A Zen master was dying. At the last moment, when all his disciples had gathered, he opened his eyes and said, “What is the answer?”
The disciples were dumbfounded, they could not figure it out: “What is the answer?”
So the master started laughing, and he said, “So okay, what is the question?”
He was posing a very very existential thing: What is the answer? Even before the question is asked, he is asking what is the answer. The question is not asked, because it cannot be asked. But the question is there, it is there in everybody’s soul. One may be alert about it, one may not be alert about it, one may be completely oblivious of it; but the question is there in everybody’s soul.
The soul is a question, it is a quest. Hence the master is asking, “What is the answer?”
The disciples could not figure it out, because this is not the way; people ask first about the question, then they ask about the answer.