As most of you may know, in Zen literature, a koan is a short statement, question or pithy phrase which is useful to contemplate and in doing so a student of Buddhism might achieve some breakthrough in their insight into the nature of things. These phrases can sound paradoxical, metaphorical and play with language in unusual or unexpected and sometimes poetic ways.
While the form is clearly influenced by Chinese literature and culture, I was thinking that EBTs also have short, pithy statements which, if one stretches the meaning of the term, could also be termed “koans” - in that, they were short statements by the Buddha or his immediate disciples which were meditated on by those who heard them and also led the listeners towards breakthroughs in insight.
Some examples which pop into my head is the famous ye dharma hetu saying by venerable Assaji which was said to be the statement which led to the awakening of Sariputta and Moggallana:
Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic
Then there is also the famous Bahiya instructions given by the Buddha which goes “in the seen there is just the seen, in the heard…” from the Udana.
Anyways, I was just thinking if anyone knows of any more short statements like these from the EBTs which could serve as sort of “EBT koans”. Any ideas?