“Asking for a reward simply means that what you have done was not your love, was not your love affair – it was business. And I am shocked that even being an emperor, you are nothing but a businessman. I will not enter into your empire. I had come in search of lions, but if the emperor himself is not a lion, then it is futile.”
And he went into the mountains. Before he went to the mountains, Wu asked, “Forgive me, your teaching is so new…. Nobody ever told me that this moment is all, but I can see there is truth in it. I can see it in your eyes – you are a living proof of it. Don’t leave me like this. At least before you go you have to help me to get rid of the ego – because in every scripture Buddha goes on saying, ‘Drop the ego.’ I have been trying in every possible way, but everything fails.”
Bodhidharma said, “I never say to anybody, ‘Drop the ego;’ I do it myself. You come early – four o’clock in the morning, alone, without your bodyguards, without your sword – to the temple I am staying in and I will finish your ego forever.”
The emperor could not sleep, thinking whether to go or not to go: “The man seems to be crazy! How can somebody else destroy your ego? I have never heard of it, and I have been listening to so many mystics. They all say, ‘You have to do it yourself, nobody else can do it.’ This is the first man…and he seems to be so certain…and the way he looks and the way he talks, also create fear, and he has asked me to come alone – no bodyguards, no sword – at four o’clock, while it is still very dark; ‘Come, I will be waiting in the temple, and I will finish it forever.’”
He had been to wars, and he had never worried, but this man was creating great fear in him; he can do anything. He has a great staff in his hand; he might hit him or…”One never knows, because I will be alone. I have never been alone.” Many times he decided, “Forget all about it,” but he could not sleep. At four o’clock, he had to go: the man had such charisma.
And as he arrived, Bodhidharma said, “So finally you decided to come – and the whole night you wavered.”
Wu said, “How do you know?”
Bodhidharma said, “There is no question of knowing. Ego is such a phenomenon that if somebody promises to destroy it, it is going to create a great wavering in you: ‘To go to that man or not to go to that man?’ But you are courageous, and I am happy. Now sit down and close your eyes. And just try to find the ego, where it is. And the moment you catch hold of it – I am sitting in front of you with my staff – one hit and the ego will be finished.”
The Emperor Wu could not understand what to make of it. What was he saying? But there was no other way than to do what he was ordering. So he sat in front of him. For the first time in his life, with closed eyes, he tried to find the ego, knowing that Bodhidharma was sitting there with his staff – a dangerous man.
“And what does he mean that he will give one hit and it is finished? He ill finish me – or the ego? But now whatever is going to happen is going to happen. It is better to give it a try.”