Sunday, March 28, 2021

Shodoka - Song of Attaining the Path - 106

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Cheng-tao-ko - Song of the Certified Way - Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh
Shodoka - Song of Attaining the Path - Yoka Genkaku

The next text analysed -- from a Madhyamaka point of view as usual -- will probably be: ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—ฆ๐—›๐—ข๐——๐—ข๐—ž๐—” - Song of Enlightenment / Realisation / Liberation / Experiencing the Tao.

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๐—–๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด-๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ผ-๐—ธ๐—ผ - ๆฐธๅ˜‰็Ž„่ฆบ - Song of the Certified Way - Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh

๐—ฆ๐—ตล๐—ฑล๐—ธ๐—ฎ - ๆฐธๅ˜‰็ฆชๅธซ่ญ‰้“ๆญŒ[ๆฐธๅ˜‰็Ž„่ฆบ] - Song of Attaining the Path - Yoka Genkaku

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CHENG-TAO-KO [Zhengdaoge], Shodoka (J.), Song of Enlightenment. - a collection of 64 verses from the T'ang Dynasty China, attributed to the Zen Master Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh [Yongjia Xuanjue], aka Yoka Genkaku (J.) (665-713), and presenting the basic tenets of the Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism.

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[Yo-ka-sho-do-ka. 1 Fascicle = Yung-chia-cheng-tao-ko = ๆฐธๅ˜‰่ญ‰้“ๆญŒ ไธ€ๅท: This work expresses in poetic form the substance of the Ch'an enlightenment gained in a single night by Yung-chia Hsuan-chio under the guidance of Hui-neng (Jap.: Eno), the Sixth Patriarch of Chinese Ch'an. Although it comprises only 247 lines consisting in all of 814 characters, it expresses beautifully the essence of Ch'an, and has been recited by Ch'an monks ever since, being especially highly valued in the Ts'ao-tung (Jap.: Soto) School. Its title is frequently abbreviated to Sho-do-ka, meaning "Song of Attaining the Path (of Enlightenment)."]

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๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ฎ

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-- Copies:  http://www.ciolek.com/WWWVLPages/ZenPages/Daily-Zen-Sutras.html#SHODO 

-- https://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/shodoka.txt 

-- Other translations: https://terebess.hu/zen/sodoka.html 

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CHENG-TAO-KO [Zhengdaoge], Shodoka (J.), Song of Enlightenment. - a collection of 64 verses from the T'ang Dynasty China, attributed to the Zen Master Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh [Yongjia Xuanjue], aka Yoka Genkaku (J.) (665-713), and presenting the basic tenets of the Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism.

1. There is the leisurely one, (i.e. Bodhisattva)

Walking the [Middle] Way, beyond philosophy, (living in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now)

Not avoiding fantasy, not seeking truth. (not accepting / seeking, not rejecting / avoiding anything in absolute terms)

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The real nature of ignorance is the Buddha-nature itself; (i.e. Union samsara <==> nirvana)

The empty delusory body is the very body of the Dharma. (i.e. Everything is the dharmakaya / Ground)

(i.e. The Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / add in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / subtract in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth. Everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now.)

(i.e. The Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: extremes like existence / appearances / realism, non-existence / mere-emptiness / nihilism, both together / dualism, neither / monism or radical oneness, subject-only / subjectivism, object-only / objectivism, action/process-only / processism, ...)

(i.e. The inconceivable unique true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the self-arisen unchanging timeless spaceless limitless pristine Ground, as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths, Union of the three spheres, Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, the tetralemma, the primorial equality / purity / perfection / divinity of everything in both samsara & nirvana.)

(i.e. This Truth is inconceivable for our flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic minds; ultimately it has to be directly perceived / realised / experienced / abided in without using any of our conditioning / karma. The Truth is beyond all views, methods, goals; beyond all description / conceptualisation, causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time. And that doesn't mean we should completely stop using conventional truth, methods, goals; completely stop taking, thinking, conceptualising, discriminating, analysing, living. It doesn’t mean to reject our precious human life and/or the world, to reject what differentiates us from animals. It only means not doing it in absolute terms, not doing it with ignorance, by doing it with more and more wisdom about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now.)

2. When the Dharma-body (dharmakaya) awakens completely, (after enlightenment, one directly realises that:)

There is nothing at all. (i.e. 2nd truth - emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas)

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The source of our self-nature (i.e. Ground)

Is the Buddha [inside] of innocent truth. (i.e. The Ground / Reality / Primordial awareness is the source (alaya) of everything in  both samsara & nirvana -- pure or impure --. Everything is inseparable displays of the Ground / Reality / Primordial awareness.)

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Mental and physical reactions come and go 

Like clouds in the empty sky;

Greed, hatred, and ignorance appear and disappear

Like bubbles on the surface of the sea. (1st truth - conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances)

(i.e. Conventionally things appear and change, but in Reality there are no inherent origination / birth / coming, duration / life / abiding / change, cessation / death / going / liberation. There is no continuity or discontinuity of anything.)

[Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, about all opposites, even the three spheres, even the two truths themselves: Everything is like an inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). Everything appears but is empty, everything is empty but still appears and is relatively functional. One truth implies the other (<==>). Everything is co-dependent with its parts (when applicable), with its causes & conditions (when applicable), with its apparent opposite(s) (always), and with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising it in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma. Everything is more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those term: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; etc.]

(i.e. The inconceivable unique true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the self-arisen unchanging timeless spaceless limitless pristine Ground, as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths, Union of the three spheres, Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, the tetralemma, the primorial equality / purity / perfection / divinity of everything in both samsara & nirvana.)

3. When we realize actuality, (i.e. when we directly realise the true nature & dynamic of the Ground / Primordial awareness / Reality as it is here & now)

There is no distinction between [primordial] mind and [ordinary] thing(s) (physical, conceptual, mental) (i.e. Union Ground / Primordial awareness / Reality <==> displays / manifestations / appearances.)

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And the path to hell instantly vanishes. (i.e. Directly perceiving / realising / experiencing this Truth is the liberating factor, the purification / transmutation / transcendence of all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma, of the whole karmic cycle / samsara)

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If this is a lie to fool the world,

My tongue may be cut out forever.

(i.e. Directly perceiving / realising / experiencing this Truth is the liberating factor, the purification / transmutation / transcendence of all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma, of the whole karmic cycle / samsara.)

4. Once we awaken to the Tathagata-Zen, (after enlightenment, one directly realises that:)

The six noble deeds and the ten thousand good actions

Are already complete within us. (i.e. Our true nature, the Ground / Reality / Primordial awareness, is inseparable from its pure virtuous perfected qualities & wisdoms. Union Ground <==> pure displays / manifestations / appearances. Union of the Two truths. They are impure when there is ignorance, and pure when there is wisdom / full awareness of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, of the three spheres.)

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In our dream we see the six levels of illusion clearly; (1st truth - conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances)

After we awaken the whole universe is empty. (i.e. 2nd truth - emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas)

(i.e. Our true nature, the Ground / Reality / Primordial awareness, is inseparable from its pure virtuous perfected qualities & wisdoms. Union Ground <==> pure displays / manifestations / appearances. Union of the Two truths. They are called impure when there is ignorance, and called pure when there is wisdom / full awareness of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, of the three spheres. It is direct wisdom that purifies / self-liberates / transmutes samsara into nirvana here & now.) 

[Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, about all opposites, even the three spheres, even the two truths themselves: Everything is like an inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). Everything appears but is empty, everything is empty but still appears and is relatively functional. One truth implies the other (<==>). Everything is co-dependent with its parts (when applicable), with its causes & conditions (when applicable), with its apparent opposite(s) (always), and with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising it in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma. Everything is more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those term: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; etc.]

5. No bad fortune, no good fortune, no loss, no gain; (i.e. We need to transcend all dualities: like pure vs. impure; there is nothing to add / seek, nothing to subtract / remove / clean / purify.)

Never seek such things in eternal serenity.

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For years the dusty mirror has gone uncleaned, (i.e. Reality is non-dual, beyond clean vs. unclean)

Now let us polish it completely, once and for all. (i.e. ‘polishing’ means directly realising its true nature & dynamic)

(i.e. Primordial naked awareness is like a mirror; it can reflect perfectly anything when not stained. In this simile those stains are not part of the mirror, they are temporary, they can be cleaned / removed. But this simile is imperfect. The conditioning covering our primordial naked nature is part of Reality, part of the Ground, inseparable from our true nature. It is its inseparable display. It is called stain / impure when there is ignorance of its true nature & dynamic, and they are transmuted into purity by direct wisdom. So cleaning the mirror, polishing it, is simply directly realising its true nature & dynamic as it is here & now. In Reality there are no dualities like clean vs. unclean, pure vs. impure, subject vs. object, Ground vs. displays, two truths, mirror vs. dust, etc.)

(i.e. The Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / add in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / subtract in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth. Everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now.)

[Union of opposites: Union of the Two Truths about all apparent opposites, even the three spheres, even the two truths themselves: Apparent opposites are like an inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). They co-appear but are empty, they are empty but still co-appear and are relatively functional. One truth implies the other (<==>). They are co-dependent with each other(s), and with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising them together. They are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those term: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; etc.]

6. Who has no-thought? Who is not-born? (i.e. moving from the ‘mirror’ to the ‘self’)

If we are truly not-born,

We are not un-born either. (i.e. The self, everything, is not born, not unborn, not both together, not neither. But we say it is ‘unborn’ as an antidote to our usual position.)

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Ask a robot [puppet:] if this is not so, (i.e. the self is like an illusion / puppet -- Union of the Two Truths)

How can we realize ourselves (i.e. The self, everything, is not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither. But we say it is ‘not existent’ as an antidote to our usual position.)

By virtuous deeds or by seeking the Buddha? (i.e. In Reality, everything, including the self, is beyond all dualistic concepts, but as an antidote to our usual positions, we say that everything is primordially equal / pure / perfect / divine. So, there is nothing to add / seek, nothing to remove / clean / purify / polish / liberate in absolute terms. Just directly realising their true nature & dynamic is what purifies / polishes / self-liberates / transmutes them.)

(i.e. Conventionally things appear and change, but in Reality there are no inherent origination / birth / coming, duration / life / abiding / change, cessation / death / going / liberation. There is no continuity or discontinuity of anything.)

[Union of the Two Truths about the ‘self’: The ‘self’ is also like an inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). It appears but is empty, it is empty but still appears and is relatively functional. One truth implies the other (<==>). It is co-dependent with its parts (when applicable), with its causes & conditions (when applicable), with its apparent opposite(s) (always), and with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising it in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma. It is more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those term: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not impure, not pure, not both together, not neither; not born, not unborn, not both together, not neither; not bound, not liberated, not both together, not neither; etc.]

7. Release your hold on earth, water, fire, wind;

Drink and eat as you wish in eternal serenity.

All things are transient and completely empty;

This is the great enlightenment of the Tathagata.

(i.e. 

8. Transience, emptiness and enlightenment --

These are the ultimate truths of Buddhism;

Keeping and teaching them is true Sangha devotion.

[As a true monk I speak the truth]

If you don’t agree, please ask me about it.

Cut out directly the root of it all, --

This is the very point of the Buddha-seal.

I can't respond to any concern about leaves and branches.

(i.e. 

9. People do not recognize the Mani-jewel.

Living intimately within the Tathagata-garbha,

It operates our sight, hearing, smell, taste, sensation, awareness;

And all of these are empty, yet not empty.

(i.e. 

10. The rays shining from this perfect Mani-jewel

Have the form of no form at all.

Clarify the five eyes and develop the five powers;

This is not intellectual work, -- just realize, just know.

It is not difficult to see images in a mirror,

But who can take hold of the moon in the water?

(i.e. 

11. Always working alone, always walking alone,

The enlightened one walks the free way of Nirvana

With melody that is old and clear in spirit

And naturally elegant in style,

But with body that is tough and bony,

Passing unnoticed in the world.

(i.e. 

12. We know that Shakya's sons and daughters

Are poor in body, but not in the [Middle] Way.

In their poverty, they always wear ragged clothing,

But they have the jewel of no price treasured within.

(i.e. 

13. This jewel of no price can never be used up

Though they spend it freely to help people they meet.

Dharmakaya, Sambogakaya, Nirmanakaya,

And the four kinds of wisdom

Are all contained within.

The eight kinds of emancipation and the six universal powers

Are all impressed on the ground of their mind.

(i.e. 

14. The best student goes directly to the ultimate,

The others are very learned but their faith is uncertain.

Remove the dirty garments from your own mind;

Why should you show off your outward striving?

(i.e. 

15. Some may slander, some may abuse;

They try to set fire to the heavens with a torch

And end by merely tiring themselves out.

I hear their scandal as though it were ambrosial truth;

Immediately everything melts

And I enter the place beyond thought and words.

[When I hear them, their words are like drops of nectar,

As they melt in me and return to the Great Reality]

(i.e. 

16. When I consider the virtue of abusive words,

I find the scandal-monger is my good teacher.

If we do not become angry at gossip,

We have no need for powerful endurance and compassion.

[If we become angry at gossip,

How would the powers of our endurance and compassion manifest themselves?]

To be mature in Zen [wisdom] is to be mature in expression [skillful means],

And full-moon brilliance of dhyana and prajna

Does not stagnate in emptiness.

Not only can I take hold of complete enlightenment by myself,

But all Buddha-bodies, like sands of the Ganges,

Can become awakened in exactly the same way.

(i.e. 

17. The incomparable lion-roar of doctrine

Shatters the brains of the one hundred kinds of animals.

Even the king of elephants will run away, forgetting his pride;

Only the heavenly dragon listens calmly, with pure delight.

(i.e. 

18. I wandered over rivers and seas, crossing mountains and streams,

Visiting teachers, asking about the [Middle] Way in personal interviews;

Since I recognized the Sixth Founding Teacher at Ts'ao Ch'i,

I know what is beyond the relativity of birth and death.

(i.e. 

19. Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen;

Speaking or silent, active or quiet, the essence is [be] at peace.

Even facing the sword of death, our mind is unmoved;

Even drinking poison, our mind is quiet [calm].

(i.e. 

20. Our teacher, Shakyamuni, met Dipankara Buddha

And for many eons he trained as Kshanti, the ascetic.

Many births, many deaths;

I am serene in this cycle,--there is no end to it.

(i.e. 

21. Since I abruptly realized the unborn,

I have had no reason for joy or sorrow

At any honor or disgrace.

(i.e. 

22. I have entered the deep mountains to silence and beauty;

In a profound valley beneath high cliffs,

I sit under the old pine trees.

Zazen in my rustic cottage

Is peaceful, lonely, and truly comfortable.

(i.e. 

23. When you truly awaken,

You have no formal merit.

In the multiplicity of the relative world,

You cannot find such freedom.

Self-centered merit brings the joy of heaven itself,

But it is like shooting an arrow at the sky;

When the force is exhausted, it falls to the earth,

And then everything goes wrong.

(i.e. 

24. Why should this be better

Than the true way of the absolute,

[beyond both relative and absolute, and thus]

Directly penetrating the ground of Tathagata?

(i.e. 

25. Just take hold of the source

And never mind the branches.

It is like a treasure-moon

Enclosed in a beautiful emerald.

Now I understand this Mani-jewel

And my gain is the gain of everyone endlessly.

(i.e. 

26. The moon shines on the river,

The wind blows through the pines,--

Whose providence is this long beautiful evening?

The Buddha-nature jewel of morality

Is impressed on the ground of my mind,

And my robe is the dew, the fog, the cloud, and the mist.

(i.e. 

27. A bowl once calmed dragons

And a staff separated fighting tigers;

The rings on this staff jingle musically.

The form of these expressions is not to be taken lightly;

The treasure-staff of the Tathagata

Has left traces for us to follow.

(i.e. 

28. The awakened one does not seek truth--

Does not cut off delusion.

Truth and delusion are both vacant and without form,

But this no-form is neither empty nor not empty;

It is the truly real form of the Tathagata.

(i.e. 

29. The mind-mirror is clear, so there are no obstacles.

Its brilliance illuminates the universe

To the depths and in every grain of sand.

Multitudinous things of the cosmos

Are all reflected in the mind,

And this full clarity is beyond inner and outer.

(i.e. 

30. To live in nothingness is to ignore cause and effect;

This chaos leads only to disaster.

The one who clings to vacancy, rejecting the world of things,

Escapes from drowning but leaps into fire.

(i.e. 

31. Holding truth and rejecting delusion--

These are but skillful lies.

Students who do zazen [practice] by such lies

Love thievery in their own children.

(i.e. 

32. They miss the Dharma-treasure;

They lose accumulated power;

And this disaster follows directly upon dualistic thinking.

So Zen [enlightenment] is the complete realization of mind,

The complete cutting off of delusion,

[the transcendence of dualistic thinking using]

The power of wise vision penetrating directly to the unborn.

(i.e. 

33. Students of vigorous will hold the sword of wisdom;

The prajna edge is a diamond flame.

It not only cuts off useless knowledge,

But also exterminates delusions.

(i.e. 

34. They roar with Dharma-thunder;

They strike the Dharma-drum;

They spread clouds of love, and pour ambrosial rain.

Their giant footsteps nourish limitless beings;

Sravaka, Pratyeka, Bodhisattva--all are enlightened;

Five kinds of human nature all are emancipated.

(i.e. 

35. High in the Himalayas, only fei-ni grass grows.

Here cows produce pure and delicious milk,

And this food I continually enjoy.

One complete nature passes to [pervades] all natures;

One universal Dharma encloses all Dharmas.

(i.e. 

36. One moon is reflected in many [all] waters;

All the water-moons are from the one moon.

The Dharma-body (dharmakaya) of all Buddhas has entered [is] my own nature,

And my nature becomes [is] one with the Tathagata.

(i.e. 

37. One level completely contains all levels;

It is not matter, mind nor activity.

In an instant eighty-thousand teachings are fulfilled;

In a twinkling the evil of eons is destroyed.

(i.e. 

38. All categories are no category;

What relation have have these to my insight?

Beyond praise, beyond blame, --

Like space itself it has no bounds.

(i.e. 

39. Right here it is eternally full and serene,

If you search elsewhere, you cannot see it.

You cannot grasp it, you cannot reject it;

In the midst of not gaining,

In that condition you gain it.

(i.e. 

40. It speaks in silence,

In speech you hear its silence.

The great way has opened and there are no obstacles.

If someone asks, what is your sect

And how do you understand it?

I reply, the power of tremendous prajna.

(i.e. 

41. People say it is positive;

People say it is negative;

But they do not know.

A smooth road, a rough road --

Even heaven cannot imagine.

I have continued my zazen [practice] for many eons;

I do not say this to confuse you.

(i.e. 

42. I raise the Dharma-banner and set forth our teaching;

It is the clear doctrine of the Buddha

Which I found with my teacher, Hui Neng,

Mahakashyapa became the Buddha-successor,

Received the lamp and passed it on.

Twenty-eight generations of teachers in India,

Then over seas and rivers to our land

Bodhi Dharma came as our own first founder,

And his robe, as we all know, passed through six teachers here,

And how many generations to come may gain the path,

No one knows.

(i.e. 

43. The truth is not set forth;

The false is basically vacant.

Put both existence and non-existence aside,

Then even non-vacancy is vacant,

The twenty kinds of vacancy have no basis,

And the oneness [nature] of the Tathagata-being

Is naturally [unique] sameness.

(i.e. 

44. Mind is the base, phenomena are dust;

Yet both are like a flaw in the mirror.

When the flaw is brushed aside,

The light begins to shine.

When both mind and phenomena are forgotten,

Then we become naturally genuine.

(i.e. 

45. Ah, the degenerate materialistic [and sad] world!

People are unhappy; they find self-control difficult.

In the centuries since Shakyamuni, false views are deep,

Demons are strong, the Dharma is [teachings are] weak, disturbances are many.

(i.e. 

46. People hear the Buddha's doctrine of immediacy,

And if they accept it, the demons will be crushed

As easily as a roofing tile.

But they cannot accept, what a pity!

(i.e. 

47. Your mind is the source of action;

Your body is the agent of calamity;

No pity nor blame to anyone else.

If you don't seek an invitation to hell,

Never slander the Tathagata's true teaching.

(i.e. 

48. In the sandalwood forest, there is no other tree.

Only the lion lives in such deep luxuriant woods,

Wandering freely in a state of peace.

Other animals and birds stay far away.

(i.e. 

49. Just baby lions follow the parent,

And three-year-olds already roar loudly.

How can the jackal pursue the king of the Dharma

Even with a hundred-thousand demonic arts?

(i.e. 

50. The Buddha's doctrine of directness

Is not a matter for human emotion.

If you doubt this or feel uncertain,

Then you must discuss it with me.

This is not the free rein of a mountain monk's ego.

I fear your training may lead to wrong views

Of permanent soul or complete extinction.

(i.e. 

51. Being is not being; non-being is not non-being;

Miss this rule by a hair,

And you are off by a thousand miles.

Understanding it, the dragon-child abruptly attains Buddhahood;

Misunderstanding it, the greatest scholar falls into hell.

(i.e. 

52. From my youth I piled studies upon studies,

In sutras and sastras I searched and researched,

Classifying terms and forms, oblivious to fatigue.

I entered the sea to count the sands in vain

And then the Tathagata scolded me kindly

As I read "What profit in counting your neighbor's treasure?"

My work had been scattered and entirely useless,

For years I was dust blown by the wind.

(i.e. 

53. If the seed-nature is wrong, misunderstandings arise,

And the Buddha's doctrine of immediacy cannot be attained.

Shravaka and Pratyeka students may study earnestly

But they lack aspiration.

Others may be very clever,

But they lack prajna.

(i.e. 

54. Stupid ones, childish ones,

They suppose there is something in an empty fist.

They mistake the pointing finger for the moon.

They are idle dreamers lost in form and sensation.

(i.e. 

55. Not supposing something is the Tathagata.

This is truly called Kwan-Yin, the Bodhisattva who sees freely.

When awakened we find karmic hindrances fundamentally empty.

But when not awakened, we must repay all our debts.

(i.e. 

56. The hungry are served a king's repast,

And they cannot eat.

The sick meet the king of doctors;

Why don't they recover?

The practice of Zen in this greedy world [this realm of desire] --

This is the power of wise vision.

The lotus lives [born] in the midst of the fire ; It is never destroyed.

(i.e. 

57. Pradhanashura broke the gravest precepts;

But he went on to realize the unborn.

The Buddhahood he attained in that moment

Lives with us now in our time.

(i.e. 

58. The incomparable lion roar of the doctrine!

How sad that people are stubbornly ignorant;

Just knowing that crime blocks enlightenment,

Not seeing the secret of the Tathagata teaching.

(i.e. 

59. Two monks were guilty of murder and carnality.

Their leader, Upali, had the light of a glow-worm;

He just added to their guilt.

Vimalakirti cleared their doubts at once

As sunshine melts the frost and snow.

(i.e. 

60. The remarkable power of emancipation

Works wonders innumerable as the sands of the Ganges.

To this we offer clothing, food, bedding, medicine.

Ten thousand pieces of gold are not sufficient;

Though you break your body

And your bones become powder, --

This is not enough for repayment [of].

One vivid word [that] surpasses millions of years of practice.

(i.e. 

61. The King of the Dharma deserves our highest respect.

Tathagatas, innumerable as sands of the Ganges,

All prove this fact by their attainment.

Now I know what the Mani-jewel is:

Those who believe this will gain it accordingly.

(i.e. 

62. When we see truly, there is nothing at all.

There is no person; there is no Buddha.

Innumerable things of the universe

Are just bubbles on the sea.

Wise sages are all like flashes of lightning

(i.e. 

63. However the burning iron ring revolves around my head,

With bright completeness of dhyana and prajna

I never lose my equanimity.

If the sun becomes cold, and the moon hot,

Evil cannot shatter the truth.

The carriage of the elephant moves like a mountain,

How can the mantis block the road?

(i.e. 

64. The great elephant does not loiter on the rabbit's path.

Great enlightenment is not concerned with details.

Don't belittle the sky by looking through a pipe.

If you still don't understand,

I will settle it for you.

(i.e. 

Translations/revisions by Robert Aitken Roshi

Diamond Sangha Daily Zen Sutras

December 1991 version

[Plus minor “corrections”]

Source


Image: Hui-neng & (his disciple) Yung-chia. Drawing by Zensho W. Kopp


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Quotes

Titre 3

Previous analysis from 2004:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040610171202/http://gileht.com/Chan/Shodoka_17_for_html.htm 

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