The master said, “The Great Compassionate Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara has a thousand hands and a thousand eyes. Which eye is the true one? Speak quick, quick!”
Magog pulled the master off his seat and himself took the place.
Master Rinzai’s response to Magog’s question by repeating Magog’s question and adding a few words ‘Speak quick, quick!’ may sound eccentric and illogical but this is an airtight answer to Magog’s question. You should be able to recognise Avalokitesvara that Rinzai showed just as you can recognise the invisible wind by seeing leaves moving and the invisible autumn by seeing leaves turning red and yellow. If you are confused and perplexed with this answer, that is the evidence that you are being deluded by words.
Then, Magog, admitting Rinzai’s answer, brings another question by pulling Rinzai off his seat and taking the place. You should know that this action includes both approval and another question: “I know that you mean just this as your answer to my question. Then, what is this? Tell me another answer.” You should know that however leaves may flutter and sound, it’s all just the function of the wind.
Student: “Why did Rinzai repeat the same question that Magog asked instead of answering the question?”
Master: “Because a correct answer must be the same as the question.”
Student: “Why did Magog pull Rinzai off his seat and take the place?”
Master: “Why do you see only Magog and Rinzai instead of seeing Avalokitesvara?”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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