The Gates of Paradise
Once upon a time a mighty warrior Nobushige visited a temple where famed Zen master Hakuin resided. Having been received by him, Nobushige perfunctorily bowed than promptly took up a seat across from the worthy master. As he was not one to mince with words, he cleared his throat and immediately voiced his pressing inquiry: “Tell me master, is there really a paradise and hell?”
“Who are you?” Hakuin looking directly at him, inquired.
“I am a samurai,” The warrior bit miffed, loudly ejected.
“You, a samurai?” Hakuin now scoffed. “What kind of a ruler would have you as his guard? Your demeanor resembles more that of a common, street beggar.”
Proud Nobushige was so incensed, scowling he began to unsheathe his sword, but Hakuin shaking his head calmly added, “I see you have a fine sword! Still,” the master shrugged, “the blade is probably far too dull to sever my head.”
“I’ll show you how dull it is!” infuriated Nobushige at once rose his hand and was about to unleash his renowned deadly strike, when Hakuin, not in the least bit perturbed, loudly remarked: “Here, open the gates of hell!”
The Samurai, at once perceiving the master’s discipline, recoiled and after bowing respectfully to the master contritely sheathed his sword.
“Here open the gates of Paradise.” Hakuin, sporting a warm smile, now said.