Kyozan A True Man of Zen 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 4 discourses - Kyozan A True Man of Zen by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Kyozan was uncertain as to the validity of Kyogen’s enlightenment so, by way of testing him, he said to Kyogen, “I have heard that you composed a verse expressing your enlightenment. Please let me hear it and I will study it.”
When Kyogen had finished reciting the verse, he said, “We will leave it ready for some leisure time,” and he then proceeded to make another verse:
“Last year my poverty was not real poverty;
this year my poverty is the real thing.
Last year there was no place
for the awl to be struck;
this year I haven’t even an awl.”

On hearing this verse, Kyozan commented, “What you have got is just Nyorai Zen, not Patriarchal Zen.”

Kyogen then made another verse:
“I had a potentiality
which I show to him.
If he doesn’t understand it,
let him call the attendant!”

Kyozan then commented:
“Fortunately, you have now attained to Patriarchal Zen.”
Maneesha, it hurts me to disturb your silence by using words, but I hope a day will arrive when we will be sitting together allowing the silence to become deeper – because whatever can be said only touches the periphery, it never goes beyond the periphery. No word has ever reached to the center.
Zen brought it in, in a very strong way. No other religion has been so strong on the point. Words have to be discarded by words themselves, just as poison has to be destroyed by more poison.
These sutras bring many implications. You are not only hearing my words, you are also hearing me, and that is the true hearing: my heartbeat. And when all the present buddhas here breathe in tune, in a rhythm, even the impossible becomes possible.
I have entitled this series, Kyozan: A True Man of Zen. I have not given any speciality to him, for the simple reason that he avoided speciality, uniqueness, some higher quality. He removed himself deep into the forest just to avoid seekers. But if you have found the truth, if your innermost lotus has blossomed, wherever you go seekers will come. There seems to be an inner pathway.
The seeker may not know even where he is going. He may not be aware of his thirst, may not be aware of the truth, but he starts moving towards the master.
Mostly the master has nothing to do. He teaches you simply a different way of being graceful. He gives you a beauty that no mirror can give to you. He gives you a dignity. He declares your potential buddhahood, and unless your potential buddhahood is declared you may never think that in the innermost core you are a buddha. The master makes many devices, but the aim is the same.
Zen is religion and is not religion. It is religion in the sense that it brings you to your godliness, which no other religion has been capable of doing. All other religions live with the idea of a god far away beyond the clouds. Zen proclaims your god is your innermost being, and the moment you reach to your innermost being all your personality disappears as if it was a dream, and now you are awake.
Have you ever asked what happened to the dream when you have been dreaming the whole night? Strange, so much time is devoted to dreaming. If you sleep eight hours, then six hours are devoted to dreaming, only two hours for dreamless sleep. But in the morning, the moment you wake up, suddenly you realize you were asleep and you were dreaming. And that cuts you off from a world you have been in for six hours.
Zen is religion in the sense that it helps you to drop the false, the sleepy, the fake, that which up to now you believed was your personality.

A great king, Prasenjita, came to Buddha. He brought a beautiful lotus flower. It was out of season, and it has its own story.
A shoemaker had a pond behind his house. And suddenly they were puzzled – out of season a beautiful blue lotus. It had never happened before. So the shoemaker thought, “Somebody who goes every day to worship Buddha and listen to Buddha may purchase it. Perhaps one rupee?” The poor man could not think it could be more.
As he came out of his house the richest man of the town was going to pay his respects to Buddha. He suddenly stopped his chariot and he asked Sudas – that was the name of the shoemaker – “How much will you take for this flower?”
Sudas said, “I have never sold flowers, never purchased them. It is better you give your offer. It is out of season.”
The richest man, according to his dignity, said, “I will give you one hundred rupees” – beyond the conception of Sudas.
But just then another chariot stopped. The king was going to Buddha, and the king said to Sudas, “I have purchased that flower. I will pay ten times more than the rich man is offering you.”
This was even more surprising – one thousand rupees for one flower! So that flower was a revelation to Sudas. He thought, “I am so poor I cannot afford to refuse, but my whole being says, ‘Refuse this offer. Go yourself to Buddha and offer the flower directly.’ But my poverty is so much I cannot afford it.”
The king thought, “Perhaps he considers the price is not yet right.” He said to Sudas, “Don’t think. Whatever you want to ask will be given. I have offered one thousand rupees. Do you want ten thousand rupees, one hundred thousand rupees?”
Sudas was going mad. One hundred thousand rupees he cannot even count!
Prasenjita ordered his people to deliver one hundred thousand rupees to Sudas.
Of course, the rich man did not contest it, it was futile. The king would not accept defeat in any way. It could even lead to bloodshed.
And when Prasenjita offered the flower to Buddha, all that Buddha said was, “Drop it.” He dropped the flower. What else can you do before a buddha if he says, “Drop the flower”?
Now he was standing with empty hands and Buddha again said, “Drop it too!” This was beyond the mind and its comprehension.
Sariputra said to Prasenjita, “Buddha does not mean the flower; Buddha means the ego. You are so full of ego; even offering, touching the feet of Buddha, your ego has not changed even a little bit. And to be with Buddha, the only way is to drop your ego, your personality.”

In this small anecdote is contained the whole of Zen. You have to drop all that has been given to you by others. You have to reach to your innermost center which you have carried from eternity to eternity. And then life is a bliss, then life is love, then life contains all kinds of ecstasies.
Zen is not a religion because there is no reference to God, soul, heaven and hell, no rituals. It is a very concentrated effort to penetrate to your very being. Drop, go on dropping anything that you can drop. When only a witness remains which you cannot drop, you have arrived home. Zen has brought religion to its scientific crescendo.

Before the sutras…

Kyogen was a fellow disciple of Kyozan. He studied under Isan for a while but, failing to attain enlightenment, he left Isan and went to Nanyang, where he lived a solitary existence in a hut in the forest.
He realized his enlightenment one day on hearing the sound of a stone striking bamboo.

Somebody must have thrown a stone that struck the bamboo and created a sound. And this is strange: hearing the sound of a stone striking bamboo brought his enlightenment. What has happened?
He lived with Kyozan’s master, Isan, who transformed a great number of disciples into enlightenment, but Kyogen failed.
Sometimes when you think you have failed you drop the mind, the mind of the achiever. The mind turns everything into an object: “Achieve this, attain that!” Mind makes everything a goal.

Frustrated that he is not attaining enlightenment, he left Isan and went to live a solitary existence in a hut in the forest. He realized his enlightenment one day on hearing the sound of a stone striking bamboo.

There are moments of which you may not be aware, but if you have dropped the idea of attaining anything, any achievement, mind slowly slowly settles. If there is nowhere to go, why prepare for it? If nothing has to be achieved, then why unnecessarily harass yourself?
It was not the stone hitting the bamboo, it was really the right moment, a coincidence. The bamboo made the sound in a mind that was utterly empty, that had dropped even the idea of enlightenment. What Isan could not do, what no master can do, was done by hearing the sound of a stone striking bamboo.

After this, Kyogen left his hermitage and went back to Isan, who confirmed his enlightenment.

He has gone for two reasons back to Isan: to see whether Isan recognizes his enlightenment or not, and to express his gratitude to him, to say that without being with him for fifteen years doing all kinds of meditations, he could not have dropped everything; without those fifteen years of strenuous work, it would not have been possible for him to have become enlightened by the sound of a stone striking the bamboos.
He still considers Isan his master; he prepared him. Although enlightenment did not happen in his vicinity, the preparation had been done by Isan wherever it was going to happen. So these were the two reasons: to show his gratitude by putting his head on Isan’s feet, and to wait to see whether Isan recognizes what has happened to him.
Recognition is not a kind of certificate. It is simply that a man of clear insight can decide more easily about the new phenomenon. For Kyozan it was so new. He has never known such a thing; what to call it? Is this enlightenment? He wanted to know also.

After this, Kyogen left his hermitage and went back to Isan, who confirmed his enlightenment – without his asking.

Enlightenment is such a subtle fragrance, so invisible a flower that only another enlightened person can recognize it. As far as others are concerned, they are absolutely blind. If you ask them whether the sun has risen or not, they will say, “It never set. The question of rising does not arise. I am a blind man, I cannot make judgments about light. That window is closed for me.”
So first people go from one teacher to another teacher in search of the master. And even if they have found the master, it is not certain that they will become enlightened. Their greed for it, their ambition for it prevents it.
Perhaps tired, bored, they leave the master. They find far more freedom, a greater space, more clarity just being away from the master. And if they have really dropped the ambitious mind, then anything – a cuckoo singing, or the bamboos making songs of their own in the strong wind, or the oceanic waves – it does not matter what….
The point is, if you are prepared, and not asking for anything, not even for enlightenment, the right moment has come for you. Then the whole world from anywhere may bring you the light, the eyes, the interiority which you were missing – although you were trying. And you were missing because you were trying. Don’t try! Simply let it happen. And watch.
Here, when you do the meditation every evening, your function is to watch very silently how the body makes itself comfortable. It is not a question of trying. You cannot try relaxation – only in America!
There are books sold in millions of copies. When I came across such a book, it said, “You must relax!” Now that “must” will not allow you to relax; that “must” is your problem; that “must” is keeping you tense, strained.
You must not be; and suddenly there is relaxation. You are not, then relaxation is.

The sutra:
Kyozan was uncertain as to the validity of Kyogen’s enlightenment so, by way of testing him, he said to Kyogen, “I have heard that you composed a verse expressing your enlightenment. Please let me hear it and I will study it.”
When Kyogen had finished reciting the verse, he said, “We will leave it ready for some leisure time,” and he then proceeded to make another verse:
“Last year my poverty was not real poverty;
this year my poverty is the real thing.
Last year there was no place
for the awl to be struck;
this year I have not even an awl.”
The awl is an instrument – just like a bamboo but very pointed – for marking surfaces, piercing leather.
What is false poverty and what is real poverty?
“Last year, he says, my poverty was not real poverty;” I was only pretending to be nobody. But I knew who I was. In fact I was enriching my ego by the idea that I was nobody, that I was the humble, the simple person.
…this year my poverty is the real thing.
This year I am not proclaiming my ego or any egoistic attitude. This year I don’t know what is humbleness. This year I don’t know what is egolessness. This year I have really become poor.
But in the world of Zen this poverty, the real poverty – which is not concerned with your possessions, with your money, with your acquirements in the world – the real poverty means the ego has shattered, ambition has left you. Even if you meet God you will not have anything to ask him. Such deep poverty is really great richness.
When a man can meet God himself – this is just for argument’s sake; there is no God. Don’t start searching for him; you will not find him, particularly in Koregaon Park. But just for the argument’s sake, if you meet God, do you have some ambition to be fulfilled, a desire to be completed?
If you don’t have anything to beg for, in your poverty you have become the richest man in history. You don’t have anything to depend on. Now this richness, this poverty cannot be taken away from you.
On hearing this verse, Kyozan commented, “What you have got is just Nyorai Zen, not Patriarchal Zen.”
Nyorai Zen implies Buddhist, pre-Daruma Zen. Patriarchal Zen is that handed down from master to master after Daruma.
Bodhidharma’s name in Japan changed into Daruma, and with Daruma there came a divergence of paths. Traditional Buddhism does not recognize what has grown through Bodhidharma’s insight.
So when, On hearing this verse, Kyozan commented, “What you have got is just Nyorai Zen, not Patriarchal Zen,” he means, “You have got a great insight into things by following the traditional Buddhism, but you don’t know there are higher skies beyond the skies, which Bodhidharma opened, which is called Patriarchal Zen.”
Bodhidharma has contributed so much that he has become himself a new source of realization, and his insight is more revolutionary. He has used new methods; he has used new devices, finding words impotent. His contribution is so great that the traditional Buddhism has become as dead as all traditional religions have become. But what Bodhidharma brought is still alive.
He himself is a disciple of Buddha, but his addition of new methods, of new strategies which were not even thought of by Buddha…
You cannot think of Buddha hitting a “poor” Maneesha. When she asked the question, her poverty was not true poverty. But when Zen Master Stonehead hit her head with his staff, she bowed down with gratitude.
Just think, if somebody hits you and you bow down and express your thankfulness, the poverty changes. It becomes real poverty, and the real poverty is the real richness. The false poverty is dependent on your possessions.

The man who brought me to Pune sometime in the sixties was a good Marathi and Hindi writer, Rishabhdas Ranka. He had lived in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram and was very much respected. According to Gandhi, all religions are one, no religion is higher or lower. Rishabhdas Ranka was writing a book on this theme. I asked him what the title of his book was. The title was: Bhagwan Mahavira and Mahatma Gautam Buddha: A Comparative Study.
I told him, “You have already decided that Mahavira is ‘Bhagwan’ and Buddha is just a mahatma. You are not an unprejudiced researcher. What are your grounds?”
All that he could find was that Mahavira’s dispossession of things was total, because he discarded even clothes, he remained naked, and Buddha kept three garments. “That’s why I cannot call him ‘Bhagwan’.”
I said, “Then how can Buddhism and Jainaism and Islam and Christianity all be at the same level of evolution? Jesus even drinks alcohol. Where are you going to put Jesus? And just three garments put Buddha lower than Mahavira! Because you are born a Jaina, you are still carrying the conditioning.”

I refute completely the idea that all religions are the same. Most religions are not even religions. And if you look without any prejudice, any predetermined idea, you will be able to see who has reached to the Everest of consciousness. Others are perhaps on the way, and some others may even be going backwards. It is a whole panorama.
And small things make people fuss so much.
This man says, “Your Zen is not Patriarchal. It is traditional.” That is not the point. If you are enlightened, you may have become enlightened from a Hassidic tradition, you may have come from a Sufi source, you may have come from a Zen background – it does not matter. The enlightened man is simply enlightened consciousness, a house full of light, a house full of songs, a house where dance continues, a festivity for eternity. At that point who cares by what path you traveled? When you have reached the ultimate consciousness, you have reached!
Still you make distinctions: “This fellow used to wear clothes; he should be given a lower seat.” What will you do with Mohammed? What will you do with Jesus? Or Moses? And from their side it does not matter if once in a while Jesus gets a little drunk. He has harmed nobody, a nice fellow, does not give disciplines that are too restrictive.
I refute the very idea that all religions are the same. Most of them are not religions at all. A few individuals in those traditions have reached ultimate consciousness; by what path, from north or south, is immaterial.
You should see the fruit, the ripe fruit. You should not bother in what climate, in what soil it has grown.
Kyogen then made another verse:
“I had a potentiality
which I show to him.
If he doesn’t understand it,
let him call the attendant!”
Calling the attendant means: throw this man out. “I have told in a small, summarized form my understanding of enlightenment. If he does not understand,” he says, “it is better to call the attendant.”
Kyozan then commented:
“Fortunately, you have now attained to Patriarchal Zen.”
Kyozan was simply trying to figure out whether this man has reached the peak. What he said would be acceptable to the old Buddhist tradition. But now calling the attendant to throw him out would not be accepted by Buddha. But it would be accepted by Bodhidharma, the patriarch.
Kyozan then commented: “Good, Fortunately, you have now attained to Patriarchal Zen – in a single moment. First you were talking the way traditional Buddhist priests talk. Now you are calling the attendant to beat you and throw you out. This shows that you have also understood the contribution of the patriarch, Bodhidharma.”

Basho wrote:
Cicada – did it
chirp till it
knew nothing else?
I have told you, Zen masters just note down their impressions of the world. And their impressions are certainly golden. They have clarity and subtlety.

Basho wrote:
Cicada – did it
chirp till it
knew nothing else?
Just chirping, just chirping, the cicada did it without knowing anything else, utterly blissful, in tune with existence, no problem, no anxiety – the cicada did it.
The whole existence is doing it except man. Man has got puzzled in his mind. Rather than seeing, he has started thinking. And our whole education, our whole society wants us to think, not to see, because we have hidden many ugly things around us. “Don’t see them!” – as if they are not there.
Life needs a total openness. The more open you are, the more existence you have.

Maneesha has asked:
To remember to witness, could it be helpful to start with one routine – like showering or making the bed – in which as much awareness is brought to the moment as possible? Then when one is able to maintain that for several days, another activity could be undertaken in the same manner. Perhaps triggers could also be used – like a particular person or a certain color – to recall the space of witnessing.
Is this a good idea or are there pitfalls I can't see?
Maneesha, it is a good idea, but you will still get a hit. Stonehead, a real German hit!
(There is the sound of Niskriya’s Zen stick tapping Maneesha on the head.)
Now Gurudayal Singh is thinking his time seems to have come.

The third-grade teacher calls on Little Ernie and says, “Can you use the word beautiful twice in the same sentence?”
“Oh, sure,” replies Ernie. “Um…Yesterday, my sister came home, told my father that she was pregnant, and he said, ‘Beautiful, fucking beautiful!’”

Doctor Geet, the dentist, begins to work on the teeth of a voluptuous young woman. All of a sudden, he feels soft warm fingers slide up the inside of his thigh, encircle his family jewels, and then gently squeeze them. Doctor Geet stops his work.
“Now that I have got your attention, doctor,” says the woman, smiling sweetly, “we are not going to hurt each other, are we?”

“The Israeli War”…
The prime minister of Israel calls a special cabinet meeting in secret session. The prime minister reports that the prolonged Middle East conflict is weakening the country; inflation is rampant; the people are discouraged and the future is very gloomy. He asks for proposals.
One cabinet member suggests that Israel declare war on the United States. “Then,” he says, “after the defeat, they will do with us what they have done with Germany and Japan. We will become a great, prosperous nation!”
The prime minister remains somber and says, “Yes, but suppose we win?”

Gorgeous Gloria walks into the bar and sits down next to Big Black Rufus. She eyes him up and down carefully, then orders herself a drink.
“I am really impressed with the size of your huge chest,” Gloria whispers to Rufus.
“Yup,” says Rufus. “It is sixty-two inches – I measured it this morning after pumping iron.”
“Really?” says Gloria, her eyes widening. “And I must say,” she coos, “that you look very strong with those steel-packed arm muscles you have.”
“Yup,” replies Rufus. “Twenty-five inches – I measured them this morning.”
Gloria swallows down her drink, smiles hotly at Rufus, points at his machinery, and says, “My, that looks rather nice, too.”
“Yup,” replies Rufus, “two inches – I measured it this morning.”
Two inches?” gasps Gloria, “only two inches?”
“Yup,” replies Rufus, with a grin. “From the floor!”






Be silent. Close your eyes. Feel your body to be completely frozen.
Now look inwards with all your life energy, with all your consciousness, and with an urgency to reach the center of your being, urgently as if this could be your last moment.
This moment, at your very center, you are the buddha. This is the only thing: witnessing, which is eternal. Thousands of bodies you have lived in before, but you lived only outwardly. Don’t miss this life.
You are the buddha when you are witnessing the body as separate, the mind as separate, and yourself just a mirror reflecting.



Relax. The body is there, the mind is there, but you are neither. You are the one who is witnessing, and that is the meaning of the buddha: the one who is witnessing.

The night was beautiful in itself, but by your relaxed consciousness merging into each other, it has become a splendor, a miracle.
You have to collect as much grace, peace, silence, as many flowers that are showering, as much juice that is flowing from your center as possible, because you have to bring buddha every day closer to your outer life.
The day your center and circumference are one, that will be the day of your enlightenment.
Before Nivedano calls you, collect as much gold to bring to the circumference as you can. And persuade the buddha – it has been long he has been hiding in you – to come with you.



Even in coming, show the grace, the beauty of a buddha, of an awakened being.
For a few minutes sit silently recalling the golden path you had moved on to the center and again back to the circumference.
In your day-to-day life remember as much as you can,
but don’t make it a tension – a relaxed undercurrent
that you are a buddha. And in your being a buddha,
the whole universe becomes the buddha.

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