Tokusan said, “Where are you going?
If you are really a disciple, there is no going, no coming anymore; you have found the catalytic agent which is going to transform your being. But if you are going, at least I can ask you where.” It is out of compassion that Tokusan is asking Ganto, “Please understand: going away from here is going away from yourself. By accident, you have come very close to the explosion, and where are you going now? When the spring is about to come, you are going? When the flowers are going to blossom in all their colors, you are going? Where are you going?”
Ganto could not understand. A student is very poor as far as existential experience is concerned.
Ganto said, “For now I am taking leave of you, master, and going down the mountain.”
Now he does not know the difference between master and teacher; he has no right to call Tokusan “master.” In the dictionary it means the same thing, but life is not a dictionary. The master is one who can transmit his being to you, who can – just by his being present – create a situation so that you become a fire. A teacher can only talk about what the scriptures say. The master is only a presence, a silence. Even in his words, he is trying to help you to move toward the wordless.
But Ganto was in sheer confusion. He said, “For now I am taking leave of you, master….”
If I would have been in the place of Tokusan, I would have ordered Sardar Gurudayal Singh to take care of this fellow Ganto – hit him three times! He cannot use the word master, although he is using it synonymously with teacher.
“…and going down the mountain.” Tokusan said, “After that, then what?
What will you do down the mountain? From there, where are you going?”
Ganto said, “I won’t forget you, master.”
It is not a question of forgetting the master. It is a question of carrying the master in your heart, not in your memory. He is carrying the same flame within him, not in his thoughts.