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Make Offerings to Arhats

One day, when Zen Master Wuxue was making offerings to Arhats, a monk asked: “Master, Zen Master Danxia burnt the wooden Buddha for warmth, but on the contrary you are now making offerings to Arhats made of clay. Why?”

Buddha can’t be burnt up. And what I’m doing is just making offerings to Arhats. That’s all.” Zen Master Wuxue answered.

The monk asked again, “Are Arhats really coming for the offerings?”

Zen Master Wuxue asked in reply, “Are you still having your meals every day?”

The monk was speechless.

Then, Zen Master Wuxue sighed, “You are not talented enough!”

A lot of followers of Buddhism are inclined to stubbornly cling to either the Dharma of Buddhism or the reality, yet fail to combine them together. In the beginning of the story, the monk believed that there was no need to worship the Buddha because Zen Master Danxia had burnt the wooden Buddha for warmth. Later, when he saw Zen Master Cuiwei making offerings to Arhats, he was under the illusion that offerings must be made to Arhats. This is all because one is too obsessed with worldly pursuits but neglects his original true nature. Who is the master of all Buddhas? Can the wooden Buddha be burnt up? Are Arhats really coming for the offerings? Let’s just put aside these questions and ask yourself: “Are you still having your meals every day?” If you don’t even know the answer to this question, no matter how many books you have read, it is impossible for you to answer the questions mentioned above.

No wonder Zen Master Wuxue sighed that the monk was not talented enough.

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