No one and no thing

Excerpt from Jug Suraiya’s article, “Charity Begins at OM’.

When Bodhidharma went to China, the emperor greeted him and showed off the many charitable works he had done for the poor and needy.

“What merit do you think my charity has earned me?” asked the emperor

“No merit has been earned,” Bodhidharma replied gruffly.

“Who is it who dares to speak to the emperor like this?” cried the ruler, enraged.

“No one and no thing,” replied Bodhidharma.

With those words, it is said the emperor attained enlightenment.

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