Gateless Gate 39

Gateless Gate (Mumonkan, Wumenguan) #39
Yunmen and a Mistake in Speech

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
  • SIXIN Wuxin (Shishin Goshin, 1044-1115, 20th gen), disciple of Huitang
Case (Senzaki)
A monk said to Yunmen, “The brilliance of Buddha illuminates the whole vast universe...”
Before he could finish, he was interrupted by the master: “You are quoting the poem of Zhang Zhuo, the candidate, are you not?”
The monk answered, “Yes.”
Then the master said, “You are off the track."[1]
More than one hundred years after Yunmen's passing, Master Sixin told his students about this and said, "Tell me, monks, at what point did the monk go off the track?”
[1]Or: "You have slipped up in the words" (Yamada).

Wumen's Comment (Senzaki)
If you recognize Yunmen's particular skillfulness, you will know at what point the student was off the track, and you will be a teacher of humans and devas. If not, you cannot even recognize yourself.
Wumen's Verse (Senzaki)
When a fish meets the fish-hook
If it is greedy, it will be caught.
When its mouth opens
Its life is already lost.

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