2018-02-06

Blue Cliff Record 85

127
Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #85
Tongfeng Roars Like a Tiger

Yuanwu's Preface
Controlling the world, he allows not the least speck of dust to escape;
and all people on earth give up their weapons and still their tongues.
This is the enforcement of the monk's ordinance.
The beams from his forehead pierce the four directions.
This is the activity of the monk's diamond eye.
He turns iron into gold and gold and iron, and both holds fast and lets go.
This is the action of the monk's staff.
He stops the mouths of all people under the sun, making them silent and as if driven three thousand miles away.
This is the force of the monk's spirit.
But what would you say when one falls short of these abilities?
See the following.
Case
A monk came to the hermit Tongfeng and asked, "What if you suddenly faced a tiger here?"
The hermit roared like a tiger.
Thereupon the monk pretended to be frightened.
The hermit laughed loudly.
The monk said, "You old robber!"
The hermit said, "What can you do to me?"
The monk said nothing further.
(Xuedou said, "They are certainly right, but these two evil robbers only know how to steal a small bell while they stop their ears.")
Xuedou's Verse (Sekida trans)
A chance, and if you fail to seize it,
You miss by a thousand miles.
The tiger had fine stripes
But no fangs and claws.
Remember the battle on Mount Daxiong:*
Their words and actions shook the earth.
If you have eyes to see, you see
They caught both head and tail of it.

*See BCR26

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