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HYAKUJO: THE EVEREST OF ZEN, WITH BASHO'S HAIKUS

Chapter 2: The great pearl

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen             Hyakujo

 

BELOVED OSHO,
ON ONE OCCASION HYAKUJO SAID, "IF WE ARE ATTACHED TO A VIEWPOINT THAT WE ARE NATURALLY THE BUDDHAS AND THAT WE ARE IN ZEN BUDDHISM BECAUSE WE ARE ORIGINALLY PURE AND ENLIGHTENED, WE ARE AMONG NON-BUDDHISTS WHO DENY CAUSALITY."
AT ANOTHER TIME A VINAYA MASTER NAMED YUAN ONCE CAME TO HYAKUJO AND ASKED, "DO YOU MAKE EFFORTS IN YOUR PRACTICE OF THE TAO, MASTER?"
HYAKUJO REPLIED, "YES, I DO. WHEN HUNGRY, I EAT; WHEN TIRED, I SLEEP."
YUAN ASKED, "AND DOES EVERYBODY MAKE THE SAME EFFORTS AS YOU DO, MASTER?"
HYAKUJO ANSWERED, "NOT IN THE SAME WAY. WHEN THEY ARE EATING, THEY THINK OF A HUNDRED KINDS OF NECESSITIES, AND WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO SLEEP THEY PONDER OVER AFFAIRS OF A THOUSAND DIFFERENT KINDS. THAT IS HOW THEY DIFFER FROM ME."
AT THIS, THE VINAYA MASTER WAS SILENCED.
ON ANOTHER OCCASION, THE VENERABLE TAO KUANG ASKED HYAKUJO, "MASTER, WHAT MENTAL PROCESSES DO YOU EMPLOY IN PURSUING THE TAO?"
HYAKUJO ANSWERED, "I HAVE NO MENTAL PROCESSES THAT WOULD BE OF USE, AND NO TAO TO FOLLOW."
TAO KUANG ASKED, "IF BOTH THOSE STATEMENTS ARE TRUE, WHY IS IT THAT EVERY DAY YOU CONVENE GATHERINGS DURING WHICH YOU URGE OTHERS TO LEARN HOW TO FOLLOW THE TAO BY MEANS OF ZEN?"
HYAKUJO SAID, "THIS OLD MONK DOES NOT POSSESS EVEN A DOT OF GROUND IN WHICH TO STICK AND AWL."
"WHY, MASTER, YOU ARE LYING TO MY FACE!" EXCLAIMED TAO KUANG.
HYAKUJO REPLIED, "HOW CAN THIS OLD MONK, BEING WITHOUT TONGUE TO URGE PEOPLE, TELL A LIE?"
"I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE WAY THE VENERABLE ZEN MASTER TALKS," SAID TAO KUANG.
WHEREUPON HYAKUJO SAID, "NOR DOES THIS OLD MONK UNDERSTAND HIMSELF."

Maneesha, this series of talks is entitled THE GREAT PEARL, HYAKUJO, WITH THE HAIKUS OF BASHO. Hyakujo is immensely expressive and knows what he is doing and how to bring people to the unknowable.
Basho never wrote prose. Basho is one of the greatest poets in the world. His greatness is not in his poetry  --  there are far greater poets as far as the composition of poetry is concerned. His greatness is that his poetry is not just verbiage, is not just putting words together according to a certain pattern, his poetry is an experience.
I have put them together because Hyakujo never wrote any poetry. His approach is very prose and direct, and the haikus supplement what is missing in the prose. Basho expressed himself very graphically. His experiences are more paintings than poetry. And his understanding is  --  and I agree with him  --  that where prose fails, poetry may succeed. Poetry has a more feminine way, more subtle, more graceful, entering into the heart.
Prose directly enters into the head and immediately becomes a concern of logic and reason. Poetry has a different root, a different path. You don't bring in rationalization as far as poetry is concerned. Something else becomes stirred in you, something deeper than the mind. Poetry cannot be a logical statement. It is an existential statement  --  what Basho himself has seen he has tried to put into words. Hence I have put together two great masters.
The name, THE GREAT PEARL is Hyakujo's old name in Chinese. His childhood name was Chu, and Chu means pearl. Both are Himalayan peaks, and together they are going to create a tremendous harmony. What prose can say in a very straightforward way, poetry cannot say in that straightforward manner. But there is much that is left out. Poetry can pick up that which is left out because it has no obligation to any logic, no obligation to any grammar, no obligation to any formulation. It has a certain freedom which prose has not, so it can say things that prose will become embarrassed to say. The Great Pearl applies to both. They both are the most beautiful Zen masters.

Before I discuss Hyakujo's and Basho's sutras... Yesterday I introduced you with a biographical note on Hyakujo. Today I want to introduce you with the biography of Basho.
The Japanese haiku poet, Basho, was born in 1644, the son of a samurai in the service of the lord of Ueno castle. As a young boy, Basho became the page and study companion of the nobleman's eldest son, and together they learned, among other skills, the art of making verse.
On the death of his master, Basho went to Edo  -- now Tokyo  --  where he studied verse under Kigin. He then became a disciple of the Zen master, Buccho.
Basho's fame as a master poet spread. He began to attract disciples of his own.
Journeying became Basho's life-style, providing him with a chance to observe and write of nature, with which he felt such a deep affinity.
He once wrote, "All who achieve greatness in art possess one thing in common: they are one with nature. Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon. It is only a barbarous mind that sees other things then flowers, merely an animal mind that dreams of other than the moon."
The flower and the moon are only symbolic. What he is intending to say is that the really silent mind can only see the greatest in existence, the most beautiful, the most truthful. He can see only flowers and moons. In his status, in his height, he cannot see the mean and ugly things of which the human mind is so filled up. He calls this mind, which has not known the experience of emptiness, a barbarous mind  --  a beautiful definition of a barbarous mind.
The mind of a buddha will only see flowers all around. The mind of a buddha reclining will see the moon and the stars and all that is beautiful in the darkness of the night. Whether it is morning or evening, it does not matter, the no-mind only reflects the most precious, and the so-called mind that we have is only concerned with the ugliest  --  it is barbarous.
When Hyakujo returned to Yueh Chou, he lived a retired life, concealing his abilities and outwardly appearing somewhat mad. It was at this time that he composed his sastra, called, "A Treatise Setting Forth the Essential Gateway to Truth by Means of Instantaneous Awakening."
Later, this book was stolen and brought to the Yangtse region and shown to Ma Tzu. After reading it carefully, Ma Tzu declared to his disciples: "In Yueh Chou there is now a great pearl. Its luster penetrates everywhere freely and without obstruction."
Ma Tzu was making a pun on Hyakujo's original surname of Chu. Hyakujo was Ma Tzu's disciple and finally his successor.

Maneesha has asked these sutras for today:
BELOVED OSHO,
ON ONE OCCASION HYAKUJO SAID, "IF WE ARE ATTACHED TO A VIEWPOINT THAT WE ARE NATURALLY THE BUDDHAS AND THAT WE ARE IN ZEN BUDDHISM BECAUSE WE ARE ORIGINALLY PURE AND ENLIGHTENED, WE ARE AMONG NON-BUDDHISTS WHO DENY CAUSALITY."

Now, this is something to be understood and it is one of the most debated subject matters for centuries: if enlightenment is sudden, that means there is no cause to it. It can be sudden only if it has no causality. If it has any cause, first the cause has to be produced, then enlightenment will follow.
Science believes in causality. You provide all the necessary causes, and this will be the inevitable outcome. But Zen, in the sense of sudden enlightenment, drops the idea of causality. There is no cause that leads to enlightenment  --  and Hyakujo is making it clear. If no cause, no causality, leads to enlightenment, the reason is that enlightenment is not an effect; cause and effect are joined together. Enlightenment is not an effect of any cause; it is already there. The effect is in the future.
That which is already there, needs no cause. It needs only a turning of your vision. That is not a cause. It needs only a remembrance. That is not a cause. What is already there, in this very moment, requires no causality. Causality produces something. It is already perfectly present; nothing has to be added. All that is needed is to wake up and see.
Seeing is not a causality, you have to understand it. That's why no method, no device can be said to be absolutely certain to lead you to enlightenment. All that it can do, is to trigger a certain process in you so that you start looking inwards. It can produce the looking inwards, but it cannot produce your enlightenment. If you honestly and urgently look inwards, the buddha is there. Your enlightenment explodes in thousands of ways; it has been just waiting for your eyes.
All Zen masters have been talking about methods, about devices. The reason is that there is no way to introduce you to your own buddha, your own nature. It is so deep down inside you, it cannot be made objective. It cannot be said, "Look, this is your nature. Say hello to it. Get introduced." Nobody can introduce you to your own nature. Hence, all these devices which are in a way lies, are desperate efforts of the masters somehow to force you to look inwards. Then everything will happen on its own accord.
... A VINAYA MASTER  --  vinaya is the whole Buddhist scripture  --  NAMED YUAN ONCE CAME TO HYAKUJO AND ASKED, "DO YOU MAKE EFFORTS IN YOUR PRACTICE OF THE TAO, MASTER?"
HYAKUJO REPLIED, "YES, I DO. WHEN HUNGRY, I EAT; WHEN TIRED, I SLEEP."
Such a great and beautiful statement contains so much, oceans of meaning.
"YES, I DO", says Hyakujo, "WHEN HUNGRY, I EAT; WHEN TIRED, I SLEEP." He is saying, "I simply go with nature. I am no more, only nature is: tired, it goes to sleep; hungry, it eats. Neither do I interfere nor do I make any effort in the sense `effort' is understood."
Yuan asked a necessary question, "AND DOES EVERYBODY MAKE THE SAME EFFORTS AS YOU DO, MASTER?"
HYAKUJO ANSWERED, "NOT IN THE SAME WAY. WHEN THEY ARE EATING, THEY THINK OF A HUNDRED KINDS OF NECESSITIES, AND WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO SLEEP THEY PONDER OVER AFFAIRS OF A THOUSAND DIFFERENT KINDS. THAT IS HOW THEY DIFFER FROM ME."
A clear-cut differentiation. If you can understand this, you will understand the difference between a buddha, who looks almost human, and other human beings. Their actions are the same: the buddha eats when he is hungry, he sleeps when he feels tired; so you do. On the surface there seems to be no difference. The difference is inside: when the buddha is eating, he is simply eating; there are no other thoughts in the sky of his mind. His whole attention, his whole awareness, is just concerned with the act in the present  -- eating. When he is asleep, he is simply asleep. He does not dream, he does not wander here and there with a thousand anxieties and problems; he has none. Asleep, he is simply asleep.
Modern psychoanalysis has to come to an understanding. They have not yet dared. They have only been studying what Hyakujo calls the barbarous mind. All their conclusions and their whole science will remain absolutely incomplete unless they explore the mind of a buddha. That will bring a tremendous revolution in the whole psychoanalytical movement, because on the surface the buddha is exactly the same as you are. But you can see the point: while you are eating, you are thinking a thousand and one thoughts; while you are sleeping, you are dreaming of faraway lands, or maybe repressed desires.
It is sad that even while you are making such a deep and intimate act as love, you are not loving the woman you are making love to, you are thinking of Sophia Loren. And don't think that it is only you who is thinking of Sophia Loren, the woman you are making love to, is thinking of Mohammed Ali. On every bed there are four fellows. This is the barbarous mind: never in the moment, always going astray.
Hyakujo put the difference with the enlightened man very clearly: when hungry, eat; when tired, sleep. Don't do anything else. Always remain contained in the moment, contained in the act. Raising hands, just raise your hand; don't think of anything else. Sitting, just sit; walking, just walk. Every act should be so concentrated that it does not allow other thoughts to enter in.
A simple understanding of this can make one a buddha, because this will bring your whole consciousness together to such a point that it becomes almost an arrow. And whenever your consciousness becomes an arrow, it starts moving towards the origin of your life. All devices are just to make your consciousness an arrow and with an urgency, so that it moves. You are not far away. It is just a small journey, but it takes people millions of lives to fulfil it because they never move even an inch inwards.
"... AND WHEN THESE BARBAROUS MINDS ARE GOING TO SLEEP, THEY PONDER OVER AFFAIRS OF A THOUSAND DIFFERENTS KINDS. THAT'S HOW THEY DIFFER FROM ME."
AT THIS THE VINAYA MASTER WAS SILENCED.
He was only a scholar, he had no idea of the inner world. He has absolute control of the outer objective, philosophical concepts, but he has no idea at all from where his life arises, from where his consciousness arises, where the roots of his very being are. He was completely silenced by the master. He could not utter a single word, but he could not become enlightened either. He could not ask anything more, he could not answer the master. He simply became silent, knowing that he was entering in an unknown territory. He knows the sastras, the scriptures perfectly well, but he does not know anything about this "eating, eat; walking, walk; sitting, sit."
This is the problem with the scholars: they go on missing the authentic master. They come to understand, but they come to understand the word not the experience.
AT THIS THE VINAYA MASTER WAS SILENCED.
ON ANOTHER OCCASION, THE VENERABLE TAO KUANG ASKED HYAKUJO, "MASTER, WHAT MENTAL PROCESSES DO YOU EMPLOY IN PURSUING THE TAO?"
HYAKUJO ANSWERED, "I HAVE NO MENTAL PROCESSES THAT WOULD BE OF USE, AND NO TAO TO FOLLOW."
This is the ultimate statement of a witness. There are no mental processes. He has left the mind far behind, and there is no goal of Tao, or Dhamma. He himself is the goal; he is the buddha. He is Tao, he is Dhamma; he is the truth itself. Now, there is no question of any mental processes or any goal of Tao.
TAO KUANG ASKED, "IF BOTH THOSE STATEMENTS ARE TRUE, WHY IS IT THAT EVERY DAY YOU CONVENE GATHERINGS DURING WHICH YOU URGE OTHERS TO LEARN HOW TO FOLLOW THE TAO BY MEANS OF ZEN?"
That is the way intellectuals function. He has not understood Hyakujo's great statement, he has simply analyzed it and found that there is a contradiction. But this man says there is no mental process that would be of any use, and there is no Tao to follow. If this is true, then why does this man go on teaching great assemblies. You have to see how intellectuals function and how they miss.
He asked him, "IF BOTH THOSE STATEMENTS ARE TRUE, as you say, WHY IS IT THAT EVERY DAY YOU CONVENE GATHERINGS DURING WHICH YOU URGE OTHERS TO LEARN HOW TO FOLLOW THE TAO BY MEANS OF ZEN?"
That can be asked of any master. Even the master himself is very much concerned.
I have told you that Gautam Buddha did not speak for seven days after his enlightenment. When asked, he said, "I have been pondering for seven days whether to speak or not, and I cannot find any reason to speak. There are no means that I can teach to people that will lead them inevitably to enlightenment. There is no goal to be achieved so people can be shown the path.
"People want some understanding about what discipline is to be followed  --  what cause is going to produce buddhahood. There is no cause. So, all these seven days I have been thinking that whatever I say will not be exactly true. Should I say it or keep quiet? To be silent seems to be more honest and more truthful but a little unkind  --  unkind to those who are still staggering in darkness, unkind to those who are very close to the source. Just a little help, a little push, may make them buddhas."
But it is not so easy. If you push somebody he becomes angry. Your push is not necessarily going to be understood as a compassion. The person may become more ugly than he was by your push. He may become more barbarous. He may stand up to fight with you asking, "Why did you push me? Why did you said this? Why did you expose me?" The work of the master is not just full of roses. It is one of the most delicate works of art to help a man become a buddha. A slight mistake and everything is spoiled. And the problem is not the master, the problem is the disciple. How the disciple is going to take your word is not within your control.
So Buddha said, "I am thinking not to speak at all. Those who are capable of becoming buddhas will become buddhas  --  a little late perhaps  --  and those who are too much involved in darkness and mundane activities are not going to listen to me. They will simply waste my time and will be angry at me that I am wasting their time."
But the people who were urging him said, "You are ninety-nine point nine percent right, but please think of the point one percent. You may fail with ninety-nine point nine percent of the people, but you may succeed in helping one person out of one hundred to become a buddha. This is such a great event that those failures can be simply forgotten  --  they don't matter. Anyway they were not going to become buddhas; you need not be worried about them. But think of that point one percent. You will be very unkind to those who are just on the periphery. A little push, a little kindly word that gives them a sense of urgency; a little look in their eyes that gives them the depth that they also contain; a little touch of love, the warmth of a buddha, just his gesture..."
And Buddha agreed. His agreement is one of the greatest agreements that has been made in human history. He could have disagreed. There was no way to force him, but then something great would have been completely forgotten. At least it is remembered here and there. Some people still become buddhas, still reach to the same heights, because they know somebody has already traveled the path. "If one man is capable of becoming a buddha, then there is no reason why I cannot become a buddha." This gives great courage, and great encouragement.
But the intellectual mind, not understanding the inner process of enlightenment, noncausal, nonlogical, immediately jumps to the conclusion that there is a contradiction. Here you are saying that there are no mental processes which are of any use. By your mind you cannot reach buddhahood, you will have to drop the mind, so what is the use of mental processes? Mind as a whole entity has to be pushed aside so that you can see clearly and directly, without any thoughts gathering in front of your eyes. There is no goal. The moment you find utter silence and a deep understanding of yourself, your roots, you simply have a laugh  --  just a laugh that "I have been searching for the person who is hiding behind me, inside me, at my very center."
But he immediately asked, "There is a contradiction because you teach people to meditate, you teach people certain devices. What is the point?"
HYAKUJO SAID, "THIS OLD MONK DOES NOT POSSESS EVEN A DOT OF GROUND IN WHICH TO STICK AN AWL."
He is saying that he does not possess any mind to answer and satisfy your contradiction.
"WHY, MASTER, YOU ARE LYING TO MY FACE!" EXCLAIMED TAO KUANG.
That is an eternal problem: the master has to lie. And if you think only of his lying, you will never understand that he was lying out of compassion, and that those lies were just preparing a ground for you to take a jump in.

I will tell you an old story....
A king was very much interested in a young man who always remained underneath a tree, sitting silently. Every night the king passed around the city in disguise to see whether everything was right or not. He always found that young man sitting like a statue, without any movement.
Finally, he could not contain his curiosity. He stopped his horse and he said, "Young man, forgive me for disturbing your meditation."
The young man opened his eyes and he said, "There is no need for any apology because I am not meditating, I am meditation  --  nobody can disturb it. But whatever your curiosity is, please fulfill it."
The king said, "I would love you to come to my palace. I will take care of you. There is no need to sit under this tree. Seeing you so silently, like the ancient story of Buddha, I have fallen in love with your silence, your gestures, your utter undisturbance. I invite you to come with me to my palace. I am the king."
This is how the barbarous mind functions. The king asks the young man to come to his palace  --  inviting him  --  but deep down his unconscious wants him not to accept his invitation because that will mean he is still desirous of luxuries and palaces.
But that young man simply stood up, and he said, "I am coming."
Immediately the whole scene changed. The mind of the king was thinking, "What have I done? This man is still interested in the luxuries of a palace, being the guest of a king. This is not a great saint." This is the old idea of the saint, that he should be as uncomfortable as possible. Discomfort is religion. Sick, hungry, torturing oneself in thousands of ways... and then you become a great saint. This fellow has suddenly fallen from his sainthood, in the mind of the king. But now it was too late. He could not take his word back; it would be to ungentlemanly.
But the young man was watching everything. He didn't say anything. The king provided for him in the best part of the palace, servants, young girls to look after him  --  and he accepted everything. With each acceptance he was falling down in the scale of saintliness: what kind of saint was he? He accepted a beautiful king-size bed. He accepted all the delicacies of the palace.
The king said, "My God. What kind of a stupid person am I? This man has deceived me. It seems like he tricked me. Just sitting there every night, he knew I passed at that time, sitting silently like a buddha, he knew that I would be caught  --  and he caught me. And now it is very difficult either to swallow him or to spit him out. He is inside the palace."
But how long can you carry such a state of mind?
After six months, one day early in the morning when they were taking a walk together in the gardens, the king said to him, "One question has been continuously harassing me and I want to get rid of it. Because of it, for six months I have not slept well."
The young man said, "You can ask any question."
The king said, "It hurts me to ask, but I want to know what the difference is between me and you. You live in the palace, you enjoy all the luxuries... what is the difference between me and you?"
The young man said, "I knew that this question was going to arise one day. In fact, it arose the same moment I stood up to follow you. You are not a very courageous man. You should have asked immediately. Why waste six months, and for six months unnecessarily disturbing your sleep. I can answer your question but not here. You have to come with me outside the boundary of your kingdom."
It was not far away. Just a few miles away was the river, the boundary of his kingdom.
The king said, "What is the need to go there? You can answer me here."
He said, "No. There is a need."
Both went past the river. Standing on the other shore, the young man said, "My answer is that I am going ahead. Are you coming with me?"
He said, "How can I come with you? I have a palace, I have a kingdom, I have my wife, my children... I have thousands of worries and problems to solve. How can I come with you?"
The young man said, "Do you see the difference? I am going. I don't have any palace, I don't have any wife, I don't have any problems. I was as happy under my tree as I have been happy in your palace  --  not a bit more or a bit less. My awareness is the same whether I am in a palace or in a forest."
The king felt very sad at his ugly mind, that he thought such an ugly thing. He touched his feet and he said, "Forgive me even to think this. In my own eyes I have fallen."
The young man said, "No. Don't do it. Seeing your tears and you touching my feet I have no difficulty, I can come back, but you will still start thinking, `My God. Has he deceived me again?' I have no difficulty but so as not to be uncompassionate towards you, I will not come. Just let me go. The whole world is there and I don't need much, just a tree to sit underneath. It does not matter to me at all."
Now the king became more insistent, "No, come back, otherwise I will be worried and hurt and wounded, thinking, `What have I done?'"
The man said, "You are putting me in difficulty. I am telling you I can come, but remember, you will again start thinking, `What is the difference?'"

The barbarous mind only thinks of the meanness, of the mediocrities. He does not have any heights to look at.

HYAKUJO REPLIED, "HOW CAN THIS OLD MONK, BEING WITHOUT TONGUE TO URGE PEOPLE, TELL A LIE?"
Now the intellectual must have become even more suspicious. The old monk Hyakujo says, "HOW CAN THIS OLD MONK, BEING WITHOUT TONGUE..." Now this is apparently a lie: "WITHOUT TONGUE TO URGE PEOPLE, TELL A LIE?"  --  but he is perfectly right. These are the worlds beyond our ordinary, mediocre lives. A man of enlightenment does not speak, he simply allows existence to speak through him. He does not see, he allows the buddha inside him to see through his eyes.
That's why, once in a while, somebody receptive enough can look into the eyes of the master, the eyes of a buddha. He has no tongue of his own anymore. He has given everything to existence. He is no longer in possession of the tongue, of the eyes, of the hands. Now, whatever existence wants to do with him, he simply goes with it. His whole life is just a let-go. But the intellectual will not understand. Now it is absolutely making a lie even more clear: "I don't have any tongue"  --  and he is speaking. He is saying, "How can I lie without a tongue?"
The problem for a master is that if he speaks, he defiles the truth. However he tries, he cannot bring the truth into words. Just a little fragrance maybe, only for those who are intelligent enough to feel the difference. The same words are being used by a master as are being used by you, but the master's words are not empty, your words are empty. When you say to someone, "I love you," you don't mean it. Perhaps it is a social custom. When a master says, "I love you," his love is not an empty word.
But you need to have great intelligence to figure out the fragrance that is carried by the words or the actions. And remember, to be intellectual does not mean to be intelligent. The intellectual is a great scholar; he has much knowledge, but he may not be intelligent. And a man who knows nothing, a farmer or a woodcutter or a fisherman, may have intelligence. He will not have intellect  --  he does not know anything about the intellectual world  --  but in his functioning...
When the Soviet Union emerged from the revolution... The capital during the czars' rule was Petrograd, it was not Moscow. Petrograd was named after Peter, one of the czars. Because of this association, communists changed the capital to Moscow. But before changing it  --  it took years  --  they had to function in Petrograd.
Just in front of the palace of the czar there was a huge rock that prevented anybody, any vehicle, to pass in front. It was considerately kept there so that nobody passed and disturbed the czar. You could go on any other street but you could not move on the street in front of the palace. The rock was so huge that the communists were worried about what to do with it. It had to be removed, but its largeness prevented all removal. They called architects and engineers and they all thought about many ways, either to cut it into pieces  --  but that too was not easy... They were all worried and there was no solution coming out.
An old farmer was just leaning on his staff, standing there, watching with all these great engineers, architects, politicians, and when he saw that they were not able to find any solution, he said, "I am just a farmer and I don't know anything. I don't know what engineering is, and what architecture is. I have just heard these words here, but as I understand, you want to remove this rock. It is a very simple thing."
Lenin himself asked, "You say it is a very simple thing? Please tell us what your idea is."
He said, "There is no idea. There is no need to remove the rock. Just dig around the rock and go on digging and taking out the mud from underneath the rock, and then finally force the rock down so it becomes part of the road."
It was so simple, so intelligent, that all those architects and engineers were at a loss because they were thinking in conceptual terms from their books, their university degrees, and this poor man had nothing but a practical intelligence.
He said, "It is such a small thing. Just dig around the rock, then pull out as much mud as you can from underneath the rock and then force it down. It will settle in the hole and be a part of the road. And it is such a beautiful rock, it should not be removed. It will make such a beautiful part of the road in front of the palace."
The farmer's instructions were exactly followed and the rock is still there in front of Petrograd's palace.
Intelligence is a clarity, intellectuality is a borrowed knowledge. The intelligent person would not have said this to the master: "You are lying to my face! You tell people about devices and means, and to me you are saying there are no means and no devices, and that there is no goal either."
He could not rise to the height, and he could not understand the difficulty of a master, that he has to bring something from the high peaks of experience to the marketplace. He has to use the same words, and he has in some way to create an urge, a longing. The very urge and longing is not there. Have you ever thought in your dreams that you want to become a buddha? Have you ever wondered where the source of your life is?
The master has to make goals which are not goals for you. He has to tell you that it is a great pilgrimage, that to find the truth you have to travel very far and you have to discipline and cultivate yourself, because the human mind is interested only in the difficult, it is not interested in the obvious and the simple. There are reasons why it is not interested in the obvious and the simple: the simple does not satisfy your ego. You will not go into the street shouting, "I have just peeled a banana! I need my photograph in the newspaper. The first man has peeled a banana." People will laugh at you that you are mad  -- you are yourself a banana.
Small things, but when somebody goes to the top of Everest, the whole world becomes interested. All the news media declare that the first man has reached the top of Everest. The difficult is attractive because it gives you the ego. The simple is unattractive because you cannot claim any ego on its part. The master has to make a goal of buddhahood although he knows you are the buddha. But he knows perfectly well that even if he tells you that you are the buddha, you are not going to trust him. I tell you every day, "You are the buddha." Have you ever trusted me?
Anando, in her anger, sent a message to me that she is suspicious. Suspicious of what  --  suspicious certainly about my provoking you to be a buddha. I don't have anything else to do here. Suspicious about what? You are suspicious about your own potential and I have to hammer on your head continuously. So, for this series, I have given the name Anando to Nivedano's drum. So he goes on hitting every day until she comes to her senses. Suspicious? But that is not only her problem, it is the problem of every intellectual  -- Anando is a law graduate.
"I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE WAY THE VENERABLE ZEN MASTER TALKS," SAID TAO KUNG. You are speaking and you say that you don't have a tongue. You go on teaching about devices and goals, and you say there are no mental activities of any use, and there is no goal either.
WHEREUPON HYAKUJO SAID, "NOR DOES THIS OLD MONK UNDERSTAND HIMSELF." He accepted that he does not even understand himself. "Only existence knows what he is using me for. I am absolutely available to existence. If he wants to lie through me, I will lie. If he wants something else to be done through me, I will do it. I have completely dropped myself into the hands of the cosmos."
Hyakujo is saying something of tremendous importance: a master is absolutely absent as far as his individuality is concerned; he is absolutely present as far as his cosmic experience is concerned. And you need to have some intelligence, some heart, to understand it.

A haiku by Basho....
MAD WITH POETRY,
I STRIDE LIKE CHIKUSAI
INTO THE WIND.

"Mad with poetry..." If you are not mad, your poetry will be very poor. Poetry which is sane will be ordinary, prosaic, just a composition of words without any essential meaning running through it. To be a poet is in a certain sense to be mad.
MAD WITH POETRY,
I STRIDE LIKE CHIKUSAI
INTO THE WIND.
It has not been recognized by the religions of the world. I want to make it an absolute discontinuity with the past in the sense that I don't consider the older saints to be authentically religious. They can be divided in two categories  --  either they are masochists who enjoy torturing themselves, or they are sadists who enjoy teaching people to torture themselves, who enjoy others torturing. And it is possible that one man may be both  --  he may enjoy torturing himself and he may enjoy torturing others.
Most of the saints belong to the psychologically sick people, and the real religious people have not been taken in account. They are the poets, the dancers, the painters, the musicians, the sculptors. All kinds of creative people are the truly religious people, but no religion accepts them as religious because these people are functioning according to their nature, not according to any scripture. These people are almost part of the universe.

One very rich woman asked Picasso, a great painter of our times, "You have never done portrait. You have done so many beautiful paintings, but no portrait. My only desire is to have a portrait of myself made by you. And don't think about money. You say it and it will be given." The woman was super rich.
Picasso wanted to tolerate her but he could not tolerate the money. He was in immense need of money. Just for his paintings he needed money, but he did not want to make a portrait, knowing perfectly well that when he started painting he forgot himself, so that what came out may not look like this woman. So he said to her, "Listen... ten million dollars."
She said, "Okay. Start the work."
He said, "My God. I asked for ten million so as not to get involved in this work. I have to explain to you that when I start painting, I forget myself. The colors catch me so hard, their beauty becomes so immense, that I don't know what I am doing; the painting starts painting itself. That's why I have never done a portrait, but if you insist, I will make an effort  -- and I cannot lose ten million dollars. But you have to make me a promise: you cannot criticize my painting on any point."
She said, "Agreed."
The painting was done. The woman could not understand what had happened. She could not find where she was in the painting at all. It was a beautiful painting  --  great colors, very psychedelic, but it was not a portrait. And she had agreed not to criticize so she said, "I am not criticizing, but I just want to know where my nose is, so from that point I can figure out where I am."
Picasso said, "This is the difficulty. I had told you beforehand that when I paint, I forget. Now I don't know where your nose is. You take the painting and meditate over it. Sometime you may find that this is your nose, and then figure out... around it there may be some eyes, a mouth."
The woman said, "This is a strange kind of portrait that I have to figure out where my nose is."

Once it happened, a rich man came and he wanted, "Picasso, two paintings, immediately." Picasso had only one painting ready so he went in and cut the painting in two.
The girlfriend who used to be with Picasso, said, "What are you doing?"
He said, "I cannot miss that customer. He is a rich man and he wants two paintings. I will make two paintings immediately. Anyway nobody can discover what the painting is, whether it is together or in two parts." He made two paintings, and he sold two paintings.
Those who have purchased his paintings, even in great museums, find it difficult to know how to hang them  --  which way up... which way down.... You can hang them any way. They are beautiful, but you cannot make any sense of that beauty.

And another haiku by Basho:
FOR HIS MORNING TEA
A MONK SITS DOWN IN UTTER SILENCE  --
CONFRONTED BY CHRYSANTHEMUMS.

"For his morning tea a monk sits down in utter silence..." Tea has become associated with Bodhidharma, who introduced Zen into China. He loved tea, and strangely, it helps you to be awake; otherwise, sitting silently, one tends to fall asleep. So tea has become a special Zen thing. He is just depicting a picture. Under the tree of chrysanthemums, a monk sits in utter silence for his morning tea. Nothing is said  --  just a silent monk waiting for his tea.
These haikus are, as I have said to you, paintings in words.


 

Next: Chapter 2: The great pearl, Question 1

 


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