When he was only 30 Issa had already lost his five children. Then his wife died and he was almost completely mad — in anguish, in suffering. He went to a Zen Master.
The Zen Master asked, “What is the problem?”
Issa said, “My five children are dead and now my wife is dead. Why is there so much suffering? I can’t see the reason for it. What is the explanation? I have not done anything wrong to anybody, I have lived as innocently as possible. In fact I have lived very much aloof. I’m not very related to people — I’m a poet, I live in my own world. I have not done anything wrong to anybody. I have lived a very poor life, but I was happy. Now suddenly my five children are gone, my wife is also gone — why is there so much suffering, and for no reason? There must be an explanation.”
The Zen Master said, “Life is just like a dew drop in the morning. It is the nature of Life that death happens. There is no explanation; it is the nature of Life. There is no need for any special reason to be given. Life’s nature is like a dew drop: it hangs for a while on a leaf of grass; a small breeze and it is gone; the sun rises and it evaporates. That is the nature of Life. Remember that.”
Issa was a man of great intelligence. He understood it. He came back and he wrote a Haiku.
His Haiku read:
Life, a dew drop?
Yes, I understand.
Life is a dew drop. Yet… and yet….