173. Untitled (September 23, 1916)


無題(大正五年九月二十三日)

漫行棒喝喜縱橫

胡亂衲僧不値生

長舌談禪無所得

禿頭賣道欲何求

春花發處正邪絶

秋月照邊善惡明

王者有令爭赦罪

如雲斬賊血還清

Untitled (September 23, 1916)

Idly administering harsh Zen, delighting in every way,

The suspect monk in the thin robe does not value life.

Rambling sermons on Zen without anything to hold on to,

Bald and peddling the Way, what does he hope to seek?

Once the spring blossoms bloom, virtue and vice are no more;

Where the autumn moon shines, one can discern good and evil.

When the kings are in reign, how can sin be pardoned?

Like the clouds slaying swindlers, washing the blood clean.[1]


[1] The meaning of this last couplet is unclear.  The poet seems to be making a comparison between two sovereign authorities: men (the kings) and nature (clouds).  Line 7 seems to be a rhetorical question as to how can kings pardon those (monks) who have committed a crime (fraud, selling the dharma).  Line 8, however, seems to exonerate the monks of sin; when nature is the arbiter of truth, the slate (blood) of the monks becomes pure again. 


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