Now, just one monk going to beg from seven houses is not a burden, because every house is giving him such a small piece. Because of this fact, the seekers and searchers would not be involved in business and waste their time. Their total energy should be directed towards a single point, their central being. Society should help them because their rising consciousness is going to help the society also.
You may know, you may not know: the few buddhas that have happened in history have raised your consciousness without your knowing. Without them you would still be in the jungles. You have not done anything, but the atmosphere has been changed by each buddha. He has given so much in abundance…don’t think that a piece of bread is enough to pay him. We cannot pay him in any way; his contribution to human consciousness is so great and his carefulness….
Buddha told his monks, “Take your one meal from seven houses and never stay in one village for more than three days. Go on moving, because by remaining in one village you may become a kind of drag to people. Every day they have to give something to you. Leave before they become in any way annoyed by you.”
And it is a great psychological insight, because it takes people four days to become familiar with persons or places. If you change your house, it will take four days for you to become at ease with the new house. Before the village becomes familiar, you should leave. You are an outsider, you are not allowed to become familiar, friendly. You have to remain a stranger. You have chosen the path of being a stranger.
Ordained at Hangzhou at the age of twenty-three, he traveled to Chiang-si and became a disciple of Hyakujo.
He found the master. The learned teachers that he must have come across could not fulfill his appetite. They could not give him what he was asking for. He was not asking for more knowledge; he was searching for the one who knows. He was interested to inquire into the very structure of the knower, of the witness.
Naturally, the scholars cannot do that. They can quote great quotations, but they cannot radiate buddhahood. They are not an argument for their own quotations, they are not a support to their own learnedness. Their whole life is so ordinary; it does not show the grace and the beauty and the blissfulness of which they are talking. So any intelligent seeker will soon realize that this man has only words; he does not know the meaning. He is carrying a dead corpse but he is not aware that the person is dead.
All the scholars of the world are gravediggers. They dig deeply into graves and find bones of all kinds of people, but they never dig deep into themselves. They may find the bones of Buddha…they even worship the bones when they find them.
In Sri Lanka, in Kandy, they have a great temple devoted to a tooth of Buddha. Every scientific test has proved that it is not a tooth of a human being, it is too big; it can only be that of an animal. But who cares about it? Kandy attracts more pilgrimages to Sri Lanka than any other temple because it has a tooth of Gautam Buddha.