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Chapter 15: The House Where Nobody Lives

When the head monk, Ryosui, went first to see Mayoku, Mayoku took up his hoe and began to weed. Ryosui went to the place where he was weeding, but Mayoku deliberately took no notice of him and went back to his room and shut the door.
The next day the same thing happened, but this time Ryosui knocked at the door.
Mayoku said, “Who is it?”
Ryosui had hardly uttered his name when he was enlightened and said, “Do not make a fool of me. If I had not visited you, I would have been deceived all my life by the Twelve-division Canon.”
Mayoku opened the door and confirmed Ryosui’s enlightenment.
Ryosui went back to his place of learning, resigned from it, and said to the assembled learners, “What you know, I know; what I know, you don’t know.”

One day Sekito was walking in the hills with his disciple, Sekishitsu, and, seeing branches obstructing the path, asked him to cut them away.
“I didn’t bring a knife,” said Sekishitsu.
Sekito took out his own and held it out, blade end first, to Sekishitsu, who said, “Please give me the other end.”
“What would you do with it?” asked Sekito, and Sekishitsu came to realization.

Ryuge was asked by a monk, “What was it the ancients finally got, so that all their labors were over?”
Ryuge answered, “It was like a robber breaking into an uninhabited house.”

Maneesha, before I enter the world of Zen, something has to be said about the Shankaracharya of Puri - because his declaration that the untouchables are God’s people makes it absolutely necessary that God’s people should be allowed into every temple which claims to be God’s temple.

Secondly, by declaring the untouchables to be “God’s people,” he himself has become untouchable. He is also part of God’s people. He has made the whole of Hindu society harijan. Either all will be allowed into the temples or nobody should be allowed into the temples.

The poor harijans are being used by the politicians for their own ends. But fortunately Swami Agnivesh, who was trying to take a procession into Nath Dwara temple, could not gather more than one hundred and fifty people. And as they came closer to Nath Dwara they all disappeared! Even the son of Doctor Ambedkar - who was the great leader of the harijans - did not appear in the procession. He had promised to come. This is a great defeat of Agnivesh, and if he has any intelligence he will see that it means that harijans are so afraid - thousands of years of conditioning cannot be removed by the politicians.

The only way for the harijans is to ask for a separate vote. Other than that, there is no solution. And no harijan should try to enter any Hindu temple; they can have their own small temples, even in small bamboo huts. But it is insulting to go somewhere where you are unwelcome. There is a limit to everything, but it seems that with thousands of years of condemnation, even the harijans have taken it to heart that they are untouchable - that anyone touching them will become dirty.

This kind of conditioning cannot be broken by politicians. The harijans need a psychological insight: first they have to be free from being untouchables. Just by entering a temple, they will not be in any way freed from their untouchability. First they have to gain their dignity, their respect. They should refuse to enter any temple, because what kind of temple is it, which denies people? A temple should be open to all. God is not the monopoly of anybody.

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