says: The moment truth is asserted it becomes false. There is no way to communicate truth. But language has to be used; there is no other way. So we always have to use the language with the condition that it cannot be adequate to the experience. Hence I say “the day I achieved my enlightenment.” It is neither an achievement nor mine.
Yes, it happens like that! Out of nowhere suddenly the darkness, suddenly the light, and you cannot do anything. You can just watch.
I laughed that day because of all my stupid ridiculous efforts to attain it. I laughed on that day at myself, and I laughed on that day at the whole of humanity, because everybody is trying to achieve, everybody is trying to reach, everybody is trying to improve.
To me it happened in a state of total relaxation—it always happens in that state. I had tried everything. And then, seeing the futility of all effort, I dropped…I dropped the whole project, I forgot all about it. For seven days I lived as ordinarily as possible.