MODEL SUBJECT NO. 49
FROM THE HEKIGAN ROKU
(BLUE CLIFF RECORDS)
With a commentary by Engo-zenji
Translated by Reverend Suzuki, Master of Zen Center
San-cho and “The Golden Scales” Escaping from the Net
Engo introducing the subject said: Seven piercings and eight holes, snatching the drums and carrying off the banner (in war-time to pierce the enemy’s lines in seven or eight places and to snatch the enemy’s drums and banner is metaphorically compared to the great activity of San-cho in the main subject). A hundred ramparts and a thousand entrenchments, watching the front and guarding the rear (comparisons to Sep-po’s way of attending to San-cho). Or sitting on the tiger’s head and seizing its tail: such is not good enough to compare the great activity of skillful Zen Master (San-cho). Even though an ox-head disappears and a horse-head appears, this would not be miraculous enough (in comparison to the skill of Sep-po). So ponder what you will do, if you come across a man of such surpassingly great activity.
Attention! San-cho asked Sep-po: “What (Why?) does a mysterious golden-scaled carp escaped from the fishing net cast?” Sep-po said, “I would like to wait for your coming out of the fishing net and then answer you.” San-cho said, “You, who have fifteen hundred disciples do not understand what I say.” Sep-po said: “this old monk is too busy in managing temple affairs to attend to you.”