But for a few days he did not turn up. The master inquired, “What has happened?” People said, “He is just meditating and he is so silent and so peaceful, he looks like a buddha.”
The master went there, touched his feet, shook him and told him, “You have heard it. Now it is enough. Come back to the monastery, it is lunch time.”
The disciple could not believe that the master touched his feet. And the master said, “You have got it. And you have been sitting hungry for so many days and I was concerned because I was waiting every day for you to come. I enjoy slapping you so much that without you…I was wondering continuously what happened to the great disciple? But I am satisfied. You have got it. Now it is lunch time. Come, follow me.”
It was a different climate altogether when there was no rivalry between masters because the aim was the same. Their methods may be different, their devices may be different, but one thing was absolutely certain, they all agreed on one point: that the search for truth is the first priority, and every disciple has to be sent to the right place, to the right master. It does not mean that the master who is sending the disciple is not right; it simply means that his devices will not suit this kind of man. It does not matter even if he has to be sent to the opponent.
These words I am saying with a deep concern because that whole climate of urgency for truth has disappeared from the world. Now there are thousands of pseudo teachers whose whole effort is how to gather followers. All the religions are doing the same. Have you ever heard of a Hindu shankaracharya telling to his disciple, “You go to a Mohammedan Sufi mystic,” or vice versa? Have you ever heard of any Christian pope sending somebody to a Zen master to learn meditation?
These organized religions are political. Zen is a non-political religiousness. You cannot call it even religion. It is so individualistic and so emphatically concerned only with the potential of the individual. It does not want anything from the individual, it simply wants him to be himself.
At the time of Ma Tzu, there was another great Zen master in China; his name was Sekito. You are perfectly well acquainted with Sekito; he is reborn here. Sekito means stonehead, and this time he is born as Swami Niskriya; I call him Sekito, stonehead. And I had to send him back to Germany, just for a few weeks, because only stoneheads can hit against other stoneheads in Germany, you cannot send anybody else. So he goes, and hits his head against other heads for a few days. When he gets tired of enlightening other people, he comes back to rest. Right now he is in Germany.