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Gaudiya Discussions Archive » ACADEMIC, CONTROVERSIAL
Academic views, controversies, liberal views, eclectic discussions and so forth. Also, extended debates may be moved here. May contain discussion on views that a devotee may find objectionable.

Scriptures - A Buddhist story

Openmind - Sun, 20 Jun 2004 19:59:08 +0530
(Originally I wanted to post this to the thread about scriptures but some may find it offensive because it is a Buddhist story.)

There was once a great Japanese poet named Basho. He was a very bright young man, and a serious Buddhist who had studied many scriptures. He thought that he understood Buddhism. One day he paid a visit to Zen Master Takuan. They talked for a long time. The Master would say something and Basho would respond at length, quoting from the most profound and difficult Buddhist scriptures. Finally, the Master said, 'You are a great Buddhist, a great man. You understand everything. But in all the time we have been talking, you have only used the words of Buddha or of eminent teachers. I do not want to hear other people's words. I want to hear you own words, the words of your true self. Quickly now - give me a sentence of your own.' Basho was speechless. His mind raced, 'What can I say? My own words - what can they be?' One minute passed, then two, then ten. Then the Master said, 'I thought you understood Buddhism. Why can't you answer me?' Basho's face turned red. His mind stopped short. It could not move left or right, forward or back. It was up against an impenetrable wall. Suddenly there was a sound in the monastery garden. Basho turned to the Master and said,

Still pond - a frog jumps in - splash.

The Master laughed out loud and said, 'Well now these are the words of your true self.' Basho laughed too. He had attained enlightenment.
nabadip - Sun, 20 Jun 2004 23:06:23 +0530
I doubt anyone reading here would be offended because it is a Buddhist story. It is a nice story. Unfortunately it is unlikely that you find this sort of openness, as the story depicts, among Gaudiya masters. The direction of this path is wholly different. Even though realisation is a deeply important factor, scriptural knowledge and application is probably overriding in most of the tradition, especially if the master is a Bengali, an Indian. It is really hard to find wisdom in India, even though that is also depending on one's perception. I mean to say: do not expect this kind of openness as you find with modern Buddhists, in Vaishnava circles in India.