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Wash away the discriminating shadow...
Harada Roshi


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Roshisan, what is this one last shout of Rinzai mentioned in the Rinzai Roku?


The last shout of Rinzai is the last shout, not the first one. Rinzai expressed his satori in KATSU (shouts). Before dying Rinzai said to Sansho: when I have died, what will you reply if someone asks you about the Rinzai`s dharma? - Sansho replied with a great shout, to which Rinzai replied: With this old donkey the Dharma will become extinct. There are two meanings in these words. Thinking that Rinzai is Katsu, and when giving a katsu to be told that the Dharma will become extinct from here. The other meaning behind this answer is that in the truth of the Dharma you need to be blind. If you are not truely blind, then it cannot be said that you are a trues sucessor. If dualism remains then it cannot be said that the true teaching of Rinzai has been understood. Because this shows that the true essence has not been realized. Because the Dharma has no form, it needs this blindness, this one last shout that cannot be understood. It is just like when Rinzai received transmission from Obaku, he was being given the proof of transmission in the form of a stick, to which Rinzai replied, that he would not need this, that he would simply burn it. But Obaku said, that there will come disbelievers who will challenge you and it is good to have that stick for those people around to quieten their words. In this way you cannot say that you understood the Dharma, that is where it become complicated. It is between the student and the teacher, whether the student really understood and whether he doen`t add any explanations of his own. In that way the last shout of Rinzai is not about some words about a last shout, but it has this deeper, complicated aspect included.


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