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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)

 

Mumon's Postscript                       後序

 

 

從上佛祖垂示機縁、據款結案、初無剰語。

The sayings and doings of the Buddha and the patriarchs have been set down in their original form.

掲翻腦蓋、露出眼睛。

Nothing superfluous has been added by the author, who has taken the lid off his head and exposed his eyeballs.

肯要諸人直下承當、不從佗覓。

Your direct realization is demanded; it should not be sought through others.

若是通方上士。 纔聞擧著、便知落處。

If you are a man of realization, you will immediately grasp the point at the slightest mention of it.

了無門戸可入、亦無階級可升。

There is no gate for you to go through; there are no stairs for you to ascend.

掉臂度關不問關吏。

You pass the checkpoint, squaring your shoulders, without asking permission of the keeper.

 

豈不見玄沙道、無門解脱之門、無意道人之意。

Remember Gensha's saying, "No-gate is the gate of emancipation; no-meaning is the meaning of the man of the Way."

又白雲道、明明知道只是者箇、爲甚麼透不過。

And Hakuun says, "Clearly you know how to talk of it, but why can't you pass this simple, specific thing?"

 

恁麼説話、也是赤土

However, all this kind of talk is like making a mud pie with milk and butter.

若透得無門關、早是鈍置無門。

If you have passed the Mumonkan, you can make a fool of Mumon.

若透不得無門關、亦之辜負自己。

If not, you are betraying yourself.

所謂、涅槃心易曉、差別智難明。

It is easy to know the Nirvana mind but difficult to attain the wisdom of differentiation.

明得差別智、家國自安寧。

When you have realized this wisdom, peace and order will reign over your land.

 

 

時紹定改元 解制前五日

The change of era to Jõtei [1228], five days before the end of summer session

楊岐八世孫 無門比丘慧開 謹識。

Respectfully inscribed by Mumon Ekai Bhikkhu, eighth in succession from Yõgi

 

無門關 巻終

Wu-wen kuan (Mumonkan)          End of the book

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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