It looks very contradictory, on the one hand addressing him with the most honorable word in Japanese, and on the other hand telling him “You should shut up!” but that is how Zen is. It is as sharp as a sword – it cuts hard and straight to the heart – and it is as soft as a lotus leaf. It is both together. It is not right for the disciple to say to the master, “You should shut up!” To avoid the disrespectfulness of his answer, he first addresses the master, Osho! Don’t misunderstand me. I have great respect and love for you, but you are asking nonsense. You should shut up. At the moment of death, have you gone a little senile. Just shut up!
Hyakujo said, “In the distant land where no one stirs, I shall shade my eyes with my hand and watch for you.”
Beautifully, he has rejected. He is not accepted as a successor because he has not answered the question. But yet he has been very careful. Although he has not answered, he has been very loving, honoring, grateful. Out of this gratitude and love he has earned a special virtue. Hyakujo says,
“In the distant land…” Somewhere in the universe, if we meet sometime, “where no one stirs” – where everything is silent, utterly quiet – I shall shade my eyes with my hand and watch for you.
He is saying, “You can be my companion, but you cannot be my successor. Somewhere faraway in the distant future at some corner of the universe I will watch for you. You will reach to the goal. Of that I am certain.” But saying this he has rejected him as a successor. His answer was better than Isan’s answer.
Then Hyakujo asked Ungan, “With your mouth and lips closed, how would you say it?”
Ungan said, “Osho, do you have them or not?”
It is a little better. With tremendous respect he says, “Osho, what are you asking, do you have it already or not. If you have it, then what is the point of asking. And if you don’t have it, you will not understand it.” But this too is not the answer. Although the second answer is better than the other, Hyakujo sadly said,
“My successors will be missing.”
I will not have any successor, it seems. You are all well versed, you are all great scholars, you have tremendous love and respect for me, but that is not enough for the successor.
What is enough, what is needed is that the successor should be able to say it. His whole life will be devoted to teaching people, to provoking people, to challenging people to get it. If he cannot say it, how can he be a successor?