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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 47 Tosotsu's Three Barriers 四十七 兜率三關

 

兜率悦和尚、設三關問學者、

Tosotsu Etsu Oshõ set up three barriers for his disciples:

撥草參玄只圖見性。

1. You leave no stone unturned to explore profundity, simply to see into your true nature.

即今上人性在甚處。

Now, I want to ask you, just at this moment, where is your true nature?

識得自性方脱生死。

2. If you realize your true nature, you are free from life and death.

眼光落時、作麼生脱。

Tell me, when your eyesight deserts you at the last moment, how can you be free from life and death?

脱得生死便知去處、四大分離向甚處去。

3. When you set yourself free from life and death, you should know your ultimate destination. So when the four elements separate, where will you go?

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、若能下得此三轉語、便可以隨處作主遇縁即宗。

If you can put turning words to these three questions, you are the master wherever you may stand and command Zen whatever circumstances you may be in.

其或未然、麁易飽、細嚼難飢。

If otherwise, listen: gulping down your meal will fill you easily, but chewing it well can sustain you.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

一念普觀無量劫    This moment's thoughts sees through eternal time;

無量劫事即如今    Eternal time is just this moment.

如今破箇一念    If you see through this moment's thought,

破如今底人    You see through the man who sees through this moment.

 

 

Next chapter: Case 48 Kempõ's One Road

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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