Someone has come from far away, hearing about Ma Tzu, his greatness, that hundreds of people have become enlightened through Ma Tzu, and thousands of people live in his monastery. A person who has traveled for miles comes to Ma Tzu, asks a very relevant question, and never thinks that this man is going to shout, or jump upon him and sit on his chest, and looking into his eyes ask, “Do you get it?”
All that the person gets is a stunned mind – but in that stunned mind there is hidden a revelation of his own nature. He may have tried hard to find it. The mind is almost like a vast jungle of thoughts; you can go on and on, it is not a small phenomenon. To take you out from the mind instantly, shouting was a very great device.
But only a great master can do it, it is not for everybody to do it. And Isan wanted to bring something new, but failed. These shouts show that he has fallen back on the old devices of Ma Tzu.
Twice more, Kyozan went to speak and twice Isan silenced him with a shout.
Kyozan bowed his head and wept, saying, “The former teacher said that when I met another, I would gain enlightenment. Today I have met him. It is three years since I began to seek for buddhahood, and it was no more than looking after a cow.”
These shouts worked. Kyozan has been with some teacher – but a teacher is not a master. A teacher can give you all the instructions that are written in the scriptures. He can make you very knowledgeable, and he has made Kyozan very knowledgeable. But those days were days of great honesty – and particularly about truth, nobody tried to deceive.
The teacher said that “I am only a teacher. When you meet the master you will become enlightened. With me you can become only more and more knowledgeable, a great scholar, a great intellectual, because I have not found the truth myself. I myself am searching for the master who can provoke me, who can wake me up.”
In the days of Gautam Buddha this country had seen a tremendous phenomenon: thousands of people moving around the country, searching for the master. They would live with teachers, and then they would find that he was only a teacher. And the teacher himself would say to them that “Whatever I could tell you, whatever I have heard, I have told you. Now move on.”
Even Gautam Buddha, for six years before his enlightenment, went to many teachers. And those teachers were in a very awkward position, because they were very well known teachers, with thousands of followers, but the reason for their remaining unexposed was that no disciple was following absolutely what they were saying. So the disciples thought, “It is our fault. We are not following totally what is being said.”