Yakusan is right and is wrong. Yakusan is right: it is true, a thousand buddhas cannot say anything about the transcendental. But I say also that Yakusan is not right, because a thousand buddhas here can experience it; there is no need to say anything.
This blessed evening we are entering into the transcendental. Now remember these three words: the outer, which has become a fixation in the West; the inner, which has become a fixation of the Indian mind; and the transcendental, which is the message of the awakened ones. They don’t belong to any country, they don’t belong to any race, they don’t belong to any school of philosophy – they simply belong to existence itself.
Those who have gathered here are no longer objective, no longer subjective, but just drowning in the transcendental. Because the transcendental is the only truth, beyond division, beyond duality, only a pure sky, a fragrance that you cannot hold in your hands, a silence that dances in your heart, a peace that passeth understanding: but you cannot say a single word about it.
Yakusan has to forgive me saying that he is right and wrong. Both right – because a thousand sages could not answer that question; and wrong – because just a single buddha is the answer. The answer cannot be materialized into language, but it can be experienced. And unless you experience it, you have wasted your life absolutely.
The attendant, O, together with Rinzai, entered the hall.
O asked, “Do these monks read the sutras?”
“Not they!” replied Rinzai.
“Then they are learning Zen?” asked attendant O.
“No,” replied Rinzai.
“Then what on earth are they all up to?” asked O.
“They are busy becoming buddhas,” said Rinzai,
O said, “Gold dust is valuable but in the eye it is injurious.”
Rinzai said, “I thought you were just a mediocre person!”
Rinzai is a great master and what he is saying is true: that his understanding about the questioner was not right; he had thought him a mediocre person. But I want to say that even if a man is a genius as far as mind is concerned, it does not make any difference; the mediocre and the genius, both are within the mind, and the truth is beyond.
I have unfortunately to correct Rinzai. The man may not have been mediocre, but the man was not a man of Zen, he was not in the dimension of the transcendental, which is the only truth there is. Everything else is nothing but soap bubbles.
Maneesha has asked,