Chapter 2: Unfettered at Last
Tokusan came to Isan’s temple. Carrying his pilgrim’s bundle under his arm, he crossed the lecture hall, from east to west and west to east; then, staring around, he said, “Mew, Mew,” and went out.
Tokusan reached the gate, but then said to himself, “I should not be in a hurry,” so he dressed formally and entered a second time to have an interview. Isan was sitting in his place.
Tokusan, holding up his kneeling cloth, said, “Osho!” Isan made as if to take up his staff. Then Tokusan gave a “Kwatz!” shout, swung his sleeves, and went out. With his back turned to the lecture hall, Tokusan put on his straw sandals and went off.
In the evening, Isan asked the chief monk, “The new arrival - where is he?”
The chief monk said, “When he went out he turned his back on the lecture hall, put on his sandals and went away.”
Isan said, “Some day that fellow will go to an isolated mountaintop, establish a hermitage and scold the buddhas and abuse the patriarchs.”
On another occasion, Mayaoku, Nansen and another monk were on what in those times was called a “nature pilgrimage,” or “cloud enjoying,” meaning going like a cloud, flowing like water, enjoying the mountains, playing in the streams and lakes. At the same time, they intended to interview Kinzan. On the way they met an old woman, and they asked her, “Where do you live?”
“Here,” she said, and the three went into her tea-shop. The old woman made a pot of tea, brought three cups and put them on the table and said, “Let the one who has god-like power drink the tea!”
The three looked at each other but nobody said anything, and nobody drank the tea. The old woman said, “This silly old woman will show you her full power. Just watch!” And she took the tea, drank it up, and departed.
One day, Joshu visited his brother monk’s lecture hall. He stepped up to the platform, still carrying his walking stick, and looked from east to west and from west to east.
“What are you doing there?” asked the brother monk.
“I am measuring the water,” answered Joshu.
“There is no water,” said the monk. “not even a drop of it. How can you measure it?”
Joshu leaned his stick against the wall and went away.
Maneesha, these small anecdotes belong to a world that has disappeared: the world of the seeker, the world to know oneself, which we have lost long ago. It is no more the same world in which these anecdotes happened. Now nobody goes on a pilgrimage like a cloud. Now nobody is capable to be so light and free like a cloud. Everybody is burdened with prejudice, all kinds of nonsense, nobody seems to be interested at least in one thing - that is himself.
Man’s mind has become objective and it has forgotten a language that was of subjectivity. He looks out, and he has looked deeply into the outer world in the form of the different sciences. It has penetrated matter to its very innermost being. It has reached to the farthest star, but it has forgotten one basic thing: “Who is within me?”
Now all this knowledge of the objective world is of no value in comparison to having a little glimpse of the inner sky and its beauty - its sunrises and sunsets, its days and nights, its sky and its stars. Then the outer looks only a paler reflection of the inner; the inner becomes more real and the outer becomes just a shadow.