“And then, the last question:
- “Sri Aurobindo has said that the Buddha was an avatar....”
We have said this several times already.
And then, here it becomes very mysterious:
- “Apart from the teaching of the Buddha, what remains of his personality in the world?”
(To the disciple who had asked the question) Why do you make this distinction?
- When he entered into Nirvana, it was said that his teaching would now remain in the relics.
In the relics! Well, then that means the two things go together. I don’t see why you separate them. There is something of his influence in his teaching, naturally! It is the teaching that transmits his influence in the mental field.
His direct action, apart from his teaching, is limited to a very few people who are very fervent believers and have the power of evocation. Otherwise, the most important part of his action, almost the whole of his action, is associated, united, fused with his teaching. It seems difficult to make a distinction.
(After a silence) The forms of Divine Power which have incarnated in different beings, have incarnated with a specific aim, for a specific action, at a specific moment of universal development, but essentially they are only differentiated aspects of the One Being; therefore, it is in the particular purpose of the action that the difference lies. Otherwise it is always the same Truth, the same Power, the same eternal Life which manifests in these forms and creates these forms at a given moment for a specific reason and a specific aim; this is preserved in history, but eternally they are new forms which are used for new progress. Old forms can endure as a vibration lasts, but their purpose historically, it could be said, was momentary, and one form is replaced by another in order that a new step forward may be taken. The mistake humanity makes is that it always hangs on to what is behind it and wants to perpetuate the past indefinitely. These things must be used at the time when they are useful. For there is a history of each individual development; you may pass through stages in which these disciplines have their momentary utility, but when you have gone beyond that moment you ought to enter into something else and see that historically it was useful but now is so no longer. Certainly, to those who have reached, for instance, a certain state of development and mental control, I won’t say, “Read the Dhammapada and meditate on it”; it would be a waste of time. I give it to those who have not gone beyond the stage where it is necessary. But always man takes upon his shoulders an interminable burden. He does not want to drop anything of the past and he stoops more and more under the weight of a useless accumulation.
You have a guide for a part of the way but when you have travelled this part leave the road and the guide and go farther! This is something men find difficult to do.”