Buddha is saying the same thing in all the scriptures again and again in different ways, different language, from different angles, talking to different people – and certainly with different responses. This Tripitak is known in Zen only as three phrases – three different phrases.
So Yakusan said, “What does Hyakujo Osho teach you?”
Ungan answered, “He says, ‘Go beyond three phrases.’”
Go beyond all the scriptures that Buddha has left behind him. Don’t get caught into phrases, into words; you have to go beyond words. Scriptures are beautiful, but they cannot give you truth. First find the truth, and then, if you want to enjoy the scriptures, you can enjoy. But first be rooted in the truth, and that rooting happens only when you drop your mind.
Those three baskets of Buddha’s phrases are contained in your mind. Go beyond.
And sometimes Hyakujo also said,
“Go beyond six phrases and get it.”
What are the six phrases? – because Buddha made only three types of statements which have been collected into three scriptures. They are vast. Even one scripture is at least one thousand pages. But in India it has been a tradition that whenever enlightenment happens to a man, whatever he says is so beyond the ordinary mind that it has to be interpreted so that the ordinary human masses can understand it. So the three scriptures have three commentaries; that makes six phrases.
So Hyakujo sometimes says, “Go beyond three phrases”…but if somebody is a scholar and has learned not only the original Buddha statements but also the interpretations of the scholars, then he says, “Go beyond six phrases and get it.”
It is within you, you just have to pass beyond all the words and it is already there, radiant, alive from eternity, waiting for you.
Yakusan commented, “With a distance of seven hundred miles between us, fortunately we don’t have anything to do with Hyakujo.”
Hyakujo is unnecessarily harassing his disciples by telling them, “Get beyond the three scriptures. Get beyond the three scriptures and their three commentaries.” A simple statement is enough: “Go beyond the mind.” How are you going to calculate how much is in the mind? There may be those six and there may be many other scriptures. Why bother about it?
Just a simple statement, “Go beyond mind,” and you have gone beyond all scholarship, all language, all intellectuality. You have entered into the no-mind.
So Yakusan said, “There are seven hundred miles between me and Hyakujo. We don’t have anything to do with Hyakujo.”