Recognizing the Candlelight as Fire: Joshu Washes the Bowl

Joshu Washes the Bowl

A monk told Joshu: `I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.′

Joshu asked: `Have you eaten your rice porridge?′

The monk replied: `I have eaten.′

Joshu said: `Then you had better wash your bowl.′

At that moment the monk was enlightened.

Mumon’s Comment: Joshu is the man who opens his mouth and shows his heart. I doubt if this monk really saw Joshu’s heart. I hope he did not mistake the bell for a pitcher.

It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for fire with a lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.