Mogog came for an interview. Spreading out his prostration mat, he asked, “Of the twelve faces of Avalokiteshvara, which is the true one?” Rinzai came down from his seat, took up the prostration mat with one hand, with the other grabbed Mogog, and said, “Where has the twelve faced Avalokiteshvara gone now?” Mogog twisted his body and moved as if to climb Rinzai’s seat. Rinzai lifted his stick and hit him. Mogog grabbed the stick, and both went together to the master’s quarters.
Mogog’s question may seem to ask about the twelve faces of Avalokiteshvara, but it actually meant means, “What is the true-Self?”. Rinzai’s response to Mogog’s question may sound eccentric and illogical but this is a perfect answer to Magog’s question. You should be able to recognise the true-Self 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. (Refer to Rinzai 7, 8 about Avalokiteshvara).
Then, Mogog, admitting Rinzai’s answer, raised another question by twisting his body and moving as if to climb Rinzai’s seat. This action included 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.” Rinzai made an immediate answer by lifting his stick and hitting him. ‘Mogog grabbed the stick, and both went together to the master’s quarters’ means that both of them approved each other’s enlightenment.
You should know that however leaves may flutter and sound, it’s all just the function of the wind.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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