One day, an Army General invited the Buddhist Monk I-hsiu (literary, "One
Rest") to his military head office for a dinner. I-hsiu was not accustomed
to wearing luxurious clothings and so he just put on an old ordinary casual
robe to go to the military base. To him, "form is void".
As he approached the base, two soldiers appeared before him and shouted, "Where does this beggar came from? Identify yourself! You do not have permission to be around here!"
"My name is I-hsiu Dharma Master. I am invited by your General for a supper."
The two soldiers examined the Monk closely and said, "You liar. How come my General invites such a shabby Monk to dinner. He invites the very solemn Venerable I-hsiu to our base for a great ceremony today, not you. Now, get out!"
I-hsiu was unable to convince the soldiers that he was indeed the invited guest, so he returned to the Temple and changed to a very formal solemn ceremonial robe for the dinner. And as he returned to the military base, the soldiers observed that his was such a great Buddhist Monk, let him in with honour.
At the dinner, I-hsiu sat in front of the table full of food but, instead of putting the food into his month, he picked up the food with his chopsticks and put it into his sleeves. The General was curious, and whispered to him, "This is very embarrassing. Do you want to take some food back to the Temple? I will order the cook to prepare some take out orders for you."
"No" replied the Monk. "When I came here, I was not allowed into the base by your soldiers until I wear this ceremonial robe. You do not invite me for a dinner. You invite my robe. Therefore, my robe is eating the food, not me."
The General, "......................."