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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 43 Shuzan's Shippei    四十三 首山竹篦

 

 

首山和尚、拈竹篦示衆云、汝等諸人、若喚作竹篦則觸。

Shuzan Oshõ held up his shippei [staff of office] before his disciples and said, "You monks! If you call this a shippei, you oppose its reality.

不喚作竹篦則背。

If you do not call it a shippei, you ignore the fact.

汝諸人、且道、喚作甚麼。

Tell me, you monks, what will you call it?"

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、喚作竹篦則觸。

If you call it a shippei, you oppose its reality.

不喚作竹篦則背。

If you do not call it a shippei, you ignore the fact.

不得有語、不得無語。

Words are not available; silence is not available.

速道、速道。

Now, tell me quickly, what is it?

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

拈起竹篦      Holding up the shippei,

行殺活令      He takes life, he gives life.

背觸交馳      Opposing and ignoring interweave.

佛祖乞命      Even Buddhas and patriarchs beg for their lives.

 

Next chapter: Case 44 Bashõ's Staff

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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