In Zen monasteries they have been laughing and laughing and laughing. Laughter becomes prayer only in Zen, because Mahakashyap started it. Twenty-five centuries ago, on a morning just like this, Mahakashyap started a new trend, absolutely new, unknown to the religious mind before — he laughed. He laughed at the whole foolishness, the whole stupidity. And Buddha didn’t condemn; rather, on the contrary, he called him near, gave him the flower and spoke to the crowd.
– A Bird on the Wing, Chapter #10
Mahakashyap was a rare being in his own right; there is every possibility that even without Buddha he would have become a Buddha. It would have taken a little longer, maybe he would have taken a little more time, but it seems almost certain that he would have become a Buddha even without Buddha.
– Come Follow To You, Vol 1, Chapter #5
Buddha died in Mahakashyap’s lap; his head was in Mahakashyap’s lap. That was a rare phenomenon, because Buddha had ten thousand disciples present at that moment. Amongst those ten thousand at least one hundred were enlightened. Why was Mahakashyap chosen? The question went around, “Why has Mahakashyap been chosen?”
Sariputta, another enlightened disciple of Gautam Buddha, said, “He is the only one who has become a master but has not left his discipleship. The remaining ninety-nine have become masters and forgotten about discipleship. He is richer; he is a disciple and he is a master. He has much more than anybody else present here.”
And it is not surprising that Mahakashyap became the source of one of the greatest traditions, which is still alive — Zen, which has given to the world more enlightened people than anything else.
– The Osho Upanishad, Chapter #17
But nobody would have conceived that this small stream arising in a silent man like Mahakashyap would become the world’s most purified and essential religiousness. But Mahakashyap has the quality of humbleness — so humble that he drops even the idea of enlightenment, of truth. Certainly, he has experienced something in the presence of his master: he is ready to forsake everything — truth included. If Gautam Buddha is going to hell, he would like to go to hell; he is not interested in going to heaven.
– The Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter #3