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Chapter 1: Whatever the Cost Enlightenment Is Cheap

Koke received a horse from the Emperor Doko as a reward for his teaching. He rode away on it, but then fell off and broke his leg. When he returned to the temple he had the head monk make some crutches. Supported by the crutches, Koke came across a monk, to whom he said, “Do you know me?”
“Why shouldn’t I know you?” replied the monk.
Koke said, “Here’s somebody who expounded the dharma, and can’t walk as a result of it.”
On another occasion, a monk asked Koke, “What should we speak about before the Many-children Stupa?”
Koke said, “If one tells a lie, ten thousand report it as truth.”
At another time, Hoju, a disciple of Rinzai, said to Tanku, a fellow disciple, “When a man comes to you who has not put away the Second and Third Roots, how do you receive him?”
Tanku responded, “You have, in bringing up this question, already made a mistake.”
Hoju replied, “You also have not avoided error.”
Tanku continued, “Be my friend!”
Hoju added, his hand by his side, “You old robber!”

Friends, the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, has made a statement to an international conference. the statement says that the earth is one. All national boundaries should be dissolved. all differences of caste and race and color should be dissolved. All divisions of organized religions should be dissolved.

I have been saying the same thing for almost twenty years, and my every meeting is an international conference. But I don’t have the power; I am not a politician.

I would like Mr. Rajiv Gandhi to understand the implications of what he is saying. I support him with my whole heart, but the question is: Who is going to begin it?

If I had the power, India would have been the first nation in the world to dissolve its armies, to drown all its armaments, to dissolve all distinctions of caste and religion and race.

I would like to know from Mr. Rajiv Gandhi: Can you practice what you are preaching? And if you cannot practice it, please don’t preach nonsense.

You have the power, you have the idea - now go ahead! Somebody has to begin it. Don’t wait for somebody else to begin. And the idea is yours - take the risk! You are young enough, intelligent, have guts. Take the risk and begin to act on what you are saying. Let India be the first nation to dissolve all distinctions and become part of one earth, one world.

Perhaps Rajiv Gandhi has not looked into the implications, and I am wondering why nobody stood up at that international conference and asked him, “If this is your idea then start it. Take the risk.”

There is no evolution in the world without any risk.

I am reminded of an old story which I have refined, and I go on refining.

You must know - and Mr. Rajiv Gandhi must know the old story, but he may not be aware of the refinement, so I have to repeat it.

The old story is.for millions of years international conferences of mice have been discussing the problem: How to be safe and secure against the cats? And they have always, without fail, come to the conclusion that there is only one solution. A bell should be put around the neck of the cat. A good idea, because the bell will make the mice aware that the cat is coming, and they can simply slip into their holes.

But the problem is: Who is going to tie a bell around the neck of the cat? And there all international conferences ended.

And here comes my refinement.

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