One day Ejo, meaning solitary cloud, called on the Zen master, Dogen. Dogen cited the saying, “One hair pierces myriad holes,” to question him closely. Ejo trusted in Dogen and surrendered to him. After that, he had no desire to go anywhere else, so he changed his robe and stayed there.
Before long, Dogen moved to another place and Ejo went along with him. One day, as he was setting out his bowl, he suddenly attained enlightenment, and immediately went with full ceremony into Dogen’s room.
Dogen asked him, “What have you understood?”
Ejo said, “I do not ask about the one hair; what are the myriad holes?”
Dogen laughed and said, “Pierced.”
Ejo bowed. Afterwards, he asked to serve as Dogen’s personal attendant, taking care of his robes and bowl.
Maneesha, before we enter into the world of Zen I have to say a few absolutely essential things concerning this country, its politicians and its priests.
Nobody seems to be interested in the actual problems of the country, of today and tomorrow. Everybody seems to be concerned with such trivia. The priests are worried that the untouchables should not enter into the temples, as if that is anything very important to human existence.
A few friends from Delhi have reported to me that now Delhi looks almost as if it has been in a war, or it is ready for a war. Rajiv Gandhi, the prime minister, has surrounded his home with machine guns, with sandbags for the people holding the machine guns to hide behind. Those machine guns and those sand bags all over the place…in the club he goes, or in the parliament he goes – the same scene. It seems he is suffering from paranoia.
And not a single politician has raised the question, “What is the meaning of this? This is a war arrangement! Why are you so afraid? You can have a bodyguard, that’s okay, but it does not mean fill the whole city with machine guns. Is there any intention to kill thousands of people?”
There seems to be a tremendous fear…and he is concerned only with his own life. But I want this country to know the reality which every politician and priest is avoiding. The priests are concerned that cows should not be slaughtered, as if that is the problem; the untouchables should not enter into the temples, as if that will solve every problem.
A recent World Bank Report stated that by the turn of the century, fifty-four percent of the world’s illiterate population would be in India.
Also by that time, sixty-two percent of India’s women would not go to the school, seventy-five thousand villages – I repeat, seventy-five thousand villages – would be without water, and forty percent of India’s population would be living below the poverty line.
Within these coming twelve years, India’s population is estimated – by very moderate estimators – to become one billion. But I suspect more neutral observers would say that the population will be double what it is today. When India became free, forty years ago, its population was only four hundred million; and just within forty years…. Today it is nine hundred million; five hundred million in forty years – it has doubled.
It seems to be more accurate that by the end of this century India will be not only one billion, it will be one billion and eight hundred million, double the population that it has today.