Once a disciple of Ma Tzu, called Ikan, was asked by a monk, “Has the dog the buddha-nature or not?”
Ikan replied yes, and the monk then asked, “Have you got it or not?”
Ikan responded, “I have not.”
Then the monk asked, “All existent creatures have the buddha-nature; how is it that you haven’t?”
Ikan said, “I don’t belong to all existent creatures.”
The monk commented, “You say you don’t belong to all existent creatures. This ‘you’ – is it a buddha or not?”
Ikan said, “It is not a buddha.”
The monk then inquired, “What sort of thing, in the last resort, is this ‘you’?”
Ikan replied, “It is not a thing.”
The monk continued, “Can it be perceived or thought of?” – at which Ikan concluded, “Thought cannot attain to it; it cannot be fathomed. For this reason, it is said to be a mystery.”
My Beloved Ones,
Geeta had to inform Katsue Ishida, the seeress and the prophetess of one of the most ancient shrines of the Shinto religion in Japan. Geeta was a little concerned that she would be disturbed and shocked, but on the contrary, Ishida was immensely happy.
She said, “I have not only prophesied that Gautam Buddha would be entering your master’s being; I have also prophesied that, just as Buddha himself changed his name four times, your master would also do the same.”
She said, “My only concern is your master’s health and his work. It does not matter whether Buddha remains in his being or not.”
I am immensely grateful to Ishida for understanding the situation with clarity.
Yes, it is true Gautam Buddha changed his name four times. And as I remember it, it was not worthy of him to do that. My change has taken me higher.
I found Buddha too old and too much fixed in his approach to life. Finally I dropped all concern with anyone. I have chosen my own name: Zorba the Buddha.
It has meaning, it is not just a name. It is my whole philosia; it is my whole vision, in which the lowest will meet with the highest, in which materialism and spiritualism will not be two separate and antagonistic things. That division has killed human spirit immensely. It has made man a battlefield, and I want man to be a dance, a harmony, a balance.
But Gautam Buddha’s changing of names is a little unworthy of him.
I have no concern to protect anybody; now I am going to be simply stating the truth. Whether it hurts, wounds, or heals, depends on you.
Gautam Buddha’s name as given by his parents was Siddhartha. It was a perfect name – the name of Buddha does not go higher than Siddhartha. Siddhartha means “one who has achieved the meaning of life.” What more do you want?
Then, at that time there was a great competition which makes me laugh – a competition amongst Mahavira, Gautam Buddha and six others of the same category.
The Jaina lineage is perhaps the most ancient. In one kalpa – which means four million years – there will be only twenty-four Jaina tirthankaras. Twenty-three had already happened, only one last seat was vacant, and all these eight people were competing to be the twenty-fourth jina. Jina means “the conqueror of oneself.”