Blue Cliff Record 100

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #100
Baling's Sword Against Which a Hair is Blown

  • BALING Haojian (Haryô Kôkan, 895?-965?, 14th gen), disciple of Yunmen Wenyan
  • an unnamed monastic
Yuanwu's Introduction (Sato)
Gathering the cause, collecting the effect;
Exhausting the beginning, exhausting the ending.
Facing each other without “I”;
Nothing has been ever preached.
If someone appears and says,
“All through the summer you have given us sermons;
How could you say that you have never preached?”
[I will say to him,] “I will tell you after you have attained realization.”
Just say: Do I not say it because I hate to say it,
Or is there a good reason not to say it?
To test I am citing this, look!
Case (Sekida)
A monk asked Baling, "What is the sword against which a hair is blown?"[1]
Baling said, "Each branch of the coral embraces the bright moon."[2]
[1] “What is the sharpest sword?” (Sato); "What is the Blown Hair Sword?" (As usual, the sword symbolizes wisdom, cutting off confusion and attachment; uncontrived and equanimous, it sees the moon of truth everywhere in everything) (Cleary & Cleary); "What is the razor-sharp sword?" (T. Cleary); “What is the ‘blown feather sword’?” (Ferguson).
[2] "“Each branch of the coral upholds (phenomenally, it means 'reflects') the moon” (Sato); "Each branch of coral supports the moon" (Cleary); “Coral branches hold up the moon” (Ferguson); "On every branch of coral the bright moon is embosomed" (Shaw).

Xuedou's Verse (Sekida)
To cut off discontent,
Rough methods may be best:
Now they slap, now they point.

The sword lies across the sky,
Snow glistens in its light,
No one can forge or sharpen it.


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