Gasan Jito (Japanese romaji)
born: 1727

place:  Japan
Zen master: J.,  Torei Enji
Zen disciples:
 J.,   Basui

Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 3, ch. 3
           oshobob  The Living Workshop                                           
                                                    Zen Masters
While visiting Gasan, a university student asked
"Have you ever read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gasan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St.
Matthew: "And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.
They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say
unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was
not arrayed like one of these.... Take therefore
no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall
take thought for the things of itself."

Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I
consider an enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall
be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and
it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that
asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth,
and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."

Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever
said that is not far from buddhahood."

...Just the other day there was a question from
Divya that "When you speak on Buddha, it seems
Buddha is a Zen master. When you speak on
Mahavira, it seems Mahavira is a Zen master.
When you speak on Christ, it seems Christ is a
Zen master. When you speak on somebody else,
it looks like he is the Zen master."

Yes, they are all Zen masters, because Zen is
not a religion. Zen is the essential core of all
religions. Zen means
dhyan. The Sanskrit root
for Zen is dhyan. Then dhyan became in Pali,
zan. Then in China it became chan, and then in
Japan it became
Zen. But the root is dhyan.
Dhyan is the essential thing. Dhyan means a
state of thoughtless awareness, when all
thoughts disappear and you look into reality
without any hindrance, when all dust has been
dropped and the mirror reflects perfectly – as is
the case – that which is reflected without any
interpretation on your part. That's what Zen is...!

          Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 3, ch. 3
[See note below]

Another master "Gasan" in Zen history who this
story could be refering to is:

Gasan Jito
his Zen Master: Torei Enji, (Hakuin lineage).

This may be a more likely, as Christianity and the
Holy Bible would probably not be available in 14th
century Japan – needed to make the story plausible
with Gasan Joseki (1275-1366).

峨山 慈棹
[There are two Gasan's, this one and Gasan Joseki (1275-1366). Oshobob originally had only one page, just plain Gasan, basically having elements of both.  It included the Osho story and the note above but the names and biodata were of Gasan Joseki. They have been altered here. His comments above about the likelihood of the Xian Bible reaching 14th c Japan seem accurate, so the two Gasan's have been separated, with the disciple Basui assigned to Gasan Joseki and the Xian story on the left to Gasan Jito.]