Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hands of Destiny: A Zen Story

A great Japanese warrior named Nobunaga decided to attack the enemy although he had only one tenth the number of men the opposition commanded.

He knew that he would win, but his soldiers were in doubt. On the way he stopped at a Shinto shrine and told his man, 'After I visit the shrine I will toss a coin. If heads come we will win; if tails come we will lose. Destiny holds us in her hand.'

Nobunaga entered the shrine and offered a silent prayer. He came forth and tossed a coin. Heads appeared. His soldiers were so eager to fight that they won their battle easily.

'No one can change the hand of destiny,' his attendant told him after the battle. ‘Indeed not,' said Nobunaga, showing a coin, which had been doubled, with heads facing either way.

[Courtesy: Paul Reps]

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