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The Gateless Gate

 

The Gateless Gate or The Gateless Barrier (Chin. Wu-wen kuan; Jap. Mumonkan)

The author is Chinese Ch'an master Wu-men Hui-hai (無門慧開 Mumon Ekai, 1183-1260).

 

English Translation

By late Zen master Katsuki Sekida (Two Zen Classics 26-137)

 

Original Chinese Text

The original Chinese text is taken from the following Japanese web site:

 

                  http://homepage1.nifty.com/poem-club/mumonnkan/mumonkanwoyomu.htm

 

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

 

Chinese Characters

Unfortunately a few Chinese characters were not given in this site. Luckily these characters are less than 1% of the text. Where there was a definition about these ideograms, they are entered them using Chinese system (Big 5). There are also ideograms that appear as mere black boxes, without any explanations. These are replaced with dummy characters (empty square boxes).

 

 

The Gateless Gate 無門關

Wu-wen kuan (Mumonkan)

 

Case 21 Unmon's "Kanshiketsu"   二十一 雲門屎

 

雲門、因僧問、如何是佛。

A monk asked Unmon, "What is Buddha?"

門云、乾屎

Unmon replied, "Kanshiketsu!" [A dry shit-stick.]

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、雲門可謂、家貧難辨素食、事忙不及草書。

Unmon was too poor to prepare plain food, too busy to speak from notes.

動便將屎來、門挂戸。

He hurriedly took up shiketsu to support the Way.

佛法興衰可見。

The decline of Buddhism was thus foreshadowed.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

閃電光           Lightning flashing,

撃石化           Sparks shooting;

貶得眼           A moment's blinking,

巳蹉過           Missed forever.

 

Next chapter: Case 22 Kashyapa's "Knock Down the Flagpole"

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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