The Gates Of Hell And Heaven
Hell and Heaven are the topic which people like to talk about; “How can we go to Heaven? We don’t want to go to Hell. Some people asked me, “What do Hell and Heaven look like?” I don’t really know what they look like. I have seen only the paintings; Hell looks very horrible, but Heaven looks very nice, and read the scriptures; Hell is scary; it is a place of punishment, but Heaven sounds very good; it is a blessed place. I have never seen the real Hell and Heaven. But I did not want to disappoint the questioners so I told them this Zen story, the gates of Hell and Heaven. Here is the story;
There was once a Samurai, named Nobuchika, who approached the Zen master, named Haku-in, and asked whether there were really Hell and Heaven. The Zen master asked him, “Who are you?” The Samurai answered, “I am a Samurai, sir”. “Uh! Are you?”, the master exclaimed, and said, “You don’t look like a Samurai; you look like a beggar”. The Samurai got angry and grabbed his sword. When Master Haku-in saw that, he said, “Uh! You have a sword. It looks very dull. What can you do with the dull sword?” Nobuchika drew his sword out of the sheath. Then Master Haku-in said, softly, “See! The gate of Hell opens now”. When Hobuchika heard that, he realised that and calmed down. And then again, Master Haku-in said, kindly, “See! The gate of Heaven opens now”.
People, who listened to the story, seemed to understand. Yes, Hell and Heaven are like that; they are not far away from our life, they are within our life. Any time we are angry, we are going to Hell. Whenever we are calm and peaceful, we are in Heaven. So all of us can experience Hell and Heaven in our daily life, it is easy to see, isn’t it?