When Hsuan-Sha became enlightened he said to other monks, "The whole universe is a brilliant jewel of the buddha-mind…."
Dogen continued: This brilliant jewel is originally nameless, but provisionally we gave it such a name. This jewel is eternally unchangeable. Really, our body and mind, grass and trees here and there, or mountains and rivers between heaven and earth – all this is nothing but a brilliant jewel….
It is boundless from beginning to end. After all, the whole universe is one brilliant jewel, not two or three. The whole jewel is the buddha's eye, truth itself, one phrase of truth, the light of enlightenment. At this time it never hinders the whole one, and it is round and rolls about. The function of this brilliant jewel is so clear that the sentient beings are saved by present-day Avolo Kiteshvara or Maitreya, just by seeing their look or hearing their voice; and also the buddhas, ancient and modern, expound the Dharma with their body.
A sutra says that someone was lying drunk, when his great friend sewed a jewel in his robe, secretly. We must never fail to give this jewel to our intimate friend.
We are never drunk without being given such a jewel. Such a brilliant jewel is identical with the whole universe.
Therefore, a brilliant jewel is a brilliant jewel itself whether it rolls or not. Our realization that such is a jewel is also a jewel itself; so audible and visible is it. Therefore, it is no use wondering if we are a brilliant jewel. Whether we doubt or discern it, it is only a small, provisional viewpoint. To say more precisely: a brilliant jewel only pretends a small viewpoint.
We cannot help setting a great value on this jewel – so brilliant is the color and light of it. Who could snatch it? Who could cast it away in a market, regarding it as a tile?
We must not worry about whether we transmigrate in the six realms of existence on the law of causality. A brilliant jewel never sets aside the law of causality from beginning to end. This is the face of a brilliant jewel.
Maneesha, there is only one experience, but there can be a thousand and one expressions. Still no expression expresses it. That is its beauty, that is its immense richness, that is its infinity, eternity. No word can catch hold of it. But a man who comes home, who finds it, is also compelled by its finding to share the joy, the song, the haiku – to say something about that which cannot be said. It is an absolute compulsion. You have to do something to make the whole world aware of what you have found. Because what you have found everybody else can find, just they have forgotten the way. And it is so close that just as you close your eyes…one more step inwards and you have arrived.
All these Zen anecdotes and dialogues say the same thing again and again. But they say it very beautifully. From different standpoints, from different attitudes, they point to the same moon…hoping that perhaps, if last night you did not see it, today it may be possible from some other aspect.
The master is nothing but a great hope for the disciple, simply waiting for you to understand a simple thing which he cannot deliver to you as matter because it is immaterial. But its pricelessness is such that he cannot ignore it either, he has to do something in order to provoke you and challenge you to search inwards. All these anecdotes are nothing but provocations, challenges. These statements have arisen out of deep love and compassion, not out of mind.
This has to be remembered about every anecdote, every dialogue, every small Zen haiku: that the master is trying in some way the impossible. And the impossible does happen once in a while. So it cannot be denied, and it cannot be said that the whole thing is futile…no need to bother about others. Enlightenment brings with itself a tremendous love for all those who are in darkness. Just because they are standing with closed eyes and they think they are blind, somebody has to nag them to open their eyes. Perhaps their eyes have been closed for so many lives. They have forgotten completely that they have eyes, so much dust has gathered.
The whole work of the master is to remove the dust and give you a challenging call so that your innermost being wakes up. And once it is awakened, you will see that all the efforts of the master were faulty; just his compassion was immense. His efforts were faulty because there is no direct way to express the inexpressible. But he still tried, knowing perfectly well that he is on an impossible journey.