Blue Cliff Record 66

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #66
Yantou Laughed Loudly

Yuanwu's Preface
When meeting the student face-to-face, one sets a tiger trap.
One attacks from the front and from the side,
spreading a scheme to catch the bandit;
Responding to the bright, responding to the dark,
releasing both and gathering both in.
Knowing how to play with a dead snake is a matter for outstanding masters.
Yantou asked a monk, "Where have you come from?"
The monk said, "From Chang'an [Capital of the Tang Dynasty, present-day Xi'an]."
Yantou said, "After Huang Chao was gone, did you get his sword?" [Huang Chao was a rebel who conquered Chang'an in 881, and was killed in 884. According to legend, he received a sword from heaven on which it was inscribed, "Heaven gives Huang Chao this sword."]
The monk said, "Yes, I got it."
Yantou stuck out his neck, approached the monk, and said, "Ka!"
The monk said, "The Master's head has already fallen."
Yantou laughed loudly.
Later, the monk came to Xuefeng. Xuefeng asked, "Where have you come from?"
The monk said, "From Yantou."
Xuefeng asked, "What did he say?"
The monk told him what had happened.
Xuefeng gave him thirty blows with his stick and drove him away.
Xuedou's Verse
After Huang Chao passed away he picked up the sword.
Great laughter! – a great Zen person should appreciate it.
Thirty blows with a mountain staff – yet too mild a measure – were to be spared for a while.
Making a profit is losing the profit.

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