Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MMK (2) Examination of 'Gone' and 'Not Gone'

[2] Examination of 'Gone' and 'Not Gone' (25 Verses)

1. As a memory of action in the past 'Gone' is different from a real act to go at the present moment,
An supposition of action in future 'Not Gone' is also different from a real act to go at the present moment.

And separating from a memory in the past 'Gone' and an supposition in future 'Not Gone',
Even a present recognition 'Is Going' is also differnt dimensionally from a real act, which is actually going on at the present moment.


2. A motion of body at a place is a movement, and there a fact that someone is going, is just a expansion of a concrete motion.

Memories that I haven't gone, or he hasn't come, just indicate motion of hands or feet,
and an expression that something is going on is also a real motion or an expansion of the real motion.


3. A behavior to go is included into a state of going on, and it is not necessary for the name of going on to appear even in future.

As a real fact, it might be always impossible dimensionally for the words of 'going on' to describe two sceneries, that is, the one is a description of a scenary that someone is looking at another person is walking on, as a looker-on, and the other one is just a description of a scenary that a walker himself is walking on at the present moment.


4. A real act to go actually, is included into the state of going on,
And a state of going on and a real act to go have adhered to each other tightly.

A state to be going on, moves following a motion of going on.
Because an expression to be going itself actually goes forward.


5. Belonging to a state of going on, and at the same time belonging to a real act of going on,
Something attached has produced the two factors of real acts actually.

Actually, because the person, who goes really, does not have his own relaxed situations, there is no possibility for a real act to realize iself actually.


6. Because of being entangled by two factors of a person who goes, and a fact to go,
The two factors in the real act are fixed to the real act without any surplus room.

Because, in facts, a motion to go is usually esteemed lighter than action itself,
There is no sufficient possibility for movement to be esteemed more valuable.


7. If there were any kind of possibility for action to go to receive some lower estimation than a person to go, or a fact to go,
It is not always necessary for a real action to go to manifest itself without necessity.

The real form to go at the present moment exists really in the real act to go actually,
And such exactly the same form at the present moment exists at the present moment, and so it can never manifests itself in future at all.


8. As motion to go itself does never go on at all, motion not to go itself also does never go on at all.

The perfectly different motion other than to go is a motion not to go,
And in that case there is never the third example, which is different from either to go or not to go.


9. Being similar to the example above, motion to go itself does never go ahead even in future at all.

Without a real action to go there is no posibility of motion to go at all.


10. In a case that it is necessry for us to separate a fact to go really and a motion to go for distinguishing from each other,
In the real situations a fact to go and a motion to go are actually too much confused with each other.

Negating a real act to go is the aim of using the word motion to go,
But actually, it is so much desired to utilizise the word of a motion to go for getting the effect of negating the real act to go.


11. In the real act to go, the two factors of a real act to go and a physical motion to go are too much combined with each oher.
Therefore in such real cases the utilizing the word, which expresses much more meaning of concrete motion, is naturally prefered.

And so in the such cases of real problems it might be much more preferred for the word, which has function to represent the meaning of concrete motion, might be used hopefully.


12. It is impossible that a real act to go might be born in a memory of having gone at all,
And it is also impossble that a real act to go might be born in a supposition in future.

And it is impossible that a real act to go might actually realize itself in a recognition of going on,
Therefore in any case it is perfectly impossible for us to fix the time of starting a real act to go actually.


13. If the start of real act to go hasn't become going on, it is impossjble for the state of going to appear at all, and it is also impossible for the act of having gone to stop.

In such a situation it is necessary for the real act to go should be maintained going actually,
And it is completely impossible for the real act not to be done at all.


14. A fact of having done can never be exchanged with anything at all, and a fact of going on just at the present moment can never be exchanged with anything at all, and so a fact of not having gone can never be exchanged with any thing at all.

If we have an idea that it might be possible for something not to be seen from the beginning, The existence of all things and phenomena can be included totally into the real act of going from the first time.


15. There is no fact for a motion of going to be stagnant, and at the same time there is never a fact that a motion, which hasn't come yet, is stagnant.

At the same time in the different cases of going or coming, how is it possible for the different third example of going or coming to be stagnant at all?


16. Just similar to the motion of something to go to a stagnation, how is it possible for something to appear to this world newly even in future at all?

Even though there is no real act to go at all, how is it possible for a motion to go manifests itself in any case at all?


17. Leaving a state of going on, a stop can never exist,
And leaving from having gone, or not having gone, a stop also can not exist actually.

A situation in which a real act to go appears or disappears, manifests itself very similar to a simple motion to go itself.


18. The real act to go like this is just a motion to go,
And the real motion like that can never be attached to anything.

A motion of examples to go is inevitably just the same as a motion to go,
it is impossible for us to find any kind of exception, which has some kind of exceptional tendency.


19. Just the same as the example the real act of going at the present moment is just completely the same as a motion to go.
Because in such concrete examples all cases have their common characteristics, which do not have any difference in any case at all.

Those kinds of examples, which are combinations of a real act to go and motion of going are strongly expectated to be one,
And so we can say that an action to produce something and to do some act really are completely the same action at all.


20. And in another method of consideration further, it is always possible for us to replace our simple motion to go with relying upon others's help at every moment.

In that case the real act to go might move relying upon simple motion,
and the concrete action to go might move leaving from the real act to go.


21. In some cases it is just an accomplishment of the aim to collect all things and phenomena into one,
And in other cases it is also an accomplishment of the aim to subdivide all into miscellaneously divided things and phenomena.

However, sometimes it is impossible for us to recognise that some cases to break up all things and phenomena into pieces can not be recognized as an accomplishment of the aim,
And in many cases it is impossible for us to recognize the reason why we can insist like that.


22. Relying upon cocrete going, an act to go produces going itself,
And what has been produced does never go ahead.

Therefore before motion to go doesn't exist,
Something similar to a receptacle can never go at all either as a subject, or as an object.


23. Utilizing a concrete action actually, a fact, that an actual motion is promoted, is an action itself,
And there is no fact other than that to go ahead for expanding actually.

There is no possibility that two motions to manifest themselves together,
And so everything are relying upon only a simple fact that something, which is totally only one,
is going on.


24. The real world, a real act at the present moment, and following those, motion, which is just going on,
Those three kinds of real existences are real, but those each three do never go on separately.

The abstract world does never go on as an action at the present moment, but the three kinds of real existence goes on as a concrete one.


25. A real act to go, the concrete world, and the abstract world, those three kinds of divisions actually do not go together as a only one concrete being accumulated at the present moment at all.

Therefore it is impossible for the concrete behavior to go, motion to go, and a practice of action, can never become the objects of recognition at all.

9 Comments:

Blogger jiblet said...

Dear Gudo Nishijima roshi,
I esteem highly your teaching. I have studied with one of your dharma heirs, whose teaching has been invaluable to me. I write as a student of sanskrit, and as a buddhist, so I have to be honest with you.
Your translation of mmk is so interpretive that it bears little relation to the original text. This might not matter, were it not for the fact that you have insisted it is an exact, translation. It isn't. This is clear to any student of sanskrit.
But even as a free and idiosyncratic version of mmk, it is largely incomprehensible. This isn't because your ideas or those of nagarjuna's are so difficult to express, but simply because your english is not good enough for the task. This is clear to any native english speaker.
I fear that publishing your version in it's current state will merely confuse it's readers, who come seeking the truth.

With great respect and thanks for your life's work,
A student of the way.

9:52 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger jiblet said...

...I apologise for my very poor grammar: *it's* when I mean "its". Unforgivable! :-)

11:20 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger Rich said...

Reading someone's ideas about the truth helps to establish the mind that seeks the truth which is the practice of the truth - zazen. The confusion is resolved by the practice, not the reading.

6:32 AM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

In my opinion (and 25+ years experience), poor English is not the cause.

The true cause might be what Ashvaghosha called samudaya-lata pravartika (Saurananda 3.10) -- the whole tangled skein that sets dukha in motion.

na doshatah pashyati yo hi dosham
kas tam tato varayitum samarthah?
(Ibid. 16.75)

"When a man does not see a fault as a fault, who is able to restrain him from it?" -- trans. Linda Covill.

6:17 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger GEORGE ALAN FRAMPTON said...

A lot of people can teach and understand the dharma - they make great professors or researchers. But, they will never be enlightened. Zen is experiential - the insights come from practice. The reading is wonderful if you want to do mental gymnastics, but it is only a tool. It is the finger pointing at the moon.

10:54 AM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger jiblet said...

Rich and George,
That too...So why are you bothering with words? Why are you countering points with counterpoints? Why did Nargarjuna bother? And Dogen? When we bother to do it, we should do it well.
I want to read what Gudo has gone to great trouble to write. But I find it very confusing. I don't think the fault is entirely mine.

8:46 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger GEORGE ALAN FRAMPTON said...

jiblet, I was only making a comment without any blame going toward anybody. Equanimity, my friend.

8:02 AM, November 06, 2008  
Blogger Rich said...

Reading Gudo's MMK is definitely confusing somtimes. But it is what it is , without fault to Gudo or anyone else. Without words the establishment of practice would have been impossible but words are not necessary to practice.

2:58 AM, November 07, 2008  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

I admire jiblet's statement of the truth as he sees it, which seems reminiscent of the child who declared that the king is in the altogether.

It is not customary in Japanese Zen for students to challenge the views and opinions and actions of the Roshi, but the Buddha's teaching and customs are not originally the low and inferior customs of oriental Confucianism / feudalism. Buddhist culture, originally, was aryan, noble. The Buddha himself, we can discern from his final bequeathed teaching, was keenly aware of the tendency that people have to curry favour, and he cautioned against this ignoble, un-aryan tendency.

More than it is a philosophical problem, sitting still, in my opinion, is a vestibular problem.

But because the vestibular system is so easily prone to be disturbed by thoughts -- not only idealistic and materialistic thoughts but also by Buddhist thoughts -- sitting still is also a philosophical problem. Sitting still is a problem of how to think, and how not to think.

Reading the works of Ashvaghosa recently, I am struck by the pains Ashvaghosha takes to outline in words a clear plan of action leading -- via the abandonment of subjective notions and the elimination of gross and subtle faults like impurities in gold -- to liberation.

So I agree with the thrust of jiblet's argument. Gudo's tendency to interpret the philosophy of Nagarjuna subjectively and confusingly, rather than to translate Nagarjuna's words exactly and understandably in accordance with the stated aim, is symptomatic of a fault in Gudo. But the fault, in my opinion, is not at root a problem of poor English. Neither is it, in my opinion, a problem of senility. It has rather to do with an overly subjective tendency.

Those who seem to say, "There is no fault in you, Roshi"... "Your life is like a poem" et cetera, are not unlike, in my opinion, those favour-curryers in the fairy story who admired the king's fine new set of clothes.

4:28 AM, November 08, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home