Zen pupils take a vow that even if they are killed by their teacher,
they intend to learn Zen. Usually they cut a finger and seal their
resolution with blood. In time the vow has become a mere formality, and
for this reason the pupil who died by the hand of Ekido was made to appear
Ekido had become a severe teacher. His pupils feared him. One of them
on duty, striking the gong to tell the time of day, missed his beats when
his eye was attracted by a beautiful girl passing the temple gate.
At that moment Ekido, who was directly behind him, hit him with a stick
and the shock happened to kill him.
The pupil's guardian, hearing of the accident, went directly to Ekido.
Knowing that he was not to blame, he praised the master for his severe
teaching. Ekido's attitude was just the same as if the pupil were still
After this took place, he was able to produce under his guidance more
than ten enlightened successors, a very unusual number.