Zen has only created devices, leaving you completely free to find the truth. And it is strange, more people have become enlightened through Zen than through any other religion of the world. The other religions are very big, and Zen is a very small stream. You can see these small things, and a master uses them in such a way that they start pointing to the moon.
Rinzai once went to visit one of Ungan’s disciples, Anzan. On that occasion he asked Anzan, “What is the white cow of the dewy ground?”
It is one of the Zen koans. It does not mean anything; it simply gives you a puzzle that cannot be solved. Now, asking somebody, “What is the white cow of the dewy ground?” – what kind of metaphysical question is this? No religion will ask such a question.
I am reminded of a small child who used to come to visit Picasso often, and who lived nearby, in the neighborhood. He became very friendly with Picasso. He was just five or six years old, but very daring. Seeing Picasso painting continually, one day he also brought a paper and showed it to Picasso saying, “Look at my painting.”
Picasso looked at his painting and he said, “My God, what is this?”
The boy said, “It is a cow eating grass.”
Picasso said, “You have defeated me. Where is the cow?”
The boy said, “Don’t ask stupid questions. The cow has gone home. After eating the grass, do you think the cow will remain there?”
Picasso said, “Okay, but where is the grass?”
The boy said, “You are absolutely unintelligent. When the cow has eaten the grass, how can it be there?” It was just a plain paper that he had brought.
Picasso said, “I love your intelligence. It really puzzled me when you said the cow you have painted, and I could not see any cow. I have been puzzling the whole world and you have puzzled me.”
The Zen koans are puzzles without any answer.
Anzan responded by saying: “Moo! Moo!”
No answer is the right answer. One has to be utterly in silence; only silence can answer a Zen koan. But Anzan has used his mind and tried to figure out some way to indicate what the white cow is. He has brought the mind in.
Rinzai commented: “You are dumb!”
“Do you think you can deceive me by making such sounds? Can’t you speak? Are you dumb?” The koan needs a response. This moo, moo won’t do.
Anzan said: “How about you?”