Once, when Kingyu saw Rinzai coming to his monastery, he sat in his room holding his stick crosswise. Rinzai struck the stick three times with his hand, then entered the monk’s hall and sat down in the first seat.
Kingyu came in, saw Rinzai, and said, “In an encounter between host and guest, each should observe the customary formalities. Where are you from, and why are you so rude?”
“What are you talking about, old Osho?” answered Rinzai.
As Kingyu was about to open his mouth to reply, Rinzai struck him. Kingyu pretended to fall down. Rinzai hit him again. Kingyu said, “Today things were not to my advantage.”
At a later time, Isan asked Kyozan, “In the case of these two venerable ones, was either the winner or loser?”
Kyozan said, “When one wins, one wins unconditionally. When one loses, one loses unconditionally.”
Maneesha, the anecdote that you have brought can be understood only if you understand Zen’s position about conditionality. In our lives everything is conditioned – conditioned by circumstances, conditioned by traditions. When I say everything is conditioned, I mean nothing is yours; everything has come to you from the outside. You are just a gathering point. On your own you are nothing, you are utterly empty.
Zen wants you to approach life unconditionally. That means without any prejudice, without any precondition, without any expectation. You can be total only if you are standing at your very center.
You love, but your love is conditional. You have friends but your friends are conditional. Just a small change in circumstances and the lovers become enemies and the friends are no more friends.
Machiavelli had a great insight when he wrote the book The Prince. Although it is a book of diplomacy and has nothing to do with religion, there are insights which can help you to understand. Machiavelli says, “A king should never tell to his friend what he cannot tell to the enemy, because no one knows: who is a friend today may be an enemy tomorrow, and who is an enemy today may be a friend tomorrow.” He is laying down a diplomatic policy – but our whole life is diplomatic. We say things because the listener will appreciate them; then it has become conditional. To say the truth we don’t have to consider at all whether it will be liked or not.
Gurdjieff used to teach his disciples unconditionality as a basic principle for finding the truth. If you put any conditions, those conditions will be the barriers, and what are all your religions except conditions?
When a follower of Krishna or a follower of Christ sits for meditation, his desire is to see Krishna – he is expecting existence to be according to his desire – and the Christian is asking for Christ. Because of their conditioned minds it is possible Hindus may see Krishna. The Christian will not see Krishna and the Hindu will not see Christ; they will see according to their conditions. They will see their own conditions in a kind of hallucination, and they will feel immensely joyous that they have realized God.
All your so-called saints are simply psychopaths. They don’t understand that the basic foundation of finding the truth is to first clean your mind of all conditions. Approach existence absolutely empty. Allow existence to say something. Don’t ask.