A BEAUTIFUL PARABLE:
Brahma came to Buddha…. Hindus have never forgiven Buddhists for inventing such beautiful tales, because Hindus think that Brahma is the Creator of the world. And Buddhists say Brahma came to Buddha to be instructed on the Path. Of course, as a test he brought a beautiful fairy.
It is significant because there are only two types of man: the man of sex and the man of truth. So if Buddha is really the man of truth then he cannot be deluded, then you cannot create any hallucination for him. The most beautiful fairy will not mean anything to him. And that is going to be the touchstone as to whether he has attained to truth. When a person is absolutely beyond sex, only then; otherwise his energy is still moving, still moving into the direction of lust, still going downwards.
The Lord of Heaven – Brahma – Offered a beautiful fairy to the Buddha, Desiring to tempt him to the evil path.
That temptation is a test, and temptation comes only at the very end. In all the world religions you must have come across stories like this. When Jesus is just close, arriving home, the Devil tempts him. When Buddha has reached just very close, Brahma comes and tempts him. Such stories are there in the life of Mahavir, in the life of everyone who has attained to truth. There must be a meaning to these parables.
I don’t mean to say that it happened exactly as it is told in the parable. These are symbolic parables; they are not historical facts – but they are very meaningful.
I was reading about Baal Shem, a Hassid mystic, the founder of Hassidism. A disciple came to him one day and said, “Master, how can I avoid temptation? How can I avoid the Devil tempting me?”
Baal Shem looked at him and said, “Wait! There is no need for you to avoid any temptation, because right now temptation cannot be given to you – you are not worthy of it.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
He said, “Temptation comes only at the last moment. Right now the Devil is not worried about you. In fact, the Devil is not chasing you at all – you are chasing the Devil – so you don’t be worried about temptation. It is not going to happen to you so soon. And when it happens, I will take care of it. I will tell you what to do.”
The temptation comes only at the last moment. Why? Because when the sexual energy is coming to a point, the hundred-degree point, then the WHOLE past, millions of lives lived in sexuality, pull you back. The Devil is not a person somewhere – it is just your past. Many lives of mechanical sex pull you back. You hesitate for a moment whether to take the jump or not.
Just as when a river comes to the ocean she must be hesitating for a moment before she loses herself into the ocean, she must be looking backwards with nostalgia: the beautiful mountains, the snow-peaked mountains, the forests, the valleys, the song of the birds, the banks, the people, the journey – the past, thousands of miles. And suddenly now here comes a moment: you jump and you are lost for ever. The river must be thinking: “To be, or not to be?” – a hesitation, a trembling, a shaking to the very foundations.
That’s what temptation is. When Buddha has come to the point where the energy is ready to take the ultimate jump and become non-sexual, when desire is ready to dissolve into desirelessness, when the mind is ready to die and the no-mind is ready to be born – it is such a great jump that it is natural one should hesitate. That is the meaning of the parable.