An Oak Tree in the Garden


  • Language: English
  • Author : Narendra Murty
  • ISBN: 9788196447946
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Genre : Non-Fiction
  • Publisher: The Alcove Publishers
  • Pages: 175
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A monk asked Joshu why Bodhidharma came to China. 

Joshu replied, “An oak tree in the garden.”

The above exchange is a Mondo, a Zen dialogue between a Master and a disciple. If you are bewildered by the response of the Master, you cannot be blamed. Welcome to the world of Zen! A world which goes beyond the logical and the rational to get to the transcendental dimension. Zen is crazy! If you are too hung up on the rational and logical method, then Zen would appear shocking to you. 

Zen Masters routinely use absurdity as a weapon to thwart the intellectual probing of the student. Zen believes that the state of enlightenment cannot be arrived at through a process of reasoning. Because it lies beyond the domain of the intellect. It also cannot be reached through encyclopaedic knowledge which is not relevant to the quest. The knowledge of why Bodhidharma went to China is not going to emancipate the student even one bit. So instead of answering the question, Joshu deliberately baffles the intellect of the student: An oak tree in the garden!! The intellect stops dead in its tracks. With the intellectual rambling out of the way, the Master can now work on the disciple.   

Come. Taste the flavour of Zen. Soak in the wisdom of the great Zen Masters. It’s unlike anything you have experienced before.



Professionally, Narendra Murty worked as a Divisional Manager in the Life Insurance industry. However, the deep driving passion of his life has been the study of various religions and philosophies – both Eastern and Western – to which he has devoted more than three decades of his life. 

His first book Eating His Money – The Antics of a Metaphysical Clown (published by Alcove Publishers and available on Amazon) contains his commentaries on twenty-five stories of Mulla Nasrudin, the enigmatic clown. The book is an expression of his understanding of Sufi philosophy which he illustrates with concepts derived from all the wisdom traditions of the world making this subtle knowledge easily accessible to the general lay readers. 

An Odyssey of the Mind – Journeys in the Modern Mindscape is a collection of twenty deeply thought-provoking essays written over a period of ten years. The subjects include psychology, philosophy, history, sociology, the impact of technology, ecology, political philosophy and even a couple of humourous and satirical jibes on our politics, society and culture. 

The Religion of Wonder is an attempt to define religion outside the context of the organized religions where Man develops a feeling of awe and reverence for the nature of Existence itself; a sense of wonder which in every sense is spiritual and religious.

Presently he is devoted full time to his study and writing. He also has a YouTube channel where he presents short videos on philosophy, religion, spirituality and his writing. Narendra is also working as a Content Creator for Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry and writes regularly for their online journal Renaissance.

Weight 300 g


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