Osho answers the question, “You have said that Buddha attained mahaparinirvana, but also that Buddha is to come once again in human form and will be known as Maitreya. How is it possible to take on a human form after reaching nirvana? Please explain this.”
This is somewhat difficult; therefore, I did not speak about it yesterday. It requires a detailed explanation; yet I will now give you a brief explanation.
It is not possible to return after reaching the seventh plane. There is no rebirth after the seventh body. It is a point of no return; you cannot come back from there. But it is also true that Buddha has said he will come again in the form of Maitreya. Now both these things seem contradictory: I say you cannot return after the seventh body and Buddha has promised to come again. Buddha attained the seventh body and merged into the nirvana – then how is this possible? There is another way. Now you will have to know and understand a few things.
When we die only the physical body drops; the rest of the six bodies remain with us. When a person reaches the fifth plane, the first four bodies drop away and only three remain – the fifth, the sixth and the seventh. In the fifth body a person can make a resolve to keep his second, third and fourth bodies, and this can happen if the resolve is very intense and deep. And for a person like Buddha this was an easy matter: he can leave behind forever his second, third and fourth bodies. Like a mass of energy these bodies of Buddha keep on moving in space.
All the feelings that Buddha had acquired in his infinite lives are the property of the second – the etheric body. And the impressions of all the karmas that Buddha had in his previous lives are accumulated in the third – the astral body. The fourth body carries all the achievements of Buddha’s mind. All of his achievements beyond the mind have been expressed by him through the mind as all expressions are given through the mind. Whenever a man wishes to make known his attainments of the fifth or even the seventh body he has to make use of his fourth body – because the vehicle of expression is the fourth body. So the one who has heard Buddha more than anyone or anything else is in his own fourth body. Whatsoever he has thought, lived and known is collected in his fourth body.
These first three bodies disintegrate very easily. When a person enters the fifth body these three bodies are destroyed. When a man enters the seventh body all the previous six bodies are destroyed. But if a person of the fifth plane so desires he can leave all the vibrations of these three bodies in space. It is just as we are now making stations in space: this collection of Buddha’s second, third and fourth bodies will go on moving in space until they manifest themselves in an individual by the name of Maitreya.
So when a person of the required state for Maitreya is born, these three bodies of Buddha will enter into him. Until then they will await his coming. When these three bodies enter into that person he will attain the caliber of Buddha, because they are an accumulation of all the experiences, all the emotions, desires and activities of Buddha.
Now, for instance, suppose I leave my body behind here and it is well preserved.
In America a man died about three or four years ago. He left a trust of millions of dollars and he willed that this be used to preserve his body until the time when science discovers the secret of bringing a dead body back to life. Millions of dollars are spent to preserve his body so that it should not deteriorate. His body is preserved by a scientific process. If by the end of the century we succeed in reviving the dead this body will be brought back to life. But the soul will be different; it cannot be the same.
The body will be the same: his eyes, his color, his features, his way of walking, all of his physical habits, will be the same. In a sense, the man who is dead will be represented in the body. If the man was centered around his physical body – which he must have been or else this keen desire to preserve the body would not have been there – without any idea of the other bodies, another soul can act for him. It will act exactly in the same way as the dead man, and scientists will then say that it is the same man come back to life. All his remembrances and recollections that are stored in the physical brain will awaken once again: he will be able to recognize the pictures of his mother and his son who have long been dead; he will recognize the town where he was born; he will point out the place where he died; he will also name the people that were present when he died. The soul will be different although the brain content will be the same.
Now scientists claim that very soon they will be able to transplant memory. This will be possible. If I die the whole of my recollections and memories are lost with me. But now it is possible to save the whole mechanism of my memories at the time of my death just as we preserve eyes for transplanting. Tomorrow someone will be able to see with my eyes. And it is not that I alone can love with my heart – someone else may also love with my heart tomorrow. Now it is not possible to promise that “My heart is forever yours,” because this very heart can make the same vow to another in the distant future.
In the same way memory will also be transplanted. It will take time to bring this about because it is very delicate and very subtle. But in future, as we donate eyes to an eye bank there will be memory banks also. Then my memory will be transplanted into a small child who will then know all that I had to learn. He will grow up already knowing so many things because my memory will be a part of his cerebral makeup. Then my thoughts will be his, my remembrances will be his, and in certain matters he will think the same way I do, because he will have my brain.
Now Buddha has experimented in a different direction – a direction which is not scientific but occult. Through some methods efforts have been made to preserve his second, third and fourth bodies. Buddha does not exist anymore; the soul that lived within was lost at the seventh plane. But before the soul was merged into the seventh, arrangements were made to see that these three bodies – the second, third and fourth – did not die. The momentum of Buddha’s determination and promise was instilled into them. It is just as if I were to throw a stone with enough force for it to travel fifty miles; then I die soon after throwing the stone. But my death cannot interfere with the movement of the stone. It has the force I gave it to travel fifty miles, and it will do that whether I am there or not. The strength I exerted will keep the stone going.
Buddha has given a momentum to these three bodies and they will live. He has also told how long they can remain. Now the time is ripe for Maitreya to take birth. This very experiment was carried out upon J. Krishnamurti so that he would attain these three bodies of Buddha. First this experiment was carried out on Nityananda, the elder brother of Krishnamurti, but he died in the process. This is a very unique process – one which is difficult to go through.
An effort was made to separate Nityananda’s second, third and fourth bodies and replace them with Maitreya’s. Then Nityananda died. Then this same experiment was tried on Krishnamurti, but this also could not succeed. Then it was tried on one or two more people: George Arundale was one upon whom the experiment was tried by some who knew of this mystery. Among those who knew of this secret, Madame Blavatsky was the most profound woman of our century as far as the knowledge of occult science is concerned. Annie Besant was another; Leadbeater also had a lot of understanding in occult matters. There are very few people who had this understanding.
These few people knew that now the power behind the three bodies of Buddha was about to diminish. If Maitreya would not take birth these bodies would not be able to hold on any longer; they would disperse. Now their momentum is about to end. Someone should now be ready to absorb these three bodies. Whoever absorbs these will in a way cause the rebirth of Buddha. The soul of Buddha will not come back, but the soul of the individual will take on the bodies of Buddha and work accordingly. That person will at once involve himself in the mission of Buddha.
Not every person can be in this state. Whoever he is he should at least be of a level of consciousness that is almost as high as was Buddha’s. Only such a one will be able to absorb his three bodies; otherwise he will die. So the experiment was unsuccessful, because there were many difficulties in the process. Endeavors still go on. Even today there are small esoteric groups who are trying to bring down these three bodies of Buddha. But now there is no extensive propaganda about it, because that proved harmful.
There was a possibility of the three bodies descending into Krishnamurti. He was worthy of it and this was widely advertised. This propaganda was done in good faith. It was done for the reason that when Buddha’s advent took place he should be quickly recognized. It was also done in order to revive the past-life memories of those now living who existed at the time of Buddha so that they could recognize that this was the same man. But this propaganda turned out to be detrimental to the process. It created a reaction in the mind of Krishnamurti, who has a modest, reserved and sensitive personality. It was difficult for him to be in a crowd. If this experiment had been carried out silently in a secluded place, if nobody would have known about it until the happening took place, it is very likely that the happening would have taken place.
But it did not take place. Krishnamurti refused to let go of his second, third and fourth bodies to be replaced by the three bodies of Buddha. This was a great blow to the occult science of our times. Such a vast and intricate experiment had never been performed in this world anywhere except in Tibet. This process has been carried out in Tibet for a long time, and many souls work through the medium of other bodies.
I hope you have understood what I said. There is no contradiction in it even though sometimes you might feel that there is. It is possible that you may feel something to be contradictory because I have talked from a different angle, but it is not so.
Osho, In Search of the Miraculous, Vol 2, Ch 9, Q 6