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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 38 A Buffalo Passes the Window   三十八 牛過窓櫺

 

五祖曰、譬如水牛過窓櫺、頭角四蹄都過了、因甚麼尾巴過不得。

Goso said, "A buffalo passes by the window. His head, horns, and four legs all go past. But why can't the tail pass too?"

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、若 向者裏顛倒、著得一隻眼、下得一轉語、可以上報四恩下資三有。

If you make a complete about-face, open your eye, and give a turning word on this point, you will be able to repay the four kinds of love that have favored you and help the sentient beings in the three realms who follow you.

其或未然、更須照顧尾巴始得。

If you are still unable to do this, return to this tail and reflect upon it, and then for the first time you will realize something.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

過去墮抗         Passing by, it falls into a ditch;

回來却被壞              Coming back, all the worse, it is lost.

者些尾巴子              This tiny little tail,

直是甚奇怪              What a strange thing it is!

 

Next chapter: Case 39 A Mistake in Speaking

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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