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THE MIRACLE

Chapter 4: This harvest moon

 

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OUR BELOVED MASTER,
DOGEN WROTE:
QUIETLY CONSIDER THE FACT THAT IF THIS WERE A TIME WHEN THE TRUE DHARMA HAD NOT YET SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH IT, EVEN IF WE WERE WILLING TO SACRIFICE OUR LIVES TO DO SO. HOW FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN BORN IN THE PRESENT DAY, WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE THIS ENCOUNTER!
WE ARE NOW ABLE TO COME IN CONTACT WITH THE BUDDHA SAKYAMUNI AND HEAR HIS TEACHINGS DUE TO THE COMPASSIONATE KINDNESS THAT HAS RESULTED FROM THE CONSTANT PRACTICE OF EACH OF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS. IF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS HAD NOT DIRECTLY TRANSMITTED THE DHARMA, HOW COULD IT HAVE COME DOWN TO US TODAY?
THE TRUE WAY OF EXPRESSING THIS GRATITUDE CAN BE FOUND ONLY IN OUR DAILY PRACTICE ITSELF.
HOW TRANSIENT OUR LIFE IS! TO UTTER TWO OR THREE WORDS OF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS COMPLETELY IS TO EXPRESS THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS THEMSELVES FULLY. WHY IS THIS SO?
IN THEIR REALM THERE IS NO GAP BETWEEN BODY AND MIND, SO EVERY WORD OF THEIR UTTERING IS THEIR WARM BODY AND MIND.
THEREFORE, WHEN WE BECOME THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS, WE TRANSCEND THEM.
THIS IS THE PRACTICAL EXPRESSION OF TWO OR THREE WORDS OF BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS.
SO I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO PURSUE THE PRACTICE OF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS.

Maneesha, obviously these statements of Dogen were uttered before his enlightenment. He is a beautiful scholar, a learned man. He has a rare intellect; from the age of seven he was able to translate Buddha's words from Chinese to Japanese. At the age of four he was able to learn Chinese. He was a rare child, a rare intellect, a genius. But that is a barrier as far as Zen is concerned. It must have been a difficult time for him to later change gears from mind to heart.
These sutras are just from the mind. Whoever has compiled these sutras does not know that a master does not speak the way Dogen is speaking. This is the way of the scholar.
I have to remind you that at some point Dogen must have become a master. We have discussed the sutras written when he had become enlightened. It is a good comparison... to see in a single man what enlightenment brings and what the impediments are. Even to a man like Dogen with such immense and unique intelligence... the problem arises that his intelligence is so great that it is very difficult to take the jump out of it.
Sometimes things which are blissful, fortunate, become unfortunate, dangerously preventing the quantum leap. You can see why I call him still a scholar.
DOGEN WROTE: QUIETLY CONSIDER...
What is consideration? It cannot be meditation. There is no place for consideration in meditation. Consideration is of the mind, consideration is another name for thinking. And how can you consider something which you don't know?
Just the fact that he is asking,
QUIETLY CONSIDER THE FACT THAT IF THIS WERE A TIME WHEN THE TRUE DHARMA HAS NOT YET SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH IT.
Sheer nonsense. If Gautam Buddha could become a buddha when there were no precedents, then what is the problem for you to become a buddha? Whether Buddha existed or not -- he may be a myth, a fiction, it makes no difference, because it is not Gautam Buddha that has to be taken into consideration. It is your own being which I am calling the buddha. And your own being is always with you, whether Buddha has existed or not, whether so many enlightened people on his path have existed or not.
I don't have a master, I don't know Chinese. I don't know Japanese, in which the original Zen teachings are written, and I don't care! In fact, listening to me, if the scholars see that I am saying something different from what is in their books, then they should change their books, correct their books.
It happened... Bhikkshu Anand Kausalyayan has just died. He was one of the most prominent Buddhists of the contemporary world. I used to stay in Nagpur in a friend's house when I was traveling around India, and that friend was intimate with Bhikkshu Anand Kausalyayan. He said to me, "Anand Kausalyayan wants to meet you. I have talked about you so many times, and he has also heard about you."
I said, "I will be very happy to meet him. I have read his books. You bring him to your home."
So that evening Anand Kausalyayan came to see me and it became a Zen encounter. I had to, because the first thing I asked him was, "Are you a Buddhist or a buddha?"
He looked at the host with whom I was staying, and I could see that he understood, but he was caught in a net. I was staring into his eyes, so he could not lie! He said, "I am sorry, I am still a Buddhist."
I said, "What is the point of being a Buddhist? You are getting older every day. Any moment death will take you away, and your Buddhism will not help. Why don't you become a buddha?"
He said, "My God, I had come to see you to have a polite conversation."
I said, "With me nothing is polite, either this way or that way. If you are not a buddha, then how is a conversation possible? I am a buddha, you are a mere scholar."
He said, "That seems to be true. When I heard you for the first time in a Buddhist conference in Bodhgaya you told a story. I loved the story, but I have been searching in Buddhist scriptures -- that story is not there! Now almost five years have passed and I am still looking in every nook and corner, because Buddhism has many scriptures... maybe somewhere that story is. But there is no trace."
I said, "You are doing a wrong thing! You just write the story down in any of your scriptures. A buddha himself is speaking. And you can at least understand that that kind of story can happen only to a buddha. So it does not matter whether it happened to Gautam Buddha or to some other buddha, the taste of it is just like the ocean -- taste it anywhere and it is the same. Don't be bothered about who is telling the story, don't be bothered about the bamboo from which the song is flowing. It is not the bamboo but the hollowness of the bamboo that allows the singer to sing.
"Meditation makes you a hollow bamboo and the same universal spirit starts singing through you. So don't bother with unnecessarily looking into dead scriptures, write it down here, now, and add it to any Buddhist scripture."
He said, "That is very difficult. Nothing can be added, that would be very unholy."
I said, "Do you like the story?"
He said, "I immensely like it."
I said, "Do you think anybody who is not a buddha can manage that story?"
He said, "No, I don't think so."
"Then," I said, "be a little courageous. Scholars are always just like mice, no courage at all. Be a lion!"
The story was a simple story I have told you many times, and I don't care whether it happened or not. It makes sense, it makes you understand something of the inexpressible, that is justification enough. If it did not happen, it should have happened. If I ever meet Gautam Buddha I will force him to correct the omission.
Anand Kausalyayan said, "I have another appointment."
I said, "I know you must have another appointment, that our conversation is not going to happen. But remember that all your scholarship and all your fame all over Asia, wherever Buddhism prevails, is worth nothing, because you don't have the courage to be a buddha. And being a buddha is not somebody's monopoly. Being a buddha is not being a Buddhist. A Buddhist is a follower, a buddha knows. A buddha has no need to follow anybody."

The story was that Gautam Buddha and Ananda, his disciple, were passing through a forest. They had just crossed a small stream. Buddha is an old man, and he says to Ananda, "I am feeling very thirsty, you just go back and from that stream bring me some water in my bowl."
Ananda took the bowl and went back. But meanwhile a few bullock carts had passed through the stream and had disturbed its water completely; it had become muddy. Dead leaves which were silently asleep on the bottom had surfaced to have another look at the world. The water was not drinkable, and Ananda was in a difficulty: what to do? This water he cannot take for his master. So he went back. Buddha was sitting under a tree and asked, "Have you brought the water?"
He told what happened. Buddha said, "You are stupid. You just go there and sit by the side of the stream. When we came it was not muddy. The dead leaves were asleep on the bottom, the water was crystal clear. So just go there and wait, it needs only patience. Soon the leaves will be gone; because the stream is flowing, they cannot stay there. The dirt will settle -- gravitation is continuously pulling everything towards itself. Everything is being done, soon the water will be clear."
Ananda did not want to go, because he had seen that it had become so dirty that it would take days to have that same crystal-clear quality that Buddha remembered.
He said, "Don't be worried. I will bring water, but I will have to go in the other direction. Ahead there is a big river. It will take a little longer time, because it must be four miles from here, but it will be fresh water, drinkable water. You rest here."
Buddha insisted, "Don't change your mind, just go back." And when the master says, "Just go back..." Unwillingly, deep down resisting, Ananda went back and was surprised and shocked that meanwhile the leaves had gone and the dirt had settled. He had not even to wait, the water was as crystal-clear as it was before! All that was foreign -- the dirt, the dead leaves -- had all gone. The water had come to its purity. He filled the begging bowl of Gautam Buddha.
But insistently he was aware of the question, "Why was Buddha so adamant that I have to come back here to bring water? He needs water... I could have brought it from another stream. Why this stream? There must be some reason."
And as he came back towards Buddha the reason became clear. Just as the leaves and the dirt, which are not natural to the stream -- which are foreign visitors, tourists -- are bound to leave sooner or later.... Suddenly he realized what Buddha meant -- that your thoughts, your emotions, your sentiments, all are foreign to your buddha nature. If you just wait patiently they all will disappear without any effort on your side. Your purity will assert itself on its own accord. The buddha arising in you is a spontaneous phenomenon.
This was the story I had told in the Bodhgaya conference. Anand Kausalyayan was interested; the story was really beautiful. It was an absolutely clear explanation of Buddhist meditation. You have just to wait, don't do anything -- otherwise you will make things muddled. Just wait by the side, watch and be patient, and it is going to happen.
He said, "The story really impressed me, but now that I know that it is not in the scriptures..."
I said, "Does it interest you or not? Because it is not in the scriptures, has it lost its significance?"
He said, "I have never encountered a person like you, who says, `What I am saying, put it down into your scripture.' I would love to do it, but it is not according to tradition, and nobody will accept it."
I said, "It does not matter, you accepted."
He considered, wavered a little -- looked at his host again for help, because he had entered into the lion's den unnecessarily. All his scholarship was useless. In the face of truth all scholarship is always useless; but the scholars find it immensely difficult to take the jump beyond their mind, because their mind is so precious to them. It contains so many beautiful scriptures, it is their respectability, it is their honor, it is their dignity, it is the whole treasure they have.
It is a strange fact that the more you know, the more you are filled with borrowed knowledge, the less is the possibility of your knowing the truth. The less you know, the less knowledgeable you are, the greater is the possibility to drop your mind, because it is worthless anyway. You don't know anything, you have nothing to lose. But a scholar has much to lose.
It is good, in a way, that we discussed Dogen after he became enlightened and now we are discussing his difficult times, when he must have been a man of great scholarship. His language shows it:
QUIETLY CONSIDER THE FACT THAT IF THIS WERE A TIME WHEN THE TRUE DHARMA HAD NOT YET SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH IT.
Now this is stupid. If Gautam Buddha could come to realize it without any Buddhism anywhere, it simply shows that each individual is capable of realizing himself without any tradition. It is good, and encouraging, that there have been buddhas before. To your weak hearts it gives a certain nourishment, a certain trustfulness. But it is not a scientific fact.
Even if there had been no buddha before me, I would have been a buddha anyway, because the buddha simply means an awakened soul. Why can't I wake up? Do I need somebody else to wake up first? And that, too, thousands of years before? Because Gautam Buddha woke up thousands of years before Dogen, does that help a sleeping person in any way now? In fact the sleeping person does not even know that somebody has become awakened. In what way can it help?
This is just a scholar's mind. He is making a logical and rational statement: because Buddhism has spread all over the world, that has made us capable of becoming enlightened. That is sheer nonsense -- scholarly, of course.
... EVEN IF WE WERE WILLING TO SACRIFICE OUR LIVES TO DO SO.
How did Buddha attain to be a buddha? By risking all. Anybody anywhere -- in any time, in any country -- if he is ready to risk everything, his mind, his body, and just be a watcher, unidentified, he is bound to become a buddha; it does not matter whether Gautam Buddha really existed or not.
He is saying:
HOW FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN BORN IN THE PRESENT DAY, WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE THIS ENCOUNTER!
Just a foolish scholarly statement. Every moment is blessed for the courageous one, who can come out of the sheep's skin and give a good lion's roar.
You are all hiding, because to be a sheep is secure; the crowd is unafraid of the sheep. Be a lion and all the crowds around the world become afraid. And to tell people that they also are lions is the most dangerous thing to all the vested interests. As sheep they can oppress you because you are ready to be oppressed. They can enslave you because you need, deeply need, to be enslaved. Alone you feel almost as if you are dying. You need a crowd around you, it feels cozy and warm.
Have you watched sheep? They always move in a crowd, a big crowd, almost stepping on each other. Just the feeling that everybody else is there, there is no need to be afraid.... But nobody has seen a lion moving in a crowd of lions. A lion moves alone. The very word `crowd' is dishonorable.
These scholars want you to understand that you can only be a follower. And of course to be a follower a master is needed. I want to tell you that a master is helpful, but is not an absolute necessity. A master is helpful only in the sense that seeing a bird fly, its small children gather courage and start fluttering their own small wings. They are sitting on the edge of their nest, the sky seems to be so vast and they are so small. But their parents flying around the nest are simply encouraging them, "Don't be afraid, if we can fly, you can fly also."
I used to live in a place where there was a mango grove. Cuckoos like mangoes very much. In a mango grove you will find cuckoos singing day and night. When the newborn comes out of the egg -- I have watched -- trembling, hesitating, he wants to fly, just as the mother is doing, but he feels afraid because he has never done it, and who knows whether he will be able to do it or will fall to the ground and die?
The mother goes to a nearby tree and gives a call. Watching them I started learning their language. I could distinguish the call of a lover to his beloved, and the call from a mother to the child, and a call from the child to the mother -- small differences, but you can decipher them. The mother's call is simply to tell the child, "Come up close to me, it is not far away, just look!" She goes around the tree again. And I have seen that if the child cannot gather courage, just flutters but remains on the edge of the nest, the mother has to push him.
It is worth seeing when the mother pushes the child. He is so afraid, it is just as if somebody is pushing you into ice-cold water and you don't know swimming. But he flutters his wings, he cannot do anything else, he has to flutter; he has seen what the mother was doing. And within seconds the transformation -- he has gone to the other tree from where the mother was calling him and gives a call in response, "Now you can come!"
Every day he goes farther and farther and a day comes that he says good-bye and never comes to the nest again, the whole sky is his.
The master is certainly a tremendous help. His very presence gives you a guarantee, his very authority takes away your fear of the unknown, but he is not absolutely necessary. You can take the jump without any master. Gautam Buddha did, then why can't you? Why does Dogen have to wait for Buddhism to spread all over the world to be able to become a buddha?
I don't want you to be a buddha tomorrow. There is no need to wait. The buddha is your nature. All that is needed is to be acquainted with it.
Now sitting here is Rajendra Anuragi. He has a high post in Madhya Pradesh, deputy-director of communications. And because he has come here... He is only on leave; after the leave finishes he is going to take retirement.
But rumors must have spread, and the government is threatening his wife, "You vacate the government house," and, "We are going to cut off the electricity, telephone, water."
But Rajendra Anuragi is made of a different mettle. I know him from my very childhood. I have sent him a message, "Don't be worried by such political pressures, just tell your wife and your children that if the government takes the house, `Here is your home, you can come here.'"
But Rajendra Anuragi is not to go back. Going back is very cowardly. And all these threats -- they have not taken the house, they have not cut the telephone -- all these threats are simply so that his wife becomes afraid. She has had a heart attack, she has been hospitalized, the children must be worried -- naturally the government must be thinking that Rajendra Anuragi, seeing the situation, will come back.
For a courageous man, no situation exists which can change his mind. He has come here and if the government wants the house -- although it is illegal, he is only on leave -- they can take the house, they can take the telephone and the electricity and the water, but not before his retirement.
But they cannot threaten a man.... This is how the crowd goes on threatening everybody and keeps everybody as sheep. Religions force you to be sheep. All the religions want followers, but this place is for the masters. Here is no crowd, but an assembly of lions, just meeting together. A few lions are asleep...

(THERE IS A LOUD BELLY LAUGH FROM SARDAR GURUDAYAL SINGH.)

It does not matter, it's just an old habit. They will wake up when they will hear Sardar Gurudayal Singh.
I don't want you to be a follower, I want you to be yourself, absolutely, categorically. Only then you can find your buddhahood. It is not something that comes from outside or from tradition, it is something that has to be discovered within yourself.
At the most, the master can be a help. But the master is not a necessity. And I have to remind you, the master can also become a hindrance, because you may start thinking that because you have a master you don't have to do anything, the master will take care. There are people who are saying this.
Jesus goes on saying, "Believe in me" -- don't believe in yourself -- "Believe in me and I will take care."
Krishna says, "Believe in me and I will take care. Whenever there is some problem I will come back." Five thousand years have passed and there have been problems and problems and I am waiting to see the guy come back! But not even a postcard! He has not left even a phone number! These people have deceived millions of people for thousands of years. People become believers, they think that that's all that is needed of them.
So in a sense a master can be a hindrance -- if he promises you, "I will do anything for you." You have to find a master like me who is so lazy... I can promise you: I will never do anything for you! I don't do anything for myself either.
But there are times when I need to hit you. I had to call back from Germany a solid stonehead; he is sitting there with his staff. But I don't order him to hit, because a German hit can be dangerous. Rather than making you enlightened it may make you hospitalized, because Germans don't know that these Japanese masters were not really hitting, they were just using very light bamboos. I have never heard that anybody's head was broken or that anybody got a fracture, so naturally I conclude that those hits were just playful.
The master can be a help if he is just a friend, a presence in which you can learn to be yourself, a presence which can encourage you to fly into the sky. But he can be a hindrance if he promises, "I will deliver you from your sins."
Jesus was continually asked when the day of judgment would come, because on the day of judgment all the souls will wake up from their graves and God will decide who is a sinner and who is a saint. And Jesus said, "I am his only begotten son, I will point out who are my people. For them a special concession... they will enter into paradise without any difficulty."
It has been asked in the Bible again and again... because the disciples were worried, "When is this day of judgment going to happen?"
And he used to say, "Soon." Two thousand years have passed, he himself has passed, and the day of judgment has not happened. And I tell you it will never happen, because there is no God to judge and there is no time where existence comes to an end. And what crimes have you done? Every crime that you have done reflects God and his work.
Now psychologists are becoming more and more clear that if somebody murders it is not a crime, it is just hormonal, his chemistry is wrong. And our stupid judiciary goes on hanging these poor people who are suffering from a wrong chemistry for which they are not responsible. If you want to hang somebody, hang God! He is the only murderer, the only man who has raped, the only man who has been stealing, because all these things are built into your biology.
Somebody becomes a thief because of a certain biology; what he needs is not imprisonment, but treatment, psychological and physiological. Nobody is a criminal, who are you going to judge? But making people afraid... "The day of judgment is very close, be quick and have faith in me and I will recognize you as one of my people. Otherwise you will be lost in a crowd of millions of skeletons, all around the world." And God can not refuse his only begotten son's followers, he has to accept them.
These people like Jesus or Krishna who have made it a point that following them, having faith in them, is going to save you... they are criminals, utter criminals, because they have been deceiving millions of people for thousands of years. Nobody can save you except you.
An authentic master is going to emphasize in thousands of ways that you are your own savior. In fact this should be the criterion of whether the master is true or a fraud. If he says, "I am going to save you," he is a fraud, because he is keeping you away from yourself; he is preventing you from discovering your buddhahood; he is putting himself above you -- superior, savior, messenger, God's son, God's incarnation. And you? You are just poor animals, just monkeys who have accidentally fallen from the trees and in falling have lost their tails.
This was a very great problem for Charles Darwin. When he proposed his thesis that man is a descendant of the apes, the question was necessarily asked, "Where is man's tail?" But fortunately or unfortunately, there is a place in your backbone which shows that there used to be something attached which is now missing. A monkey without a tail is impossible; the tail is his glory. But Darwin found on skeletons the place where the tail must have been attached, otherwise why is this place left there? Something is missing.
Charles Darwin was not making an effort to prove that you are a buddha, he was trying his whole life to prove that you are just monkeys gone astray. You lost your tail in the meantime and now have forgotten completely how to jump from tree to tree. All the monkeys must be laughing, seeing these idiots standing on two legs. This is not natural -- abnormal monkeys, stubborn... adamant outcasts, unfit monkeys rejected by the society perhaps.
Jesus says you are sheep and he is the shepherd. All these people are consistently trying to take away your dignity as human beings.
I say to you that you are the ultimate consciousness. You are not the body and you are not the mind; you are the buddha, the awakened one. It is just a question of sleeping or waking, not much of a difference. The sleeping person is not inferior just because you are awake and cannot sleep. His sleep simply shows that he is relaxed, while you are unnecessarily making efforts to wake him.
I sometimes wonder whether I am doing the right thing. Sleeping people, rejoicing in their misery, in their suffering... and I am unnecessarily pulling their legs to get them out of their misery. They think misery is their blanket and they cling to the blanket. But whether I am right or wrong, I enjoy pulling legs.
Dogen said:
WE ARE NOW ABLE TO COME IN CONTACT WITH THE BUDDHA SAKYAMUNI AND HEAR HIS TEACHINGS DUE TO THE COMPASSIONATE KINDNESS THAT HAS RESULTED FROM THE CONSTANT PRACTICE OF EACH OF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS.
You can see the language, it is that of a scholar and he is making absolutely wrong statements. It is not because of the buddhas in the past that you can become a buddha. You can become a buddha because you are essentially a buddha. The past buddhas may help you as a reminder, but not more than that. There is a danger also that you may start worshipping them, and once you start worshipping you will never remember your own buddha.
It is such an absurdity that a living buddha is worshipping a stone buddha, praying to a stone buddha made by human hands. It is so hilarious that all over the world, in all the temples of the so-called gods, people are worshipping toys.
I have told Avirbhava, "Collect all kinds of toys. We will make a beautiful museum and I appoint you the director general." She has brought me a beautiful bear which walks, which makes sounds very similar to Avirbhava, and when he makes the sounds he waves his tail. It is really a beautiful toy.
But all the gods are not even that much alive. The bear at least moves, waves its tail and makes sounds -- and strangely enough those sounds are exactly like Avirbhava makes. Tomorrow you will see; Avirbhava will bring it herself.

(THE MASTER IS LAUGHING SO MUCH THAT HE HAS DIFFICULTY SPEAKING. AVIRBHAVA IS ALSO LAUGHING LOUDLY.)
Now this is... give it a try... how he walks and makes the sound... You will just be missing the tail, otherwise you are perfect.
We are going to make a museum of all kinds of toys which humanity has been worshipping, so when visitors come you can show them that "These are your gods!"
But as far as I am concerned, it is not needed at all for any buddhas to have preceded me or to precede you. I don't accept any followers and I don't accept any predecessors. Successors or predecessors are not needed, you are enough unto yourself. It is just a question of awakening. So everybody will wake up -- how long can you sleep? We will go on harassing you.

IF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS HAD NOT DIRECTLY TRANSMITTED THE DHARMA, HOW COULD IT HAVE COME DOWN TO US TODAY?
Absolute bullshit! -- but very scholarly, supported by the scriptures. Dharma is your very nature, that is the meaning of the word `dharma'. Just as coldness is the dharma of ice and heat is the dharma of fire, buddhahood is your dharma. Awareness is your dharma, your fire, your coolness, your nature. It has nothing to do with anybody who has become enlightened before you.
Even if the whole history is completely erased, it won't affect in any way people becoming enlightened. Because it is their nature, sooner or later they will blossom. They may go astray a little bit here and there and that is nothing wrong... just going for a morning walk, or being lost in a bazaar, in a shopping mall. But finally you will have to come home. You will have to realize yourself. Hence I cannot support Dogen's idea.
He says:
THE TRUE WAY OF EXPRESSING THIS GRATITUDE CAN BE FOUND ONLY IN OUR DAILY PRACTICE ITSELF.
Gratitude for what? He is asking you to be grateful for Gautam Buddha, for Bodhidharma, for other patriarchs and masters. Gratitude is a by-product. He is not aware about the very psychology of man. Gratitude comes after you have become a buddha. Then you feel gratitude towards existence; then you feel the miracle that you have not asked for anything and you have been given everything, all the mysteries.
Dogen goes on saying:
HOW TRANSIENT OUR LIFE IS! TO UTTER TWO OR THREE WORDS OF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS COMPLETELY IS TO EXPRESS THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS THEMSELVES FULLY. WHY IS THIS SO?
IN THEIR REALM THERE IS NO GAP BETWEEN BODY AND MIND, SO EVERY WORD OF THEIR UTTERING IS THEIR WARM BODY AND MIND.
THEREFORE, WHEN WE BECOME THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS, WE TRANSCEND THEM.
He has not yet become a buddha. He does not know transcendence, he is still talking about it.
THIS IS THE PRACTICAL EXPRESSION OF TWO OR THREE WORDS OF BUDDHAS AND THE PATRIARCHS.
SO I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO PURSUE THE PRACTICE OF THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS.
This is the way of a teacher, of a priest, of a professor; but these are not the words of a man who is awakened. The awakened people speak in a very different way -- the same words, but they have a different nuance to them.
A haiku by Basho:
ALONG THE MOUNTAIN ROAD
SOMEHOW IT TUGS AT MY HEART:
A WILD VIOLET.

Now, he is saying more than any scholar can say.
A WILD VIOLET.
SOMEHOW IT TUGS AT MY HEART:
ALONG THE MOUNTAIN ROAD.
A man of silence and understanding, a man of consciousness, understands the beauty of existence, even of a wild flower.
A haiku by Kikaku:
MAY HE WHO BRINGS FLOWERS
TONIGHT,
HAVE MOONLIGHT.

Because the same flowers in moonlight suddenly have a different splendor. In the silence of the night with the full moon, if somebody brings even some wild flowers they have such immense beauty.
But this beauty and this silence are not for the mind to understand, they are for the being to experience.
Ryota writes:
THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE
IS UNBELIEVABLE TONIGHT.
THIS HARVEST MOON!

He is saying that there is only one buddha -- that's what the tradition says -- who can save the world.
THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE
IS UNBELIEVABLE TONIGHT.
THIS HARVEST MOON!
In the beauty of this harvest moon, in this silent sky full of stars, it is unbelievable that in the whole history of mankind there was only one man who became a buddha.
And I absolutely support Ryota. There have been many buddhas in many different places, of different races, from different countries. They may not have been called buddhas, they may have spoken different languages, they may not have spoken at all; their existence may not have been recorded. But it is impossible to believe that in four million years there has been only one man who attained to the highest peak of consciousness.
At least I can say: Forget the one, because I have touched the same peak. From now onwards remember two buddhas! I cannot say anything about any other buddhas; they may have been pretenders, they may have been just imitators. But I can say with absolute authority that I have known myself and I have known myself more than Gautam Buddha himself, because he got stuck at a point.
He himself describes it in a beautiful way... In China there are ten pictures, just like Tarot cards, which are called, "The Ten Zen Bulls."
In the first card the bull has escaped from his owner. In the second card the owner is searching for him but does not know which way he has gone. In deep mountains, valleys, forests... which direction has he taken? In the third he finds the footprints of the bull.
In the fourth, following the footprints he finds the bull hiding behind a tree, just his back is seen in the picture. In the fifth he has seen the whole bull.
In the sixth he catches hold of the bull. It is a struggle, the bull does not want to go back home, he has found the freedom of the forest and the mountains and the rivers. But in the seventh the owner is dragging him back. In the eighth he has conquered the bull. In the ninth the bull is in the stable and the man is sitting under his roof, playing a flute. In the tenth, the man is going towards the pub with a bottle in his hand.
Buddha has described that there comes a point when a buddha forgets his enlightenment. It becomes so natural that there is no need to remember it. The tenth is the transcendence beyond buddha.
When this pack of cards came to Japan they dropped the tenth card because it looks very irreligious. It is perfectly good that the bull has been found -- the bull represents the truth -- that the buddha is at ease playing his flute. But the tenth seems to be very dangerous. So in Japan they dropped the tenth, they brought only nine cards. They were not courageous enough to see a buddha sitting in a pub sipping beer.
But I would like the tenth card to be added again. It is beyond Buddha himself, because he himself said, "I am at the ninth stage. The tenth stage is just to become ordinary and simple, so simple that you can even get drunk. Just a cup of wine, sitting with your friends enjoying..."
The Japanese priests became aware that this is a very dangerous card; every drunkard will start saying that he has transcended Buddha. But being so afraid of the drunkards... Anyway they think they have transcended everything, they don't wait for your card. Just look at a drunkard, he believes already that he is a god.

Because of these drunkards they have dropped a very significant point. The bottle and the pub were only symbolic, symbolic of being very ordinary -- just being simple as everybody else is. Once in a while if a buddha takes a little wine, just to give company to other buddhas who may be asleep, I will not object.


 

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