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The Gates of Paradise


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.