Kyosei asked a monk, “What is the noise outside?”
The monk said, “That is the voice of the raindrops.”
Kyosei said, “Men’s thinking is topsy-turvy. Deluded by their own selves, they pursue things.”
The monk asked, “What about yourself?”
Kyosei said, “I was near it but am not deluded.”
The monk asked, “What do you mean by ‘near it but not deluded’?”
Kyosei said, “To say it in the sphere of realization may be easy, but to say it in the sphere of transcendence is difficult.”
Ordinarily, if you had come across such an anecdote, you would have passed without paying any attention to its meaning and significance. Who cares what is the noise outside? It may be the raindrops, it may be birds singing, it may be bamboos dancing in the wind.
Kyosei is asking, “What is the noise outside?” The question has a great implication. You can answer it if you are inside, otherwise who will answer? “What is the noise outside?” can be answered only by a consciousness within. If you are asleep you cannot answer, “What is the noise outside?” If you are unconscious you cannot answer, “What is the noise outside?”
Kyosei is not really interested in the noise outside, he is interested in: “Are you in? Are you aware?” But the monk missed, because he said, “That is the voice of the raindrops.”
Kyosei is not asking anything about the objective world, the outside world, although the question appears to be so. If the monk had remained silent, allowing the raindrops to create the sound, or the bamboos….
In this moment, except your silence there is no answer. Silence is the answer. The moment you speak even a single word you have missed: Kyosei said, “Men’s thinking is topsy-turvy. Deluded by their own selves, they pursue things.” Kyosei has not taken note, has not paid attention to the monk’s answer that it is the voice of the raindrops. Instead he says, “Men’s thinking is topsy-turvy.” In this small sentence there is hidden a great secret. Perhaps you may not have ever thought about you.
If in this hall there were nobody, do you think the bamboos would still be making noise? Without you, for whom will they make the noise? Noise needs somebody to hear it. If there is nobody to hear it, there is no noise. When everybody has gone in the middle of the night, the bamboos may try hard, but they cannot make the noise because there are no ears! But even if there are ears and the mind is full of thoughts, the poor bamboos will not be heard.
You are needed and you are needed in such a way as if you are not. Your presence is needed; your personality is not needed. You are needed – your mind is not needed. Then there is a simple awareness of the rain falling, or the water running, or the wind passing through the pine trees, or the bamboos saying Upanishads….
Do you see, in this silence the clouds fill you with immense gratitude; their joy becomes contagious. The fresh breeze comes, touches you and gives a dance to every fiber of your being.
…And the rain has come.
The bamboos crying for it has not been in vain.