The Gateless Gate  

The Gateless Gate ڦμ

Wumen's Preface

 

ڦڦ
Buddhism makes mind its foundation and no-gate its gate.

既ڦ麼⡣
Now, how do you pass through this no-gate?

̸Գڦʫҡ縁ա
It is said that things coming in through the gate can never be your own treasures.
 What is gained fromexternal circumstances will perish in the end.

麼説̼ꡣ
However, such a saying is already raising waves when there is no wind.
 It is cutting unblemished skin.

ϣ塣š̰ʡ渉
As for those who try to understand through other people's words, they are striking at the moon with astick;
 scratching a shoe, whereas it is the foot that itches. What concern have they with the truth?


ҡʩף֡ҡ̡ͯͻڦѦ
In the summer of the year 1228, Huikai was in Longxiang si Temple and as head monk worked with themonks,
using the cases of the ancient masters as brickbats to batter the gate and lead them on accordingto their respective capacities.

録󢡣
֪Ρ
The text was written down not according to any scheme, but just to make a collection of forty-eightcases.

ڦμ
It is called Wumenkuan, "The Gateless Gate.


"ӡӤ
A man of determination will unflinchingly push his way straight forward, regardless of all dangers.

ޢ㡢擱
Then even the eight-armed Nata cannot hinder him.

縦ҡ߲٤
Even the four sevens of the West and the two threes of the East would beg for their lives.

Ρ̰ةȡΡΦ
If one has no determination, then it will be like catching a glimpse of a horse galloping past the window:in the twinkling of an eye it will be gone.


Verse
Գڦ The Great Way is gateless,
Approached in a thousand ways.
μ Once past this checkpoint
Լ歩 You stride through the universe.

 

Case 1. Zhaozhou's "Wu"  Ϸ

尚Ϸ
A monk asked Zhaozhou, "Has a dog the Buddha Nature?" Zhaozhou answered, "Wu (: not have ofnot exist).

Wumen's Comment
ڦءμᄀ
In order to master Chan(Kor. Seon), you must pass the barrier of the patriarchs.
 To attain this subtlerealization, you must completely cut off the way of thinking.

μᄀݾġ
If you do not pass the barrier, and do not cut off the way of thinking, then you will be like a ghostclinging to the bushes and weeds.

Գμ
Now, I want to ask you, what is the barrier of the patriarchs?

Ҭڦμ奡
Why, it is this single word "Wu.
" That is the front gate to Chan.

ڦμ
Therefore it is called the "Wumenkan of Chan.

"Φުӣ̸񶡢ʦ歴ڶپ厮̸̿ڤ
If you pass through it, you will not only see Zhaozhou face to face, but you will also go hand in handwith the successive patriarchs, entangling your eyebrows with theirs, seeing with the same eyes, hearingwith the same ears.


Isn't that a delightful prospect?

ذμ麼
Wouldn't you like to pass this barrier?

߲׿。ؿЫӥ
Arouse your entire body with its three hundred and sixty bones and joints and its eighty-four thousandpores of the skin; summon up a spirit of great doubt and concentrate on this word "Wu.

撕ذ虚塢ذ塣
Carry it continuously day and night.
 Do not form a nihilistic conception of vacancy, or a relative
conception of "has" or "has not.


It will be just as if you swallow a red-hot iron ball, which you cannot spit out even if you try.

—覚内唖ӡ򱡣
All the illusory ideas and delusive thoughts accumulated up to the present will be exterminated, andwhen the time comes, internal and external will be spontaneously united.
 You will know this, but foryourself only, like a dumb man who has had a dream.

ۡ򢡣
Then all of a sudden an explosive conversion will occur, and you will astonish the heavens and shake theearth.

μ⢡߯֡߯ӡ׿Գ戲߲ܡ
It will be as if you snatch away the great sword of the valiant general Kuanyu and hold it in your hand.
When you meet the Buddha, you kill him; when you meet the patriarchs, you kill them.
 On the brink oflife and death, you command perfect freedom; among the sixfold worlds and four modes of existence,you enjoy a merry and playful samadhi.

麼撕
Now, I want to ask you again, "How will you carry it out?"
Ѩ
Employ every ounce of your energy to work on this "Wu."
Өʡ
If you hold on without interruption, behold: a single spark, and the holy candle is lit!

Wumen's Verse
Ϸ The dog, the Buddha Nature,
ֵ The pronouncement, perfect and final.
纔渉 Before you say it has or has not,
٤You are a dead man on the spot.

 

Case 2 Baizhang's Fox 

尚󭡢
When Ven. Baizhang delivered a certain series of sermons, an old man always followed the monks to themain hall and listened to him.

ܡܡ
When the monks left the hall, the old man would also leave.

ܡ
ءѡ
One day, however, he remained behind, and Baizhang asked him, "Who are you, standing here before me?"


The old man replied.

ٻˣު奡
"I am not a human being.

Φʼߣ
In the old days of Kasyapa Buddha, I was a head monk, living here on this mountain.

ժ
One day a student asked me, 'Does a man of enlightenment fall under the yoke of causation or not?'

ٻˣժ
I answered, 'No, he does not.

'
Since then I have been doomed to undergo five hundred rebirths as a fox.

롢尚脱ϡ
I beg you now to give the turning word to release me from my life as a fox.

ѡժ
Tell me, does a man of enlightenment fall under the yoke of causation or not?"


Baizhang answered, "He does not ignore causation.

"
No sooner had the old man heard these words than he was enlightened.

ٻˣ脱ߣ
Making his bows, he said, "I am emancipated from my life as a fox.
 I shall remain on this mountain.

ͱ尚ǡ
I have a favor to ask of you: would you please bury my body as that of a dead monk."

ԡֵͱ롢㬡
Baizhang had the director of the monks strike with the gavel and inform everyone that after the middaymeal there would be a funeral service for a dead monk.

졡̡ܻͺ
The monks wondered at this, saying, "Everyone is in good health; nobody is in the sick ward.
What doesthis mean?"

̸ߣ嵒ϡҬ
After the meal Baizhang led the monks to the foot of a rock on the far side of the mountain and with hisstaff poked out the dead body of a fox and performed the ceremony of cremation.

ԡع߾ѡ縁
That evening he ascended the rostrum and told the monks the whole story.

黄ܢͯޡ麼
Huangbo thereupon asked him, "The old man gave the wrong answer and was doomed to be a fox forfive hundred rebirths.
 Now, suppose he had given the right answer, what would have happened then?"

Գ
Baizhang said, "You come here to me, and I will tell you.

"黄ܢ档
Huangbo went up to Baizhang and boxed his ears.

ݡ塣ס
Baizhang clapped his hands with a laugh and exclaimed, "I was thinking that the barbarian had a redbeard, but now I see before me the red-bearded barbarian himself."

Wumen's Comment

ڦءժϡ
Not falling under causation: how could this make the monk a fox?

脱ϡ
Not ignoring causation: how could this make the old man emancipated?

ѡ贏׵档
If you come to understand this, you will realize how old Baizhang would have enjoyed five hundredrebirths as a fox.

Wumen's Verse
ժ Not falling, not ignoring:
Two faces of one die.
ժ Not ignoring, not falling:
ؿ A thousand errors, a million mistakes.

 

Case 3 Juzhi Raises a Finger  ߲ 倶胝̱

倶胝尚򦡣
Whenever Ven. Juzhi was asked about Chan, he simply raised his finger.

尚説驡
Once a visitor asked Juzhi's boy attendant, "What does your master teach?"

̱顣
The boy too raised his finger.

胝ڤӨ򦡣
Hearing of this, Juzhi cut off the boy's finger with a knife.

ݶۡ
The boy, screaming with pain, began to run away.

胝ϡ胝ʿ̱򦡣
Juzhi called to him, and when he turned around, Juzhi raised his finger.


The boy suddenly became enlightened.

胝ᦡءףɡס
When Juzhi was about to pass away, he said to his assembled monks, "I obtained one-finger Chan fromTianlong and used it all my life but still did not exhaust it."


When he had finished saying this, he entered into eternal Nirvana.

Wumen's Comment
ڦء倶胝並߾
The enlightenment of Juzhi and of the boy does not depend on the finger.

̸ף倶胝並ʿ
If you understand this, Tianlong, Juzhi, the boy, and you yourself are all run through with one skewer.

Wumen's Verse
倶胝ף
Juzhi made a fool of old Tianlong,

Ӥ
Emancipating the boy with a single slice,


Just as a powerful spirit cleaved Mt. Huashan

ߣز
To let the Yellow River run through.


Case 4 The Western Barbarian with No Beard   髭

ء髭
Huoan said, "Why has the Western Barbarian no beard?"

Wumen's Comment
ڦءѡ
Study should be real study, enlightenment should be real enlightenment.

̸
You should once meet this barbarian directly to be really intimate with him.

説̸͡
But saying you are really intimate with him already divides you into two.

Wumen's Verse
Don't discuss your dream
ʦ説 Before a fool.
髭 Barbarian with no beard
ա Obscures the clarity.

 

Case 5 Xiangyan's "Man up in a Tree"  ߾

尚߾⧡Ϣ򫡢򫡢⧡
Ven. Xiangyan said, "It is like a man up in a tree hanging from a branch with his mouth; his hands graspno bough, his feet rest on no limb.

即٤
Someone appears under the tree and asks him, 'What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from theWest?' If he does not answer, he fails to respond to the question.
 If he does answer, he will lose his life.

麼麼ߡ
What would you do in such a situation?"

Wumen's Comment
ڦءܩ惣ʡ
Even if your eloquence flows like a river, it is of no avail.

説教ʡ
Though you can expound the whole of Buddhist literature, it is of no use.

ʡʿ顢ʿ顣
If you solve this problem, you will give life to the way that has been dead until this moment and destroythe way that has been alive up to now.

ڱԡگ͡
Otherwise you must wait for Maitreya Buddha and ask him.

Wumen's Verse
Xiangyan is truly thoughtless;
Ը His vice and poison are endless
唖ʿҡϢ He stops up the mouths of the monks,
迸С And devil's eyes sprout from their bodies.

 

Case 6 The Buddha Holds Out a Flower  ׿ ҹ

஡ߣ߾ҹ롣
When Shakyamuni Buddha was at Mt. Grdhrakuta, he held out a flower to his listeners.

ԡ
Everyone was silent.

ʼڰš
Only MahaKasyapa broke into a broad smile.

۰ӡڰڦء教ܬؤʸʼ稡
The Buddha said, "I have the True Dharma Eye, the Marvelous Mind of Nirvana, the True Form of theFormless, and the Subtle Dharma Gate, independent of words and transmitted beyond doctrine.
 This I have entrusted to MahaKasyapa.

"Wumen's Comment

ڦء黄ϺӾۨѡ
Golden-faced Gautama really disregarded his listeners.

Ϸ뿡
He made the good look bad and sold dog's meat labeled as mutton.

ݡ塣
He himself thought it was wonderful.

Դš۰麼
If, however, everyone in the audience had laughed, how could he have transmitted his True Eye?

ʼš۰麼
And again, if MahaKasyapa had not smiled, how could the Buddha have transmitted it?

Գ۰⣡黄誑碡
If you say the True Dharma Eye can be transmitted, then the golden-faced old man would be a cityslicker who cheats the country bumpkin.

Գ⣡麼Լʼ稡
If you say it cannot be transmitted, then why did the Buddha approve of MahaKasyapa?

Wumen's Verse
ҹ Holding out a flower,
ڭ The Buddha betrayed his curly tail.
ʼ Heaven and earth were bewildered,
At MahaKasyapa's smile.

 

Case 7 Zhaozhou's "Wash Your Bowl"  ۤ

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A monk said to Zhaozhou, "I have just entered this monastery.

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Please teach me.


"Have you eaten your rice porridge?" asked Zhaozhou.


"Yes, I have," replied the monk.

ۤۡ
"Then you had better wash your bowl," said Zhaozhou.


With this the monk gained insight.

Wumen's Comment
ڦءϢ̸šܡ
When he opens his mouth, Zhaozhou shows his gallbladder.
 He displays his heart and liver.

ء踡
I wonder if this monk really did hear the truth.
 I hope he did not mistake the bell for a jar.

Wumen's Verse
٥п Endeavoring to interpret clearly,
翻ֵ You retard your attainment.
Don't you know that flame is fire?
Your rice has long been cooked.

Case 8 Xizhong the Wheelmaker 

尚㬡ߡ
Ven. Yuean said, "Xizhong, the first wheelmaker, made a cart whose wheels had a hundred spokes.

ҹʿ顢ʿߡ٥麼ܫ
Now, suppose you took a cart and removed both the wheels and the axle.
 What would you have?"

Wumen's Comment
ڦء٥ѡ׵Ѧ掣ﳡ
If anyone can directly master this topic, his eye will be like a shooting star, his spirit like a flash oflightning.

Wumen's Verse
ѦWhen the spiritual wheels turn,
ӹڻEven the master fails to follow them.
߾They travel in all directions, above and below,
North, south, east, and west.

Case 9 The great Buddha of supreme penetraton and wisdom

尚̤֡ԳޡԳ
A monk asked Ven. Xingyang Rang, "The great Buddha of supreme penetraton and wisdom sat in
sitting meditation for ten kalpas and could not attain Buddhahood.
 He did not become a Buddha.
 Howcould this be?"

ءס
Rang said, "Your question is quite self-explanatory."

既Գޡ麼Գ
The monk asked, "He meditated so long; why could he not attain Buddhahood?"

ء֡
Rang said, "Because he did not become a Buddha.

"Wumen's Comment
ڦء򱡢塣
I allow the barbarian's realization, but I do not allow his understanding.

򱡢既ѡ
When an ignorant man realizes it, he is a sage.

塢既
When a sage understands it, he is ignorant.

Wumen's Verse
Better emancipate your mind than your body;
When the mind is emancipated, the body is free,
倶 When both body and mind are emancipated,
Even gods and spirits ignore worldly power.

 

Case 10 Qingshui Is Utterly Destitude  清税޸

ߣ尚清税޸
Qingsui said to Ven. Caoshan, "Qingsui is utterly destitude.

𭡣
Will you give him support?"

ߣ税闍ޡ
Caoshan called out, "Qingshui!"

税硣
Qingsui responded, "Yes, sir!"

ߣء青ʫС߲Գڱơ
Caoshan said, "You have finished three cups of the finest wine in China, and still you say you have notyet moistened your lips!"

Wumen's Comment
ڦء清税Ѧ

Qingshui pretended to retreat. What was his scheme?

ߣѡܩѦ
Caoshan had the eye of Buddha and saw through his opponent's motive.

Գ税闍ޡ
However, I want to ask you, at what point did Qingsui drink wine?

Wumen's Verse
޸ӡ Poverty like Fandan's,
Ѩ Mind like Xiangyu's;
ͪ With no means of livelihood,
ݣ He dares to rival the richest.

 

Case 11 Zhaozhou Sees the Hermits  

񶡢麼麼
Zhaozhou went to a hermit's cottage and asked, "Is the master in? Is the master in?"

񫡢̱顣
The hermit raised his fist.

˸
Zhaozhou said, "The water is too shallow to anchor here," and he went away.

麼麼
Coming to another hermit's cottage, he asked again, "Is the master in? Is the master in?"

̱顣
This hermit, too, raised his fist.

߯ɡ
Zhaozhou said, "Free to give, free to take, free to kill, free to save," and he made a deep bow.

Wumen's Comment

ڦء̱顢麼͡͡
Both raised their fists; why was the one accepted and the other rejected?

Գ
Tell me, what is the difficulty here?

ޡ̸顢ݦۯ
If you can give a turning word to clarify this problem, you will realize that Zhaozhou's tongue has nobone in it, now helping others up, now knocking them down, with perfect freedom.

үʿ
However, I must remind you: the two hermits could also see through Zhaozhou.

Գ֫ڱѡ
If you say there is anything to choose between the two hermits, you have no eye of realization.

Գ֫ڱѡѡ
If you say there is no choice between the two, you have no eye of realization.

Wumen's Verse
׵The eye like a shooting star,
Ѧ掣The spirit like a lighting;
߯A death-dealing blade,
A life-giving sword.

 

Case 12 Ruiyan Calls His Master 

尚毎롢硣
Ven. Ruiyan Yan called to himself every day, "Master!" and answered, "Yes, sir!"

Ҭ󷡣ࡣ
Then he would say, "Be wide awake!" and answer, "Yes, sir!"

ذؾࡣ
"Henceforward, never be deceived by others!" "No, I won't!"

Wumen's Comment
ڦء㡢С
Old Ruiyan buys and sells himself.
 He takes out a lot of god-masks and devil-masks and puts them onand plays with them.

ͺ
What for, eh?

ࡣؾ
One calling and the other answering; one wide awake, the other saying he will never be deceived.


If you stick to any of them, you will be a failure.

傚⡢惣̸
If you imitate Ruiyan, you will play the fox.

Wumen's Verse
Գ Clinging to the deluded way of consciousness,
Students of the Way do not realize truth.
̤ The seed of birth and death through endless eons:
The fool calls it the true original self.

 

Case 13 Teshan Holds His Bowls   ߲ 徳ߣۤ


徳ߣۤѡ
One day Teshan went down toward the dining room, holding his bowls.

̸ڱٰڱ¡ۤۡߣ۰ۡ
Xuefeng met him and asked, "Where are you off to with your bowls? The bell has not rung, and thedrum has not sounded.
" Teshan turned and went back to his room.

顣徳ߣڱϣ
Xuefeng mentioned this to Yantou, who remarked, "Teshan is renowned, but he does not know the lastword.

"ߣڤֵΡءᡣ
Teshan heard about this remark and sent his attendant to fetch Yantou.
 "You do not approve of me?" heasked.


Yantou whispered his meaning.

ߣҬۡ٥񨡢ҡ
Teshan said nothing at the time, but the next day he ascended the rostrum, and behold! he was verydifferent from usual!

拊ϣ
Yantou, going toward the front of the hall, clapped his hands and laughed loudly, saying,"Congratulations! Our old man has got hold of the last word!

ѡү
From now on, nobody in this whole country can outdo him!"

Wumen's Comment
ڦءڱϣ徳ߣ倶ڱ̸
As for the last word, neither Yantou nor Teshan has ever dreamed of it!

撿Ρ
When you look into the matter, you find they are like puppets on the shelf!

Wumen's Verse
ϣ If you realize the first,
ϣ You master the last.
The first and the last
ϣ Are not one word.

Case 14 Naquan Cuts the Cat in Two 

尚䮡
Ven. Naquan saw monks of the Eastern and Western halls quarreling over a cat.

ҬԳ即ϭԳ即ʿ奡
He held up the cat and said, "If you can give an answer, you will save the cat.
 If not, I will kill it.


No one could answer, and Naquan cut the cat in two.

ع񶡣
That evening Zhaozhou returned, and Naquan told him of the incident.

Ҭ脱߾
Zhaozhou took off his sandal, placed it on his head, and walked out.

即ϭ䮡
"If you had been there, you would have saved the cat," Naquan remarked.

Wumen's Comment
ڦءԳ麼档
Tell me, what did Zhaozhou mean when he put the sandal on his head?

ޡ̸ֵ虚
If you can give a turning word on this, you will see that Naquan's decree was carried out with goodreason.

ڱϡ
If not, "Danger!"

Wumen's Verse
Had Zhaozhou been there,
ֵ He would have done the opposite;
ʿ When the sword is snatched away,
٤Even Naquan begs for his life.

 

Case 15 Dongshan's Sixty Blows   ߣ߲

ڦߣ󭡢ڦء
Dongshan came to study with Yunmen.
 Yunmen asked, "Where are you from?"

ߣԤ
"From Zhadu," Dongshan replied.

ڦء
"Where were you during the summer?"

ߣ
"Well, I was at Baoci monastery ofHunan, south of the lake."

ڦء
"When did you leave there," Yunmen asked.

ߣ顣
"On August 25" was Dongshan's reply.
ڦءۯ߲ꡣ
"I spare you sixty blows," Yunmen said.
ߣ٥ʿ߾
尚ۯ߲ꡣ
The next day Dongshan came to Yunmen and said, "Yesterday you said you spared me sixty blows.

Φ麼
I beg to ask you, where was I at fault?"

ڦء˰麼ۡ
"Oh, you rice bag!" shouted Yunmen.
 "What makes you wander about, now west of the river, now southof the lake?"

ߣ
Dongshan thereupon came to a mighty enlightenment experience.

Wumen's Comment
ڦءڦߣܬѦءʫڦ
If Yunmen had given Dongshan the true food of Chan and encouraged him to develop an active Chanspirit, his school would not have declined as it did.

ު٥Ρ
Dongshan had an agonizing struggle through the whole night, lost in the sea of right and wrong.
 Hereached a complete impasse.
 After waiting for the dawn, he again went to Yunmen, and Yunmen againmade him a picture book of Chan.

ߣۡڱϡ
Even though he was directly enlightened, Dongshan could not be called brilliant.

ѡߣ߲ꡢҡ
Now, I want to ask you, should Dongshan have been given sixty blows or not?

Գҡꡣ
If you say yes, you admit that all the universe should be beaten.

Գҡڦ誑ޡ
If you say no, then you accuse Yunmen of telling a lie.

٥۰ߣϢѨ
If you really understand the secret, you will be able to breathe out Chan spirit with the very mouth ofDongshan.

Wumen's Verse
教ڻ The lion had a secret to puzzle his cub;
ԯ躑翻 The cub crouched, leaped, and dashed forward.
Ӯ The second time, a casual move led to checkmate.
The first arrow was light, but the second went deep.


Case 16 When the Bell Sounds   ׿

ڦءͣ麼ġ
Yunmen said, "The world is vast and wide.

ɡ
Why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?"

Wumen's Comment
ڦءԳ䡣
In studying Chan, you should not be swayed by sounds and forms.

ڤԳ̸٥ȡ
Even though you attain insight when hearing a voice or seeing a form, this is simply the ordinary way ofthings.

򱡢ҡʫ䡢߾٥߾ء
Don't you know that the real Chan student commands sounds, controls forms, is clear-sighted at everyevent and free on every occasion?

Գܫ
Granted you are free, just tell me: Does the sound come to the ear or does the ear go to the sound?

Ρ塣
If both sound and silence die away, at such a juncture how could you talk of Chan?

塢ڤ۰ѡ
While listening with you ear, you cannot tell
 When hearing with your eye, you are truly intimate.

Wumen's Verse
ʫ With realization, things make one family;
ؿܬ Without realization, things are separated in a thousand ways.
ʫ Without realization, things make one family;
ؿܬ With realization, things are separated in a thousand ways

 

Case 17 the National Teacher Gives Three Calls   ߲

߲߲롣
The National Teacher called his attendant three times, and three times the attendant responded.

ݶ棡ʿݶ
The National Teacher said, "I long feared that I was betraying you, but really it was you who werebetraying me.

"Wumen's Comment
ڦء߲򢡣
The National Teacher called three times, and his tongue fell to the ground.

߲롢
The attendant responded three times, and he gave his answer with brilliance.

Ҵ͵
The National Teacher was old and lonely; he held the cow's head and forced it to eat grass.

ڱס
The attendant would have none of it;

ڸѡԳݶ
delicious food has little attraction for a man who is satiated.

 Tell me, at what point was the betrayal?

ʫݣ㡣
When the country is flourishing, talent is prized.
 When the home is wealthy, the children are proud.

Wumen's Verse
鉄ʮӽ He carried and iron yoke with no hole
׫ And left a curse to trouble his descendants.
ڦ并戸 If you want to hold up the gate and the doors,
߾ߣ You must climb a mountain of swords with bare feet.

 

Case 18 Dongshan's "Masanjin"   ߣ߲

ߣ尚֡
A monk asked Dongshan, "What is Buddha?"

ߣث߲š
Dongshan replied, "Masanjin!" [three pounds of flax]

Wumen's Comment
ڦءߣѡ۽ɡ纔
Old Dongshan attained the poor Chan of a clam. He opened the two halves of the shell a little andexposed all the liver and intestines inside

Գ̸ߣ
But tell me, how do you see Dongshan?

Wumen's Verse
ث߲ "Three pounds of flax" came sweeping along;
Close were the words, but closer was the meaning.
説ު Those who argue about right and wrong
ު Are those enslaved by right and wrong.

 

Case 19 Naquan's "Ordinary Mind Is the Way"   Գ

Գ
Zhaozhou asked Naquan, "What is the Way?"

Գ
"Ordinary mind is the Way," Naquan replied.

ʦ
"Shall I try to seek after it?" Zhaozhou asked.

即ҡ
"If you try for it, you will become separated from it," responded Naquan.

Գ
"How can I know the Way unless I try for it?" persisted Zhaozhou.

Գ򱡢򱡣
Naquan said, "The Way is not a matter of knowing or not knowing

ơ
Knowing is delusion; not knowing is confusion.

ӹԳ虚Ωá
When you have really reached the true Way beyond doubt, you will find it as vast and boundless asouter space.

ʦ強ު奡
How can it be talked about on the level of right and wrong?"


With these words, Zhaozhou came to a sudden realization.

Wumen's Comment
ڦءۡ޼ἡ
Naquan dissolved and melted away before Zhaozhou's question, and could not offer a plausibleexplanation.

߲ۡҴ
Even though Zhaozhou comes to a realization, he must delve into it for another thirty years before hecan fully understand it.

Wumen's Verse
The spring flowers, the autumn moon;
涼 Summer breezes, winter snow.
挂 If useless things do not clutter your mind,
You have the best days of your life.

 

Case 20 The Man of Great Strength   

尚ѡá
Ven. Songyuan asked, "Why is it that a man of great strength does not lift his legs?"

Ϣ߾
And he also said, "It is not the tongue he speaks with.

"Wumen's Commentڦءʦݡ١
It must be said that Songyuan shows us all his stomach and intestines.

ס
But alas, no one can appreciate him!

סڦꡣ
And even if someone could appreciate him, let him come to me, and I'll beat him severely.

ͺ
Why?

ࡣѡס
If you want to find pure gold, you must see it through fire.

Wumen's Verse
翻 Lifting his leg, he kicks up the Scented Ocean;
Lowering his head, he looks down on the fourth Dhyana heaven.
There is no space vast enough for his body
—ϣ Now, somebody write the last line here.


Case 21 Yunmen's "Ganshijue"    ڦ橛

ڦ֡
A monk asked Yunmen, "What is Buddha?"

ڦ橛
Yunmen replied, "Ganshijue!" [A dry shit-stick.]

Wumen's Comment
ڦءڦʦݡʫ޸ܩݡ
Yunmen was too poor to prepare plain food, too busy to speak from notes.

橛Ρڦ挂戸
He hurriedly took up a shit-stick to support the Way.

ʦ̸
The decline of Buddhism was thus foreshadowed.

Wumen's Verse
Lightning flashing,
撃Sparks shooting;
A moment's blinking,
ΦMissed forever.

Case 22 Kasyapa's "Knock Down the Flagpole"   ʼ

ʼ稡襴ʷ⡢ܬڪ
Ananda asked Kasyapa, "The World-honored One gave you the golden robe; did he give you anythingelse?"


"Ananda!" cried Kasyapa.


"Yes, sir!" answered Ananda.

ʿڦʡ
"Knock down the flagpole at the gate," said Kasyapa.

Wumen's Commentڦء﷡̸ߣڱߤ
If you can give a turning word at this point, you will see that the meeting at Mount Grdhrakuta is stillsolemnly continuing.

ڱԡ֡׺ء
If not, then this is what Vipassin Buddha worried about from remote ages; up to now he has still notacquired the essence.

Wumen's Verse
Tell me—question or answer—which was more intimate?
Many have knit their brows over this;
ʫ Elder brother calls, younger brother answers, and they betray the family secret.
ܬ They had a special spring, not one of yin and yang.


Case 23 Think Neither Good Nor Evil   ߲

׿ӡ٥߾񨡢趁ֺ
The Sixth Patriarch was pursued by the monk Huiming as far as Dayu Mountain.

̸٥򸡢即ۤ߾ᡣʦ孡ۡ

The patriarch, seeing Huiming coming, laid the robe and bowl on a rock and said,
"This robe representsthe faith; it should not be fought over.
 If you want to take it away, take it now.

"٥ߣѡ踟ɡ٥ܡΡϴު奡
Huiming tried to move it, but it was as heavy as a mountain and would not budge.
 Faltering andtrembling, he cried out, "I came for the Dharma, not for the robe.

ơ
I beg you, please give me your instruction.

"༡¡麼٥߾͡
The patriarch said, "Think neither good nor evil.
 At this very moment, what is the original self of themonk Huiming?"

٥׵
At these words, Huiming was directly illuminated.
 His whole body was covered with sweat.

涙ɡء߾⡢ڡ
He wept and bowed, saying, "Besides the secret words and the secret meaning you have just nowrevealed to me, is there anything else, deeper still?"

ء説即ު奡
The patriarch said, "What I have told you is no secret at all.

͡ʿܫ
When you look into your own true self, whatever is deeper is found right there.

"٥黄롢ڱ͡
Huiming said, "I was with the monks under the Fifth Patriarch for many years but I could not realize mytrue self.

飲򱡣
But now, receiving your instruction, I know it is like a man drinking water and knowing whether it iscold or warm.

即ٻˣ奡
My lay brother, you are now my teacher.

"黄ޡ
The patriarch said, "If you say so, but let us both call the Fifth Patriarch our teacher.

򥡣
Be mindful to treasure and hold fast to what you have attained.

"Wumen's Commentء׿ʦݡʫ﷡
The Sixth Patriarch was, so to speak, hurried into helping a man in an emergency, and he displayed agrandmotherly kindness.

ާ茘剥殻你Ϣꡢ你
It is as though he peeled a fresh sugar apple, removed the seed, put it in your mouth, and asked you toswallow it down.

Wumen's Verse
畫 You cannot describe it; you cannot picture it;
You cannot admire it; don't try to eat it raw.
没 Your true self has nowhere to hide;
ͣ When the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed.


Case 24 Fengxue's Speech and Silence   ʿ

尚渉ڰ
A monk asked Fengxue, "Both speech and silence are faulty in being li
[ inward action of mind] orWei [ڰ outward action of mind].
 How can we escape these faults?"

˰߲ꡢ鷓鴣š
Fengxue said,
"I always remember the spring in Jiangnan (the south of a river),
Where the partridges sing;
How fragrant the countless flowers!"

Wumen's Comment
ڦءѦ掣
Fengxue's Chan spirit was like lightning and opened a clear passage.

үӨ
However, he was entangled in the monk's words and could not cut them off.

̸﷡ء
If you can really grasp the problem, you can readily find the way out.

ʿ߲ܡԳϣΡ
Now, putting language samadhi aside, say it in your own words.

Wumen's Verse
ϣ He does not use a refined phrase;
ڱ Before speaking, he has already handed it over.
歩Ϣ喃喃 If you chatter on and on,
You will find you have lost your way.

------------------------

The Gateless Gate or The Gateless Barrier (Chin. Wumenkuan; Jap. Wumenkan; Kor. Mumugwan)
The author is Chinese Chan master Wumen Huihai (ڦ 1183-1260).

English Translation
By late Zen master Katsuki Sekida (Two Zen Classics 26-137)Modified by JOKB (japanese-style expressions replaced by chinese-style)

The Chinese and Japanese texts in this web site are taken from the book titled Wumenkan, published in
Japan by Iwanami Bunkõ.

Chinese Characters
Unfortunately a few Chinese characters were not given in this site.
Luckily these characters are less than1% of the text.

 Where there was a definition about these ideograms, they are entered them usingChinese system (Big 5).
 There are also ideograms that appear as mere black boxes, without anyexplanations.
 These are replaced with dummy characters (empty square boxes).


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