A soldier came to Hakuin and asked “Is there really a paradise and a hell?”
“Who are you?” inquired Hakuin. “I am a samurai,” the warrior replied.
“You, a samurai!” exclaimed Hakuin. “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar!”
The soldier became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued. “So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably as dull as your head!”
As the soldier drew his sword Hakuin remarked “Here open the gates of hell!”
At these words, the samurai, perceiving the discipline of the master, sheathed his sword and bowed.
“Here open the gates of paradise,” said Hakuin.

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Zen koan
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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