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Chapter 5: Gutei’s Finger

Remember this: this Zen Master Gutei, he is the Krishna. He lives from the center and behaves accordingly. And this incident happens to a disciple who is on the periphery. But Gutei would not have cut your finger, remember. The disciple was worthy of it, he had earned it - only then will a master go to such an extent. To go to such an extent the disciple must have learned, must have earned it, otherwise Gutei would not go that far. Even Arjuna was not so worthy as this disciple of Gutei, because Krishna talked to him - Gutei did something.

Remember the difference. A master only comes to do certain things to you when you have earned it; otherwise he will talk to you. Doing can be only when you are ready, when the moment is so near that it cannot be missed; nothing can be said, only something can be done. Because if you speak, time is needed; if you speak, then the other has to understand it. Something has to be done immediately, instantly. A master will do something only when he sees that you are just on the brink: now talking won’t help, now he has to push you. Now you are just at the door; a single moment gone and you may miss the door, and for many lives you may not be able to come to the door again.

Life is very complex. Rarely are you near the door. And if the master says, “Look, the door is here!” and starts explaining to you, by the time you have understood, the door is no more there. Life is constant movement. The master has to do something. Even if he thinks killing you will help, he will kill you. That’s why surrender is needed.

Surrender is not easy, because surrender means saying to a master, “From now on, my life and my death are yours.” Surrender means “I am ready. If you say, ‘Die!’ I will die. I will not ask why.” If you ask why, there is no surrender, there is no trust. And in the ancient days, many people could become enlightened because they could surrender. Trust was in the very atmosphere, faith was all around, trust was flowering everywhere. You couldn’t pass a day without coming across a man who was a man of trust. And the moment you saw a man of trust, you felt jealous - he was such a beautiful person.

But nowadays it has become almost impossible to come across a man of trust. That beauty has disappeared. You come across doubters, skeptics, no-sayers; they are ugly but they are all around. And, by and by, you are also fed on doubt. From the very first day your mother gives you milk you are fed on doubt. The whole scientific device depends on doubt. You have to be skeptical, doubting; only then can science work.

Religion works in totally the opposite way. You have to be trusting, to be deeply a yes-sayer, then surrender is possible. This disciple of Gutei was a surrendered one, that’s why this incident became enlightenment for him.

Now we will enter this strange story. Each word is significant.

The Zen Master Gutei made a practice of raising his finger whenever he explained a question about Zen.

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