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Chapter 1: Always Sing the Song of the Divine

I have heard that when a unique sannyasin named Bodhidharma went to China with the message of Buddha, Emperor Wu told him, “I don’t have much time. My kingdom is vast; I cannot spare time to be with you for a longer period. Please tell me briefly, what is the most valuable thing in life? What is the greatest good fortune?”

Bodhidharma said, “You will not be able to understand.. The greatest good fortune is if you were never born.”

Wu was shocked - what a thing to say! Is it fortunate not to be born? But Bodhidharma is talking about good fortune. Buddhas certainly desire that they should not be born again.

Bodhidharma said, “But now this is not possible, as you are already born. But the next good fortune for you is to die as soon as possible.” It is said that Wu never went to see him again.

I also want to say the same thing to you, that the greatest good fortune would have been not to be born, but since you are already born, the next best thing is that you may die while living. The attraction for life should be over.

The meaning of dying while being alive is to live as if you are not. Sit in the marketplace, but as if you are not. Look after your wife and children, but as if you are not. Become absent, and soon you will find that your absence is not empty; godliness is appearing gradually.

Oh fool! Sing the song of the divine.

Enough for today.