died: 1135 72 years
| oshobob The Living Workshop
The enlightened man enjoys perfect freedom in
active life. He is like a dragon supported by deep
waters, or like a tiger that commands its mountain
retreat. The man who is not enlightened drifts
about in the affairs of the world. He is like a ram
that gets its horns caught in a fence, or like a man
who waits for a hare to run against a tree stump
and stun itself.
The enlightened man’s words are sometimes like a
lion crouched to spring, sometimes like the
diamond king’s treasure sword. Sometimes their
effect is to shut the mouths of the world-famed
ones, sometimes it is as if they simply follow the
waves coming one after another.
When the enlightened man meets others who are
enlightened, then friend meets friend. He values
them, and they encourage each other. When he
meets those who are adrift in the world, then
master meets disciple. His way of dealing with such
people is farsighted. He stands firm before them,
like a thousand-fathom cliff.
Therefore it is said that the way of the absolute is
manifest everywhere: it has no fixed rules and
regulations. The master sometimes makes a blade
of grass stand for the golden-faced buddha,
sixteen feet high, and sometimes makes the
golden-faced buddha, sixteen feet high, stand for a
blade of grass.
On another occasion, Engo said:
The universe is not veiled; all its activities lie open.
Whichever way he may go, the enlightened man
meets no obstruction. At all times he behaves
independently. His every word is devoid of
egocentricity, yet still has the power to kill others.
Once the delusive way of thinking is cut off, a
thousand eyes are suddenly opened. One word
blocking the stream of thought, and all non-actions
are controlled. Is there anyone who would undergo
the experience of dying the same death and living
the same life as the buddha? Truth is manifest
This is the last talk of the series called The
Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart.
It is very appropriate – exactly the right time – that
you have brought the great master Engo’s
statement about the enlightened man.
For centuries man has been thinking about the
definition of enlightenment. A long succession of
efforts have been made, but nobody has been
able to bring a perfect definition of enlightenment,
or of enlightened men. Engo comes very close,
almost to the point; hence he has to be heard with
absolute silence. He is saying something which is
difficult to say. His effort is tremendously valuable...
The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart, ch. 8