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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Important principles in Shobogenzo (9) Keisei-sanshiji


(1) When we each get rid of our husk, we are not restricted by former views and understanding, and things which have for vast kalpas been unclear suddenly appear before us.

(When we have realized the perfect freedom relying upon our balanced state of ANS, by transcending our former views and understanding, we can experience the Realistic state, which hasn't been realized for us for limitlessly long years.)

When we do not realize the really balanced situations of ANS, without having the equality between Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), it is perfectly impossible for us to get the state, where the function of SNS and the function of PNS show plus/minus = zero. Therefore when our SNS is stronger, we have to be idealistic, and when our PNS is stronger, we have to be materialistic. Therefore it is impossible for us to experience the perfectly balanced real situation, which is our originally natural situations of peacefulness and joy.


(2) It is a shame that sounds and forms have been hiding in the mountains and waters. But we should be glad that there are moments in which, and causes and conditions whereby, [real sounds and forms] show up in the mountains and waters. The Tongue's manifestation never flags. How could the Body's form exist and vanish?

(It is regrettable that mountains and rivers conceal sometimes their voice or form, but at the same time it is very joyful that there are time, and causes and circumstances, where mountains and rivers manifest their voice and form. The physical tongs of rivers do never seem to be lazy or tired. And so how is it possible for physical form of mountains to have their existence or disappearance.)

It is regrettable that mountains and rivers do not manifest their form and voice, because our ANS is not balanced, but when our ANS is balanced, mountains and rivers manifest their form and voice so sufficiently. Of course there is no laziness or tiredness in mountains and rivers, and there is no existence or disappearance in their physical forms and substances.


(3) Finally, he makes the following verse:
At a single stroke I lost recognition.
No longer need I practice self-discipline.
[I am] manifesting behavior in the way of the ancients,
Never falling into despondency.
There is no trace anywhere:
[The state] is dignified action beyond sound and form.
People everywhere who have realized the truth,
All will praise [these] supreme makings.
He presents the verse to Dai-i. Dai-i says, "This disciple is complete."

(At last, he makes the following verse:

When I have listened to the striking sound, I have throne away my recognition at once.
Since then it has become not necessary for me to regulate myself intentionally.
My behavior can manifest the similar conducts to ancient Masters,
And doesn't fall down into a desparate state at all.
I do never leave any trace at every place at all,
And so my dignified behavior might be,
By many people, who have arrived at the truth, in many districts,
Praised as the best behavior among the best.

When Master Kyogen Chikan presents the verse to the Great Master Isan Reiyu, Master Isan says, "This student has arrived at the Ultimate."


(4) It is spring, and the peach blossoms are in full bloom. Seeing them, he suddenly realizes the truth. He makes the following verse and presents it to Dai-i:
For thirty years, a traveler in search of a sword.
How many times have leaves fallen and buds sprouted?
After one look at the peach blossoms,
I have arrived directly at the present and have no further doubts.
Dai-i says, "One who has entered by relying on external phenomena will never regress or falter."

(It has been spring, and the peach blossoms are in full bloom. Seeing the gorgeous situatios of the fields, where flowers of peaches are in full bloom, Master Rei-un Shigon suddenly realizes Reality itself. Therefore Master Rei-un makes the following verse, and he presents it to the Great Master Isan Reiyu.

I have been searching something sharp like a sword for 30 years like a traveler.
During the time, treeleaves have fallen down many times, and twigs spread too many times.
However, just after looking at the so gorgeous peach blossoms actually,
Having arrived at the present moment, I have thrown away the whole doubt.

Master Isan Reiyu says, "A person, who has entered into the Truth relying upon the external phenomena, will never regress or falter.")

Master Rei-un Shigon has practiced Zazen for more than 30 years, and one day he has taken a walk in a mountain for recreation. And when he takes a rest on the foot of the mountain, he looks at the so gorgeous scenery of peach blossoms, which are in full bloom in the fields. And then he has been instructed that this world really exists. Therefore we can think that Reality sometimes manifests itself relying upon the external world.


(5) A monk asks Zen Master Chosa [Kei]shin, "How can we make moun-tains, rivers, and the Earth belong to ourselves?" The Master says, "How can we make ourselves belong to mountains, rivers, and the Earth?"

(One day, a monk asks Master Chosa Keishin that how is it possible for the monk to have mountains, rivers, and the Earth identify with himself. But Master Chosa Keishin instructs the monk that the monk himself should be identified by mountains, rivers, and the Earth.)

Then Master Dogen adds his comments after Master Chosa's words that we should never think about
the relation between the subject and the object between Nature and ourselves. Therefore Master Chosa has added his words as an instruction for the monk after the monk's words.


(6) One day Shisen, a lecturer of a philosophical sect, asks him, "How does pure essentiality suddenly give rise to mountains, rivers, and the Earth?" Questioned thus, the Master preaches, "How does pure essentiality suddenly give rise to mountains, rivers, and the Earth?"

(One day Shisen, a lecturer of a philosophical sect, who has understood Buddhism only on the basis of intellectual philosophy, asks a question to Master Roya Ekaku. However, Master Roya Ekaku has instructed the lecturer that the pure essentiality is just the same as mountains, rivers, and the Earth, and so it is not adequate for us to divide the pure essentiality and Nature into two parts.)

Master Dogen recommeds us not to divide Reality into two parts of the pure essentiality and Nature, because we are just living the golden Reality, if our ANS is just balanced at the present moment.


(7) Remember, if it were not for the form of the mountains and the voices of the river-valley, picking up a flower could not proclaim anything, and the one who attained the marrow could not stand at his own place. Relying on the virtue of the sounds of the river-valley and the form of the mountains, the Earth and all sentient beings realize the truth simultane-ously, and there are many buddhas who realize the truth on seeing the bright star.

(We should remember that if there were not any form of the mountains and the voice of the river-valley, or Nature, Gautama Buddha's lecture, in which he picks up a stalk of flower for suggesting Nature, and Master Taiso Eka's behavior of bowing three times in front of Master Boddhi Dharma, and coming back to his own position again, can not occur at all. Therefore we should think that without relying upon Nature, we can never experience the same experience as Gautama Buddha that mountains, the Earth and all sentient beings realize the Truth at once. And it was also impossible for anyone to realize the Truth on looking at the bright star like Gautama Buddha at all.)

In short, if there is no Nature, it is perfectly impossible for any kind of religious facts can occur at all.

(8) Though they have received a life, they have no will to pursue the Dharma for the Dharma's sake, and so, when they meet the real Dharma, they doubt the real dragon, and when they meet the right Dharma, they are disliked by the right Dharma.

(Even though they have received their own valuable human life, they do not have their own intention to get the Rule of the Universe as the Rule of the Universe itself, therefore when they have met the true Rule of the Universe, they have doubts about the real Truth, and even though they have met the Truth already, they are sometimes fled by the Truth because of their own ignorance.)

Even though we have been born as human beings, sometimes we do not have any intention to get the Truth, therefore sometimes we fail to get the Truth itself actually, and sometimes because of our attitudes to live as human beings are bad, we have to lose our important chances to get the Truth in facts.

(9) After they establish the bodhi-mind, even though they will pass through the cycle of the six states or the four they will pass through the cycle of the six states or the four kinds of birth, the causes and conditions of that cyclical course will all become the actions and vows of the state of bodhi.

(Even after we have established the will to the Truth, there might be many cases, where we can not avoid committing wrong acctions of six careers as hell, hungry ghosts, animals, angry demons, human beings, and gods, or four kinds of birth as birth from the womb, birth from eggs, birth from moisture, and birth from metamorphosis. However, even though it is impossible for us to avoid committing such kinds of miscellaneous cause and circumstances of careers, those causes and conditions of the cyclical lives will become all into actions and vows of arriving at the Truth.)

Even if we were so diligent to pursue the Truth after having begun to pursue the Truth, it is impossible for us to avoid committing bad conducts actually. However Master Dogen consoles us kindly that even we have committed our mistakes after establishing the will to the Truth, our those mistakes, which we have committed, will become the cause and conditions of our arriving at the Truth during our life.

(10) From the time when the Tathågata was in the world until today, many people have seemed to consider that our concern in learning the truth is to get fame and gain. If, however, on meeting the teachings of a true master, they turn around and pursue the right Dharma, they will naturally
attain the truth.

(From the time when Gautama Buddha was in this world until today, there have been so many people, who seem to think that it is the most important concern in learning the Truth for them to be successful in getting fame and gain. If, however, they have met true Masters fortunately, and they pursue the true Dharma by changing their original intention, they might get the Truth as the natural process.)

There are so many cases that Buddhist practitioners have begun their Buddhist study for getting their secular fame or economical gain. Even in such cases, however, meeting with the true teachings of excellent Masters, if they pursue the Universal Rule changing their original vulgar intention, they can also naturally get the Truth.

(11) Moreover, we should not forget the determina-tion we had when we began the joyful pursuit of the Buddha's truth. That is to say, when we first establish the will, we are not seeking the Dharma out of concern for others, and, having discarded fame and gain [already], we are not seeking fame and gain: we are just single-mindedly aiming to get the truth.

(Furthermore, we should never forget the time when we have decided to pursue the Buddhist Truth sincerely for the first time. At that time we never want to pursue the Truth for getting other's praise at all, but we have thrown away our whole greed for fame and gain totally. Our sincere hope is never to get fame or gain, but it is just to get the Truth solely.)

When we remenber the time as we are going to become a monk or nun, we are never thinking for getting any kind of fame or gain at all. Therefore when we have become having greedy to get fame or gain in our Buddhist life, we should remember the time, when we have had the so sincere and so pure mind to pursue the Truth. Then it is possible for us to recover our mind to pursue the Truth solely, and we can come back the joyful condition of us, who are enjoying our original will to get the Truth as before.


(12) A former buddha has said, "Do not get close to kings, princes, ministers, rulers, brahmins, or secular peo-ple." This is truly the form of behavior that people who want to learn the Buddha's truth should not forget. [When] bodhisattvas are at the start of learning, their virtue, in accordance with their progress, will pile up.

(The Buddha in the past, Gautama Buddha, said, "Don't be too much closer to kings, princes, ministers, main officers, brahmins, or laymen." This attitudes should never be forgot by everyone, who wants truly to pursue the Buddhist Truth. Without forgetting this idea, the virtue of Bodhisatva as begginers will be accumulated as more as possible to follow this teaching further.)

Gautama Buddha has taught us that we, Buddhist monks should never be too much familier to kings, princes, ministers, main officers, brahmins, or laymen. And Master Dogen has proclaimed that this teaching is very important for Buddhist practitioners as beginners, and if they follow these teachings of Gautama Buddha sincerely, the progress of their studying Buddhism much more faster than usual.


(13) Moreover, there have been examples since ancient time of the God Indra coming to test a practitioner's resolve, or of mara-papiyas coming to hinder a practitioner's training. These things always happened when [the practitioner] had not got rid of the will to fame and gain. When the [spirit of] great benevolence and great compassion is profound, and when the vow to widely save living beings is mature, these hindrances do not occur.

(Furthermore, there have been examples that the God Indra has come down to test a practitioner's resolve, or Papiyas has come to hinder a practitioner's training. But those things always happen when the practitioners had not got rid of the will to fame and gain. However, if the practitioner's mind is not attachef to fame and gain, because the spirit of great benevolence and great compassion of Gautama Buddha is so profound, that such kinds of hindrances do not occur at all.)

When I have met Master Dogen's Buddhist philosophy in my young age, I have been so excited its excellency actually, however, there has been only one problem, which is just the Master Dogen's idea that he strongly refuses for us to get fame and gain. Reading such opinion of him, I have worried that at that time because I have been very ambitious for me to get fame and gain, and so it was rather difficult for me to understand why Master Dogen recommends us so strongly to give up getting fame and gain. Laiter, however, I have noticed that even though it is very important for us to get a social position or money, but at the same time I have recognised that to get social position or money is useful only for to get the means of human life, but it is impossible for us to think that getting social position or money is just the aim of our life. Therefore if we pursue fame or gain as our aim of our life, we must feel very sad at the end of our human life. because even though we have got the means of our human life by getting fame and gain, but we have never arrived at our aim of human life to get the Truth.


(14) In general, a beginner's sentimental thinking cannot imagine the Buddha's truth – [the beginner] fathoms, but does not hit the target. Even though we do not fathom [the truth] as beginners, we should not deny that there is perfect realization in the ultimate state.

(Generally speaking, a beginner's sentimental thinking cannot fathom the Buddha's Truth first, therefore it is usually true for beginners to be impossible to suppose the ultimate contents of Buddhist Truth. Actually, however, at the stage of the end even the former beginners can arrive at the true Buddhist conclusion, and such situations are usually real facts.)

Therefore in the case of beginners, it is necessary for them to think that their supposition of the ultimate Buddhist conclusion might be different from the True Buddhism itself. But it is necessary for them not to worry about such situations, because after their efforts of pursuing the true Buddhism, they can arrive at the true Buddhism at last.

(15) [Still,] the inner depths of the perfect state are beyond the beginner's shallow consciousness. [The be-ginner] must just endeavor, through concrete conduct, to tread the path of the ancient saints. At this time, in visiting teachers and seeking the truth, there are mountains to climb and oceans to cross. While we are seeking a guiding teacher, or hoping to find a [good] counselor, one comes down from the heavens, or springs out from the earth.

(The deep state of experienced Buddhist practitioners are completely different from the shallow knowledge of beginners. Therefore in the case of beginners they should only make their efforts to step on the footprints of former experienced Buddhist practitioners. In such situations if we look for a Master for pursuing the Truth, sometimes we have to climb up mountains utilizing even ladders or navigating the ocean. However, if, we sincerely search for an excellent Master or anxiously hope to meet a splendid teacher, they will fall down from the heaven, or they will gush out from the ground.)

A imaginary dream of beginner's enlightenment in Buddhism is completely different from the ultimate realization of true Buddhism in the phase of accomplishment. Therefore in the case of Buddhist beginners they should throw away their own imaginary dream, and it might be the best way for them to step on the footprints of former excellent Masters. And in such an attitude if we pursue the Buddhist Truth, even though there might be many difficulties and hard situations, but we can arrive at the ultimate Truth at last.


(16) Furthermore, if the mind or the flesh grow lazy or disbelieving, we should whole-heartedly confess before the Buddha. When we do this, the power of the virtue of confessing before the Buddha saves us and makes us pure.

(Furthermore, if our mind or body becomes lazy or disbelieving, we should confess our laziness or disbelieving whole-heartedly before Gautama Buddha. Then the power of the virtue of confessing our laziness or disbelieving before Gautama Buddha, saves us and makes us pure.)

In our daily life sometimes we are prone to become lazy or disbelieving in Buddhism, but in such a situation, we should confess such a situation in front of the Gautama Buddha's image. And just such a behavior saves us from our laziness or disbelieving actually. It is rather surprising that even Master Dogen has confessed such a fact.

(17) Let me share in their compassion. In the past, Buddhist pa-triarchs were [the same as] us, and in the future we may become Buddhist patriarchs.

("Please give me your benevolence!" Even in the case of Gautama Buddha, before he has realized the Truth, he has been also the same as us, who have been also only students of pursuing the Truth, therefore it is not only a kind of dream for us to become a Buddha in future.)

Not only Gautama Buddha, all Buddhas have been ordinary people befor they have become Buddha, and so it is not necessary for us to worry about whether we can become Buddhas, or not.


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