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Chapter 5: You must see for yourself

 

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OUR BELOVED MASTER,
DOGEN WROTE:
SUCCESSIVE PATRIARCHS PERSONALLY TRANSMITTED THE DHARMA FROM MASTER TO DISCIPLE. WITHOUT THE PERSONAL TRANSMISSION, NOT A SINGLE PATRIARCH, MASTER OR DISCIPLE, COULD BE A BUDDHA OR A PATRIARCH.
IT IS JUST AS IF WE WERE MAKING INNUMERABLE SMALL RIVERS JOIN A GREAT ONE, OR KEEPING THE LIGHT FROM GOING OUT, MAKING COUNTLESS LIGHTS ONE AFTER ANOTHER: EVENTUALLY, THEY BECOME ONE. AND THERE IS NO GAP IN THE FUNCTION OF THE TRANSMISSION BETWEEN MASTER AND DISCIPLE.
SO SUCCESSIVE PATRIARCHS SPENT THEIR DAILY LIFE FACE-TO-FACE WITH SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA AND WATCHED BY HIS FACE. HOW MANY DAYS THEY HAD PASSED, I DON'T KNOW. WE SHOULD THINK CALMLY AND BE GLAD OF THIS. THEIR EYE AND FACE ARE THE BUDDHA'S BECAUSE THEY MADE BOWS TO THE BUDDHA'S FACE AND TRANSFERRED HIS EYE INTO THEIR OWN, AND VICE VERSA.
IT IS THROUGH THE TRANSMISSION THAT THE EYE AND FACE HAD BEEN INCESSANTLY TRANSMITTED TILL NOW.
THERE IS NO GAP IN THE TRANSMISSION BETWEEN MASTER AND DISCIPLE, JUST AS ONE VINE COILS ROUND ANOTHER; THAT IS TO SAY, WE OPEN OUR EYES AND PRESENT THEM WITH THEMSELVES, THEY RECEIVE THEMSELVES. THE SAME CAN ALSO BE SAID OF OUR FACE, MIND AND BODY.
UNLESS A DISCIPLE SEES HIS MASTER, HE CANNOT BE SAID TO BE A DISCIPLE; UNLESS A MASTER SEES HIS DISCIPLE, HE CANNOT BE A MASTER.
BOTH OF THEM HAVE GOT THE TRANSMISSION AND SUCCEEDED TO THE DHARMA BY SEEING EACH OTHER. THAT IS AN APPEARANCE OF THE TRANSMISSION OF THE PATRIARCHS. THEREFORE, THEY COULD DIRECTLY TOUCH THE BUDDHA'S FINE FACE.
AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSMISSION, OUR FACE WILL CHANGE COMPLETELY. THE SKIN ITSELF WILL BE A GREAT MIRROR OF THE BUDDHAS, WHICH HAS NO FLAW INSIDE OR OUT. THE GREAT MIRROR GIVES THE TRANSMISSION TO THE GREAT MIRROR ITSELF. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN CORRECTLY GIVEN EYES TRUE ENOUGH TO SEE SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA PERSONALLY, ARE MORE INTIMATE WITH HIM THAN HE IS WITH HIMSELF. EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF SELF AND OTHERS, WHO SEES THE CORRECT TRANSMISSION OR THE REAL STUDY OF THIS NEW TRANSMISSION OF THE TATHAGATA SHOULD PRESERVE IT CAREFULLY.

Maneesha, before I enter into the serious statements of a scholarly Dogen, I would like Avirbhava first to inaugurate.
It is not a bear, as I said yesterday -- because around the world I have so many cases against me, accusing me of hurting people's religious feelings. And the bear is worshipped by men.
It is really a pig. I had to ask Anando to research whether somebody's heart feelings would be hurt if we inaugurate the Museum of the Ancient Dead Gods with a pig. Avirbhava is going to be the Director General. She is completely ready -- with the ears of a pig, and a tail too.
(AVIRBHAVA IS DRESSED IN PIG EARS AND A CURLY TAIL.)

About pigs: "In the ancient world pigs were considered the embodiment of the `Corn Spirit,' Osiris. He was the great Egyptian god of the underworld and judge of the dead.
In Greece pigs were sacred to Demeter, the goddess of the fruitful soil and agriculture. And today they are considered sacred in New Guinea.
In China the pig is considered a great delicacy and, as in many other countries in the past too, was traditionally served at banquets and feasts, notably marriage ceremonies. While people ate the roasted pork, they could view the stuffed pig in the center of the banquet table. Great care was always taken to choose a pig's head that had a pleasing face.
Pigs were particularly popular at marriages because they represented virtue and fertility. Generally, in China, pigs are venerated because they represent good fortune."
So it is absolutely appropriate for Avirbhava to inaugurate the museum with her own hands.
Avirbhava, bring your pig... and inaugurate!

(AVIRBHAVA PLACES A CUDDLY SOFT PINK PIG ON THE PODIUM AND IT PROCEEDS TO WADDLE ACROSS THE MARBLE IN FRONT OF THE MASTER'S FEET, MAKING GRUNTING NOISES AS ITS SNOUT AND TAIL WRIGGLE.)
That is good.
Now we can turn to the serious matter.
Even this inauguration will hurt many people's religious beliefs, so there will be a few more cases. But this has been the right ancient god with which to inaugurate this museum, where we are going to collect all the dead gods that have been worshipped by a stupid humanity.
Buddhas have been forced to worship pigs and nobody has objected. Stones, monkeys, elephants -- you name it, they have all been worshipped somewhere or other. But nowhere in the whole history of mankind has man been given the dignity of a god. I am for the first time giving you the dignity of a god, and I want you to make a plaything of all the so-called gods worshipped by humanity. It is such a degradation, such a humiliation. But man has accepted slavery without revolting against it.
If the crowd was worshipping the pig they followed the crowd, because the crowd gave them security and coziness and they had not the courage to revolt. Our museum will be specially devoted to all those idiots who have worshipped animals rather than searching for their own super-human consciousness, their own buddha; looking into mosques and synagogues and temples rather than looking into themselves.
It will create legal problems, but that does not matter. I have faced legal problems my whole life. I tremendously enjoy the stupidity of the judiciary around the world. They are still protecting those people whose feelings are hurt if you say anything about the pigs. In the name of religion all kinds of nonsense has been forced on man's mind.
My basic function is to take away all this nonsense from you so you can come out in your full glory -- a full moon, a buddha, sufficient unto yourself. I don't teach any prayer, I simply teach exploration of the inner world. There is the treasure; not in the scriptures, as Dogen is saying.
DOGEN WROTE:
SUCCESSIVE PATRIARCHS PERSONALLY TRANSMITTED THE DHARMA FROM MASTER TO DISCIPLE.
It is a half truth, and a half truth is more dangerous than a lie. A lie is at least complete. Half truths are very dangerous because they hide the lie behind them, so on the surface it looks as if what is projected is true.
What he is saying -- that SUCCESSIVE PATRIARCHS PERSONALLY TRANSMITTED THE DHARMA FROM MASTER TO DISCIPLE -- has a little truth in it. That has been so with most of the masters, that they have received the essence, the experience, in the presence of a master. It has been a transmission between two energies. But it is not an absolute principle that he is making:
WITHOUT THE PERSONAL TRANSMISSION NOT A SINGLE PATRIARCH, MASTER OR DISCIPLE COULD BE A BUDDHA OR A PATRIARCH.
This is so obviously stupid -- because who was the master of Gautam Buddha himself? From where did he get the transmission?
According to Dogen he needed to have a master -- but he had none. It is only a half truth. But the other half is more important, for the simple reason that you may not find a master, but the universal spirit is always available everywhere.
The really courageous people simply take the jump into the universal being without being pushed by a master. It simply depends on your courage.
To be a buddha is your birthright. Just a little courage and you can declare yourself a buddha. But the mind hesitates, the mind thinks a thousand and one things -- what will happen to my smoking? What about the girlfriend? And what about the bank balance?
These small things I allow you to have. You can be a buddha and smoke -- that will just simply show that you are a stupid buddha! But stupid or not stupid, nobody can take away your buddhahood. You can have a girlfriend -- even Sardar Gurudayal Singh is having girlfriends and he is a well-known buddha, ancient. I don't think he himself knows how old he is! But there is no time for him to get old. Girlfriends continuously keep him so engaged, he has no time to grow old. One needs time to grow old.
I allow you every concession that you want except unawareness; that I cannot allow because that is fundamental to buddhahood. If you are alert and aware and conscious there is no need of any master. Universal energy itself transmits the light, the arrow that penetrates to your very center, and you become connected with the whole.
A master is a small window from which you can see the starry sky. But that does not mean that first you need a window, only then you can see the starry night. Why don't you come out of the door?

Mulla Nasruddin died... his grave still exists in Iran. He used to carry his door wherever he would go, and people would ask, "What is the matter? Why are you carrying that board? Have you become a Christian?" But even Christ was carrying only the cross, not a board. "Is it some improvement on the cross?"
He said "No, it is just a security measure. Nobody can enter into my house except through the door. So I carry the door."
When he died his disciples wondered what to do about the door. He had left a written will in which he mentioned it: "Just put the door in front of my grave, lock it and put the keys in my hand inside the grave."
They are still there, the door and the grave; and the skeleton must have the keys. He is saying, "If the door is closed and the keys are with me, nobody can disturb my sleep until the judgment day, nobody can enter into the grave." He has taken security measures. Even after death, the door is locked. You may think it seems to be utter foolishness, but the man was laughing about you in all his acts, all his statements.
This act is also simply laughing at your stupidity. What do you think about your security, your bank balance? You can go bankrupt. What do you think of your security, your husband, your wife? If either of you is intelligent enough, he will escape.
There is no security. Even if you carry the door there is no security; in fact it makes you more vulnerable. Thieves don't bother about entering through the door. In fact they never enter through the door; they just make a hole in the wall on their own accord.
But the most hilarious part is... one cold winter night a thief entered into Mulla Nasruddin's house. Mulla Nasruddin opened one eye and looked at the thief. The thief started trembling -- a man asleep with one eye open? Now he can neither go in, nor even get out. He was so much afraid, but Mulla said, "Don't be worried, I'm coming with you."
He said, "Where?"
Mulla said, "Into the house where you are going."
The thief said, "You seem to be mad! I am a thief!"
Mulla said, "I don't care who you are. For thirty years I have been looking around in this house, and I haven't found anything. Now let us have a partnership -- whatever is found we split fifty-fifty. You came at the right time, because I was becoming discouraged."
The thief said, "My God!"
But he had to go in, and there was nothing. Mulla followed him with his lamp to show him the way everywhere. The thief wanted to escape somehow, because with the lamp Mulla would see his face. Tomorrow the whole city would know that he is a thief.
Mulla said, "Don't be worried, that's why I had opened only one eye. I'm not looking at you. My concern is our partnership."
He said, "What partnership? There is nothing to be found."
He said, "That's what I was trying to tell you, but you wouldn't listen."
The thief said, "I want to go!"
Nasruddin said, "Where?"
"I'm going to my house."
Nasruddin said, "I'm also coming. Partners should live together!"
The thief said, "My God, this is a difficulty. I have a wife."
Nasruddin said, "Don't be worried about that, I will take care of her. You just do your job and I will take care of your wife."
This man whose house was empty was carrying the door all around, wherever he was going, making a statement in his own way. The man was of immense intelligence. He is saying that it is only a door and nothing else. Just look through the door and the whole sky is open. By carrying the door he was saying that he is a master, a door to the divinity. But he was a unique person.

Dogen is still a scholar. I wonder how he could not see the simple point when he said:
WITHOUT THE PERSONAL TRANSMISSION, NOT A SINGLE PATRIARCH, MASTER OR DISCIPLE, COULD BE A BUDDHA OR A PATRIARCH.
What about the first buddha? And if it can happen to Gautam Buddha without any master, why can it not happen to anybody else?
To become enlightened is everybody's birthright, it is not a monopoly of Buddha's. These statements show that Dogen is still learning scriptures. He's not a buddha yet.
He became a buddha finally, after he had gone unnecessarily astray carrying the load of Buddhist scriptures. Finally, when he got finished and fed up with the scriptures and dropped them, he was surprised to realize that from the very beginning there was no need to search. You are it. The seeker is the goal. If you go on seeking other goals, you are going away from yourself. Seeking has to stop.
IT IS JUST, says Dogen, AS IF WE WERE MAKING INNUMERABLE SMALL RIVERS JOIN A GREAT ONE, OR KEEPING THE LIGHT FROM GOING OUT, MAKING COUNTLESS LIGHTS ONE AFTER ANOTHER: EVENTUALLY, THEY BECOME ONE.
Partly he is right, but only partly. But buddhas don't make partial statements. Their statements are categorically absolute.
AND THERE IS NO GAP IN THE FUNCTION OF THE TRANSMISSION BETWEEN MASTER AND DISCIPLE.
SO SUCCESSIVE PATRIARCHS SPENT THEIR DAILY LIFE FACE TO FACE WITH SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA AND WATCHED BY HIS FACE.
Now at the time of Dogen, Sakyamuni Gautam Buddha had been dead for fifteen hundred years. What does he mean by living face to face with Sakyamuni Buddha? He had only stone statues, utterly dead.

In my village there was, very close to my house, a temple of Shiva, and Shiva is represented with the Shivalinga. You must have seen Shiva temples: just any beautiful round stone is placed and that is Shivalinga, which means, "The prick of the Lord Shiva." Now the devotees of Shiva are going to be freaked, but what can I do? I'm simply translating the word `Shivalinga'.
One of my friends' father lived just in front of that temple, and he was a great devotee of Shiva.
I told him, "You are wasting your time. That Shiva is absolutely worthless."
He said, "What do you mean? You are hurting my religious feelings."
I said, "That is going to be my profession my whole life. This is just the beginning. I have seen rats urinating on your Shiva. He cannot do anything to the rats, what is he going to do for you?"
He was so angry that he told me, "You get out of this house!"
I said, "I will get out, whether you say it or not. But whenever you go to the temple I will be standing there by your side, watching your stupidity. I will not say a single word, but you will understand why I'm standing there."
He said, "You are a strange boy."
From that day, for almost six months, I followed him regularly. Whenever he would enter the temple he would look all around. I was able to see the temple from my house, so immediately I would enter and stand there without saying a word.
And he would say, "My God, have you come?"
I said, "It is better to stop this stupidity. Don't you see so many rats in this temple?"
He said, "It is true. And it is also true that I have seen those rats urinating over the Shiva. But this is just a statue, a representation, a symbol of the real Shiva."
I said, "Have you seen the real Shiva? Is he just a prick?"
He said, "Listen! You are not allowed to come into my house anymore!"
I said, "I have no intention. If you stop coming to this temple, I will stop coming to your house. It is an agreement. But if you come to this temple, nobody can prevent me coming to your house and provoking you. I will do everything to make you aware that you are being very idiotic."
He said to his son, "You drop your friendship with this boy, because this boy is going to spoil you. He's spoiling me, because sometimes I start thinking that perhaps I am being stupid. On all rational grounds the boy is right. I have not seen Shiva, and I have never bothered about the meaning of Shivalinga."
He said, "You have started coming in my dreams."
I said, "If you prevent me coming to your house, then that is the only way I can wake you up."
The old man finally decided not to go to this temple. He went to another temple, but that was a temple of an elephant god. What difference does it make?
Dogen is talking about Sakyamuni Buddha as if the Buddha is alive and you are watching him.
There are certainly more statues of Gautam Buddha in the world than of anybody else. And his last statement before he died was, "Don't make any statues of me, because I will not be in my stone statues." But just as nobody listens to the master...
They resisted making statues for three hundred years, but then finally they gave up. First they started worshipping the grave of Gautam Buddha, but it is not much joy to worship a grave. Then somebody suggested worshipping the tree under which Gautam Buddha became enlightened. That was a better idea, a tree is at least a living phenomenon... a beautiful tree with great foliage. But after all a tree is a tree, it cannot be a substitute for Gautam Buddha. Nothing can be a substitute except your own consciousness.
All these statements made by Dogen simply show that he does not know.

HOW MANY DAYS THEY HAD PASSED, I DON'T KNOW. WE SHOULD THINK CALMLY AND BE GLAD OF THIS. THEIR EYE AND FACE ARE THE BUDDHA'S BECAUSE THEY MADE BOWS TO THE BUDDHA'S FACE AND TRANSFERRED HIS EYE INTO THEIR OWN, AND VICE VERSA.
IT IS THROUGH THE TRANSMISSION THAT THE EYE AND FACE HAD BEEN INCESSANTLY TRANSMITTED TILL NOW.
THERE IS NO GAP IN THE TRANSMISSION BETWEEN MASTER AND DISCIPLE, JUST AS ONE VINE COILS ROUND ANOTHER; THAT IS TO SAY, WE OPEN OUR EYES AND PRESENT THEM WITH THEMSELVES, THEY RECEIVE THEMSELVES. THE SAME CAN ALSO BE SAID OF OUR FACE, MIND AND BODY.
I said to you that it is a half truth. It is true that if you are living with a living master -- not with a statue -- then gazing into his eyes or just watching his presence, his gestures, you will see how awareness functions. And as you become more and more aware of your master, simultaneously you will be becoming aware of yourself.
The master finally proves to be a mirror. In the mirror you can see your face -- your original face, not the painted one which the society has given to you. You can see your original heart -- not the one which is used for pumping the blood in the body, but the original heart which is hiding behind it.
Watching your master in his day-to-day life, something is transmitted. Some energy, some light, some fragrance reaches to you, but it cannot happen with a statue.
There are many Buddhist temples in China, in Japan, in India. Buddhists have disappeared from India, but all the beautiful places like Ajanta are nothing but Gautam Buddha's statues in different postures: sitting, lying, standing, sleeping, waking.
And in China Buddhists have done an almost impossible thing. There is a temple which is called, "The Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas." A whole mountain has been carved into ten thousand buddhas. First the whole mountainside was carved into big caves. Then the statues were carved in those shaded caves. It must have taken thousands of years for thousands of sculptors, and of very fine potentialities, because the statues are so beautiful.
But it was a futile effort. In the time you can carve a buddha in marble, in that very time you can become a thousand times a buddha. So I consider it an absolute wastage of time.
UNLESS A DISCIPLE SEES HIS MASTER, HE CANNOT BE SAID TO BE A DISCIPLE.
Obviously. Scholars are so foolish. If a disciple has not seen the master, it is obvious that he is not a disciple. A disciple exists only in reference to a master. A master can be alone, he is not dependent on disciples. His mastery depends only on his own awakening. But a disciple cannot be a disciple on his own accord; he has to be in deep trust, in love with someone who has arrived home.
He is saying it right, but he does not seem to know that at the time Buddha had already been dead for fifteen centuries -- and now it is twenty-five centuries. Dogen cannot be a disciple of Buddha. All the Buddhists are living in the fallacy that they are disciples of Buddha. You need a living master to transmit the radiation that wakes up your sleeping buddhahood. No statue can do that.
THEREFORE, THEY COULD DIRECTLY TOUCH THE BUDDHA'S FINE FACE.
He is still talking about statues. No disciple will dare to touch Buddha's face when he is living.
The East knows that the disciple's reach is up to the feet of the master. There is a certain science in it. As the disciple touches the master's feet, the master touches the disciple's head; it becomes a circle. From the feet the energy moves into the disciple and from the hand the energy moves into the disciple. And somewhere at the center of the disciple's heart, the master's energy creates enough fire to wake up the sleeping potentiality of the disciple.
It is not just a gesture of gratitude to touch the feet of the master. It has a subtle science about it. But you can TOUCH THE BUDDHA'S FINE FACE only if your Buddha is a stone statue. And by the way, I have to remind you that the face of the Buddha in the statues is not his. Because Buddha was born on the boundaries of Nepal and India, most probably he was Nepalese -- it was just on the boundary where the two countries meet -- he cannot have this face that appears in the statues.
By a strange coincidence, when his statues were first being made, Alexander the Great was visiting India. It was Alexander the Great's face that inspired the sculptors. Certainly the Greek face has a beauty of its own, and Alexander was one of the most beautiful men the earth has seen. So the face you see on Buddha is not even his.
In those days there were no photographs, so it was very easy to put anybody's head on anybody else's body. Even the body does not seem to be Buddha's. It seems to be almost seven feet tall; Nepalese are not that tall. Even in India seven feet is very, very rare. Nor was Buddha as athletic as the body seems to be; he had been in continuous self-torture for six years, the body would have become just bones.
The statue is absolutely false. And by touching this statue's face, you cannot get any transmission. If you do it is imagination, it is hallucination. You are deluding yourself.
AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSMISSION, OUR FACE WILL CHANGE COMPLETELY. THE SKIN ITSELF WILL BE A GREAT MIRROR OF THE BUDDHAS, WHICH HAS NO FLAW INSIDE OR OUT. THE GREAT MIRROR GIVES THE TRANSMISSION TO THE GREAT MIRROR ITSELF.
Once in a while he says something beautiful. He was a great scholar at the time he was making these statements. It is true that when the transmission happens between a master and a disciple, the face of the disciple starts changing to a new grace, a new beauty, a new compassion, a new love, a new joy, a new dance. He starts reflecting his master's being on a smaller scale.
But it is possible only if the master is alive. I am against all statues because they are deceptive, they are deluding millions of people who may have been seeking and searching the truth. Every milestone shows them the way towards a temple or a synagogue or a mosque. The way is inwards, not outside.

A great Sufi master is known to have gone through a great transmission. His name was Junnaid. He was the master of al-Hillaj Mansoor. Al-Hillaj Mansoor is more known to the world because he was crucified just like Jesus, but in a more cruel way. Part by part he was cut -- the American way, in installments.
Junnaid was a very poor man. And it is said that unless at least once in your life you make the pilgrimage to Mecca, where the stone Kaaba is representing Mohammed's place... It is from that stone that, sitting on his horse, he simply went upwards to paradise and took his horse too. If you are an authentic Mohammedan, you have to visit that place at least once in your lifetime. So even the poorest Mohammedans collect money, sell their houses, their farms, because it is an absolute necessity that before they die they must go to Kaaba.
Junnaid was getting old and he was very poor, so he collected money from his neighbors. Nobody refused because the money was for the journey to Kaaba; and everybody is told that if you support a Mohammedan on his pilgrimage, you also partake in the virtue of the great pilgrimage. So people gave him money, gave him some food, clothes, so that he could go. He had to travel... but people were surprised: the next day he was back. It was expected that he would be back in about six months, three months going and three months coming. This was too quick! -- people could not believe it. And also, he looked absolutely transformed, so radiant, so blissful.
They said, "What happened?"
Junnaid said, "Kaaba itself came to meet me outside the village."
They said, "This is sheer nonsense. That big stone?" It is an asteroid that has fallen from the sky... huge.
They asked him, "At least tell us in detail what really has happened."
A Sufi master, Bayazid, was sitting under a tree at the crossroads outside the village. Junnaid asked him, "Which way should I go? I want to reach Kaaba at the pilgrimage time." At a certain time every year Mohammedans from all over the world try to reach Kaaba.
Bayazid said, "Nonsense! Bring out all your money!" And he said it with such authority that poor Junnaid brought all the money that he had gathered.
And Bayazid said, "There is no need to go anywhere! Just make the seven circles around me. I am the Kaaba!"
Junnaid could not believe it at first, but what to do? The man was so... his eyes were so penetrating, his presence was so fragrant. He circled him seven times, as Mohammedans are supposed to go round the Kaaba stone seven times.
And Bayazid said, "Now give me all the other provisions you have for the journey and go home! Your pilgrimage is complete."
He could feel that something had changed. He was no longer the old person who had come just a few minutes before. So he told the villagers, "I met a man who said, `I am the Kaaba!' and he took all my provisions and all my money and told me to make the seven rounds." A few people laughed. Those who were stupid laughed, but those who were wise understood because they could see the transformation that had happened.
It does not matter who the man was, but certainly the man was a man of realization. Just going around him seven times, Junnaid himself became a master.
But it cannot happen by going around a stone seven or seven hundred or seven thousand times.
THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN CORRECTLY GIVEN EYES TRUE ENOUGH TO SEE SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA PERSONALLY...
Now what nonsense he's talking! Buddha has been dead for fifteen hundred years, there is no way now to personally connect with him. Yes, you can connect with somebody else who is still alive and has the same taste of buddhahood. But he is not talking about that, he is talking about stone buddhas.
EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF SELF AND OTHERS, WHO SEES THE CORRECT TRANSMISSION OR THE REAL STUDY OF THIS NEW TRANSMISSION OF THE TATHAGATA SHOULD PRESERVE IT CAREFULLY.
The word `study' shows that Dogen is still a student, a scholar, although he is talking as if he knows. In the world you will come across people who are talking about God as if they know, and millions of people believe in them. It seems our minds have lived so long in slavery that we have forgotten even to question. Dogen is not told that what he is talking about is sheer nonsense.
A fifteen-hundred-year gap cannot be filled. You have to find a living buddha. Of course, the living buddha will have the same taste and the same blissfulness and the same aura and the same energy as the original Gautam Buddha. But this is possible only with a living master.
The search for truth is basically the search for a living master. It is very rare that you can find the way without a master. But I allow the exception. I allow the exception because I myself never had any master.
I have met with many so-called masters, but they all wanted to get rid of me, because my presence was such a danger to their respectability. I raised questions that they could not answer. Other disciples started disappearing, and they would say, "Please, you go on and find somebody else; don't disturb our disciples. They never asked such questions before you came; now they have started asking strange questions about which we know nothing."
There are around the world many who pretend that they know. But you can see in their eyes, in their gestures, in their silences, in their words, whether they know or they are just tape recorders, quoting scriptures.
It is not very difficult -- just scratch a little bit and you will find the scholar and the scripture. They cannot transmit truth, they cannot help you to open the door to existence; they can only create faith in you in some dead god, in some dead prophet. They are a great consolation, but a consolation is not a revolution.
Consolation is very dangerous. It prevents you from searching more, it prevents you from searching deeper.
A Zen poet wrote:
I INTEND TO TRANSMIT IT TO YOU,
BUT YOU CANNOT TAKE IT.
YOU MAY YEARN TO IMITATE ME,
NEITHER CAN THIS SUCCEED.
IF YOU PURPOSELY TURN BACK,
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS
MEDDLING;
IF I PART WITH YOU, YOU WOULD
THINK ME DESTITUTE OF SENTIMENTS.

These are words of a master. He's saying, "If you turn away on your own you are missing an opportunity. If I turn you away, I'm not compassionate." And it is intrinsic in being a buddha to be compassionate.
But you cannot imitate me and you cannot intend to have it transmitted to you; nor can you take it. It is not something which can be given. It is not something which has to be found somewhere. It is just a sleeping buddha waking up, just as every morning you superficially wake up. A day comes when you wake up in the very innermost core of your being, and once that waking has happened you never lose it.
Jakuan wrote:
PERFECT MELODY -- LIKE WIND
AMONG THE PINES OF FAR-OFF SLOPES.
MIND IS WASHED SKY CLEAN:
HEAR IT BEYOND ITSELF.

These are people of meditation, people of the path. They are not quoting scriptures, but their words become scriptures.
Another Zen poet:
YOU MUST SEE FOR YOURSELF
THE REED-FLOWERS DRENCHED
IN MOONLIGHT.

You cannot believe in somebody else's eyes; YOU MUST SEE FOR YOURSELF THE REED FLOWERS DRENCHED IN MOONLIGHT.
The beauty is such that no description can be adequate. No explanation is possible.
The same is true on a far greater and far wider scale about your own being: you should see its beauty with your own eyes. Never have faith in anyone except yourself. Have trust in yourself, and if that trust finds a way and you fall in love with a certain energy, with a certain master... Don't make any effort, just let it happen silently, without making any noise of footsteps.

If you are fortunate you may find someone. But don't feel destitute if you cannot find a master; the universal spirit is available to you directly. Just a little more courage... Either a little more courage or a master -- both are possible at any time, in any age.

 

 

Next: Chapter 5: You must see for yourself, Question 1

 


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