Whenever we have had great Teachers of Truth, we have only had scarce fragments of the true and meaningful essence of their Teaching. These men and women of Light are usually men and women just like us and as such they faced barriers to spreading Truth to help others liberate themselves from the realm of birth and death, suffering and so on. Many times I have wondered why such great persons of wisdom never bothered to write down things and left that to the disciples. I have not seen any scripture or words of wisdom that have been directly written by a Master of Light, they are always written by persons who have received the teachings by words of wisdom.
While these highly awake Masters were well aware of the circumstances and how eventually their original message would go through changes, I will give a story to illustrate that whatever they have taught was just a fraction of all their discoveries. The reason is because Nirvana is an individual search and these Guides can only take you so far as one’s mental and spiritual faculties can allow, then the rest you have to discover by the virtue of your own effort.
This reminds me of a documentary I watched recently of how the birds that lives near the sea and icy areas teach their young ones to fly and to catch their own fish. Some of the young ones die in the process; yet there is no other way they can be taught how to live and survive. They have wolves waiting in the plains to feed on the birds that fall hard when being trained to fly. Dangerous indeed!
Once the Buddha was relaxing in a grove, when he gathered a few leaves in his hand. Ananda, foremost among the disciples asked the meaning of this. The Buddha asked, “What do you think, Ananda, which is greater in quantity, the handful of leaves in my hand or a collection of all the leaves in the trees in this forest?” Obviously, Ananda answered that the leaves in the entire forest were a billion times more than those in the Buddha’s hand.
“This is the Reality of Enlightenment,” remarked the Buddha, “whatever I have revealed to you is just a tiny fraction of the Whole.”
He continued to say, “Even so, my beloved friends, many are those things I have FULLY REALIZED but not revealed to you; few are the things I have taught you. And why, friends, have I not mentioned them to you? They, dear friends, are not useful, they do not lead to dispassion, to cessation, to tranquility (of the mind), to full understanding, to full Enlightenment, to Nirvana. That is why I have not bothered mention them to you.”
This is a story that appears to all Supremely Awakened men/women. The minds of the learners of the time could not be ready to receive certain elucidations. That’s how the idea of eschatology arises in all Paths of Enlightenment where persons in the future arise to bring more meaning to the understanding of the Ultimate according to the circumstances of the times. The cosmic times follow certain cycles that succeed each other with the passing of 3,000 years during which the collective human consciousness and perception evolves.
However, such is the knowledge that nobody bothers to understand because we are only trained to focus all our selfish energies on our individual spans of life that run for 70 years on average where, in the modern Age, everybody is just concerned with accumulation of wealth or power.