Tetsugen, a devotee of Zen in Japan, decided to publish the sutras, which at that time were available only in
Chinese. The books were to be printed with wood blocks in an edition of seven thousand copies, a tremendous
WHO IS IN THE WELL?
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? Hsing-k'ung replied: -Suppose there is a man in a thousand foot deep well, if you could get him out without using an inch of rope, then I would tell you the meaning of the Patriarch's coming from the West. The monk said: -Recently the priest Ch'ang of Hunam was talking in this way or that for people, too. Hsing-k'ung then called Yang-shan: -Novice, take this corpse out of here. Later, Yang-shan took this up to Tan-yuan and asked: -Sir, how could you get that man out of the well? Tan-yuan said: -Idiot! Who is in the well? Yang-shan did not understand. Later he asked Kuei-shan the same question. Kuei-shan immediately called out [Yang-shan's name]: -Hui-chi! Yang-shan responded: -Yes! Kuei-shan said: -He's out. At this, Yang-shan was greatly awakened. He said: -At Tan-yuan I got the essence; at Kuei-shan I got the function.
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