Georgetown University, Washington D.C. U.S.A. Apr.14, 1993.
I'm so overwhelmed by your love and the welcome program. I was very tired after my journey and also many days of sleeplessness. But I feel very, very blessed and joyful to join your congregation tonight. I am sure we will know each other as we have known each other. And there is nothing new to all of us tonight, but let's just remind each other of what we might have forgotten or what we have placed in some very remote corner of our soul and didn't have the opportunity to reopen it. That is the enlightenment, enlightening nature of our great selves. I'm overwhelmed not only because of your love, but because of the realization that I am sitting before the Buddhas and God's manifestation, and that brought tears of joy into my heart.
It's not always that I am blessed with such realization while sitting with a multitude of people. It's just tonight it happened, and it is beautiful, especially when sometimes I was also kind of discouraged. In the last few days, I was thinking whether what I am doing is truly worthwhile. But tonight, because of your love and your very highly developed spiritual wisdom, I feel I will continue. I know I will continue. And if in the near future during my tour, if I have any success in bringing people happiness and God realization, I will remember Washington D.C.'s people. Thank you so much. I really need it tonight. It's very good.
You see, Enlightenment is already within us, therefore whatever our fellow initiate credited to me, I should not accept because it's all yours. Whatever greatness, whatever blessing you receive during the course of development in your spiritual training or rediscovery, it is all yours. But because humility is the nature of a highly developed spiritual brotherhood, they always credited all the miraculous power, all the blessings to the master, whoever that master may be that happened to be experienced in the path and show them to rediscover it themselves. If you were not already enlightened, if your nature were not Buddha, I would never be able to make you a Buddha. If God is not already within yourselves, I would never be able to show you God inside you. I cannot make a stone into a diamond however long I polish it, you understand!
So with all my humbleness, I just would like to tell you that you are very great. You are the Supreme Masters, and we are all one. There is nothing I should teach you except to point to you your precious jewel that you have placed in your pocket and you have forgotten. Because you are too busy looking elsewhere for it. Many a time you do that. You put things in your pocket, your eye glasses or money or whatever important things, and you forgot. It's so near to you. (Master laughs.) You keep looking and search the whole house, every corner; you never find it; and so you thought seeking for your own treasure is so difficult. Actually it is not true. Because we just don't know where to look for it, and that is all. And some friends stand around and just say, " Hey, it's in your pocket." That is the job of the Master, so-called Master. Therefore the Masters since ancient time, if they are called by the name, by the title "Master," by the disciples, actually they are just like one of us. They should be very humble and they have all the human qualities that we have and they do not know that they are the Masters. But because of the experiences of the disciples, people credited that is a Master. Just like we say, " By your fruit shall you be known." So anyhow, "Master" or "not Master," it is not important. The important thing is that experienced friend which we call Master can show us where our greatness is. Then we make use of it.
There is so much vast difference between an enlightened person and a non-enlightened person, even though both of them are exactly the same in quality, have exactly the same wisdom, and possess the same greatness. I just could not tell you how different. I just know it is different; and many of our disciples know that after initiation. Right? (Audience: "Yes.") Some of you would know. And then after that, you talk to other people who are not yet initiated, have not yet rediscovered their, the partial quality of their wisdom, they will see a vast difference between them. Even though in the outlook, there's no distinction. Enlightenment can be lightened onto someone who already step inside the house; doesn't matter how near he is to the door, and how far he has already advanced into the depth of the house in order to discover how much treasure there is inside. Once he steps inside the house, he is out of the cold, out of the danger of the wolves, the tigers and all other natural disasters should they come by.
There is a very big difference. Once we are in the house, we know what is inside. If we are near the door, we know at least the inner interior design. And if we step further into different rooms of our house, we will discover the treasures, and all the furniture, all the precious things that are within the house. And we may go back outside and tell the people what's inside, And the people outside of the house may listen to the story and may repeat it again to someone else that something's there, such and such are in the house. But there is a difference between repeating and seeing and enjoying; and also, deriving the benefit from the safety of being inside the house.
Some people ask me, "It's okay! I don't need Enlightenment, what for?" "Is that okay not to be enlightened?" I said," Yes, yes, okay." (Master laughs.) There is no choice anyhow. But when we are outside the house, sometimes it is safe, sometimes it is sunny, but sometimes it is raining, sometimes it is typhoon, a lot of things happen. And once we know we have a house, we can even step out sometimes. But whenever we want or it is necessary, we step inside. There are such things, wonderful things inside the chamber of our soul that no worldly treasures could equal, And nothing of this world can bring such happiness to us as when we discover our true greatness.
The more we discover how great we are, the more humble we become. (Master laughs.) And that is a very paradoxical thing, but it is like that. Because we will become like a child, we will become like a very innocent person. The great sage is like a very innocent person. And it seems like you can tell him anything you want about your talent, about your ambition, about your intelligence, about your degrees, and he will never object you. It's not that he will always try to force his wisdom upon you. It only comes naturally by circumstances or by request. And after speaking, most probably the so-called Master will forget everything that has been spoken completely; maybe just remember one or two sentences or maybe none because the wisdom comes from the universal storehouse is the common use of all beings. It doesn't belong to one person or a group of any persons. It belongs to the ignorant as well as the enlightened. It belongs to the child as well as to an aged senior citizen. Everyone has a share of this wisdom only if we truly want to know it.
By knowing this wisdom, we do not forsake the world. We will not lack of the enjoyment of the world. But actually we enjoy the world more when the opportunity is there, and even when the opportunity is not there, we will be happy all the same. And that's the difference. That is the only difference because if we do not know our enlightened nature, we always crave for some things that will bring us happiness, or we think that will bring us happiness. Therefore we become sometimes ambitious, seeking fame and name, seeking properties, seeking beauty, seeking ephemeral love, etc., thinking these will bring us happiness, until we realize that these only breed sorrow most of the time.
Only when we are truly enlightened, then we can enjoy anything. Whatever comes, we enjoy. The good things come, then we take it as a gift from God and we enjoy whole-heartedly without any guilt, without any reservation, without any obstacles whatsoever in our heart or in our thinking. Because the nature of the enlightened person is very free, very carefree, very easy, just like a child. If you give him something good, he accepts it. He will not think that you want to trick him, or whether he deserves it or not. He just accepts. And when the circumstance does not allow that we have comfort or richness in life then we are also happy carry on that way. We have no desire for material greatness, but that doesn't mean that we do not strive to work for the society, and that we do not try our best to fulfill our obligations as a citizen of the world. We do, we do all the same. We do more effectively and with all willingness to contribute our part to the whole world. The difference is that we do without desire for reward, without desire for praise. And should we fail, or should even people misunderstand us of our goodwill, we still can bear it. We will not have any suffering in our heart. Many of my disciples have told me, I mean our fellow practitioners, that after Enlightenment they are much different than before. They know, they know more than before. They understand many things that they never understood before. And they are so different from what they were before. Because I have forgotten what it's like to be before or to be after Enlightenment, so sometimes it's difficult for me to know what they were talking about. (Master laughs.) But then sometimes I happen to meet and talk, or stay and integrate with some of the non-initiate people, then I realize what they were talking about; then I know what's the difference between an enlightened person and a not enlightened person. That is no discrimination, no, no. It's just a statement of what it is of the reality. Therefore it's not a proud statement, it's just a realization of the difference between a person who steps inside the house and the person outside.
If I have not the opportunity to truly have a very deep understanding with the non-initiated people sometimes, I would have forgotten, because most often I see people as myself, I forgot whether I am enlightened or they are not enlightened. I have never remembered these things when I meet people. And that's why sometimes apart from feeling some kind of discouraged during my mission, I also felt in my heart that there is no need to teach anyone. There's no need to run around the world, no need to answer the invitation of my disciples world wide and tire myself out on the airplane, smoking air plane, and crowded airport and all that, and hectic schedule. Because I thought there's no need to do it, because I don't see any necessity. But then just when I think like that, sometimes the almighty power would remind me that it is necessary. Because there is a big difference between knowing you have a treasure and making use of it and just knowing you have a treasure but do not know where and how to use it. There is a big difference. Therefore, if I continue to travel around the world according to the sincere request of the disciples, it is because of these instances that I know some people do not know that they are great, and they long to know.
Not because we want to be proud of our greatness, but it is a duty to know our heritage. We cannot just be born into this world, live a few decades of hectic schooling, working, sweating, earning money, struggling with children and family problems, and then "kaput," finished, (laughter) and nothing more to that, nothing more to life, nothing more to the great meaning of human life. And worse still, at the time of leaving this world, we suffer. We suffer because of the attachment with our family members, we suffer because we do not know where we are going, we suffer because of the fear of the unknown. And the whole family members or the beloved ones just standing around helpless, seeing us suffering.
Therefore the great way of a gentleman is Enlightenment. We must know where we come from and where we are going, very clearly, very decisively, because we are great human beings. We live a life of a hero. We walk the life of God on earth. We should not live like slaves to our money, to our possessions, to our whatever desires that the world has labored, found a way to stick it onto our mind. We were not born with desires, we were not born with hatred, we were not born with race discrimination. We were born from innocence and beauty so we should remain like that. And we should even be wiser, apart from being innocent. That's the way of a gentleman, that's the way of the great beings.