Baul Panchuchand sings: Strike your master hard and worship in faith. You wish to be devoted to God, live unattached, homeless, in spite of a homestead and your life with a girl. Do not listen to your head that forever misleads. Do not only think but chain your master hand and foot. Cut out a cane of love and flog him till he is blue…the master must eternally bow at the feet of the disciple…
Will you please explain this in Lao Tzuan terms?
Bauls have been very extraordinary people. The word baul means mad Bauls were mad mystics. They have talked in all sorts of paradoxes; but very beautiful. They are not philosophers, they are mad poets. They are not proposing any logical thing, rather on the contrary they are trying to show you something through paradox.
This Baul, Panchuchand, is one of the greatest Bauls. He says: “Strike your master hard and worship in faith.” This is what I was saying just now. If you want to come closer to me move closer to yourself. Forget me completely. Just remember your own being – and you will be moving towards me.
This Baul says: “Strike your master hard” – destroy the duality of the master and the disciple. Drop the master completely Forget about him. Strike your master hard and worship in faith. This is the paradox.
And you can strike your master hard only when you have really worshipped him in faith. If you really understand me only then will you drop your clinging to me. If you have really loved me you will not cling. Then whenever I come in your way – strike me hard.
That’s what Zen masters have been saying to their disciples: If you meet Buddha on the way – kill him immediately! And they loved Buddha tremendously.
It happened. A Zen master, Ikkyu, was staying in a temple. The night was very cold and he had no blankets – he was a beggar, and the whole temple was so cold – it was made of stones: stone coldness. In the night he couldn’t sleep, so he went in, into the shrine, found a buddha, a wooden buddha; burnt a fire with the buddha; and enjoyed and delighted in the fire.
The sound of fire, the movement of this Ikkyu – and the priest became awake. Seeing the fire inside the temple, he came running, and when he saw that one of the buddhas was missing – there were three buddhas in the shrine – and he looked at the fire, it was almost burnt, of course he was mad. He said to Ikkyu: What are you doing? Are you mad? You have burnt my buddha! You have committed the greatest sin that a man can commit, and we were thinking that you are an enlightened man!
The fire was going down now; Ikkyu started to poke in the ashes.