In old times it was customary for Monks who is traveling and seeking for lodge to stay was to engage himself in dharma combat with head monk at Zen monastery. If he won battle then he could stay else he would have to seek quarters elsewhere.
Once a traveling monk stop at a monastery. Master at monastery assigned his attendant to engage in silent debate combat with traveling monk. By chance attendant who was to combat with wayfarer had only one eye.
They both were sent for combat. Soon the wayfarer returned to master saying, “Your man is too good. I must journey on.”
Wayfarer then told master about the combat. He said , “I help up one finger to symbolize Buddha but he held up two fingers for Buddha and Dharma. So i held up three fingers for Buddha Dharma and Sang-ha but then he made a fist to indicate that they were all one. So i ran to indicate that i am no match for him.”
After saying this wayfarer left. When the traveler left. master’s attendant arrived. He was angry and out of breath. he demanded to his master, “Where is that rascal??”
He continued, “Master, first he insulted me by holding up one finger to indicate i had only one eye. Still being polite i held up two fingers to indicate that he was blessed with two eyes but still that traveler kept going on and help up three fingers to indicate that together there were only three eyes among them. So i wanted to hit him hard and made a fist but he ran off.. Where is he hiding??”