Wealthy patrons invited Ikkyu to a banquet. Ikkyu arrived dressed in his beggar’s robes. The host, not recognizing him, chased him away.

Ikkyu went home, changed into his ceremonial robe of purple brocade, and returned.

With great respect, he was received into the banquet room. There, he put his robe on the cushion, saying, “Evidently you invited the robe since you showed me away a little while ago,” and left.

Learn To See

Ikkyu was so compassionate when he was saying to the Wealthy patrons – Evidently you invited the robe since you showed me away a little while ago – he was indicating to the wealthy patrons that you all are after identity. In that you are not able to see what it is.

To Look Is Not to See

What Is the Difference between Looking and Seeing?

There is a great difference. Looking means you are looking for something; you already have some idea to look for. You go to visit any place and you say, “I am looking for Teertha” – then you have an idea. Then you look all around for where Teertha is. The idea is there already.

Looking is already prejudiced. If you are looking for godliness, you will never find it – because looking means you have a certain idea already of what godliness is. And your idea is bound to be either Christian or Judaic or Hindu or Mohammedan.

Your idea is going to be your concept, and your concept can never be higher than you.

And your concept is bound to be your concept. Your concept is bound to be rooted in ignorance, borrowed. At the most, it is just belief; you have been conditioned for it. Then you go on looking.

A person who is looking for truth will never find it, because his eyes are already corrupted; he already has a fixed concept. He is not open.

If you have come to me to look for something, then you already have an idea – you will miss me. Then whatsoever I say you will interpret according to your idea; and it will not be my meaning, it will be your meaning. You may find yourself agreeing with me, you may find yourself not agreeing with me – but agreeing or not agreeing is not the question at all, it is not the point at all. You have missed me. You can agree, but you are agreeing with your own idea.

You say: ‘Yes, this man is right,’ because this man fits with your idea. Your idea is right so that’s why this man is right. Or, you don’t agree because it doesn’t fit with your idea. But in both the cases your idea is more important. You will miss me. A man who is looking for something will always be missing it.

Learning from the story The Robe: Learn To See

Experience Learning

Seeing is just clarity – open eyes, open mind, open heart.

Not looking for something in particular, just ready and receptive. Whatsoever happens, you will remain alert, receptive and understanding.

Conclusion is not there. Conclusion has to come. By your own eyes you will see, and there will be a conclusion. The conclusion is in the future. When you are seeing, the conclusion is not already there. When you are looking, the conclusion is already there. And we go on interpreting according to our ideas.

Just the other night I was reading a joke:

A small child is reading a pictorial book on wildlife, and he becomes very intrigued with the pictures of ferocious lions. He reads whatsoever is there, but one question is not answered there, so he asks his mother.

He asks his mother: ‘Mom, what type of love life do lions have?’

The mother said, ‘Son, I don’t know much about Lions because all your father’s friends are Rotarians.’

If you have some idea in mind, you are corrupt. Then you are not listening to what is being said. Then you are listening according to yourself.

Then your mind is playing an active role. When you are looking, mind is active; when you are seeing, mind is passive – that is the difference. When you are looking, the mind is trying to manipulate. When you are seeing, the mind is silent – just watching, available, open, with no idea in particular to enforce on reality.

Seeing is nude. And you can come to truth only when you are absolutely nude; when you have discarded all clothes, all philosophies, all theologies, all religions; when you have dropped all that has been given to you; when you come empty-handed, not knowing in any way.

When you come with knowledge you come already corrupted. When you come in innocence, knowing that you don’t know, then the doors are open – then you will be able to know. Only that person who has no knowledge is capable of knowing.

Knowledge Is Not Wisdom

The accumulation of information is not knowledge, according to the Upanishads. They call him a wise man who knows only one great element – Truth: that is, he who knows himself, because one who knows himself, knows all. When he knows himself, he becomes a mirror in which reflected images of all begin to appear. But, the fact that he knows all does not mean he must be a great mathematician or a famous chemist or a great scientist.

The only meaning is that through knowing himself he comes to know that Supreme, that purest, that occult element which is hidden within all. He knows the formula, the essence, whose play is all this.

The wise man knows that Supreme Law whose authority abides everywhere. He knows that Supreme Lord who is in everybody. He knows that Supreme Showman who holds in his hands the strings on which dance all the puppets!


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