Osho : Buddha means one who is enlightened, and prem means love — love for the enlightened one, or love for enlightenment.
Buddha is not a person — mm? it is a state of ultimate being. There have been many buddhas, and everybody is potentially a buddha. The word itself means tremendously awakened, absolutely alert… one whose consciousness has completely disappeared, who is just pure consciousness. You can look through and through and there is no darkness in it… not even lingering somewhere in the comers.
He has no basement to his being. Nothing is repressed; he holds back nothing. His trust with existence is one hundred percent. Doubts have disappeared… darkness has disappeared. He has come home. That is the meaning of buddha.
But by giving you this name, I would like you to beware of a certain danger. I’m not saying to you to become like gautam buddha — the most famous buddha. Nobody can become like anybody else — and there is no need to.
Each individual has to become himself. That’s how you will become a buddha — not by following and imitating a buddha. If you imitate a buddha or a christ, you will be an imitation. So this may look paradoxical but it is a very basic point to be understood. If one really wants to be a buddha he has not to follow any buddha, not to imitate anybody — he has not to become a carbon copy.
If you really want to follow a buddha you have to resist the temptation of becoming a carbon copy, because when you become a buddha, when the flower opens in you — then only do you follow him. And that will not be an imitation of anything. There has never been anything like that and there will never be anything like that again. Each individual is unique. That’s how god pays respect to each individual. He creates only unique individuals. He never makes carbon copies — he never repeats. Each individual is original.
This imitation is very much a temptation. Mm? when you love Jesus you want to imitate. When you love Buddha you want to imitate. When you love me you want to imitate. But if you imitate, you miss.
Loving me or loving a buddha is to go into your own self. The master has to throw the disciple into his own being. So zen people have the right name for this temptation to imitate; they call it the buddha disease. They love Buddha tremendously, but they call this the buddha disease. Mm? he is so beautiful that one is naturally tempted to imitate, but then it becomes a disease.
The zen masters are known to have said that if you meet the Buddha on the way, kill him immediately! They worship the Buddha every day morning, evening — and they pray. And they say if while meditating the Buddha image arises in you, take a sword and cut it immediately. Then and there be finished with it… otherwise this fellow is dangerous.
They say,’If you repeat the name of Buddha, wash your mouth, rinse your mouth immediately, because this name, too, is dangerous.’ They love Buddha and they say such things! It looks contradictory, but it is not. Never be imitative if you want one day to become an offering to god. Always try to listen to your own heart.
My whole effort here is not to make anything out of you but to simply help you to become whatsoever you can become — whatsoever! I have no fixed idea… I have no ideal. I have to simply help you to grow.
Mm? just like a gardener: he helps the rosebush to be a rosebush, and he helps the lotus to be a lotus. He does not try to make the lotus become a rosebush. Neither does he try to make the rosebush a lotus. He protects. He waters… he gives the manure. He gives his love and warmth. He surrounds the rosebush with all the care that he can, just to help it to become itself.
Source – Osho Book “The Buddha Disease”