The One Road of Nirvana

A monk asked Kenpo, "The one road of Nirvana leads into the ten quarters. Where does it begin?" Kenpo raised his walking stick to draw a horizontal line in the air. "Here," he said. The monk later asked Unmon the same question. Unmon held up his fan and said, "This fan leaps up into the thirty-third heaven and hits the presiding deity on the nose, then it dives down into the Eastern Sea and hits the holy carp. The carp becomes a dragon that brings a flood of rain."

The answers given by Kenpo and Unmon to this koan are quite unsatisfactory. The monk's question is: "The road of enlightenment leads everywhere, but where does it start?" Kenpo answers by drawing a line in the air and Unmon by telling a tall tale about a fan. Why didn't they just say, the road is everywhere. Here! You are standing on the very spot where the road of Nirvana begins. Be yourself; never mind others. The road is not somewhere else; it is under your feet; it is you.


Popular Posts