Blue Cliff Record 13

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #13
Baling's "Snow in the Silver Bowl"

  • BALING Haojian (Haryô Kôkan, 895?-965?, 14th gen), disciple of Yunmen Wenyan
  • an unnamed monastic
Yuanwu's Introduction (Sato)
A cloud sits over the great plain; snow covers the reed blossoms; they can hardly be distinguished from each other.
As for coldness, it is colder than ice and snow; as for fineness, it is finer than rice powder.
The deepest depth cannot be penetrated even by a buddha's eyes; the densest area cannot be measured even by aggressive demons.
Let us put aside for a moment those who understand three when one is raised; what should be spoken in order to cut off the tongues of all people under heaven?
Just say, who had the capacity to achieve this? I'll show you an example, look!
Case (Sekida)
A monk asked Baling, "What is the Daiba school?[1]
Baling said, "Snow in the silver bowl."[2]
[1] "Deva Sect" (Sato); "school of Kanadeva" (Cleary & Cleary); "Deva school" (T. Cleary); "old-lady Zen" (Ferguson).
[2] “Heaping up snow in a silver bowl” (Sato); "Piling up snow in a silver bowl" (Cleary & Cleary); "A silver bowl full of snow" (T. Cleary); "Fresh snow in a silver bowl" (Ferguson).

Xuedou's Verse (Sekida)
Remarkable, the old man of Xinkai Temple;
It was well said, that "Snow in the silver bowl."

The ninety-six can learn for themselves what it means;
If they cannot, let them ask the moon in the sky.

Daiba school! Daiba school!
Scarlet banners flapping, the wind is cool!

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