Zen pupils take a vow that even if they are killed by their teacherthey intend to learn Zen. Usually they cut a finger and seal their resolution with blood. In time the vow has become a mere formalityand for this reason the pupil who died by the hand of Ekido was made to appear a martyr.
Ekido had become a severe teacher. His pupils feared him. One of them on dutystriking the gong to tell the time of daymissed his beats when his eye was attracted by a beautiful girl passing the temple gate.
At that moment Ekidowho was directly behind himhit him with a stick and the shock happened to kill him.
The pupil's guardianhearing of the accidentwent 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 alive.
After this took placehe was able to produce under his guidance more than ten enlightened successorsa very unusual number.