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Chapter 1: The Tremendous Statement

Choosing Kyozan as his successor, and waiting for forty years - what patience! - almost transforming a stone into a diamond. But Isan was determined to make one point absolutely clear to humanity: if Kyozan, a simple and ordinary person, not belonging to any speciality, any category, without any talent, any genius - if he can become enlightened, it will be a proof. To give this proof to humanity he chose Kyozan and worked hard on him. And the day Kyozan became enlightened, the day Isan transferred his enlightenment and the two flames became one, Isan disappeared from the world of matter, body, mind.

Kyozan was so radiant now. He was not only once enlightened, he was twice enlightened. His master has given him richer experiences, far deeper spaces, far clearer skies.

A little biographical note:

When Kyozan was fifteen, he wanted to become a monk, but his parents would not allow it. Two years after that, he cut off two fingers of his left hand and pleaded with his parents to let him follow the spiritual path, and finally they agreed.

They had to agree. If he can cut off two fingers he can cut off his whole hand, and the blame would be on them.

Kyozan studied under several masters and then remained with Isan for many years, before moving to Mount Kyo where disciples came to be with him.

In Zen, there is not much to a biography. What is important is that the man has become an eternal flame, that the man has achieved his ultimate potential, that his blue lotus has blossomed. Who cares about dates of birth, about your parents? Those become negligible. That’s why in the East there is nothing like Western history.

Western history is factual; it takes note of all the facts from birth to death. Eastern history does not bother about physical appearance; it takes care of your spiritual growth. Those are the real progress points.

For the experience you should go to a Jaina temple. Don’t mention my name! And you will see in the temple twenty-four statues of the Jaina masters. And you will be puzzled because they all look alike; there is no way to find out who is who.

I am trying to make the point clear to you that it does not matter who is who. Those statues don’t represent the physical body; they represent spiritual silence, spiritual grace, spiritual peace. If you sit there, you will be engulfed if you are not a Jaina - because the Jaina goes with a prejudice.

Just go on inquiring why these twenty-four statues are exactly the same. The reason is, the inner experience is the same- whether it happens to Adinatha or to Mahavira or to Gautam Buddha, it does not matter. The inner flame and the fragrance and the silence will surround you. Just sit silently, let it happen. Don’t be in a hurry.

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