When Yang-shan Hui-chi (807-883), as a young monk, paid a visit to the Ch'an master Hsing-k'ung, there was a monk who asked Hsing-k'ung:
-What is the meaning of the Patriarch's coming from the West?
THE GATELESS GATE - Chapter 5. Kyogen's Man up in a Tree
五 香嚴上樹 | hide chinese .
show chinese | 香嚴和尚云、如人上樹、口啣樹枝、手不攀枝、脚不踏樹。
Kyogen Osho said, "It is like a man up in a tree hanging from a branch with his mouth; his hands grasp no bough, his feet rest on no limb. 樹下有人問西來意、不對即違他所問、若對又喪身失命。
Someone appears under the tree and asks him, 'What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West?' If he does not answer, he fails to respond to the question. If he does answer, he will lose his life. 正恁麼時、作麼生對。
What would you do in such a situation?"
Mumon's Comment 無門曰、縱有懸河之辨、惣用不著。
Even if your eloquence flows like a river, it is of no avail. 説得一大藏教、亦用不著。
Though you can expound the whole of Buddhist literature, it is of no use. 若向者裏對得著、活却從前死路頭、死却從前活路頭。
If you solve this problem, you will give life to the way that has been dead until this moment and destroy the way that has been alive up to now. 其或未然、直待當來問彌勒。
Otherwise you must wait for Maitreya Buddha and ask him.
Kyogen is truly thoughtless;
His vice and poison are endless.
He stops up the mouths of the monks,
And devil's eyes sprout from their bodies.