By Línjì Yìxuán
The Linji lu (Record of Linji) has been an important textual content of chinese language and eastern Zen Buddhism for almost one thousand years. A compilation of sermons, statements, and acts attributed to the nice chinese language Zen grasp Linji Yixuan (d. 866), it serves as either an authoritative assertion of Zen’s uncomplicated perspective and a primary resource of fabric for Zen koan perform. students research the textual content for its value in knowing either Zen proposal and East Asian Mahayana doctrine, whereas Zen practitioners cherish it for its strange simplicity, directness, and talent to inspire.
One of the earliest makes an attempt to translate this crucial paintings into English used to be through Sasaki Shigetsu (1882–1945), a pioneer Zen grasp within the U.S. and the founding father of the 1st Zen Institute of the US. on the time of his loss of life, he entrusted the undertaking to his spouse, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who in 1949 moved to Japan and there based a department of the 1st Zen Institute at Daitoku-ji. Mrs. Sasaki, made up our minds to supply a definitive translation, assembled a group of gifted younger students, either jap and Western, who within the following years retranslated the textual content according to smooth study on Tang-dynasty colloquial chinese language. As they labored at the translation, they compiled enormous quantities of certain notes explaining each technical time period, vernacular expression, and literary reference. one of many workforce, Yanagida Seizan (later Japan’s preeminent Zen historian), produced a long advent that defined the emergence of chinese language Zen, provided a biography of Linji, and traced the textual improvement of the Linji lu. The unexpected loss of life of Mrs. Sasaki in 1967 introduced the approximately accomplished venture to a halt. An abbreviated model of the publication was once released in 1975, yet neither this nor the other English translations that therefore seemed include the kind of designated historic, linguistic, and doctrinal annotation that used to be principal to Mrs. Sasaki’s plan.
The fabrics assembled by way of Mrs. Sasaki and her workforce are ultimately on hand within the current variation of the list of Linji. chinese language readings were replaced to Pinyin and the interpretation itself has been revised in keeping with next examine via Iriya Yoshitaka and Yanagida Seizan, the students who recommended Mrs. Sasaki. The notes, approximately 600 in all, are nearly completely in keeping with basic assets and hence keep their worth regardless of the approximately 40 years because their training. they supply a wealthy context for Linji’s teachings, offering a wealth of data on Tang colloquial expressions, Buddhist idea, and Zen background, a lot of that's unavailable anyplace else in English.
This [b[revised edition[/b] of the Record of Linji is bound to be of significant worth to Buddhist students, Zen practitioners, and readers drawn to Asian Buddhism.
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Extra info for The Record of Linji (Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture)
The teacher, discerning that this is an objective circumstance, seizes it and ﬂings it into a pit. ’ exclaims the student, and the teacher replies, ‘Bah! ’ “Or again, a student will appear before a teacher wearing a cangue and bound with chains. The teacher fastens on still more chains and cangues for him. ’ “Virtuous monks, all the examples I have brought before you serve to distinguish demons and point out heretics, thus making it possible for you to know what is erroneous and what is correct.
Much better to do nothing. ’ Followers of the Way, if you say that the Buddha is the ultimate, how is it that after eighty years of life the Buddha lay down on his side between the twin śāla trees at Kuśinagara and died? Where is the Buddha now? We clearly know that his birth and death were not diﬀerent from ours. ’ Then must a cakravartin also be considered a tathāgata? We clearly know that these features are illusory transformations. A man of old said: The Tathāgata’s various bodily features Were assumed to conform with worldly sensibilities.
Avidyā has no dwelling place; avidyā has no beginning and no end. If your successive thoughts cannot come to rest, you go up the avidyā tree; you enter the six paths of existence and the four modes of birth, wear fur on your body and horns on your head. If your successive thoughts can come to rest, then this [very body] is the pure body. “When not a single thought arises in your mind, then you go up the bodhi tree: you supernaturally transform yourself in the three realms and change your bodily form at will.