Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Important principles in Shobogenzo (10) Shoaku-makusa

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(1) The eternal Buddha says,
Not to commit wrongs,
To practice the many kinds of right,
Naturally purifies the mind;
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

(The ancient Buddha, who has character of eternity, says,
We should not commit wrong,
We should practice right,
We can naturally purify our intention,
Such instructions are ancient Buddhas' teachings.)

do not know Idealists revere the spiritual ideas, and Materialists deny the existence of morals, but Buddhist Realists revere the moral action at the present moment.

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(2) In regard to the wrongs which we are discussing now, among rightness, wrongness, and indifference, there is wrongness. Its essence is just non-appearance. The essence of rightness, the essence of indifference, and so on are also non-appearance, are [the state] without excess, and are real form. At the same time, at each concrete place these three properties include innumerable kinds of dharmas.

(The wrog, which we are discussing now, is the wrong, which is among rightness, wrong, and indifference. And its special character is just non-appearance, which means that it is just the real existence at the present moment, and so it does not have any relation with appearance or disappearance. And the character of rightness, the character of indifference, and so on, do not have any relation with appearance or disappearance, because rightness, indifference, and so forth, are all real situations at the present moment, and so they do not have any relation with appearance or disappearance. They are without dirt, and so they are reality itself, and in those three kinds of situations there are so many kinds of things and phenomena.)

Rightness, wrong, and indifference, are all simple character at the present moment, and so they do not have any relation with appearance or disappearance. They do not have any relation with dirt, and they are just reality itself. And among those three kinds of situations, that is, rightness, wrong, and indifference, there are so many things and phenomena existing as the Universe.

(3) Right and wrong are Time; Time is not right or wrong. Right and wrong are the Dharma; the Dharma is not right or wrong. [When] the Dharma is in balance, wrong is in balance. [When] the Dharma is in balance, right is in balance.

(Right and wrong are just the time at the preent moment, but the time itself is never right or wrong. Right and wrong are situations in the Universe, but the Universe itself does not have character of right and wrong. When the Universe is in balance, wrong is also in balance as the part of the Universe, and when the Universe is in balance, right is also in balance as the part of the Universe.)

Right and wrong are description of parts in the Universe, but the Universe itself is never any kind of right or wrong. When the Universe exists in the balance, wrong also exists in the balance, and when the Universe exists in the balance, rightness also exists in the balance.

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(4) We hear of this supreme state of bodhi sometimes following [good] counselors and sometimes following sutras. At the beginning, the sound of it is "Do not commit wrongs." If it does not sound like "Do not commit wrongs," it is not the Buddha's right Dharma; it may be the teaching of demons. Remember, [teaching] that sounds like "Do not commit wrongs" is the Buddha's right Dharma.

(We can have a chance to listen to this supreme Truth sometimes relying upon good teachers and sometimes relying upon sutras. And for the first time it sounds "Don't commit wrongs." If it does not sounds like "Do not commit wrongs," the teachings can never be Buddhist true teachings, and they might be the teachings of demons. We should remember that the teachings, which sounds "Don't commit wrongs," are just the True Universal Teachings.)

Buddhist teachings should always sound "Don't commit wrongs," first, and so if some words do not sound like that, such words can never be the Buddhist true teachings, and those words might be the words of demons. We should clearly remember that the words, which sounds "Don't commit wrongs," are just the true words of Gautama Buddha.


(5) This [teaching] "Do not commit wrongs" was not intentionally initiated, and then intentionally maintained in its present form, by the common man: when we hear teaching that has [naturally] be-come the preaching of bodhi, it sounds like this. What sounds like this is speech which is the supreme state of bodhi in words. It is bodhi-speech already, and so it speaks bodhi.

(The words that "Do not commit wrongs" can never be produced like this relying upon ordinary people's efforts, but when the Truth has been listened to as the expression of the Truth, the
words have sounded like this. The words, which are listened to like that, are just expression of the supreme Truth. They are just the words as the Truth, and so they are teaching the Truth already.)

The teachings "Do not commit wrongs," and "Practice many kinds of good," are never human teachings, but they are all the Rule of the Universe. Morals are not human morals, but they are just the Rules of the Universe.


(6) When it becomes the preaching of the supreme state of bodhi, and when we are changed by hearing it, we hope not to commit wrongs, we continue enacting not to commit wrongs, and wrongs go on not being committed; in this situation the power of practice is instantly realized. This realization is realized on the scale of the whole earth, the whole world, the whole of Time, and the whole of Dharma. And the scale of this [realization] is the scale of not committing.

(When the supreme Truth is preached, and when the preaching is listened to, we hope not to do wrong, and we actually do not to do wrong. And when miscellaneous wrongs have become not to be done, then the power to practice action is realized at once. This realization is accomplished through the earth, through the world, through the time, and through the Universe, actually. And the volume of the realization is the volume of not to do wrong.)

Because of manifesting Buddhist lectures, we can listen to Buddhist lectures. Then we beg not to do wrong, and we continue not to do wrong. And when we realize the situations that we hope strongly not to have any chance to do wrong, then the power of not to do wrong has been realized, and the power of practice has been realized at once. The scale of such phenomena is the wole earh, the whole world, the whole time, and the whole Universe. And we can say that the scale of such realization is just as big as not to do.


(7) For people of just this reality, at the moment of just this reality – even if they live at a place and come and go at a place where they could commit wrongs, even if they face circumstances in which they could commit wrongs, and even if they seem to mix with friends who do commit wrongs – wrongs can never be committed at all. The power of not committing is realized, and so wrongs cannot voice themselves as wrongs, and wrongs lack an established set of miscellaneous wrongs.

(A man, who is in real situation and in real time, even though he seems to be living at the place, or in going and coming, where it is natural for him to make miscellaneous wrongs, and even though he is facing the circumstances, where it is natural for him to commit wrongs, or it seems for him to associate with the friends, who are committing wrongs, wrongs are never be done by himself. Because the ability of not to commit has become realized, and miscellaneous wrongs do not realize themselves, and miscellaneous wrongs do never have any kind of fixed situations.)

Good Buddhist practitioners do not have any kind of easy tendency to commit wrong, and so they can stop doing wrong in any case, even when it seems to be so dangerous to be yield.


(8) There is the Buddhist truth of taking up at one moment, and letting go at one moment. At just this moment, the truth is known that wrong does not violate a person, and the truth is clarified that a person does not destroy wrong.

(There is the Buddhist Truth that one positive action is done just at the present moment, and the leaving from action is also done just at the present moment. And just at the present moment the principle that wrong does never violate the person, is known, and the principle that a person does not break wrong, is clarified too.)

In Buddhism the only really existent time is just the present moment, therefore either a positive action, or a passive action is always done at the present moment. And such a kind of real action at the present moment, either positive or negative, is oneness between action and a person, who acts, or oneness between a negative action and a person, who does not act, and so wrong does never violate a person, who acts, and a person, who acts, does never break wrong.

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(9) In walking, standing, sitting, and lying down through the twelve hours, we should carefully consider the fact that when living beings are becoming buddhas and becoming patriarchs, we are becoming Buddhist pa-triarchs, even though this [becoming] does not hinder the [state of a] Buddhist patriarch which has always belonged to us. In becoming a Buddhist patriarch, we do not destroy the living being, do not detract from it, and do not lose it; nevertheless, we have got rid of it.

(When ordinary people become Buddhas, or Patriarchs, they are not bothered by the facts that even the ordinary people usually maintain the balanced state of ANS in their daily life already, but at the same time, it is necessary for us to consider the principle that the ordinary people can become Buddhist Patriarchs, through our daily life of going, standing, sitting, and lying. When ordinary people become Buddhist Patriarchs, they do not break, steal, or lose their own form as ordinary people, but they have become perfectly free from the state of ordinary people.)

Becoming the Buddhist Patriarchs suggests to get the balanced ANS constantly, therefore there is no problem that even though ordinary people can sometimes get the balanced ANS in their daily life accidentally, but at the same time we should always think in going, staying, sitting, and lying cearfully throghout a day, about the theory that we have always possibility to have the balanced state of ANS.


(10) We cause right-and-wrong, cause-and-effect, to practice; but this does not mean disturbing, or in-tentionally producing, cause-and-effect. Cause-and-effect itself, at times, makes us practice.

(Sometimes we can cause right and wrong to practice, and sometimes we can cause cause and effect to practice. That does not mean for us to move cause and effect, or produce them. The situations are opposite that cause and effect sometimes cause us to practice.)

Right and wrong and the state of ANS, and cause and effect and the state of ANS, both are the simple facts at the present moments. Therefore each one can never divided into two parts of right and wrong, and practice, or cause and effect, and practice, and each one is alway a human real action at the present moment. And so we shoud think that in the real world there occur many kinds of real actions, and it is necessary for us to think that even though there are so many actions in the world, they are always real many actions, which can never be explained with words.

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(11) When we investigate them like this, wrongs are realized as having be-come completely the same as not committing. Aided by this realization, we can penetrate the not committing of wrongs, and we can realize it deci-sively by sitting. Just at this moment – when reality is realized as the not committing of wrongs at the beginning, middle, and end – wrongs do not arise from causes and conditions; they are nothing other than just not committing. Wrongs do not vanish due to causes and conditions; they are nothing other than just not committing.

(As we recognize in the former chapter, cause and effect are not committing, not appearance, not eternal, not obscure, not deniable, but perfectly free from everything. And when we research rongs, they manifest themselves as simplely not committing. And being helped by such reality, we can become perfectly decisive and perfectly realize that wrongs are not committing. And at that moment the fact that wrongs are not committing are realized in the past, present, and future, and so wrongs do not appear from cause and effect, but they are not committing at all, and wrongs do not vanish because of cause and effect, but they are just not committing.)

Wrongs are all simple facts at the present moment, and so they can be just not committing. The state that wrongs are not committed is realized only by our comfirmed view and our decisive sitting. Just at that time the facts that, wrongs are not committing, are realized at the past, present, and future, but wrongs do not appear from cause and effect, and opposite they are just not committing. Wrongs do not disappear from cause and effect, and opposite they are just not committing.


(12) If wrongs are in balance, all dhar-mas are in balance. Those who recognize that wrongs arise from causes and conditions, but do not see that these causes and conditions and they them-selves are [the reality of] not committing, are pitiful people.

(If wrongs are in balance, all things and phenomena are in balance. But those people, who recognize that wrongs are produced by causes and circumstances, and if they do not look at that the cause and circumstances and the people themselves are not committing, they are very pitiful persons.)

Wrongs are simple facts at the present moment, and so they are always balanced, and in the similar situations all things and phenomena are also balanced at the present moment. Therefore people, who recognise that wrongs are produced by only cause and circumstances, and if they do not recognize that the cause and circumstances are not committing, and those people themselves are also not committing, are very pitiful people.


(13) The seeds of buddhahood arise from conditions and, this being so, conditions arise from the seeds of buddhahood.

(The seeds of Buddhahood arise from circumstances, and at the same time circumstances arise from the seeds of Buddhahood.)

The seeds of Buddhahood and miscellaneous circumstances are a simple fact in front of us, and so
we can say that "The seeds of Buddhahood arise from circumstances, and at the same time circumstances arise from the seeds of Buddhahood."


(14) It is not that wrongs do not exist; they are nothing other than not committing. It is not that wrongs exist; they are nothing other than not committing. Wrongs are not immaterial; they are not com-mitting. Wrongs are not material; they are not committing. Wrongs are not "not committing;" they are nothing other than not committing.

(It is not true that wrongs do not exist, but they are nothing other than not committing. It is not true that wrongs really exist, but they are nothing other than not committing. Wrongs are not immaterial, but they are not committing. Wrongs are not material, but they are not committing. Wrongs are not the abstract words of "not committing," but they are just the real facts of "not committing."

We can not deny the real existence of wrongs at the present moment, but if we do not commit any kinds of wrong at the present moment, it is completely impossible for wrong to exist really. Therefore we can say that wrongs are not constant entity, but only a fact at the present moment, and so if we do it actually, it exists really at the present moment, but if we do not commit any kind of wrong, it can never be realized at all. So wrongs are not abstract concepts, or not matereal substance, but if we do not commit it, it doesn't appear really for ever.


(15) The self is neither existence nor non-existence; it is not committing. Learning in practice like this is the realized Universe and it is the universal realization – we consider it from the stand-point of the subject and we consider it from the standpoint of the object. When the state has become like this already, even the regret that "I have committed what was not to be committed" is also nothing other than en-ergy arising from the effort not to commit.

(The self is not existence, and the self is not non-existence, but it is just not committing. The real study like this is just the Universe, which has been realized already, and the realization of the Universe. This should be considered subjectively, and this should be considered objectively. Even though the real situation is avoidable to commit wrong, I have made mistaken to do wrong, but such a regretting attitude also can become considering power of not committing.)

Self is transcending conceptual existence or non-existence, but it is just not committing wrong at the present moment. And when we can recognize such a situation, it is just the realized Universe, and the Universe, hich has been realized. We should think the problem from subjective viewoint, and objective viewpoint. Even the situation that we regret that, even though it was possible for us to stop committing wrong, we have actually commited wrong, but such a kind of regret can become also the power of stopping wrong.


(16) [The rela-tion between] wrongs and not committing is not only "a well looking at a donkey;" it is the well looking at the well, the donkey looking at the don-key, a human being looking at a human being, and a mountain looking at a mountain. Because there is "preaching of this principle of mutual accor-dance," wrongs are not committing.

(The relation between wrongs and not committing are not two factors like a donkey, which is looking at a will, and the will, which is looking at a donkey, but it is just similar to situation that the will is looking at the will itself, a donkey is looking at a donkey itself, a man is looking at a man himself, and a mountain is looking at mountain itself like reality itself. Because Buddhism is explained on the basis of principle, which is based on individual concrete level, and so it is always that wrongs are not committed.)

Buddhism is not only theoretical explanation, but it is just the realization of the simple facts at the present momement, therefore it is always the situation that wrongs are not committed.


(17) Such instances of not com-mitting are the realization of reality which should never be doubted at all.

(Those instances of not committing are just the real fact at the present moment, and so it is completely impossible for us to doubt such a kind of not committing at all.)

Our human action inevitably occur at the present moment, and so not committing is also our absolute situation at the present moment. Therefore it is completely impossible for us to doubt the real act of our not committing at the present moment at all.

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(18) "Practice the many kinds of right." These many kinds of right are [classed] within the three properties as "rightness." Even though the many kinds of right are included in "rightness," there has never been any kind of right that is realized beforehand and that then waits for someone to do it.

("Practice the many kinds of right." These many kinds of right are included within the three properties among rightness, wrongness, and indifference, as "rightness." Even though there are so many kinds of right in "rightness," however, there is no right, which is waiting for the chance of appearance befor it is realized as right action.)

Generally speaking the human action is always realized just at the present moment, and so any kind of right action is never waiting before it is realized at the present moment.


(19) There is none among the many kinds of right that fails to appear at the very moment of doing right. The myriad kinds of right have no set shape, but they converge on the place of doing right faster than iron to a magnet, and with a force stronger than the vairambhaka winds.

(Even though each of milliaeds rights do never have any kinds of decisive form beforehand, and so there is no right, which exists before at the present moment, and at the same time there is no right, which continues its existence to the next moment. Right is always exists just at the present moment, and such a present moment continue at every moment.)

Right is a simple fact, which occurs just when it is done at the present moment, therefore it is perfectly impossible for right to exist at a different moment other than at the present moment at all.


(20) At the same time, the principle that recognitions differ from world to world, in regard to right, is the same [as in regard to wrong]. What can be recog-nized [as right] is called right, and so it is like the manner in which the buddhas of the three times preach the Dharma. The similarity is that their preaching of Dharma when they are in the world is just temporal.

(At the same time, the rightness, which recognized in the different worlds, is different relying upon different worlds, and such situations are just the same as in the case of wrong. The situations, in which we recognize something as right, are just similar to the situations when we recognize the formally ceremonial Buddhist preachings by miscellaneous Buddhas in the past, present and future, we usually recognize the real situations of the ceremony as it is. The reason, why I say that they are similar to, is that they are always similarly done just at the real present moment only.)

All right and wrong have to be dicided just relying upon simple facts at the present moment, and so such decisions are always simplely done by our own intellectual and perceptive recognition. Therefore the reason, why we say that our decisions of right and wrong are the same, comes from the facts, which are always done just at the present moment.

(21) Because their lifetime and body size also have continued to rely totally upon the moment, they preach the Dharma which is without distinction. So it is like the situation that right as a characteristic of devotional practice and right as a characteristic of Dharma-practice, which are far removed from each other, are not different things. Or, for example, it is like the keeping of the precepts by a ßråvaka being the violation of the precepts by a bodhisattva.

(Because our lifetime and body size are relying upon just the present moment, and so we usually preach the Rules of the Universe, which are always transcending our intellectual consideration. Therefore, at the present moment, right in fuction of action on belief, and right in function of action on the rule of the universe, seem to be absolutely different, but at the same time they are never the different rules of the universe. For example keeping precepts in the case of pratyeka-buddha seems to be perfectly the same as the violation of the precepts by a bodhisattva.)

The length of our human life and the volume of our human body, are also relying upon the just present moment, and so Buddhism explains the teachings transcending intellectual criteria.
Therefore we can look at complete difference between right in a criterion of person, who relies upon beleaf solely, and right in a criterion of person, who relies upon the rule of the universe, but at the same time they seems not to be different. For example when a poisonous snake is aproching a sleeping baby, in the case of pratyeka-buddha might hesitate to kill the snake for a long time, but in the case of bodhisattva, he will kill the snake at once.


(22) The many kinds of right do not arise from causes and conditions and they do not vanish due to causes and conditions.

(Many kinds of right do not occur because of causes and circumstances, and the many kinds of right do not disappear because of causes and circumstances.)

Right occurs only relying upon human action, and so it does not occur from causes and circumstances. Right disappears only relying upon stopping human action, and so right does never stop relying upon causes and circumstances.


(23) The many kinds of right are real dharmas, but real dharmas are not many kinds of right.

(Many kinds of right action is real fact in the Universe at the present moment, however, the whole Universe of the real world is different from right.)

Right at the present moment always belongs to the real Universe, but the whole Universe does not have any character of right, or wrong.


(24) Causes and conditions, arising and vanishing, and the many kinds of right are similar in that if they are correct at the beginning, they are correct at the end.

(When, causes and circumstances, arising and vanishing, and the many kinds of right, are true at the beginning, they are just true at the end.)

Causes and circumstances, arising and vanishing, and the many kinds of right, are all simple facts at the present moment, and so if causes and circumstances, arising and vanishing, and all kinds of right, are true at the beginning, they are all true throughout at the end. Because all kinds of facts at the present moment are inevitably true without fail.


(25) The many kinds of right are good doing but they are neither of the doer nor known by the doer, and they are neither of the other nor known by the other.

(The many kinds of right are real acts, but they are neither of the doer, nor known by the doer, and they are neither of the other, nor known by the other.)

Many kinds of acts are real acts at the present moment, but those kinds of real acts are not known by doers themselves, and at the same time they are known by others. Because doers are doing their act sincerely at the present moment and so they do not have any time to recoginize their own act, and at the same time it is impossible for others to recognize the true situations of doers, because others can never become doer himself at all.


(26) As regards the knowing and the seeing of the self and of the other, in knowing there is the self and there is the other, and in seeing there is the self and there is the other, and thus individual vigorous eyes exist in the sun and in the moon. This state is good doing itself.

(As regards recognition and perception of the self and of others, in recognition there are the self and others, and in perception there are also the self and others. Therefore each vigorous concrete state exists really in a day and in a month, and such a kind of vigorous state is just the reverent action. And this state is just good doing.)

Because our human recognition and perception have their separation between the self and others, therefore we individually have our own actually vigorous view everyday, and every month, and such a situation itself is just the reverend action.


(27) At just this moment of good doing the realized Universe exists, but it is not the creation of the Universe, and it is not the eternal existence of the Universe. How much less could we call it original practice? Doing right is good doing, but it is not something that can be fathomed intellectually.

(Even though there is the realized Universe when the reverent action actually exists just at the present moment, it is not the newly occurance of the Universe, or the eternal existence of the Universe. Furthermore how is it possible for us to say that it is just the original action? Even though it is possible for us to interpret that it is just the reverent action of doing, but we should not fathom such a real facts with words.)

When we act at the present moment, we can say that such a real act can be the real creation of the real Universe itself. But the situation can not be called the newly occurance of the Universe, or the eternal existence of the Universe. However, furthermore, it is impossible for us to call it the original action. Even though it is possible for us to call it the reverent action of doing, however, I feel that it might be a little too much arrogant for me to proclaim so.


(28) Good doing in the present is a vigorous eye, but it is beyond intellectual consideration. [Vigorous eyes] are not realized for the purpose of considering the Dharma intellectually. Consideration by vigorous eyes is never the same as consideration by other things. The many kinds of right are beyond existence and nonexistence, matter and the immaterial, and so on; they are just nothing other than good doing. Wherever they are realized and whenever they are realized, they are, without exception, good doing. This good doing inevitably includes the real-ization of the many kinds of right.

(Good doing at the present moment is just the vigorous true viewpoint, but it is completely different from supposition. The reverent action does never appear for supposing the Universe. The supposition of the vigorous true viewpoint is never the same as supposition of different entity. The supposition of the vigorous true viewpoint is different from miscellaneous concrete rights, existence or non-existence, matter or spirit, and so forth, but it is just the reverent action itself. Reality at every place, and Reality at any moment, are inevitably the reverent action. And in the reverent action there is the realization of miscellaneous rights without fail.)


(29) The realization of good doing is the Universe itself, but it is beyond arising and vanishing, and it is beyond causes and conditions. Entering, staying, leaving, and other [concrete examples of] good doing are also like this. At the place where we are already performing, as good doing, a single right among the many kinds of right, the entire Dharma, the Whole Body, the Real Land, and so on, are all en-acted as good doing. The cause-and-effect of this right, similarly, is the Universe as the realization of good doing. It is not that causes are before and effects are after. Rather, causes perfectly satisfy themselves and effects per-fectly satisfy themselves; when causes are in balance the Dharma is in bal-ance and when effects are in balance the Dharma is in balance. Awaited by causes, effects are felt, but it is not a matter of before and after; for the truth is present that the [moment] before and the [moment] after are balanced [as they are].

(Even though we can insist that the realization of the reverent action is just the Universe itself, it is never appearance or disappearance, or it is never cause and circumstances. Entrance, maintenance, getting out, and so forth, of reverent actions, are also the same as realization of reverent action itself. When a right among miscellaneous rights has become the object of reverent action, the whole body of the Universe, the true gound of the Truth, and so forth, become the objects of the reverent actions totally. The cause and effect of the right are totally the same as the reverent action of the realized Universe. Even though the cause is not always advanced, and the effect is not always backward, the cause is always totalized, and the effect is always totalized, and causes are balanced, then the Universe is balanced, and effects are balanced, then the Universe is balanced. Even though effect is realized being waited by cause, there is no relation between back and forth. Because there is the Truth that being forward is balanced, and being backward is also balanced.)

Even though we can insist that the realization of reverent action is just the Universe, we should not say that the realization of reverent action is appearance or disappearance, or cause or circumstances. And in the case of entrance, maintenance, and getting out from the reverent action, they have the same situations as the relation of it in the case of appearance and disappearance, or cause and circumstances. When only one right conduct has been done, the whole Universe, or the whole Earth, can become the object of reverent action. And the cause and effect of all those rights are also the reverent actions of the realized Universe. It is not always true that cause is ahead and effect is behind. Because cause is perfect at the present moment, and effect is perfect at the present moment. Cause is balanced, and effect is balanced. Effect is balanced and the Universe is balanced. Even though effect occurs being waited by cause, there is no relation between back and forth. Because in Buddhism there is the Truth that the former present is balanced, and the latter present is also balanced.

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(30) The meaning of "Naturally purifies the mind" is as follows: What is natural is not to commit, and what purifies is not to commit. The [concrete state] is natural, and the mind is natural. The [concrete state] is not committing, the mind is not committing. The mind is good doing, what pu-rifies is good doing, the [concrete state] is good doing, and what is natural is good doing. Therefore it is said that "This is the teaching of the buddhas."

(The meaning of "Natural situation purifies the intenion", is nature is not to commit, purity is not to commit, a concrete state is not to commit, and intention is not to commit. Intention is reverent action, purity is reverent action, a concrete state is reverent action, and nature is reverent action. Therefore those are all called miscellaneous Buddhas' teachings.)

Nature is not to commit, purity is not to commit, a concrete state is not to commit, and intention is not to commit. At the same time, intention is reverent action, purity is reverent action, a concrete state is reverent action, and nature is reverent action. Therefore all teachings above are called miscellaneous teachings of Buddhas.


(31) Those who are called "buddhas" are, in some cases, like Shiva, [but] there are similarities and differences even among Shivas, and at the same time not all Shivas are buddhas. [Buddhas] are, in some cases, like wheel-rolling kings, but not all sacred wheel-rolling kings are buddhas. We should con-sider facts like these and learn them in practice.

(Those who are called "buddhas" are, in some cases, like Shiva, who is the highest god in India.
And even though there are similarities and differences among Shivas, Shivas are not always the same as Buddhas at all. In other expressions Buddhas are similar to the wheel-rolling king. However, it is not true that the wheel-rolling king is a Buddha. We should consider and experience those fundamental priciples carefully.)

Generally speaking, Buddhas have similar characters and abilities to the highest god Shiva, or the wheel-rolling king, however, it is not true that the highest god Shiva, or the wheel-rolling
king is always Buddha. Therefore we shoud examine and experience such a kind of fundamental principle.


(32) If we do not learn how bud-dhas should be, even if we seem to be fruitlessly enduring hardship, we are only ordinary beings accepting suffering; we are not practicing the Buddha's truth.

(Even though we are similar to people, who do not study what kind of personality Buddha has, and we seem to be similar to people, who are always affraid of being sufferd from pain in vain, actually speaking, they are just ordinary people, who are always suffering from miscellaneous sufferings, and their efforts can never be the practice of Buddhist Truth.)

Even though sometimes poeple suffer from pursuing the Truth so much, if they do not know what the true pursuing the Truth in Buddhism is, their efforts are only simple suffering itself, and their efforts do not have any contents as pursuing the Buddhist Truth. Therefore it is very important for us to notice that just to practice Zazen is the true pursuing the Buddhist Truth actually.


(33) Not committing and good doing are donkey business not having gone away and horse business coming in.

(In our daily life, not committing wrong and doing good are similar to our common situations of daily life as if a donkey business hasn't gone yet, a horse business has come already.)

Not committing wrong and doing good are very common situations in our daily life, and so they are very accustomed for us to meet them so frequently everyday.

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(34) Dorin says, "A child of three can speak the truth, but an old man of eighty cannot practice it."

(Master Dorin says,"Even though a child of three years old can speak the truth, an old man of eighty years old cannot actually practice it.)

Because it is only an intellectual ability for human beings, even a child, who is only three years old, might be able to say "Don't do wrong." But in the case of actual doing, even eighty years old man can not always do "don't do wrong" actually, because to say anything and to do it actually are absolutely different dimentionally. It is just the Buddhist wisdom for us to know the absolute difference between thinking and doing.


(35) Kyo-i thinks that Dorin is only telling him "Do not commit wrongs! Practice the many kinds of right!" through recognition of the conscious aim. Thus, he neither knows nor hears the truth that the time-honored [teaching] of not committing wrongs, and good doing rights, have been in Buddhism from the eternal past to the eternal present. He has not set foot in the area of the Buddha-Dharma. He does not have the power of the Buddha-Dharma. Therefore he speaks like this.

(Haku Kyo-i thinks that Master Dorin has simply said to Kyo-i that "Do not commit wrongs! Practice the many kinds of right!" through recognition of the conscious aim. However, Kyo-i does not know or hear that there are the time-honored teaching of not committing wrong, or good doing rights in Buddhism, which have been maintained as the eternal priciple. Therefore he does not step on the place of Buddhism, or he does not have power of Buddhism, so he has said like above mentioned.

In short Haku Kyo-i does not understand the Buddhist viewpoint, which is based on action, and so he has understood the problem only on the basis of intellect. Therefore he hasn't understood the true meaning of Master Dorin's Buddhist Realism at all.


(36) Even though we caution against the intentional commit-ment of wrongs, and even though we encourage the deliberate practice of rights, this should be in the reality of not committing.

(Even though we caution against the intentional commit-ment of wrongs, and even though we encourage the miscellaneous practice of rights, actually speaking those cautions and encouragements might not be committed in Reality at all.)

Even though there are so many recommendations of not doing wrong, and doing right, it might be the ultimate situations that any thing hasn't be violated at all just at the present moment.


(37) In general, the Buddha-Dharma is [always] the same, whether it is being heard for the first time under a [good] counselor, or whether it is being experienced in the state which is the ultimate effect. This is called correct in the beginning, correct at the end, called the wonderful cause and the wonderful effect, and called the Buddhist cause and the Buddhist effect. Cause-and-effect in Buddhism is beyond discussion of [theories] such as different maturation or equal streams; this being so, without Buddhist causes, we cannot experience the Buddhist effect. Because Dorin speaks this truth, he possesses the Buddha-Dharma. Even if wrongs upon wrongs pervade the whole Universe, and even if wrongs have swallowed the whole Dharma again and again, there is still salvation and liberation in not committing.

(Generally speaking, Buddhism is always the same even comparing between the situations, when we listen to Buddhism from an excellent Buddhist teacher for the first time, and when we have arrived at the ultimate Truth at the end. These situations are called the truth at the beginning, the truth at the end, or miraculous cause, miraculous effect, or Buddhist cause, Buddhist effect. The cause and effect in Buddhism are different from theories of different causes and morally neutral, or similarity between cause and effect, and so forth. Therefore we can say that it is impossible for us to have Buddhist effect without having Buddhist cause. Master Dorin has insisted this opinion exactly, and so we can think that he has maintained Buddhist Truth actually. Even though miscellaneous wrongs pervade through the whole world, and even though the miscellaneous wrongs swallow the whole Universe, such situations are just the perfect freedom relying upon no commitment.

Even though the whole world is full of miscellaneous wrongs, and the whole Universe has been swallowed by miscellaneous wrongs, such situations are just the perfect manifestation of the absolute freedom because of without commitment.


(38) Because the many kinds of right are right at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, "good doing" has realized nature, form, body, energy, and so on, as they are.

(Miscellaneous rights are usually always right at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, and so character, form, substance, energy, and so forth, of reverent rights, are usually realized actually.)

Character, form, substance, energy, and so forth, of reverent rights, are usually manifested as they are, because miscellaneous rights are prone to be realized actually.


(39) Someone who has come to know a single particle knows the whole Universe, and someone who has penetrated one real dharma has penetrated the myriad dharmas. Someone who has not penetrated the myriad dharmas has not penetrated one real dharma. When students of penetration penetrate to the end, they see the myriad dharmas and they see single real dharmas; therefore, people who are learning of a single particle are inevitably learning of the whole Universe.

(A person, who has understood the real situation of a single particle, can realize the Universe, and a person, who has realized one substance, can realize all things and phenomena. A person, who has not realized all things and phenomena, has not realized even one substance yet. When a person, who studied the total realization, has accomplished the perfect research, he can look at all things and phenomena, and at the same time he can look at also only one substance. Therefore
we can say that a person, who research only one molecule, can research the whole Universe without fail.)

All things and the phenomena are included in the whole universe, and so we can think that to know a real situations of a small thing is to know the whole situation of the Universe, and to know the whole situation of the Universe is completely the same as to know a single particle precisely.


(40) He does not hear Dorin's voice, which is more vivid than thunder, and so he says, "Even a child of three could express it!" as if to say that [Master Dorin himself] has not expressed the truth in his words. Thus [Kyo-i] does not hear the lion's roar of an infant, and he passes vainly by the Zen Master's turning of the Dharma-wheel. The Zen Master, unable to con-tain his compassion, went on to say, "A child of three can speak the truth, but an old man of eighty cannot practice it." What he was saying is this: A child of three has words which express the truth, and you should investi-gate this thoroughly. Old men of eighty say, "I cannot practice it," and you should consider this carefully. I leave you to decide whether an infant speaks the truth, but I do not leave the infant to decide. I leave you to decide whether an old man can practice, but I do not leave the old man to decide.

(Haku Kyo-i does not listen to Master Dorin's voice, which is much clearer and louder than a real thunder. Therefore Kyo-i says that even a three years old baby can express such an idea, for hinting at Master Dorin. This situation suggests that Kyo-i does not listen to a three years old child's Buddhist talk, and he has passed through Master Dorin's Buddhist talks failing to listen to. Therefore Master Dorin is inevitable to stop saying, and so he says that even though it is possible for a three years old baby to be able to say, even a eighty years old man can not do it actually. The intention of Master Dorin's words are that even a three years old baby has possibility to say the Truth, therefore we should research the situations sufficiently, and at the same time there is a real fact that even a eighty years old man has possibility not to be able to realize the real action to do, at all, and so we should consider the real situations sufficiently too. Master Dorin thinks that he wants for Kyo-i to permit saying everything, because Kyo-i is an outsider from the facts, but Master Dorin does never permit for the baby to say any opinion on the facts, because the bady is an insider of the facts. And at the same time Master Dorin thinks that he wants to permit to say everything for Kyo-i because Kyo-i is an outsider of the facts, but Master Dorin does never permit for the old man to say anything because the old man is just an insider of the facts.)

When we think the Buddhist philosophy, the most important efforts are to separate the two areas of absolutely different philosophies, that is, the one group is the group of idealistic philosophy and materialistic philosophy, and the other group is the group of philosophy of action and realism. In western philosophies we can find very gorgeous and valuable philosophies, that is, idealism and materialism, but I think that it is very difficult for us to find the philosophy of action and realism in the western societies. Even though we can find a so-called realism in the western societies, the so-cold realism in western societies is never true realism, but it is another name of materialism. Thinking the philosophical structure in the western societies, I suppose that it is impossible for us to find a realistic philosophy, which is the same as the philosophy of action in Buddhist philosophy. But in Buddhist philosophy we have the thoughts of four philosophies in it, and among them the philosophy of action is completely different from western materialistic realism. Therefore when we want to study Buddhist thoughts, it is very important for us to notice such facts. And I think that this chapter called "Shoaku-makusa" is very usefull chapter for us to think about the special meaning of "philosophy of action" in Buddhism.
End

12 Comments:

Blogger Zushi said...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

Experiencing insights with deep devotion to buddhism it is only obvious to attain to a personal moral and ethic level of behaviour.

As a confirmation of one's true commitment to buddhism would you consider it sufficient to recite the "Chodai Kesa no Ge" as a daily activity or would you recommend to accept the precepts and wear a Kesa/Rakusu?

What are the formal procedures or presuppositions in DSI of taking over the precepts and wearing a Rakusu?

In DSI who is entiteled to accomplish these procedures?

What is your opinion concerning a standard of rituals of DSI worldwide, are there any?

Best regards
Regina Oberndorfer

11:51 PM, October 28, 2007  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear zushi San,

Thank you very much for your comments and questions.

(your comments) Experiencing insights with deep devotion to buddhism it is only obvious to attain to a personal moral and ethic level of behaviour.

(gudo) I agree with your idea.

(your question) As a confirmation of one's true commitment to buddhism would you consider it sufficient to recite the "Chodai Kesa no Ge" as a daily activity or would you recommend to accept the precepts and wear a Kesa/Rakusu?

(gudo) It is one example for us to recite the "Chodai Kesa no Ge" as a daily activity. But if it is possible for us to have the ceremony actually, it might be much more desirable for us to have it. Therefore I would like to have a talk with the second president Brad Warner about that problem. Of course if there is Dogen Sangha group in vicinity of the receiver's residence, we can do the formal ceremony, but it is also necessary for us to have the ceremony at the disant places.

It is also hopeful for us to wear a Kesa/Rakusu.

(your question) What are the formal procedures or presuppositions in DSI of taking over the precepts and wearing a Rakusu?

(gudo) Now we have tens of Masters, who are licensed to have the ceremony in the world, but those numbers of Masters through the world are still too much small even today.

(your question) In DSI who is entiteled to accomplish these procedures?

(gudo) I have tens of diciples through the world, and my some diciples have got their diciple, who have got their license already. I have their list, but they are too many for me to list them here totally.

(your question) What is your opinion concerning a standard of rituals of DSI worldwide, are there any?

(gudo) I have made such rituals of DSI worldwide, but I feel much more necessity to make them simplified for fitting to the worldwide situations.

For Regina Oberndorfer San

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

(your question)

11:32 PM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger Zushi said...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

Thank you for your answers.

Best regards
Regina Oberndorfer

7:46 AM, October 31, 2007  
Blogger Barry said...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

Wrongs and Rights being relative and the aspiration to awaken with all beings without end, i seem to misunderstand the point in the post. Or maybe i don't.

Respectfully,
Barry

1:56 AM, November 04, 2007  
Blogger Gregor said...

Dear Master Nishijima,

Thank you for this teaching. It is most comforting to know that it is our actions which count.

I find this a very compassionate reality.

Gassho,

Gregor

9:25 AM, November 04, 2007  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Thank you very much zushi San.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima


Dear Barry San,

Thank you very much for your opinion, and my answer is as follows.

(Barry San's opinion)

Wrongs and Rights being relative and the aspiration to awaken with all beings without end, i seem to misunderstand the point in the post. Or maybe i don't.

(Gudo) Wrongs and Rights can never be relative, or never be the aspiration to awaken with all beings without end at all. Wrongs and Rights are rules of the Universe in Buddhism, and so they are absolute.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima


Dear gregor San,

Thank you very much.

Gudo Nishijima

12:00 PM, November 04, 2007  
Blogger Ian said...

Dear Nishijima Sensei

I am curious as to the preferred cooking methods when cooking in the Buddhist tradition. I would be extremely grateful for any recipes or tips.

10:44 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Mysterion said...

Ian said...
...the preferred cooking methods in the Buddhist tradition."

Zen Cooking

Zen Kaiseki Meal
lists some general books.

However, How to cook your life is good start.

And plenty of resources are HERE.

sumimasen,

O-cha-ryu

12:40 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Barry said...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

(Gudo) Wrongs and Rights can never be relative, or never be the aspiration to awaken with all beings without end at all. Wrongs and Rights are rules of the Universe in Buddhism, and so they are absolute.

(Barry) I would like to understand these rules of the universe so as to live by them. Could You please clarify what is meant by the Rules of the Universe. Thank you.
Barry

6:00 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Ian さんは書きました...

Dear Nishijima Sensei

I am curious as to the preferred cooking methods when cooking in the Buddhist tradition. I would be extremely grateful for any recipes or tips.

(Gudo) Dear Ian San,
Almost all Buddhist temples in Japan have their own recipes, and so they are incredibly many, and at the same time I am very bad in cooking, and so I hope that you will ask such problems to other people than I.


Mysterion さんは書きました...

Ian said...
...the preferred cooking methods in the Buddhist tradition."

Zen Cooking

Zen Kaiseki Meal
lists some general books.

However, How to cook your life is good start.

And plenty of resources are HERE.

sumimasen,

O-cha-ryu


Barry さんは書きました...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

(Gudo) Wrongs and Rights can never be relative, or never be the aspiration to awaken with all beings without end at all. Wrongs and Rights are rules of the Universe in Buddhism, and so they are absolute.

(Barry) I would like to understand these rules of the universe so as to live by them. Could You please clarify what is meant by the Rules of the Universe. Thank you.
Barry


(Gudo) Dear Barry San,
And my answers are as follows.

For example one example of the Rule of the Universe is the Four Noble Truths, which Gautama Buddha preached in his first lecture on Buddhism.

When I express the Four Noble Truths in modern English, they are Idealism, Materialism, Philosophy of Action, and Reality.

And Gautama Buddha insists that Idealism is just based on fanction of brain cells, therefore it is not real, and Materialism is just based on fuction of sense organs, and so it is also not real.
Gautama Buddha, however, insisted that a real human action at the present moment is real fact, and the whole Universe is also the Truth itself.
And we, Buddhists, beleave in such existence of the Rule of the Universe, that is, the Buddhist Truth.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

1:22 PM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger Barry said...

Gautama Buddha, however, insisted that a real human action at the present moment is real fact, and the whole Universe is also the Truth itself.
And we, Buddhists, beleave in such existence of the Rule of the Universe, that is, the Buddhist Truth.

Dear Nishijima Roshi,
Thank you for your answer.
I understand you to say...
Practicing whole heartedly, calming the brain cells and acting with the universe right now reveals the law of the universe.
Respectfully,
Barry

6:13 AM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger keishin.ni said...

Dear Gudo Nishijima Roshi:
It is very interesting to me: I read your words and my mind doesn't fully comprehend, but part of me so easily gulps it down like refreshing water!
I would like to comprehend. My mind stands like a dog left tied up outside while the owner goes freely about. I guess I don't have to understand water to drink it or be refreshed by it.
Thank you very much for setting forth these principles from Master Dogen's Shobogenzo.
respectfully,
Keishin

5:07 AM, November 13, 2007  

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