छाता : Umbrella


ज़ेन गुरु के कक्ष में प्रवेश करने से पहले शिष्य ने अपना छाता और जूते बाहर छोड़ दिए.

“मैंने खिड़की से तुम्हें आते हुए देख लिया था” – गुरु ने पूछा – “तुमने अपने जूते छाते के दाईं ओर उतारे या बाईं ओर?”

“यह तो मुझे याद नहीं आ रहा. इससे क्या फर्क पड़ता है? मैं तो हर समय ज़ेन के रहस्य का ही मनन करता रहता हूँ”.

“यदि तुम जीवन की इन छोटी-छोटी बातों की ओर ध्यान नहीं दे सकते तो तुम कभी भी कुछ नहीं सीख पाओगे. हर समय सतत जागरण में रहो, हर क्षण तुमसे ध्यान देने की अपेक्षा करता है – यही ज़ेन का एकमात्र रहस्य है”.

(A short Zen story on being alert and attentive – in Hindi)

At the end of ten years of apprenticeship, Zenno thought he should be elevated to the category of Zen master. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous professor Nan-in.

Upon entering Nan-in’s house, the host asked him:

– Did you leave your shoes and umbrella outside?

– Of course – replied Zenno. – As good manners demand. I would do the same anywhere.

– Then tell me: did you place your umbrella to the right or the left of your shoes?

– I’ve no idea, master.

– Zen Buddhism is the art of total consciousness of what we do – said Nan-in. – The lack of attention to the smallest details can completely destroy a man’s life. A father who rushes out of the house, must never forget the dagger within his small son’s reach. A Samurai who doesn’t take care of his sword every day, will at some point find it is rusty, just when he most needs it. A young man who forgets to give his lover flowers, will end up losing her.

And Zenno understood that, although he knew the Zen techniques of the spiritual world, he had forgotten to apply them to the world of men.

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