Something to Think About
A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: “Is there really a paradise and a hell?”
“Who are you?” inquired Hakuin.
“I am a samurai,” the warrior replied.
“You, a soldier!” exclaimed Hakuin. “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar.”
Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: “So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head.”
As Nobushige drew his sword, Hakuin remarked: “Here open the gates of hell!”
At these words the samurai, perceiving the master’s discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.
“Here open the gates of paradise,” said Hakuin.
Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
This whole world is a heaven and hell. You can make this world a heaven, you can make this world a hell. They exist within you. If you make yourself hell, you are in hell here. If you make yourself heaven, you are in heaven here.… Make this world a place of heaven. Have that peace within yourself and this whole world will be at peace with you. If we are able to build that heaven within ourselves, then the whole world becomes heaven here. And if we make ourselves miserable, the whole world is miserable to us.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol.I