died: c. 850
master: Baizhang (J. Hyakujo)
Chan disciples: none recorded
Transmission of the Lamp, Case 170
Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, ch. 9
oshobob The Living Workshop
one occasion, Isan, Goho and Ungan, were
all standing together in attendance on Hyakujo.
Hyakujo said to Isan, "With your mouth and lips
closed, how would you say it?"
Isan said, "I would ask you to say it."
Hyakujo said, "I could say it, but if I did so, I fear I
should have no successors."
Hyakujo turned to Goho. "With your mouth and
lips closed, how would you say it?" he asked his
Goho said, "Osho! You should shut up!"
Hyakujo said, "In the distant land where no one
stirs, I shall shade my eyes with my hand and
watch for you."
Then Hyakujo asked Ungan, "With your mouth
and lips closed, how would you say it?"
Ungan said, "Osho, do you have them or not?"
Hyakujo said, "My successors will be missing."
...The second disciple Goho did a little better.
Goho said, "Osho!" Osho is a very honorable
word. There are many respectful words, but the
sweetness of Osho, the love, the respect, the
gratitude, all are together in it. It is just like
Christians using `reverend', but that is no
comparison to it. Just the very sound of Osho –
even if we don't understand Japanese, the very
sound is very sweet. He said, "Osho! You should
It looks very contradictory, on the one hand
addressing him with the most honorable word in
Japanese, and on the other hand telling him "You
should shut up!" but that is how Zen is. It is as
sharp as a sword – it cuts hard and straight to
the heart – and it is as soft as a lotus leaf. It is
Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, With Basho's
Haikus, ch. 9