Saturday, December 11, 2010

Daito and the Beggars killer.

According to the tradition, one of the great Rinzai Zen Masters in Japan, Daito Kokushi (1282 - 1337) lived unknown for many years among the beggars of Kyoto.

These were hard  and lawless times. Often, during the night, gangs of heartless and bastards roaming the poor parts of town would try their swords on homeless people, slicing and killing them just for the fun of it. Who would care for the life of an insignificant beggar ?

One evening, one of the bloody jerks was standing by the bridge where the beggars used to spend the night. All of them were terrified, for they knew that after nightfall the murderer would probably appear among them to cut one or several of them down.

Master Daito told the beggars to hide in a nearby field, and proceeded to sit in Zazen. When the samurai appeared on the bridge at dusk he only saw a beggar sitting in meditation posture. He drew his sword and shouted: 'Get ready, I'm going to slice you in two halves !' 

The beggar did not flinch and remained unmoving. An awe came over the samurai; he hesitated and finally left in retreat.

Master Daito later founded the temple of Daitokuji in Kyoto

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