[Buddha-l] Tozan's blue mountain and white cloud

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 17 09:23:05 MDT 2008


This is from the Record of Tung-shan (Dongshan). In William Powell's
translation (The Record of Tung-shan, Honolulu: Kuroda Institute, 1986, p.
57; Powell numbers this as section 102):

A monk asked, "What is the meaning of 'blue-green mountains, the father of
white clouds'?"

"A place not densely wooded," replied the Master.

"What is the meaning of 'white clouds, the child of blue-green mountains'?"
asked the monk.

"No distinction between East and West," replied the Master.

"What is the meaning of the 'white clouds hand about all day'?" asked the

"Can't leave," replied the Master.

"What is the meaning of the 'blue-green mountains completely unknown'?"
asked the monk.

"Nothing to watch," said the Master.

Notes: "Blue-green" is a translation of a color word in Chinese that covers
both our blue and green, so Powell is just covering his bases; the Chinese
is not naming two different colors.

The "Master" of course is Dongshan. (There are no capital or lower-case
letters in Chinese)

Powell provides an endnote (n. 163) to the first line that reads:

"The four lines Tung-shan is asked to comment on are a gaathaa by Lung-shan
that appears in TTC 20 where it is part of the same encounter described in
TSL 23."

TTC = Tsu-t'ang chi (Collection from the Patriarchal Hall)
TSL = Jui-chou Tung-shan Liang-chieh ch'an-shi y"u-lu (Record of Tung-shan)


More information about the buddha-l mailing list