Once, when he was still with his master, Kyozan said to Isan, “Where does the real buddha dwell?”
Isan replied, “By means of the subtlety of thoughtless thought, contemplate the boundless spiritual brightness. Contemplate it until returning to the ground of being, the always abiding nature, and its form of the undichotomous principle. This is the real buddha.”
On hearing this, Kyozan was enlightened.
Later, when Kyozan had become a master himself, Isan sent him a mirror as a gift. When he went to the hall where his monks were assembled, Kyozan held up the mirror and said to the assembly, “Please say whether this is Isan’s mirror or Kyozan’s mirror. If someone can give a correct reply, I will not smash it.”
No one answered, and Kyozan smashed the mirror.
Maneesha, a new series of talks begins today.
These are not sermons in a church; these are communions. A discourse, a sermon, remains within the limits of the mind. Only a communion can raise you beyond the mind, and that which is beyond the mind is Zen. A new series of communions is a great event. We will be looking into the very heart of Kyozan.
Kyozan was a very simple man – not the philosophic kind, not a poet, nor a sculptor. Nothing can be said about him except that he was absolutely authentic, honest. If he does not know a thing he will say so, even at the risk of people thinking that he has fallen from his enlightenment. But this makes him a unique master.
Zen is full of unique masters, but Kyozan’s uniqueness is his simplicity. He is just like a child. It took Isan, his master, forty years of hard work to make Kyozan enlightened. He was determined, and he said he would not leave the body until Kyozan became enlightened – though he was old enough.
Kyozan did everything that Isan said, but nothing penetrated to his very being. He was a very ordinary man. Heaven and hell, God and the beyond had never worried him. He was not a seeker in the sense every seeker is – a seeker of truth.
No, he was not seeking truth, because he is reported to have said that, “If you are seeking the truth you have certainly accepted that truth exists, and I will not accept anything on belief. So I am just seeking, searching in all directions, trying to come in tune with the universe. It may be just my fallacy, my fantasy, but I want to go without any prejudice.”
Even the prejudice may prove right, but when a prejudice proves right, you will never know the truth. You will go on projecting your prejudice. And you can create a whole paraphernalia of prejudices, a system of beliefs – rational, logical, appealing, presentable – but if belief is the base stone on which you are creating the whole palace, you are working unnecessarily hard.
Nobody can come to know the truth by any preconceived idea. His preconceived idea will give a certain shape, a certain color to the experience. The experience will not be pure. It will be as polluted as Pune’s air!
But Isan, it seems, took it as a challenge: if an ordinary man like Kyozan cannot be transformed into a buddha, how can you allow others to trust in the existence of the buddha?
All the religions have done just the contrary. Krishna is God’s incarnation, so is Rama, so is Parasuram. They have made them sit on such a high pedestal that you can only worship, you can only pray; you cannot conceive that you yourself can also experience what these people on the heights are experiencing.