Manjusri Enters the Gate

One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him, "Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?" Manjusri replied, "I do not see myself outside. Why enter?"

The important question in this koan is "what is the gate?" Normally a gate is something through which one enters or exists. It divides the inside from the outside. But in the world of Dharma, or Truth, there is no inside or outside; the truth is immaent and universal. When the Buddha asked Manjusri (symbol of wisdom) to enter the gate, he was testing Manjusri's understanding. Manjusri replied, in effect, that there is no gate in the world of Truth. Truth is everywhere; he was not outside it. But still, humankind feels that there is a gate. But it is a gateless gate and hard to enter, even though it stands wide open all the time! The gateless gates are numerous - as many as there are people. Each must enter through his own gate.


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