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麻谷寶徹 Mayu Baoche (720?-?)

aka Magu Baozhe
(Rōmaji:) Mayoku Hōtetsu
(Magyar átírás:) Ma-ku (Ma-jü) Pao-csö


One day Linji went to He Prefecture. The governor, Councilor Wang,
requested the master to take the high seat. At that time Mayu came forward
and asked, “The Great Compassionate One has a thousand hands and a thou-
sand eyes. Which is the true eye?”

The master said, “The Great Compassionate One has a thousand hands
and a thousand eyes. Which is the true eye? Speak, speak!”

Mayu pulled the master down off the high seat and sat on it himself.
Coming up to him, the master said, “How do you do?” Mayu hesitated.
The master, in his turn, pulled Mayu down off the high seat and sat upon it
himself. Mayu went out. The master stepped down.

(The Record of Linji, Translated by Ruth Fuller Sasaki, p. 128.)

Little is known of Mayu 麻谷, who lived at Mount Mayu in Puzhou 浦州 in the
southern part of modern Shanxi. He is identified by certain old commentators as Baoche
寶徹 (n.d.), the first abbot of the monastery at Mount Mayu and one of Mazu Daoyi’s
heirs. However, Baoche was considerably older than Linji, so other commentators sug-
gest that the Mayu mentioned in the Linji-lu is Baoche’s disciple, who was presumably the
second abbot of Mayu. In the Linji-lu Mayu appears twice, but it is clear that these are merely
two accounts of the same incident.

(Thomas Yūhō Kirchner)



Ma-ku Pao-ch'e
In: Sun-Face Buddha, The Teachings of Ma-Tsu and the Hung-chou School of Ch'an, Berkeley, 1992, pp. 119-120.
Translated by Cheng Chien Bhikshu (Mario Poceski)


Once, while the Master was walking in the mountains together with Tan-hsia,1 he saw a fish in the water. He pointed it to Tan-hsia.
Tan-hsia said, "Natural. Natural."
The next day the Master asked Tan-hsia, "What did you mean yesterday?"
Tan-hsia lay down on the ground. The Master said "Heavens".


On another occasion the Master and Tan-hsia arrived at Ma-ku Mountain.
The Master said, "I am going to stay here."
Tan-hsia said, "Let you stay if you wish, but is there still any of that?"
The Master said, "Take good care."


A monk asked, "I don't doubt the twelve divisions of the teaching; what is the meaning of the Patriarch's coming from the West?"
The Master stood-up, went with the stick around his body once, lifted his foot, and said, "Do you understand?"
The monk had no reply.
The Master hit him.


A monk asked, "What is the great meaning of Buddhadharrna?"
The Master kept silent.
The same monk later asked Shih-shuang
2 "What was the meaning of that?"
Shih-shuang said, "The host is busy getting others involved in combat. It is only that you are too confused."


Tan-yüan asked the Master, "Is the twelve-headed Kuan-yin an ordinary person or a sage?"
The Master said, "A sage."
Tan-yüan hit the Master.
The Master said, "I knew that you have not reached that realm."



1 For Tan-hsia see dialogue 30 in the Record of Ma-tsu.

2 Shih-shuang Ta-shan was another disciple of Ma-tsu.
Once when he was asked the same question, he replied, "On a spring day a cock crows." When the
monk remonstrated that he does not understand, Shih-shuang said, "In Mid-Autumn a dog barks."
See CTL chüan 8, Shih-shuang's entry.

3 The literal reading of the Chinese is "to drag through mud and water," meaning confused, sloppy,
unable to make decisions; hence the translation "too confused.”



Mayu Baoche
by Andy Ferguson
In: Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings, Wisdom Publications, 2011, pp. 61, 111-113.

When Mayu Baoche came to practice with the National Teacher Nanyang Huizhong (675–775), he circled the meditation platform three times, then struck his staff on the ground and stood there upright.

The National Teacher said, “You are thus. I also am thus.”

Mayu struck his staff on the ground again.

The National Teacher said, “Get out of here, you wild fox spirit!”


MAYU BAOCHE (n.d.) of Puzhou was a famous disciple of Mazu. There is no record of his home province, his surname, or the exact dates of his birth and death. He was a close friend of the famous Zen adept Danxia Tianran. The lamp records provide the following account of Baoche’s enlightenment:


Once, while walking with Mazu, Mayu asked, “What is the great nirvana?”

Mazu replied, “Hurried.”

Mayu asked, “What is it that’s hurried?”

Mazu said, “See the water!”

At these words Mayu was awakened.


Zen master Mayu Baoche was using a fan.

A monk asked, “The nature of the wind is eternal and there is no place where it doesn’t reach. So why does the master use a fan?”

Baoche said, “You know that the nature of wind is eternal, but you don’t know that there’s no place it doesn’t reach.”

The monk said, “What is the principle of ‘there is no place it doesn’t reach’?”

Baoche fanned himself.

The monk bowed.

Mayu said, “Useless teachers and monks! There are a thousand of them. What are they good for?”

Illustration by 李蕭錕 Li Xiaokun (1949-)


Mayu asked a monk, “Where did you come from?”

The monk didn’t understand.

Mayu asked again, “Where did you come from? Monk! Hey!”

Mayu got down from his seat and grabbed the monk, saying, “Look here! When I ask you to demonstrate the Buddhadharma, just give me an answer!”

The monk said, “Like an eyeless teacher.”

Mayu let go of the monk and said, “I’ll spare you your life and let you breathe.”

The monk bowed.

Mayu tried to grab the monk again, but the monk shook his sleeves and left the hall.

Mayu said, “Don’t pick the three-year bamboo. Get the ten-thousand-year pine!”


Mayu, Nanquan, and another monk went traveling to Mt. Jing. On their way they encountered an old woman shopkeeper.

They asked her, “What’s the way to Mt. Jing?”

She said, “Just go straight ahead.”

Mayu said, “Is there water ahead that is too deep to pass through?”

The old woman said, “It won’t even soak your feet.”

Mayu said, “The rice paddy on the upper terrace is good. The rice paddy on the lower terrace is withered.”

The old woman said, “It’s all been eaten by crabs.”

Mayu said, “The grain is fragrant.”

The old woman said, “There’s no smell.”

Mayu also said, “Where do you live?”

The old woman said, “Right here.”

The three monks went into the woman’s shop. She boiled a pot of tea and set out three cups.

Then she said, “If you masters have a pervasive spiritual knowledge, then drink some tea.”

The three monks looked at each other in surprise, and then the old woman said, “Look at this old crone show her pervasive spirit!” She then grabbed the cups, knocked over the tea pot, and went out.


Once, Baoche and Tianran were hiking in the mountains. Baoche pointed at some fish he saw in a stream.

Tianran said, “Natural. Natural.”*

Baoche waited until the following day, then asked Tianran, “What did you mean yesterday?”

Danxia then lay down in a prone position.

Baoche said, “Blue heavens!”

*Tianran's name translates as “natural.”


A monk asked Baoche, “What is the great meaning of the Buddhadharma?”

Baoche was silent.

Later, a monk asked Zen master Shishuang Qingzhu, “What was Zen master Baoche’s meaning?”

Shishuang said, “If the host raises his folded hands in respect, it just does harm. Then you go hauling mud and carrying water.”




A zöldkőszáli feljegyzések
31. Ma-ku csörgős koldusbotja

Fordította: Terebess Gábor
Vö.: Folyik a híd, Officina Nova, Budapest, 1990, 39. oldal


Ma-ku meglátogatta Csang-csinget. Háromszor körbejárta a székén ülő mestert, egyszer figyelmeztetőn megcsörgette karikás koldusbotját, aztán megállt előtte és kihúzta magát.  

– Igazad van – mondta Csang-csing.  
(Hszüe-tou megjegyzése: Tévedés!)  

Ma-ku meglátogatta Nan-csüant. Háromszor körbejárta a székén ülő mestert, egyszer figyelmeztetőn megcsörgette karikás koldusbotját, aztán megállt előtte és kihúzta magát.  

– Nincs igazad – mondta Nan-csüan.  
(Hszüe-tou megjegyzése: Tévedés!)  

– Csang-csing azt mondta, hogy igazam van – berzenkedett Ma-ku –, te miért mondod azt, hogy nincsen?  

– Csang-csingnek igaza is volt, neked nincs igazad! - válaszolta Nan-csüan. - Téged csak a szél sodor, ami egyre lanyhul, majd eláll! - válaszolta Nan-csüan.

Ma-ku (Ma-jü) Pao-csö / Magu (Mayu) Baoche (Baozhe) 麻谷寶徹 (720?-?)  
Csang-csing Huaj-jün / Zhangjing Huaiyun 章敬懷惲 (756-815)  
Hszüe-tou Csung-hszien / Xuedou Chongxian 雪竇重顯 (980–1052)  
Nan-csüan Pu-jüan / Nanquan Puyuan 南泉普願 (748-835 )