One day Yao-shan Wei-yen (750-834), one of the well-known Chinese Ch'an master, was asked by the host of the monastery to give his sermon to the assembly who for a long while was expecting his teaching. Yao-shan said: "Strike the bell."
THE GATELESS GATE - Chapter 14. Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two
十四 南泉斬猫 | hide chinese .
show chinese | 南泉和尚因東西堂爭猫兒。
Nansen Osho saw monks of the Eastern and Western halls quarreling over a cat. 泉乃提起云、大衆道得即救、道不得即斬却也。
He held up the cat and said, "If you can give an answer, you will save the cat. If not, I will kill it." 衆無對。泉遂斬之。
No one could answer, and Nansen cut the cat in two. 晩趙州外歸。 泉擧似州。
That evening Joshû returned, and Nansen told him of the incident. 州乃脱履安頭上而出。
Joshû took off his sandal, placed it on his head, and walked out. 泉云、子若在即救得猫兒。
"If you had been there, you would have saved the cat," Nansen remarked.
Mumon's Comment 無門曰、且道、趙州頂草鞋意作麼生。
Tell me, what did Joshû mean when he put the sandal on his head? 若向者裏下得一轉語、便見南泉令不虚行。
If you can give a turning word on this, you will see that Nansen's decree was carried out with good reason. 其或未然險。
If not, "Danger!"
Had Joshû been there,
He would have done the opposite;
When the sword is snatched away,
Even Nansen begs for his life.