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Chapter 5: Signatures on Water

A master is authentic when he knows it as his own being; a master is unauthentic when he does not know it as his own being although he knows all the holy scriptures. He may be a learned scholar and because of his learning he may find disciples, but all are sitting in a wrong boat.

You are asking me, “Osho, Obaku says there is no Zen teacher. It seems to me therefore that there can be no disciples. So who are we and who are you?”

Obaku’s statement does not concern this assembly. At least it does not concern me. He was talking only about his land, centuries before: the land of T’ang, a small province of China. He is not talking about eternity - he cannot talk about me or about you!

I know Zen - not from any scripture. I do not belong to the tradition of Zen; I belong to these clouds. I belong to existence on my own accord. I have found Zen - not through the scriptures. That’s why I can say, even in Japan there are only teachers and followers, no Zen. I am almost a stranger to the tradition; but I have found Zen on my own accord. It is my discovery, it is not an inheritance from the tradition, an inheritance from Mahakashyapa, Bodhidharma, Obaku. I don’t have anything from these people - I don’t owe anything to anybody.

If Obaku were here, then Zen Master Niskriya would have pinched his nose. As his representative, Master Niskriya, pinch Maneesha’s nose.

[Niskriya takes a peacock feather which has been perched on his camera, and tickles Maneesha’s nose.]

Right.. Good!

Maneesha, your second question is: “Obaku seems to be saying that one cannot know Zen by experiencing one particle of brewer’s grain. But I have heard you say, ‘Taste one drop of the ocean, and you know the whole ocean.’ Can you please comment?”

As for my statement, I stand by it, Obaku or no Obaku. I repeat again: If you have tasted a single drop you have tasted the whole ocean. Now you know its saltiness. If you have tasted one moment of silence, you have tasted its blissfulness, its benediction. I don’t care what Obaku says. As far as this statement is concerned he is wrong.

I agree with his first statement unconditionally. In the same way I disagree with his second statement, also unconditionally - there is no possibility of compromise. And you can see my point is so clear that Obaku unnecessarily becomes a laughingstock. He was doing perfectly well, but he went a little too far. He forgot that there would be coming people of greater insight and deeper clarity, who will condemn his second statement.

I am not a man who follows anybody; I am nobody’s disciple. I have tasted existence and I have declared that I have known it. Anything that goes against my experience is wrong.

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