Returning to the Source ~ 05

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event type discourse
date & time 15 Dec 1974 am
location Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Poona
language English
audio Available, duration 1h 54min. Quality: good.
online audio
video Not available
online video
see also
online text find the PDF of this discourse
shorttitle SOURCE05
Reader of the sutra: Sw Ananda Teertha.
The sutra
The prime minister, Kuo Tzu I, of the Tang dynasty, was an outstanding statesman, a distinguished general, and the most admired national hero of his day. But fame, power, wealth and success could not distract him from his keen interest and devotion to Buddhism. Regarding himself as a plain and humble devoted Buddhist, he often visited his favorite Zen master to study under him.
He and the Zen master seemed to get along very well. The fact that he was the prime minister seemed to have no influence on their association. There was no noticeable trace of politeness on the Zen master's part, or of vain loftiness on the part of the minister; the association seemed to be the purely religious one of a revered master and an obedient disciple.
One day, however, when he was paying his usual visit to the Zen master, he asked the following question: Your Reverence, how does Buddhism explain egotism? The Zen master's face suddenly turned blue, and in an extremely haughty and contemptuous manner he said to the premier: What are you saying you numskull? This unreasonable and unexpected defiance so hurt the feelings of the prime minister that a slight sullen expression of anger began to show on his face.
The Zen master then smiled and said: Your Excellency, this is egotism.


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