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Chapter 8: This Moment

A monk once drew four lines in front of Ma Tzu. The top line was long and the remaining three were short. He then demanded of the master, “Besides saying that one line is long and the other three are short, what else could you say?”
Ma Tzu drew one line on the ground and said, “This could be called either long or short. That is my answer.”

On another occasion, a monk said to Ma Tzu, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the West?”
Ma Tzu replied, “At this moment, what do you mean by ‘meaning’?”
Again the monk asked the question, and Ma Tzu struck him, saying, “If I didn’t strike you, people would laugh at me.”

E of Rokutan asked Ma Tzu the same question about Bodhidharma’s coming from the West.
Ma Tzu said, “Lower your voice and come a little nearer!”
E went nearer. Ma Tzu struck him once, and said, “Six ears do not have the same plan. Come another day.”
Later, E went to the hall and said, “I implore you to tell me!”
Ma Tzu said to him, “Go away for a time and come to the hall again when you have a chance, and I’ll publicly confirm it.”
E thereupon was enlightened. He said, “I thank everybody for their confirmation,” and marched round the hall once, and went off.

On a later occasion, another monk said to Ma Tzu, “Please transcend the four sayings and refrain from the hundred negations, and tell me the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the West.”
Ma Tzu said, “Today I’m tired and I can’t tell you. Go and ask Chizo.”
The monk went and asked Chizo, who said, “Why don’t you ask the master?”
“He told me to come and ask you,” said the monk.
“I’ve got an awful headache today,” said Chizo, “so I can’t tell you; go and ask Hyakujo.”
The monk then went to Hyakujo, who said, “Well, as to that, I myself really don’t know.”
The monk reported all this to Ma Tzu, who said, “Hyakujo’s cap is black; Chizo’s cap is white.”

Maneesha, before I discuss Ma Tzu and his statements, I have to inaugurate another god to Avirbhava’s Museum of Gods. This is a very important god. I will tell you about the god before Avirbhava brings it in front of you.

The name of the god is horse. It has been worshipped around the world for centuries. Even today there are places where the horse is worshipped as a god.

The horse or mare is one of the forms of the corn spirit in Europe.

In Ancient Greece, Artemis and Aphrodite were associated with the horse, and Cronus is said to have taken the form of a horse.

In Gaul, there was a horse goddess called Epona and a horse god called Rudiobus.

The goddess mares, Medb of Tara and Macha of Ulster, were thought to have powers of the dead.

Horse worship also existed in Persia, where white horses were regarded as holy. In the Teutonic regions they were kept in holy enclosures.

Here, in India, in earlier times, horses were sanctified, and the cult exists still today. Koda Pen is the horse god of the Gonds.

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