Blue Cliff Record 49, Book of Serenity 33

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #49
Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #33
Sansheng's "The Golden Carp Out of the Net"

Yuanwu's Preface
Seven piercing and eight breaking through,
Seizing the drums and capturing the banners,
a hundred barriers and a thousand checkpoints,
watching the front and guarding the rear,
holding the tiger's head and securing its tail --
Evan all these are not comparable to the veran master's ability.
The ox-head disappearing, the horse-head appears --
That also is not a great wonder.
Tell me, what do you do when a man of transcendent experience comes?
See the following.
Sansheng said to Xuefeng, "The golden carp is out of the net! Tell me, what will it feed on?"
Xuefeng said, "When you have got out of the net, I will tell you."
Sansheng said, "The renowned teacher of fifteen hundred monks cannot find even one word to say about this topic."
Xuefeng said, "I am the chief abbot and have much to attend to."
Xuedou's Verse (Sekida trans)
The golden carp comes out of the net!
Don't say it remains in the water still.
It shakes the heavens and moves the earth,
Swinging its fins, lashing its tail.
It blows like a whale, raising great waves;
Then the thunder sounds, and a cool breeze comes;
A cool breeze -- yes! a cool breeze comes.
Who in the whole universe knows this?
Richard von Sturmer's Verse
Sansheng's Golden Carp Out of the Net

At the mud-splattered window
for less than a second
the face of a fish.

Under the swaying trees
a shifting pattern
of shadows and light.

All you can tell me
is that the midday heat
has left you exhausted.

In the distance
someone plays a violin.

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