That reminds me of Jesus. Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, wanted somehow to release Jesus because he could see he was innocent, he had not done any harm to anybody. He said things which hurt the traditional people – but that was their problem. And they were not able to convince him…that would have been the human way.
If you disagree with me, it is perfectly okay. Disagreeing does not mean that you have to crucify me; that is not an argument, and that does not prove you right. In fact, on the contrary, it proves you wrong! Because you could not answer the man, you became angry – so angry, so bloodthirsty, that you killed the man.
By crucifying Jesus, his contemporaries sealed his truth, recognized his truth. Crucifixion is a recognition that they accepted their defeat. But before it happened, Pontius Pilate tried to talk to Jesus…and Jesus answered everything. Finally Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?”
Jesus looked into his eyes and remained silent. Pontius Pilate asked again, “What is truth?” – exactly three times. And Jesus went on looking into his eyes, but not saying a word. Those who don’t understand may think Jesus does not know the truth; otherwise why is he silent? But the reality is: he is silent because that is the only language in which truth can be expressed.
Ta Hui has not got the point. He thinks that, Afterwards, using all his power, he managed to say that this dharma is not something that can be understood by thought or discrimination.
Buddha never said that; it is not part of authentic history. He remained silent. The assembly was dispersed for that day, and Sariputta declared to the assembly, “I have asked your question – it was not my question. My question he has answered long ago. It was your question, you wanted to know. I asked on your behalf three times, and he has answered three times. I am grateful, and I thank him. The assembly is dispersed for today.”
What Ta Hui is saying is really to fill the loophole in his own nonunderstanding with some words. This has never happened: Afterwards, using all his power, he managed to say that this dharma is not something that can be understood by thought or discrimination.
This is Ta Hui’s own invention, and the reason why he has to invent it is that he himself must be feeling uneasy about the incident with the three silences. He could not understand that Buddha has said it, and now there is nothing else to be said.
The assembly was dispersed, and Sariputta knew that this was the answer. There are things which cannot be said, but can be understood. Truth is one of them.
This was old Shakyamuni taking this matter to its ultimate conclusion, opening the gateway of expedient means as a starting point for the teaching of the true nature of reality.