BUTEI, THE EMPEROR OF RYO, SENT FOR FU-DAISHI TO EXPLAIN THE DIAMOND SUTRA.
Now the Diamond Sutra is really a Kohinoor; it is one of the most significant utterances ever uttered on this earth. Buddha's sayings in the Diamond Sutra are the most precious. But the basic thing in the Diamond Sutra is that nothing can be explained, that life is utterly unexplainable; that life is such that all explanations fall short, that all philosophies prove very narrow. The sky of life is so vast that there is no way to confine it in any hypothesis or doctrine.
Buddha himself never used to talk about metaphysical problems. He made a list of ten or twelve problems, and before he entered a town or a city his disciples would go and declare in the town: "Don't ask about these twelve problems because he will not answer." Not that he cannot answer -- if he cannot answer then who will answer? -- but that these problems are unanswerable. They are better left not touched; better they are left alone.
Nobody should ask about God. Buddha would not say God is; he would not say God is not -- because he said both are irrelevant. To say God is, is as irrelevant as to say God is not -- because that which is, is beyond the positive and the negative. That which is, it is beyond the minus and the plus. That which is cannot be said 'is' and cannot be said 'is not'. It is far beyond both. That which is, it is beyond dichotomy, it is beyond dialectics, it is beyond duality. 'Is' and 'is not' create a duality. Existence is one, organically one; it comprehends both.
Questions like this, Buddha would say, please don't ask.
This Emperor Butei asked another Buddha, Fu-daishi, a Zen master, to come to his palace and explain to him the Diamond Sutra. Buddhists long too much to understand what this Diamond Sutra is. It is utterly absurd. It is difficult to understand, because it has nothing explained in it. Those are utterances of tremendous value, but no philosophy is woven around them, no system is created. Those are atomic utterances. And the substratum of them all is that nothing can be said. Just like Lao Tzu's TAO TE KING: The Tao that can be uttered is no longer Tao. The truth that is said is no longer truth. Truth said becomes untrue -- said and it becomes false. Now what to do? How to understand?
The Emperor must have been reading the Diamond Sutra. And there is no other way than to ask some Enlightened person -- because the Diamond Sutra, or scriptures like that, are utterly illogical. Unless you can find someone who has become awakened you cannot sort it out, you cannot figure it out. It will be very confusing to you. You can go on repeating it, you can even enjoy the music of your repetition, the rhythm, but you will never be able to penetrate into the mystery. The mystery can be explained only by an alive person.
ON THE APPOINTED DAY FU-DAISHI CAME TO THE PALACE, MOUNTED THE PLATFORM, RAPPED ON THE TABLE BEFORE HIM, THEN DESCENDED AND, STILL NOT SPEAKING, LEFT.
This was his discourse on the Diamond Sutra. He did a great job! What did he say by doing this?
First thing: that truth can be explained only in action; words are not enough. If the Emperor had watched rightly the way Fu-daishi walked, there was the commentary on the Diamond Sutra. The grandeur, the dignity, the beauty, the grace,.the way he walked -- there was the commentary on the Diamond Sutra. He must have walked like Buddha -- he was a Buddha. He must have carried a milieu of Buddhahood around him. He must have brought a different type of universe with him into the palace -- a dimension alive. His door was open: if the Emperor had had any eyes, he would have seen that Buddha himself had come. It was not Fu-daishi, it was Buddha walking again on the earth -- in another form, under another name. The container may have been different, but the content was exactly the same.
Fu-daishi walked, MOUNTED THE PLATFORM, RAPPED ON THE TABLE BEFORE HIM... why did he rap on the table before him? He must have seen the Emperor fast asleep. He must have seen him dozing. Just to make him a little alert, just to shock him!... THEN DESCENDED... he did well! What more can you do? When a person is asleep, that's all that can be done: you can shout at him, you can knock at his door. HE RAPPED ON THE TABLE... what else can you do? Then gracefully he must have descended... AND, STILL NOT SPEAKING, LEFT. Because if he had spoken on the Diamond Sutra he would have proved that he himself had not understood it.
On the Diamond Sutra it is impossible to speak: it is the very truth. No, it would have been profane. It would have been a sacrilege! It would not have been right. Only silence can be the commentary. Had the Emperor had any ears to listen to silence, he would have understood.
... AND, STILL NOT SPEAKING, LEFT. Why did he leave so suddenly? -- because more is not possible. You cannot forcibly give the truth to somebody who is not ready. He did whatsoever he could; now there was no point in lingering any longer.
And that suddenly leaving the Emperor was also another shock. He must have jolted the Emperor to his very roots. He came like a cyclone, almost uprooted the tree of Butei! The Emperor could not have even dreamt that such a rude behavior.... He was doing it out of tremendous compassion, but to the Emperor it must have looked rude, uncivil, unmannerly.
And in a country like Japan where people are obsessed with manners, where their faces have all become false, where everybody is carrying a mask! For centuries the Japanese have been the most false people in the world, always smiling. The Emperor must have been shocked; he could not have believed what happened... and so suddenly comes Fu-daishi!
And he must have waited for so long for this appointed time. And he must have longed for so long that he would say something, that he would enlighten him, he would help him to know. And here comes this man: walks, mounts on the platform -- leaves without uttering a single word!
BUTEI SAT MOTIONLESS FOR SOME MINUTES...
He must have been completely incapable of figuring it out. Fu-daishi had shocked him out of his wits! But had he been a little aware, that interval would have opened a new dimension for him. Fu-daishi has invited him, he waits there, seeing that the Emperor is completely asleep -- even shouting is not going to help. Even if you call "Lazarus, come out! " he will not listen.
He left. The Emperor was shocked. For a few minutes he sat motionless
... WHEREUPON SHIKO, WHO HAD SEEN ALL THAT HAD HAPPENED, WENT UP TO HIM AND SAID, "MAY I BE SO BOLD, SIR, AS TO ASK WHETHER YOU UNDERSTOOD?"
Now to ask this even of an ordinary man is dangerous. And to ask an emperor: "Sir, whether you understood...?"
Now this man, Shiko, is a man of tremendous understanding -- must have been. He has understood the significance of the gesture of Fu-daishi. He must have seen the glory that walked; he must have seen the light that shone in silence. He must have seen those eyes overflowing with compassion. He must have felt the grace that came like a breeze -- cool, calm, serene. He must have felt sorry for the Emperor also.
"MAY I BE SO BOLD, SIR, AS TO ASK WHETHER YOU UNDERSTOOD?"
THE EMPEROR SHOOK HIS HEAD SADLY.
He has not been able to understand. He is sad. He must have become even sadder because of this man, Shiko. Now he can see that something has happened; now he can feel that some opportunity has passed his door, that some momentous interval was available to him, and he has missed.
THE EMPEROR SHOOK HIS HEAD SADLY.
Many people have been doing that down the centuries. A Buddha comes, a Jesus comes, a Krishna, a Zarathustra -- very few, very rarely. Shiko's are very few -- those who understand. Butei exists as the mass; Butei is the many; Butei is the majority, the crowd. Buddha comes and walks; he brings another world into this world. He brings tremendous beauty, but you cannot see, you cannot feel,
Jesus goes on saying to his disciples: "If you have ears, listen! If you have eyes, see!" Truth was standing before them. God Himself was standing before them. God has come many times to the earth -- He cares for it! In many forms He has been seeking you. Never think for a moment that you are uncared for.
It is not only that you are seeking God -- God is also seeking you in many, many ways. Sometimes as a Krishna with his flute, sometimes as a Buddha with his silence, sometimes as a Jesus with his revolutionary approach to life -- in millions of ways God has been extending his hand towards you, groping for you. Sometimes your hand has even touched His hand -- but you don't understand. Sometimes even a glimmer, a tremor has gone through your spine, but you don't understand. On the contrary, you explain it somehow.