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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 39 A Mistake in Speaking  三十九 雲門話墮

 

 

雲門、因僧問、光明寂照遍河沙。

A monk said to Unmon, "The brilliance of the Buddha silently illuminates the whole universe. . ."

一句未絶、門遽曰、豈不是張拙秀才語。

But before the could finish the verse, Unmon said, "Aren't those the words of Chõetsu the Genius?"

僧云、是。

"Yes, they are," answered the monk.

門云、話墮也。

"You have slipped up in your speaking," Unmon said.

後來、死心拈云、且道、那裏是者僧話墮處。

Afterward, Shishin Zenji brought up the matter and said, "Tell me, at what point did the monk err in his speaking?"

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、若向者裏見得雲門用處孤危、者僧因甚話墮、堪與人天爲師。

If you clearly understand this and realize how exacting Unmon was in his method, and what made the monk err in his speaking, you are qualified to be a teacher of heaven and earth.

若也未明、自救不了。

If you are not yet clear about it, you are far from saving yourself.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

急流垂釣      A line cast in the rapids,

貪餌者著      The greedy will be caught.

口縫纔開      Before you start to open your mouth,

性命喪却      Your life is already lost!

 

Next chapter: Case 40 Tipping Over a Water Bottle

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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