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Buddhist Studies - About the Pi-yen-lu koans

Edited by Dr T. Matthew Ciolek

[Est.: 5 Oct 1995. Last updated: 31 Mar 2013.]

The purpose of this document, which is a part of the Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library and of the Zen Buddhism WWW Virtual Library, is to provide comprehensive and factual information about the Pi-yen-lu (J .Hekiganroku, E. The Blue Cliff Record) koan collection as used in the Zen training. Any additional information, corrections or comments will be appreciated. Please send email to Dr T. Matthew Ciolek tmciolek@ciolek.com
A Work in Progress - tmc

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Table of Contents

  1. Koans - Some Definitions
  2. A Register of Known Koan Collections
  3. Works Dealing With the Koan Study

  4. About the Pi-yen-lu koans
  5. Known English commentaries to Pi-yen-lu koans
  6. Bibliography of commentaries to Pi-yen-lu koans


About the
Pi-yen-lu (J. Hekiganroku, E. The Blue Cliff Record) koans


Pi-yen-lu, Biyanlu, Biyan-lu , Fu-kuo Yüan-wu Ch'an-shih Pi-yen-lu, Cho Pi Yan Lu (C.), (J. Hekiganroku; Records of Blue Rock Temple, Blue Cliff Record, Blue Cliff Records, Blue Rock Collection). A collection of 100 koans originally compiled, with appreciatory verses, by Hsüeh-tou Ch'ung-hsien (J. Setcho Juken) under a name of the 'Priest Hsüeh-tou 's Capping Verses on One Hundred Cases'. The volume was subsequently given commentaries, pointers and notes by Yüan-wu K'o-ch'in (J. Engo Kokugon).

Although it is a text of fundamental importance for koan study in the Rinzai School it was also studied by Eihei Dogen, the founder of the japanese Soto school, who on the return from Zen studies in China brought with him to Japan a handwritten copy of the document. The Pi-yen-lu koan collection served also as a model and a pattern for other works such as the Ts'ung-jung-lu (Book of Equanimity). The text was published in Japan as a part of the 'Taisho shinshu daizokyo' (Buddhist Canon Published in the Taisho Era). (1924-1934), No. 2003, Vol. 48.

English language fragments of the text have been published online, without any bibliographical details [it might be, possibly, a document by Yamada Koun roshi - ed.], by The Sanbo Kyodan Zen-Buddhist Religious Foundation as a 111KB PDF document, http://web.archive.org/web/20041212180129/http://homepage3.nifty.com/sanbo-zen/Hekigan-Eg.pdf .

General structure of cases within the koan collection:

Back to Table of Contents

Known English commentaries to
Pi-yen-lu koans

Case names are taken from Cleary & Cleary (1977). Books dealing exclusively with the koans are referrred to by the year of their publication. Commentaries embedded in materials dealing with other issues are referred to by the year and page number.

[Case 01] [Case 02] [Case 03] [Case 04] [Case 05] [Case 06] [Case 07] [Case 08] [Case 09] [Case 10] [Case 11] [Case 12] [Case 13] [Case 14] [Case 15] [Case 16] [Case 17] [Case 18] [Case 19] [Case 20] [Case 21] [Case 22] [Case 23] [Case 24] [Case 25] [Case 26] [Case 27] [Case 28] [Case 29] [Case 30] [Case 31] [Case 32] [Case 33] [Case 34] [Case 35] [Case 36] [Case 37] [Case 38] [Case 39] [Case 40] [Case 41] [Case 42] [Case 43] [Case 44] [Case 45] [Case 46] [Case 47] [Case 48] [Case 49] [Case 50] [Case 51] [Case 52] [Case 53] [Case 54] [Case 55] [Case 56] [Case 57] [Case 58] [Case 59] [Case 60] [Case 61] [Case 62] [Case 63] [Case 64] [Case 65] [Case 66] [Case 67] [Case 68] [Case 69] [Case 70] [Case 71] [Case 72] [Case 73] [Case 74] [Case 77] [Case 76] [Case 77] [Case 78] [Case 79] [Case 80] [Case 81] [Case 82] [Case 83] [Case 84] [Case 85] [Case 86] [Case 87] [Case 88] [Case 89] [Case 90] [Case 91] [Case 92] [Case 93] [Case 94] [Case 95] [Case 96] [Case 97] [Case 98] [Case 99] [Case 100]

Pi-yen-lu - Case 01
The Highest Meaning of the Holy Truths

Commentaries: Kapleau (1980: 99-106), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 02
The Ultimate Path is Without Difficulty

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993c),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 03
Master Ma is Unwell

Commentaries: Bolleter (1997b), Kadowaki (1989:152-159), Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993d),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 04
Te Shan Carrying His Bundle

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993e),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 05
Hsueh Feng's Grain of Rice

Commentaries: Arnold (2000), Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993f),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 06
Yun Men's Every Day is a Good Day

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993a),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 07
Hui Ch'ao Aks about Buddha

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 08
Ts'ui Yen's Eybrows

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 09
Chao Chou's Four Gates

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 10
Mu Chou's Thieving Phoney

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993g),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 11
Huang Po's Gobblers of Dregs

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993h),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 12
Tung Shan's Three Pounds of Hemp

Commentaries: Aitken (2000), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 13
Pa Ling's Snow in a Silwer Bowl

Commentaries: Aitken (1999), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 14
Yun Men's Appropriate Statement

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 15
Yun Men's Upside-Down Statement

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 16
Ching Ch'ings Man in the Weeds

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1996b)

Pi-yen-lu - Case 17
Hsiang Lin's Meaning of the Coming from the West

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 18
National Teacher Chung's Seamless Monument

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 19
Chu Ti's One-Finger Ch'an

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 20
Lung Ya's Meaning of the Coming from the West

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 21
Chih Men's Lotus Flower, Lotus Leaves

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 22
Hsueh Feng's Turtle-Nosed Snake

Commentaries: Bolleter (1997a), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 23
Pao Fu's Summit of the Mystic Peak

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 24
Kuei Shan and Iron Grindstone Liu

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 25
The Hermit of Lotus Flower Peak Holds up His Staff

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 26
Pai Chang's Sitting Alone on Ta Hsiung Mountain

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 27
Yun Men's The Body Exposed, The Golden Wind

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1993b),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 28
Nan Ch'uan's Truth That's Never Been Spoken

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 29
Ta Sui's It Goes Along with It

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 30
Chao-chou's Big Turnips

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 31
Ma Ku Carrying his Ring-Staff

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 32
Elder Ting Stands Motionless

Commentaries: Aitken (1997), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 33
Ministry President Ch'en Sees Tzu Fu

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 34
Yang Shan Asks "Where Have You Come From?"

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 35
The Dialogue of Manjushri and Wu Cho

Commentaries: Aitken (1996:2-3), Loori (1988:193-201), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 36
Ch'ang Sha Wandering in the Mountains

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 37
P'an Shan's There is Nothing in the World

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 38
Feng Hsueh's Working of the Iron Ox

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 39
Yun Men's Flowering Hedge

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 40
Nan Ch'uan's It's Like a Dream

Commentaries: Loori (1988:93-100), Loori (1994:133-146), Sekida (1977),

[This case corresponds to:
Ts'ung-jung lu Case 91 ]
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 41
Chao Chou's Man Who Has Died the Great Death

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 42
Layman P'ang's Good Snowflakes

Commentaries: SekidaSekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 43
Tung Shan's No Cold or Heat

Commentaries: Low (1991:203-220), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 44
Ho Shan's Knowing How to Beat the Drum

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 45
Chao Chou's Seven-Pound Cloth Shirt

Commentaries: Arnold (2001), Kadowaki (1989:63-70), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 46
Ching Ch'ing's Sound of Raindrops

Commentaries: Loori (1988:69-78), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 47
Yun Men's Six Do Not Take It In

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 48
Turning Over the Tea Kettle at Chao Ch'ing

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 49
San Sheng's Golden Fish Who Has Passed through the Net

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 50
Yun Men's Every Atom Samadhi

Commentaries: Sekida (1975:134-136), Sekida (1977),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 51
Hsueh Feng's What Is It?

Commentaries: Loori (1994:291-302), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 52
Chao Chou Lets Asses Cross, Lets Horses Cross

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 53
Pai Chang's Wild Ducks

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 54
Yun Men Extends Both Hands

Commentaries: Loori (1994:41-52), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 55
Tao Wu's Condolence Call

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1994a),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 56
Ch'in Shan's One Arrowpoint Smashes Three Barriers

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 57
Chao Chou's Stupid Oaf

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 58
Chao Chou Can't Explain

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 59
Chao Chou's Why Not Quote It Fully

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 60
Yun Men's Staff Changes into a Dragon

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 61
Feng Hsueh's One Atom of Dust

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 62
Yun Men's Within There Is a Jewel

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 63
Nan Ch'uan Kills a Cat

[This case corresponds to:
Ts'ung-jung lu Case 09, Wu-Men Kuan Case 14 ]

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 64
Nan Ch'uan Questions Chao Chou

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 65
An Outsider Questions the Buddha

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 66
Yen T'ou's Getting Huang Ch'ao's Sword

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 67
Mahasattva Fu Expounds the Scripture

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 68
Yang Shan's What's Your Name?

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1996a)

Pi-yen-lu - Case 69
Nan Ch'uan's Circle

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 70
Kuei Shan Attends on Pai Chang

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 71
Wu Feng's Shut Up, Teacher

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 72
Pai Chang Questions Yun Yen

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 73
Ma Tsu's Permutations of Assertion and Denial

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 74
Chin Niu's Rice Pail

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 75
Wu Chiu's Unjust Beating

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 76
Tan Hsia's Have You Eaten Yet?

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 77
Yun men's Cake

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 78
Sixteen Bodhisattvas Go In to Bathe

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 79
T'ou Tzu's All Sounds

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 80
Chao Chou's Newborn Baby

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 81
Yao Shan's Shooting the Elk of Elks

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 82
Ta Lung's Hard and Fast Body of Reality

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Treace (2000),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 83
Yun Men's Ancient Buddhas and the Pillar

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 84
Vimalakirti's Gate of Nonduality

Commentaries: Loori (1997), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 85
The Hermit of T'ung Feng Makes a Tiger's Roar

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 86
Yune Men's Kitchen Pantry and Main Gate

Commentaries: Bolleter (1991), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 87
Medicine and Disease Subdue Each Other

Commentaries: Loori (1988:147-155), Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 88
Hsuan Sha's Guiding and Aiding Living Beings

Commentaries: Kapleau (1980: 99-106),Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 89
The Hands and Eyes of the Boddhisattva of Great Compassion

Commentaries: Barzaghi (1995) Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 90
Chih Men's Body of Wisdom

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),
Back to Table of Contents

Pi-yen-lu - Case 91
Yen Kuan's Rhinoceros

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 92
The World Honored One Ascends the Seat

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 93
Ta Kuang Does a Dance

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 94
The Surangama Scripture's Not Seeing

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 95
Ch'ang Ch'ings Three Poisons

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 96
Chao Chou's Three Turning Words

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 97
The Diamond cutter Scripture's Scornful Revilement

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 98
T'ieng P'ings Travels on Foot

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 99
Su Tsung's Ten-Body Controller

Commentaries: Sekida (1977),

Pi-yen-lu - Case 100
Pa Ling's Blown Hair Sword

Commentaries: Sekida (1977), Tarrant (1997)
Back to Table of Contents

Bibliography

Back to Table of Contents
Back to Koan Study Pages
Updates, additions and corrections to this page have been kindly provided by:

 Dr Maciej St. Zieba



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