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Chapter 6: The Hunter

Klesa is a Sanskrit word; it means, originally, evil, misery, suffering, torturing others and oneself.

Ma Tzu said,

“This fellow has accumulated klesha from ignorance for numberless aeons. Today the whole process has come to a sudden stop.”

He cannot shoot himself, and he has been shooting for his whole life - perhaps for many lives.

Tossing his arrows and bows to the ground, Shih-kung became a monk and a disciple of Ma Tzu.

Do you see that no device has been used? It is not a device at all; just a simple conversation in which he turns the whole subject matter to a point where the hunter becomes aware that to kill life is ugly.

Up to now he was boasting that he is a great hunter. To destroy his ego of being a hunter, Ma Tzu is saying to him, “The best way to prove that you are a hunter is: shoot yourself!”

The poor hunter came to a full stop, because you cannot shoot yourself with an arrow. In that silence, in which he started thinking how to shoot himself, he forgot all about deer, he forgot that he was a hunter. In that small gap of silence, Ma Tzu entered into his heart. This is not visible in the story, it cannot be visible in words.

In that full stop, his mind could not function anymore; and the non-functioning of the mind is the right time for a master to enter into the very heart of the disciple. It does not need any effort on the part of the master - it simply and spontaneously happens. Once the gap is there, the same light, the same awakening, enters into the man confronting the master.

The hunter did not answer. He threw his bow and his arrows on the ground, and fell to the feet of Ma Tzu, and asked for initiation. He had come for a different purpose, and got caught in the net of Ma Tzu.

It was not even a device, but this is how Ma Tzu was resourceful. He would convert any situation in such a subtle way that the person would not be even aware that he was being brought to a new space.

Shih-kung saw the whole situation: that he had been destroying life, and to destroy life is absolutely wrong. He dropped his bow, his arrows.a sudden awakening, that it is time to search, not for the deer, but for himself, for the source of life itself. He became a disciple of Ma Tzu. He started working in Ma Tzu’s temple.

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