Successive patriarchs personally transmitted the dharma from master to disciple.
It is a half truth, and a half truth is more dangerous than a lie. A lie is at least complete. Half truths are very dangerous because they hide the lie behind them, so on the surface it looks as if what is projected is true.
What he is saying – that Successive patriarchs personally transmitted the dharma from master to disciple – has a little truth in it. That has been so with most of the masters, that they have received the essence, the experience, in the presence of a master. It has been a transmission between two energies. But it is not an absolute principle that he is making:
Without the personal transmission not a single patriarch, master or disciple could be a buddha or a patriarch.
This is so obviously stupid – because who was the master of Gautam Buddha himself? From where did he get the transmission?
According to Dogen he needed to have a master – but he had none. It is only a half truth. But the other half is more important, for the simple reason that you may not find a master, but the universal spirit is always available everywhere.
The really courageous people simply take the jump into the universal being without being pushed by a master. It simply depends on your courage.
To be a buddha is your birthright. Just a little courage and you can declare yourself a buddha. But the mind hesitates, the mind thinks a thousand and one things – what will happen to my smoking? What about the girlfriend? And what about the bank balance?
These small things I allow you to have. You can be a buddha and smoke – that will just simply show that you are a stupid buddha! But stupid or not stupid, nobody can take away your buddhahood. You can have a girlfriend – even Sardar Gurudayal Singh is having girlfriends and he is a well-known buddha, ancient. I don’t think he himself knows how old he is! But there is no time for him to get old. Girlfriends continuously keep him so engaged, he has no time to grow old. One needs time to grow old.
I allow you every concession that you want except unawareness; that I cannot allow because that is fundamental to buddhahood. If you are alert and aware and conscious there is no need of any master. Universal energy itself transmits the light, the arrow that penetrates to your very center, and you become connected with the whole.
A master is a small window from which you can see the starry sky. But that does not mean that first you need a window, only then you can see the starry night. Why don’t you come out of the door?