“I do not say that the Tathagata has no language, but…”
I certainly say that he has not two languages.
Hofuku is another Zen master – and this is traditional in Zen that masters meet and talk and play with words:
Hofuku said, “What is the Tathagata’s language?”
If you say he has not two languages and you don’t deny him having any language, then what is his language?
Chokei said, “How can a deaf person hear it?”
This is such a beautiful statement with so many implications. I am speaking to you, but do you think if you don’t have ears I will still be speaking? My speaking needs you absolutely.
It is one of the latest scientific discoveries…philosophers have always been discussing it, but their discussions do not have scientific validity. But science has now come to see a point which puzzles the ordinary man. For example: you all have different colors of clothes, but if the light is put off, do you think the white will remain white and the blue will remain blue, the red will remain red and the green will remain green? Once the light is off, all colors disappear. For the colors to be there, the light is needed. And things become more complicated: light may be there, colors may be there, but if there is nobody to see, there will not be any color; the eyes are also needed. These are basic components.
So when you leave your room and lock it, don’t be surprised that everything in your room has changed its color! All has become colorless. But if you look just from the keyhole, again the colors will appear. So it is very difficult to find your room without seeing it! Once you see, things are there – and once you stop seeing, they disappear. Your eyes are needed.
Just look at it this way. A blind man, do you think that for him there is any such thing as color or light? A rainbow may be there, but it is not for the blind man. The stars may be there in the sky, but they are not for the blind man. Great music may be there, but if you are deaf it does not exist for you – and if everybody else is also deaf – then sound does not exist.