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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 32 A Non-Buddhist Philosopher Questions the Buddha      三十二 外道問佛

 

世尊、因外道問、不問有言、不問無言。

A non-Buddhist philosopher said to the Buddha, "I do not ask for words; I don not ask for non-words."

世尊據座。

The Buddha just sat there.

外道贊歎云、世尊大慈大悲、開我迷雲令我得入。

The philosopher said admiringly, "The World-honored One, with his great mercy, has blown away the clouds of my illusion and enabled me to enter the Way."

乃具禮而去。

And after making bows, he took his leave.

阿難尋問佛、外道有何所證贊歎而去。

Then Ananda asked the Buddha, "What did he realize, to admire you so much?"

世尊云、如世良馬見鞭影而行。

The World-honored One replied, "A fine horse runs even at the shadow of the whip."

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、阿難乃佛弟子、宛不如外道見解、且道、外道與佛弟子相去多少。

Ananda was the Buddha's disciple, but his understanding was not equal to that of the non-Buddhist. I want to ask you, what difference is there between the Buddha's disciple and the non-Buddhist?

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

劍刃上行      On the edge of a sword,

氷綾上走      Over the ridge of an iceberg,

不渉階梯      With no steps, no ladders,

懸崖撒手      Climbing the cliffs without hands.

 

Next chapter: Case 33 Baso's "No Mind, No Buddha"

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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