Egoisme

The Prime Minister of the Tang Dynasty was a national hero for his success as both a statesman and military leader. But despite his fame, power, and wealth, he considered himself a humble and devout Buddhist. Often he visited his favorite Zen master to study under him, and they seemed to get along very well. The fact that he was prime minister apparently had no effect on their relationship, which seemed to be simply one of a revered master and respectful student.

One day, during his usual visit, the Prime Minister asked the master,

“Your Reverence, what is egoism according to Buddhism?”

The master’s face turned red, and in a very condescending and insulting tone of voice, he shot back,

“What kind of stupid question is that!?”

This unexpected response so shocked the Prime Minister that he became sullen and angry. The Zen master then smiled and said, “THIS, Your Excellency, is egoism.”

 

Perdana menteri dai Dinasti Tang adalah seorang pahlawan nasional atas kesuksesannya dalam hal kenegaraan dan kemiliteran. Walaupun memiliki ketenaran, kekuasaan dan kekayaan, ia senantiasa rendah hati dan merupakan penganut Buddhisme yang taat. Ia sering mengunjungi guru Zen favoritnya, dan hubungan mereka terjaga dengan baik. Fakta bahwa ia adalah seorang perdana menteri sama sekali tidak mempengaruhi hubungan diantara keduanya, dimana hubungan mereka terlihat seperti hubungan biasa antara guru dan murid.

Suatu hari, dalam suatu kunjungan biasa, sang perdana menteri bertanya pada sang guru,

“Yang mulia, apakah egoisme itu menurut Buddhisme?”

Wajah sang guru berubah memerah, dan dengan nada tinggi yang terdengar merendahkan ia bertanya balik,

“Pertanyaan bodoh macam apa itu!?”

Tanggapan tidak terduga ini mengejutkan sang perdana menteri yang kemudian  merengut dan marah. Lalu sang guru berkata sambil tersenyum,

“INI, yang mulia, adalah egoisme”

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