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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 3 Gutei Raises a Finger   三 倶胝堅指

 

 

倶胝和尚、凡有詰問、唯擧一指。

Whenever Gutei Oshõ was asked about Zen, he simply raised his finger.

後有童子。因外人問、和尚説何法要。

Once a visitor asked Gutei's boy attendant, "What does your master teach?"

童子亦堅指頭。

The boy too raised his finger.

胝聞遂以刃斷其指。

Hearing of this, Gutei cut off the boy's finger with a knife.

童子、負痛號哭而去。

The boy, screaming with pain, began to run away.

胝復召之。 童子廻首。 胝却 堅起指。

Gutei called to him, and when he turned around, Gutei raised his finger.

童子忽然領悟。

The boy suddenly became enlightened.

 

胝將順世、謂衆曰、吾得天龍一指頭禪、一生受用不盡。

When Gutei was about to pass away, he said to his assembled monks, "I obtained one-finger Zen from Tenryû and used it all my life but still did not exhaust it."

言訖示滅。

When he had finished saying this, he entered into eternal Nirvana.

 

Mumon's Comment

無門曰、倶胝並童子悟處、不在指頭上。

The enlightenment of Gutei and of the boy does not depend on the finger.

若向者裏見得、天龍同倶胝並童子興自己一串穿却。 

If you understand this, Tenryû, Gutei, the boy, and you yourself are all run through with one skewer.

 

Mumon's Verse 頌曰

倶胝鈍置老天龍    Gutei made a fool of old Tenryû,

利刃單提勘小童    Emancipating the boy with a single slice,

巨靈擡手無多子    Just as Kyorei cleaved Mount Kasan

分破華山千万重    To let the Yellow River run through.

 

Next chapter: Case 4 The Western Barbarian With No Beard

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Zen Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

 

 

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