One day the Master was in deep slumber under the banyan tree; or so we presumed. Nearby his followers and I sat discussing what he had told us in the morning. Some of us marvelled at his words, some pondered, some revered, and some were clearly bewildered. But we all agreed that whatever the Master said were surely wise even if we didn’t understand the full purport. And then one enthusiastic disciple said, a bit louder than the rest... Master is always right.
I am never right. The Master spoke despite his shut eyes.
Then are you always wrong? I jested.
I am never wrong. The Master responded. Now his eyes were open and twinkling mischievously.
But how can that be? One woman asked. You cannot be both right and wrong at the same time. You must be one or the other.
Tell me sister, the Master asked the lady: is it day or night?
It is day Master. She said cautiously.
You are both right and wrong. You are right because it is day here where you are and the day that you can see, but somewhere on the Earth, right now it is night that you cannot see, so you are wrong as well. I asked you objectively is it day or night? And you presumed that I asked for this place where we are physically right now. Similarly if we ask is it cold or hot, and somewhere it is cold and somewhere it is hot. So the answer is equally right or wrong. What you may find beautiful might be ugly to someone else, what is food to you might be another’s poison. What I say might be wise to you but to another might sound foolish.
But that is so confusing, if everything is both right and wrong. How do we know what we should listen to?
Hear what I say, the Master explained, but listen to what I don’t say. Read the words that I utter, but understand those I don’t. Emptiness makes up most of the universe, yet without it, the world will collapse and would not sustain. Within the nothingness lies everything. For something to mean we must have much more of the meaningless.
I may not mean what I say but do I mean what I don’t?