[Buddha-l] Black nails

Joy Vriens joy.vriens at nerim.net
Sun Jul 2 23:40:05 MDT 2006

Dear friends,

In his History of Zen Suzuki tells a story from "Indian Buddhism" about 
a Brahman called "Black nails" in chapter IV (I only have the French 
translation of the book). I found the story on the Internet and there it 
goes like this:

"When Buddha was alive, there was a Brahman whose name was Black-nails,
who came to the Buddha and offered him two huge flowering trees which he 
carried each in one of his hands.

The Buddha told the Brahman, Black-nail, “Put them down!”

The Brahman put the flowering tree down in his left hand before the Buddha.

Buddha called out to him again, “Put them down!”

Then Black-nails put the other flowering tree in his right hand.

But, Buddha still kept demanding, “Put them down!”

At this time the Brahman said: “I have nothing in my hands.

What do you want me to put down? ”

The Buddha said: “I never told you to abandon your flowering trees.

What I want you to do is abandon your six objects of sense
(eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind),

six organs of sense (form, sound, smell, taste, touch,
dharma-which means those objects that arise in the heart),

and your six consciousnesses
(sense awareness through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind).

When these are abandoned all at once,
it is then that you are released from the bondage of birth-and-death”

Does anyone know the Indian source of this story (Suzuki didn't give it)?
And ... two huge flowering trees?...


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