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Q351. Why did Joshu rate the same actions of the two hermits differently?

A. Joshu went to a hermit’s place and said, “Hello, anybody in?” The hermit lifted up his fist. Joshu said, “The water is too shallow to anchor here,” and went away. Joshu visited another hermit a few days later and said, “Hello, anybody in?” The hermit raised his fist too. Then Joshu said, “You know how to release and how to catch, and how to kill and how to save.” And he bowed to the hermit.

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Student: “Why did Joshu rate the same actions of the two hermits differently?”

Master: “Why do you blame Joshu for your fault?”

 

Commentary:

Who releases and catches whom?

Who kills and saves whom?

Don’t blame Joshu.

It was only for the sake of sentient beings

that Joshu soiled himself with mud and jumped into water.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway