Triptych of Three Zen Masters: Deshan, Bodhidharma, and Linji
Yiran Xingrong 逸然性融 (Jp. Itsunen Shōyū, 1616-1671)
Eulogies by Muan Xingtao 木菴性瑫 (Jp. Mokuan Shōtō, 1611-1684), 1658
Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)
Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper
Each scroll: 124.46 x 39.69 cm
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 1975/2.181-183
When he shouted in a voice like thunder,
He aroused the monks’ inner spirit.
His wisdom has been polished for a thousand years but never lost;
He taught the three mysteries and did not ask for Buddha.
This barbarian monk with green eyes certainly talks a lot!
His teeth open to the wind, he is filled with a haughty spirit.
He agitated the Liang Emperor, while his own heart became more empty,
Unconcerned, he sat in the cool, near the twin trees by the riverbank.
A single dot in the great void, a single drop in a huge gully;
He burned up the sutra when enlightenment appeared.
He points to sages and commoners alike with his stick,
In this world of karma, he is true Buddha.
— trans. Stephen Addiss and Kwan S. Wong