Gateless Gate 8

Gateless Gate (Mumonkan, Wumenguan) #8
Xizhong Makes Carts

Personnel and Date
  • YUEAN Shanguo (Gettan Zenka, 1079-1152, 22nd gen), disciple of Kaifu Daoning
  • Date guess: ca. 1109
Case (Shibayama)
Master Yuean said to a monk: “Xizhong made a cart whose wheels had a hundred spokes.[1]
Take both front and rear parts away and remove the axle:[2]
then what will it be?”[3]
[1] “Xizhong made a hundred carts” (Aitken, Low, Yamada);
“The original wheel-maker made wheels with a hundred spokes” (Cleary);
“Xizhong makes carriages with wheels of a hundred spokes” (Guogu);
“When What-Next invented the cartwheel, it had a hundred spokes” (Hinton);
“Xizhong, the first wheel-maker in China, made two wheels of fifty spokes each” (Senzaki);
“Xizhong, the first wheelmaker, made a cart whose wheels had a hundred spokes” (Sekida);
[2] “If you take off both wheels and the axle,” (Aitken);
“If you take away both sides and remove the axle,” (Clear);
“Yet, dismantle the two parts, the front and the back of the carriage, and remove the axle,” (Guogu);
“But what if hub and rim are broken off, spokes scattered away –” (Hinton);
“If we took off the wheels and removed the axle” (Low)
“Now, suppose you remove the nave uniting the spokes (Senzaki);
“Now, suppose you took a cart and removed both the wheels and the axle” (Sekida);
“If he took of both wheels and removed the axle,” (Yamada).
[3] “what would be vividly apparent?” (Aitken);
“what does this clarify?” (Cleary);
“then what will the carriage be?” (Guogu);
“do you understand the bright clarity of what it could do then?” (Hinton);
“what would be left?” (Low);
“What would become of the wheel? If Xichong had done this, could he be called a master wheel-maker?” (Senzaki);
“What would you have?” (Sekida);
“what would he make clear about the cart?” (Yamada).

Wumen's Comment (Shibayama)
If you can immediately see through this, your eye will be like a shooting star and your spirituality like lightning.
Wumen's Verse (Shibayama)
When the vividly working wheel turns
Even an expert is lost.
Four directions, above and below:
South, north, east, and west.

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