The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life. A
beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him.
Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.
This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after
much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his
reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child.
He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the
truth that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness,
to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.
Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was, “Is that so?”