What is the sound of one hand Clapping? asked a Zen master to a Student.The student found out the answer and became enlightened that very moment.
What is the sound of one hand clapping , What is Chidambara Rahasiyam (or the secret of Chidambara)? Both have the same answers.Before letting you know the answer , i will try to explain the context. The Context of Zen, Chidambara Ragasiyam and eventually relate both of them.
What is Zen?
The word “Zen” is Japanese for a style of Buddhism.One of the fundamental part of Zen is Koans.So we now have another term “Koan”.
What is a Koan?
A koan is a story, dialog, question, or statement in the history and knowledge of Buddhism.According to English dictionary the word koan means “a meaningless english statement” .”What is the sound of one hand clapping?” is a famous koan.
So with basic knowledge let us try to answer the koan.”What is the sound of one hand clapping” . There is no sound that is produced.There is nothing. So the answer to the koan is “Nothing”.But if you read the first line, the student found out the answer for the question and became enlightened that very moment.What is that in the answer “Nothing” that takes the student to enlightenment 🙂 This is the exact question i too had….
Now let us shift to the concept “Chidambara Rahasiyam”.
Chidambaram is a south indian town.”Chidambara Rahasiyam”, or “secret of Chidambaram” is a Hindu belief that there is a secret message conveyed near the shrine of Shiva in Chidambaram temple.Chidambara Rahasiyam is inside a small room next to the main deity of Nataraja. So people who see the room will know the secret of Chidambara.
What is inside the room?
The room is empty… There is nothing in the room… “Nothing” is the secret of Chidambara…
Both the questions have the same answer “Nothing” …. So What is the real meaning of “Nothing”?
According to Charlie Greer “the National Science Foundation put out some very interesting statistics.The average person thinks about twelve thousand thoughts per day. A deeper thinker puts forth fifty thousand thoughts daily.”
“Dr. Deepak Chopra once quoted a study in which the researchers concluded that the average person thinks approximately 65,000 thoughts per day. They also went on to conclude that of these 65,000, about 95% are exactly the same thoughts that [passed] through the minds of people the day before.”
In those thoughts how many of them are positive and how much are negative.Just imagine a mind where there are no thoughts.That there is nothing. That is a serene state of mind. So the word “Nothing” means a thoughtless state of the mind.
But what does that imply. What happens when your mind reaches a thoughtless state?