Another Zen master, when he heard this said, “There is no reason to cry: Nansen has fulfilled his destiny. It is a time to celebrate. He has not gone anywhere, he has simply become free from the form of body and mind; he has become just pure consciousness like the air surrounding you. He was confined into the body, now he is unconfined. This is not the time for crying. You should not cry; you should laugh.”
That’s why poor Maneesha has to shout, “Yaa-Hoo!” That is perfectly good: three pounds of flax or Yaa-Hoo – both weigh three pounds.
There is a strange story that developed in the name of Zen. A small group of people, beginning with Mahakashyapa, at the time of Gautam Buddha….
Although it is called Zen Buddhism, Zen should not be attached with Buddhism – it has nothing to do with any -ism. It is a pure experience without any theology. Its purity is such that no word can catch it, every word is going to pollute it. Mahakashyapa is the founder, not in the sense that Mohammed is the founder of Mohammedanism, or Mahavira is the founder of Jainism, or Karl Marx is the founder of communism. From the very beginning it takes a strange turn that has never happened anywhere else. It is simply unique; there is nothing else with which it can be compared.
One morning discourse Gautam Buddha came with a flower, a rose, in his hand. It was very strange. Even people who had been with him for twenty years had never seen him bringing anything in his hand. What happened…why had he brought this roseflower? But things became more mysterious as time passed.
Buddha sat in his place, and rather than speaking started looking at the roseflower…and continued….
People’s waiting became deeper and deeper – and he went on continuously looking at the flower. There was immense silence…. It must have been similar to the silence that is here, but it became heavy. A moment comes – you can only have a certain amount of silence; otherwise it will crush you. It has a weight.
It became too much of a burden. Nobody was saying anything, Buddha was looking at the flower and nobody had the courage or the guts to ask him, “What is the matter? What has happened? Where is the morning discourse?”
Only one man, Mahakashyapa understood. This was the morning discourse: watching silently, saying nothing, just being aware. It may be a roseflower or it may be anything. Watching without being attached – that was the discourse. But seeing that nobody was understanding, Mahakashyapa laughed loudly.
That was even more mysterious because Mahakashyapa was an absolutely silent man. He was never mentioned before in Buddhist scriptures. He has never said a single word to anybody. He was not a talkative person. He used to sit under a certain tree when Buddha was speaking; for so many years he had been sitting under that tree, that the tree had almost become monopolized. Without anybody saying anything, nobody sat there; everybody knew that Mahakashyapa would be coming and that place was reserved.