Born in 724, Hyakujo was also known as Pai Chang. As a young boy Hyakujo was taken to a temple by his mother, and upon entering, she bowed to the Buddhist statue. Pointing to the statue, Hyakujo asked his mother, “What is that?”
His mother replied, “That is a buddha.”
Hyakujo said, “He looks like a man. I want to become a buddha afterwards.”
This small incident of his childhood has great implications. Buddha never wanted to be in any way extraordinary or special for the simple reason that if he was special and extraordinary, that would discourage people to become buddhas because they know they are ordinary, they are not special; they are not incarnations of God, they don’t have divine miraculous powers. They cannot walk on water; they cannot bring a dead Lazarus back to life…Just look at Jesus and Buddha and you will find that Buddha is absolutely ordinary, simple, humble; he can mix with the crowd. Jesus will stand far away…because you cannot walk on water.
I have heard, only once, that a bishop had come to the holy land of Israel. He had two friends, two old rabbis, and he asked them to take him to all the holy places which were visited by Jesus. So finally, they went to Lake Galilee where Jesus had walked on water. They took a boat to show him the exact place where he had walked. The bishop said to the rabbis, “Jesus was a Jew, your last prophet and our first founder. Can you also walk on water?”
The rabbi said, “Easy.”
The bishop could not believe it. He said, “I want to see.”
So one rabbi got out from the left side of the boat and walked on water for a few feet and came back. The bishop could not even blink his eyes when he saw the man walking on water. He said, “We used to think that it was only Jesus, but it seems to be a Jewish quality.”
The old rabbis said to the bishop, “We don’t follow Jesus and we don’t accept him as our prophet. We have crucified him for the crime of being a fraud, propounding himself to be our last prophet. But you are a follower of Jesus, so just take the name of Jesus and you try walking on the water.”
Now it was a great challenge….
But the bishop was sitting on the right side, so he got out from the right side and went down into the water and started shouting, “Help! Help!”
Those two rabbis took him out, and the older rabbi asked the younger, “Shall we tell this idiot what the secret is?”
The secret was that there were stones in the water, just below the water, but they were on the left side, not on the right side. Jesus must have walked on those stones – there is no question about it.