A Collation of the Layers of the Various Teachings
of All the Buddhas of the Past, Present
and Future as to Which Specific Doctrines
are to be Discarded or Established


Sô Kan Mon Shô
Goshô Shimpen, p.1408-1426

The tenth month of the second year of Kô.an [1279] at 58 years of age

The whole of Shakyamuni’s lifetime of holy instruction was expounded over a period of fifty years. This is said to be all the Sutras. All these Sutras are divided into two categories. One was for the instruction and development of other people and the second were teachings from the Buddha’s own enlightened viewpoint.

The teachings for the instruction and development of other people were expounded over the period of forty years prior to his teaching the Dharma Flower Sutra. These Sutras entail various kinds of teachings and all of them are referred to as the provisional doctrine or as expedient means. Out of the four different means of instruction for the growth of other people there are these three, 1) The Three Receptacles (Sanzô) that contain the teachings of the individual vehicle (shôjô, hinayana), 2) The interrelated teachings (tsûgyo) that serve as a bridge between the doctrines of the individual vehicle and those of the universal vehicle (daijô, mahayana) and, 3) The Particular Teaching (bekkyô) that was expounded for the benefit of bodhisattvas. In terms of the five periods that represent the order in which the major sutras were taught there is the Flower Garland Sutra (Kegon), the teachings of the individual vehicle (Agon) the Equally Broad (Hôdô) and the Wisdom (Hannya, Prajña) periods. These are the four periods of the teaching of the sutras that came before the Dharma Flower Sutra.

If we look at these provisional teachings from the point of view of the  ten realms of dharmas (jippokai), then in contrast the Buddha realm (Bukkai), all these provisional doctrines refer to the first nine only [1) hell (jigokukai), 2) hungry demons (gakikai), 3) animality (chikushôkai), 4) ashuras (shurakai), 5) humanity (jinkai), 6) devas (tenkai), 7) hearers of the Buddha’s voice (shômonkai), 8) enlightened by karmic circumstances (engakukai), 9) bodhisattvas (bosatsukai).]

Again, if we look upon these provisional teachings in terms of dreaming and being wide awake, then the provisional teachings are like the good and evil events in a dream. Dreams are what they are as long as they last and therefore provisional. Being wide awake is reality. Since dreams are for the time being only, they have no real entity nor do they have any real nature. This is why they are said to be provisional. The essence of mind is completely awake and is forever present. This is why its substance is permanent. It is also referred to as reality.

In the forty-two years of Shakyamuni’s preaching the sutras were instructions for dealing with the good and bad things that happen in the dream of living and dying. These are the provisional teachings which were an enticement and guidance for the sentient beings who were involved in the dream.

In order to lead these people into the thoroughly awakened dimension of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokkekyô), the Buddha Shakyamuni expounded the teachings of the sutras as a preparatory expedient means and are designated as the provisional teachings. It is on this account that we have to be clear about our understanding of the words “real” and “provisional.”

The contents of the provisional teachings are made clear when Shakyamuni in his Sutra that has Boundless Implications (Muryô gi kyô) states “I have not revealed the truth for forty years.” All these sutras are preparatory teachings for the dream world where the truth has not yet been revealed.

This is why Myôraku in his Explanatory Notes on the Recondite Significance of the Dharma Flower says, “Whether we are in a dream or whether we are wide awake, there is no difference in the essence of the mind itself. A dream exists because it is something imagined which immediately suggests that the Buddha who is to get through to the illusionary conditions of the people to whom he preaches with their illusory feelings, their illusory interaction with the Buddha, and their illusory propensities to grow both the Buddha and his listeners are together in an illusion that was only for the time being. Reality does not yet exist. As a result all these sutras are those that had not yet revealed what the truth is, all were expounded as an expedient means for the illusory situation of the people in the dream. Reality does not yet exist. As a result all these sutras are those that had not yet revealed what the truth is, all were expounded as an expedient means for the illusory situation of the people in the dream.

What is intended by Myôraku’s “Whether we are in the dream or whether we are wide awake, there is no difference in the essence of mind itself.” Even if we are involved in the dream or even if we are completely awake, the essential mind that is capable of perceiving these two situations is one and the same.

A dream is just something imagined, but when we are wide awake existence becomes an objective truth. But in each case it is only the revelations of the various perceptions of the mind. This has been explained as seeing the truth as our own individual minds.

Myôraku in his Commentary and Explanations of the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries says, “In three of the teachings that came before the Dharma Flower Sutra 1) the three receptacles, 2) the interrelated teachings and, 3) the particular teaching for bodhisattvas with their four universal vows are all a complete fantasy. So that both the Buddha who teaches and those who are taught mutually cease to exist. Because both are wrapped up in a dream.

The four universal vows are 1) to save all living beings without limit, 2) to put an end to troublesome worries however numerous, 3) to study the endless gateways to the Dharma and, 4) to attain perfection in the Buddha path.

So it can be assumed that all the sutras that were expounded during the forty-two years before the Dharma Flower (Hokkekyô), were provisional teachings and various expedient means that had not yet revealed the truth. Because they were a way of leading people towards the Dharma Flower Sutra. They were never teachings that referred to bare-faced reality.

With regard to this the Buddha himself collected all the teachings of forty-two years in an effort to propound the doctrine of the simultaneity of cause and effect that runs throughout the whole of existence (Hokkekyô), he went on the preach the Sutra that has Boundless Significance (Muryôgikyô) which was to serve as an introduction to the Dharma Flower. The Buddha having made up his mind as to what the content of the Dharma Flower Sutra would be, he decided not to make use of ordinary human talk in order to avoid any space for doubts.

In the Explanatory Notes on the Recondite Significance of the Dharma Flower, Myôraku states, “The provisional teachings were preached for the conditions of the people who are trapped in the first nine realms of dharmas (kyûkai), but it was the real teachings that revealed the Dharma realm of the Buddha which is the ultimate truth. The provisional teachings that were for the benefit of the people in the nine realms of dharmas were taught over a period of forty-two years. The ultimate truth of the Buddha’s own enlightenment (Bukkai) only took eight years to expound. This was the Dharma Flower Sutra.

It is for this reason the Dharma Flower Sutra is referred to as the Buddha vehicle for attaining enlightenment. The provisional teachings refer to the existential reality of the living and dying of the people in the nine realms of dharmas (things or anything else they might perceive). Whereas the Dharma teaching of the timeless eternity of life in its most wide awake sense refers to the Dharma realm of the Buddha (Bukkai).

The lifetime of fifty years of teaching and instruction of Shakyamuni is his whole life of holy guidance. The concept of all the sutras is the combination of the forty-two years of provisional teachings along with the eight years of real teachings that manifest the Buddha’s own enlightenment.

As a result when we shine the two words “provisional” and “real” as if they were spotlights onto all the sutras, then these discrepancies become evidently clear without the slightest haziness whatsoever.

Accordingly if someone were to do the bodhisattva practices of the three receptacles that contain the teachings of the individual vehicle (sanzô) for the astronomically long period of three asogi major kalpas with the aim of becoming a Buddha, this person’s body and mind would come out of the fire of total annihilation, his body would be turned to ashes and his wisdom would be extinguished altogether. Because the aims of the teachings of the individual vehicle were for the personal attainment of Nirvana which means ceasing to exist.

If someone else were to think of fulfilling all the bodhisattva practices of the interconnecting teachings (tsûgyô) over another astronomically long period of seven asogi and an all embracing hundreds of kalpas, then in the same way as the person who had completed the practices of the individual vehicle, his body and mind would be reduced to fine ashes which would finally disappear without a trace. Because the aims of the interconnecting teachings were also the attainment of Nirvana.

Then again if another individual were to try to complete all the practices of the particular teaching for bodhisattvas (bekkyô) with the intention of becoming a Buddha, for an even more interminable period of twenty major kalpas, this person would ultimately become a Buddha of the provisional teachings in the midst of the dream of living and dying. From the point of view of the wide awake awareness of the original enlightenment (hongaku no utsutsu) of the Dharma Flower Sutra, there is no real Buddha of the particular teachings for bodhisattvas, he can only be a Buddha within the dream.

The path for the attainment of the truth through personal experience by means of the particular teachings for bodhisattvas would only arrive at the first shoji of the ten stages of firm ground (juji) from among the fifty-two bodhisattva stages in the process of becoming a Buddha. A portion of the delusions that hinder enlightenment (mumyôwaku) would be cut away and replaced with the same potion of awareness of the principal of the Buddha teaching of the middle way of reality (chûdô no hôri). The teaching of this path are isolated from the main body of the four classifications of the teachings of Shakyamuni according to their content, 1) the three receptacles (sanzô), 2) the interconnecting teachings (tsûgyo), 3) the particular teaching (bekkyô), 4) the all inclusive teaching (engyô), as well as the five teaching periods of the Buddha’s lifetime in terms of doctrinal advancement. 1) the period of the teachings of the Flower Garland Sutra (Kegon), 2) the period of the teachings of the individual vehicle (Agon), 3) the period of the equally broad teachings (hôdô), 4) the period of the Dharma Flower and Nirvana Sutra doctrines (hokke nehan). Furthermore in the practice of the particular teachings for bodhisattvas, the three bodies of the Buddha 1) the Dharma body i.e. the enlightened body of the Buddha that involves the whole of existence (hosshin), 2) the embodiment of the Buddha’s wisdom (hôshin), 3) the body that corresponds to the needs of the unenlightened (ôjin) as well as the three inseparable aspects of reality (santai) 1) its appearance and its material aspect (ke), 2) what it seems to be in terms of our experience and what goes on in our heads (), the combination of both 1 and 2 which is reality as it is perceived every moment of our lives (chû). In the particular teachings for bodhisattvas, these three inseparable aspects of existence are considered as three separate entities.

Nonetheless, if any of these people who do the practices of the provisional vehicle were to move on and become faithful to the all inclusive teachings (engyô), then this would mean these people are no longer held back by the limitations of the particular teachings for bodhisattvas. Among bodhisattvas there are three different levels of propensity, those of superior propensities, medium propensities and those who are less capable. Those who have risen above the first, second of third stages in becoming a Buddha (gojûni’i) or even those who have become universally enlightened (tôgaku) which is the last but one of the fifty-two stages every one of these people are followers of the all inclusive teachings.

Therefore outside the text of the Flower Garland Sutra which is the book for the particular teaching for bodhisattvas, there is no real Buddha nor has anyone become a Buddha through this doctrine.

The Universal Teacher Dengyô wrote in connection with this problem in his Essays on Safeguarding and Protecting the Frontiers of the State (Shugo Kokkai Shô), “Even though he was a Buddha of transitory nature who came into being through various karmic causes and relationships (u’i mujô), his wisdom body was that of a provisional enlightenment in the midst of a dream.” What this implies that even if his Buddha enlightenment was only manifest in terms of the three receptacles that contain the teachings of the individual vehicle, the interconnecting teachings as well as the particular teaching for bodhisattvas, it is due to his own observation of mind which is the practice of the all inclusive teachings that made him the real Buddha who was consciously aware of the profoundest reality of the triple body independent of all karma.

Again Dengyô writes, “The Dharma wisdom and corresponding bodies (hosshin), (hôshin), and (ôjin) of the Buddha of the provisional teachings could not avoid being impermanent.” But, by evolving into the Buddha who was able to observe mind for what it is which is reciting the title and theme (daimoku) in front of a written representation of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces (ichinen sanzen), Shakyamuni became both the entity and the role (kutaikuyû) of the Dharma, wisdom and corresponding bodies of the real teachings. You must keep this explanation firmly in your mind.

The provisional teachings are comparable to the sort of thinking that if someone were to practice painful and difficult austerities that person might by a stroke of luck become a Buddha. Nevertheless such a Buddha’s enlightenment would only be in the makeshift world of dream. When the time comes to be thinking in terms of being consciously aware of the inherent enlightenment that is the fundamental of all existence, (hongaku no utsutsu), then the Buddhas of the provisional teachings are not real at all, they are not even Buddhas who have arrived at the ultimate realization of the practice to become enlightened. The provisional teachings do exist but nobody ever becomes a Buddha through such a doctrine.

Furthermore if somebody were to say to people that the provisional teachings were the truth, so that those people were to do the practices of the provisional teachings, then such people would be somewhat confused about the original intention of Shakyamuni’s lifetime of holy preaching, (ichidai shôkyô).

I shall put aside what I was saying about the evidence that nobody was able to become a Buddha through the teachings of the Flower Garland Sutra (Kegonkyô), the three receptacles that contain the teachings of the individual vehicle, sanzô as well as the interconnecting doctrines (tsûgyô), the main point for the people living in the final period of Shakyamni’s teaching (matsudai) is to open up their wisdom to understand the aim of the Buddha teaching and to live with a constant awareness if it.

The ordinary people, (shujô) who inhabit the nine realms of dharmas, (kyûkai) are wholeheartedly immersed in the sleep of the unenlightenment of not wanting to know, (mumyô), they are drowned in the dream of living and dying as well as having forgotten the wakefulness of the enlightenment of the original state, (hongaku no utsutsu) is all about. They cling at all costs to what is going on in the dream. They stray from one darkness to the next.

As a result this becomes the reason why the Tathâgata (nyorai) decided to enter the dream so as to be in the same karmic situation as the ordinary people who are full of wild fantasies that prevent them from seeing reality for what it is (tendô no shujô). Then with the idea of leading these people towards the truth, the Buddha tells them about the truth and misguided conceptions (zen’aku) within the dream. When it comes to explaining the truth, the misguided concepts within the dream are embedded layers upon layers in boundless and countless numbers.

With regard to expounding the truth, the Buddha had to establish three levels of instruction, the highest, a middle and another grade for the less capable. These three levels then become the three categories of instruction or the three vehicles (sanjô). 1) Those who listen to the Buddha’s voice (shômon), 2) those who are partially enlightened due to karmic circumstances (engku) and, 3) the bodhisattvas (bosatsu). Again the Tathâgata (nyorai) put the people who do the practices of the three vehicles (sanjô) into three categories according to their propensities 1) superior, 2) average and, 3) those with less ability. This teaching is referred to as the nine separate levels within the doctrines of the three vehicles (sansankyûhon).

After the Buddha had finished expounding in this manner, he established the correct way of understanding existence. This was the view of the people with the highest propensities out of nine separate levels within the teachings of the three vehicles (jôjô no konpon zen). This is also understood as the teaching for the people of the separate levels within the doctrines of the three vehicles.

Nevertheless these teachings were on all accounts the correct way of understanding existence as well as the delusions to be avoided by the people within the dream of living and dying. Here it might be worthwhile mentioning the Universal Teacher Myôraku in his Record of Essential Gleanings from the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries (Maka Shikan Sôyôki) puts all these provisional doctrines outside the Buddha teaching since they all gave rise to distorted views.

Seeing that the people with the highest propensities out of the nine separate levels within the doctrines of the three vehicles were capable of understanding that at this point, Shakyamuni’s teachings were based on the principal of the wide awake awareness of the original enlightenment (hongaku no utsutsu). This doctrine was also expounded so that people could understand this way of thinking corresponded to the realities of being alive.

Therefore with the Buddha’s ability to establish for the benefit of the people within the dream, the distinction between thinking in terms of the wide awake awareness of the original enlightenment and the world of bewilderment and fantasies (zenaku), the real aspect of the originally awakened mind was made known for the first time.

At this juncture the Buddha pointed out that even though dreaming and being awake may be different as fantasy and reality, all dharmas or anything whatsoever that may touch upon any of our senses or mental faculties either imagined or real and the mind that perceives them are both one and the same.

When we are tired we go to sleep and sometimes we dream. When we have finished sleeping our minds become wide awake. However, we realize that whether we are dreaming or whether we are wide awake, both mind and dharmas are the same or rather it is one and the same mind that is having two kinds of experiences. When this concept was fully understood, the Buddha used it as a foundation for many teachings that were used as an expedient means. This was how people considered the middle way of reality (chûdô) in the particular teachings for bodhisattvas (bekkyô).

It was on these grounds that Shakyamuni did not reveal the doctrine of each one of the ten realms of dharmas being mutually endowed with the same ten realms (jikkai gogu) or the identities of objects and living beings not being separate from their appearance and behaviour (ke) the space that accommodates them along with what goes on in their minds as well as the combination of these two factors which form the middle way of reality. As a result nobody attained enlightenment of became a Buddha.

Hence, it took the Buddha forty-two years of preaching the teaching of the three receptacles to reach the level of the particular doctrine for bodhisattvas. All the eight classifications of Shakyamuni’s teaching which are divided into four kinds of teaching (kehô shikyô) and four modes of instruction (kegi shikyô) are progressive guidances to enable his disciples to fully understand the teaching of the fundamental state of the Dharma Flower Sutra. The four kinds of teaching are firstly the teaching of the three receptacles that contain all the teachings of the individual vehicle (sanzô). Secondly, the interrelated teachings (tsûgyô) which acts as an individual step between the individual vehicle (shôjô, hinayana), and the universal vehicle (daijô, mahayana). Thirdly, the particular teaching for those people who were bodhisattvas (bekkyô) and fourthly the all-inclusive teaching (engyô) which is the perfect doctrine of the Dharma Flower as well as the real intention of the Buddha. All these teachings were taught in four different manners (kegi), 1) directly and without reason for the whole truth, 2) graded and in stages, 3) esoteric teachings that were only understood by certain people in the assembly and 4) general and indeterminate teachings from which various people would derive a benefit according to the depth of their understanding.

However, regardless of what these teachings may involve, all these teachings were only different kinds of expedient means. All these provisional teachings refer to the correct insights and the distorted views within the dream. The object of such teachings was as a preparation as well as a means to draw people towards the truth of the Dharma Flower Sutra. In all of these provisional teachings there are both strategic improvisations and the truth about what life really is. Each one of the four teachings at first show us that all things exist (umon), the dharmas are shown to be the void or rather since only our faculties and minds perceive them, then they don’t exit (kûmon). This leads to the concept that things both really exist and don’t really exist at the same time (yaku’u yakukûmon) and finally things are neither material nor immaterial, they are neither existing nor simply emptiness (hi’uhikûmon).

None of these concepts are untruths they are just as the words indicate. But it is due to a misunderstanding of what the words mean, that gives rise to confusion as to which teaching is provisional and which teaching is real.

When it comes to the teachings that are an expedient means, they only exist in places like this impure and imperfect world of ours (edo), they are not present in the immaculate terrains that only consist of a Buddha realm (jôdo). In the Second Chapter on Expedient Means in the Dharma Flower Sutra it says, “In the Buddha lands in the ten directions which are east, west, south and north, south east, north east, north west as well as above and below, there are neither two vehicles to enlightenment (nijô) nor even the three, 1) the vehicle to enlightenment for bodhisattvas, 2) those people who are partially enlightened due to karmic circumstances (engku), 3) those who have listened to the Buddha (shômon), because all these three vehicles to enlightenment have been done away with.

According to this text the teaching in these Buddha terrains can only be that of the one vehicle to enlightenment (ichi butsujô) which is the Dharma Flower Sutra. This text also implies there are no provisional teachings that serve as an expedient means.

The Pure Land School (Jôdoshû) which recites the Nembutsu which is Namu Amida Butsu, does not have a concept of the Buddha terrains of the ten directions, so there is no doubt that these Pure Land teachings are an expedient means and therefore only temporary. The Daishônin remarks that the adepts of this school dislike the Dharma Flower Sutra which is the only conveyance to enlightenment So, should we consider this a Buddha teaching or not?

In order to instruct people and to get them to think along the lines of the Buddha teaching, Shakyamuni expounded various doctrines (shuju no hô), but later he taught the single vehicle of the Dharma that is the Buddha teaching which makes no distinction between the differences of the ten realms of dharmas since each one is its own experience of the truth of the whole of existence (mufunbetsu).

All the Buddhas of the past, present and future expounded expound or will expound the Dharma in exactly the same way as Shakyamuni. The teachings that are an expedient means lead people into the doctrine that makes no distinction between the ten realms of dharmas because each realm of dharmas is its own reality. Each and every dharma entails the whole of phenomenal and noumenal existence are all stored away in our own minds. This is the enlightenment of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myôhô).

The Buddha expounded his teachings which treat the people enmeshed in the ten realms of dharmas from hell to the Buddha realm on the same footing, since each and every one of these realms is its own reality. Hence, Shakyamuni’s desire to make people in this impure and imperfect world of ours to open up their own Buddha enlightenment.

The Buddha concluded by saying that the sutras he had preached previously were for the benefit and instruction of other people in order to make them grow towards the Dharma Flower. This becomes clearer when we affirm what the Buddha originally practiced for himself. All this is implicit in the  Chapter on the Lifespan of the Tathâgata and the theme and title Nam Myôhô Renge Kyo which is the consecration and founding of one’s life on the sutra on the Lotus Flower of the Utterness of the Dharma. In present day language this would be, “Basing and founding our lives on the place where the simultaneousness of cause and effect of the whole of existence occurs.”

The Buddha teaching which Shakyamuni practiced for himself consists of the Dharma Flower Sutra which was practiced over a period of eight years. This is also the sutra that gives meaning to the Buddha’s own awareness of the original mind that lies deep within all of us (honshin). But since people are used to imagining that this is what produces all things both on the outside and within us, the Buddha appropriated the way things were expressed in the words of the dream in order to teach them about being awakened to the deepest part of their own psyches.

However, even though Shakyamuni used words that really belong to the dream of living and dying his intention was to teach and throw light on the original mind (honshin). He knew that if the text and the explanations were not absolutely clear, people would become confused as to their real meaning.

Nevertheless, even those gateways to the Buddha teaching that were expounded for their instruction and benefit of other people, keta, also based on the wide awake enlightenment that is the original mind. When these teachings were applied to the people in the dream they had enormous benefits.

Because the awareness of the original mind lay as a foundation of the teachings for the people within the dream this meant that the foundation was Myôhô renge kyô and that beyond the meaningfulness of this concept there is no existence.

Rather in the same way as all waterways flow towards the sea, the Buddha mind which must include every single item imagined or real as well as the minds of ordinary people who are capable of embracing the whole of existence (shin.pô.myô). This means that these two concepts of utterness or the whole, myô are stored away in our minds. Outside and beyond our individual minds, there is no existence whatsoever.

Therefore our individual minds which go on functioning from day to day in the midst of concrete reality, the essence of mind or its fundamental quality and the entity of mind itself which is inseparable from our bodies or the whole of life and are in fact the three bodies of the originally enlightened Tathâgata (hongaku no sanjin nyorai). In the Second Chapter on Expedient Means in the Dharma Flower Sutra these bodies are expressed as three qualities of suchness which are: 1) such an appearance (i.e. the corresponding or incarnate body of the Tathâgata), 2) such an essential quality (i.e. the wisdom body of the Tathâgata), 3) such an entity (i.e. the Tathâgata’s life which is the whole of existence). These are referred to as three of the qualities of suchness (sannyoze).

These three qualities of the suchness of the originally enlightened Tathâgata are the embodiment of all the realms of existence in all the ten directions. This means the fundamental pure mind that exists on its own (shinshô) that underlies the whole of life as well as all the Buddha marks and signs of physical existence (sôkô) throughout the ten directions.

It is for this reason our person consist of the originally awakened Tathâgata and are alive and present in every dharma everywhere (hôkai). This is the enormous benefit of the virtue and role of the Buddha as well as all dharmas being those of the Buddha.

When Shakyamuni expounded this, all the people who were in attendance at this preaching, all the monks, nuns as well as all the men and women who were devotes, the eight categories of humanlike beings, i.e. devas, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, garudas, kinnaras and mahorages along with those people outside the Buddha teaching, all of them without leaving a single person out were mythomaniacs, dirty minded and with prejudiced views. Every one of them were stopped from becoming scatterbrained numskulls and took refuge in the wide awake awareness of the original enlightenment. Every one of them were able to arrive at the full practice of the Buddha path. The Buddha is a person who is wide awake, sentient beings such as we are immersed in the dream. All those people who were wrapped up in living and dying, woke up from the dream of illusions and took refuge in the original enlightenment. They became aware that their own Buddha nature was not separate from their respective personalities (sokushin jô butsu), also they became fully conscious of the impartial universal wisdom (byôdô daie) as well as the Buddha understanding that treats the ten realms of dharmas from hell to the Buddha realm with equality (mufunbetsu). Since each is its own experience of the truth of the whole of existence. All sentient beings arrive at the path of the Buddha because there is only a single gateway to the Dharma.

Although the various Buddha lands may be thought of as divergent regions, the Buddha teaching that is taught in all these Buddha lands is the Dharma of the single vehicle (ichijô) in the various Buddha lands there are no teachings that are an expedient means since it is the Buddha teaching that treats the ten realms of dharmas, from hell to the Buddha realm equally. Because each is its own experience of the truth (mufunbetsu). Although the sentient beings of the ten realms of dharmas (jikkai) may be different from each other, but because the principle of the real aspect of all dharmas (shohôjissô) is only one, it is the Buddha teaching that treats all realms of dharmas equally. Although the gateways to the hundred realms of dharmas, the thousand qualities of suchness and the three thousand spaces where existence takes place, i.e. the teaching of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces (ichinen sanzen) may all differ from each other, because each of the ten realms of dharmas are endowed with the other ten, all these gateways to the Dharma treat the ten realms of dharmas from hell to the Buddha realm equally. Although dreaming and being awake, falsehood and truth are different from each other and exist as separate items, but because these dharmas are all dharmas of the oneness of mind, they are all inseparable from one another, each being a single aspect of life. Although we conceive the past, future and present as separate points in time. They are all a part of the instants in our own minds. The past, present and future are simple the oneness of time and life (mufunbetsu).

In all the teachings prior to the Dharma Flower Sutra the words used were the modes of expression from inside the dream. For instance a fan that is held up to hide the moon is used to suggest our unenlightenment. In the Buddha teachings the full moon is often used as a symbol for enlightenment. A finger is pointed to the wind blowing a tree to suggest the wisdom that blows away our erroneous delusions. But the words used to express the broad insight of the Dharma Flower Sutra are direct such as “the moon” and “the wind.” The full moon of the originally awakened mind shines through our unenlightement, the wind of the wisdom of the real aspect of all dharmas blows away the dust of strange and wild ideas.

The reason for this, is that by using the concepts of the fan and tree it becomes possible to make people aware of the moon and wind in the mind that is to be awakened. So that the last remains of the dream can be scattered and the mind is able to return to the broad insight of its original state.

In the Desitance from Troublesome Worries in order to see Clearly (Maka Shikan) it says “When the moon is hidden by layers of mountain ranges, we then hold up a fan and use it as a metaphor. When the wind stops blowing out of the sky, we then teach people about the wind making the trees move.” In Myôraku’s Support for the Practices of the Desistance from Troublesome Worries (Maka Shikan Bugyô Dengu Ketsu), it says “When the moon that alludes to the true reality of the essence of the Buddha nature that dwells in eternity is hidden by the mountain ranges of our troublesome worries and since these troublesome worries come in layers they are referred to as mountain ranges. When the winds of the teaching of the all inclusive unobstructed accommodation of phenomena (ke) noumena (ku) and the middle way, (i.e. The Dharma Flower Sutra) ceases to teach and convert people, they return to the principal of silence. There is nothing that can hinder the Dharma principal of silence and extinction; hence it is just like the sky. The winds of the teaching of the all inclusive unobstructed accommodation of phenomena, noumena and the middle way, (i.e. The Dharma Flower Sutra) stops teaching and converting people, these gusts return to the principal of silence and extinction, in the same way as the sky. The bodhisattvas who were dependent on rags for clothing, begging for food, sitting under trees and purgatives as a moral and spiritual means used fans and pointed to trees as metaphors to propagate their doctrines, their object was so that people could get to know the deeper implications of the moon and the wind”. Again there was somebody who said “In the dream the clouds of troublesome worries are gathered in layer upon layer like mountains in a mountain range. Since there are eighty four thousand particles of bodily and mental suffering, they hide the moon of the original awakening of the essence of mind. The analogies of fans and trees were taught according to the texts, ideograms and wording of the provisional sutras and their commentaries, the moon and the wind are used as symbols for the sacred teaching of the perception and awakening to the concept of the original enlightenment. The reason for this is both a fan and a tree are simply devices to illustrate the provisional doctrines”.

This somebody whom I have just quoted is only a rough explanation and not the real meaning, in order to understand the moon as the enlightenment of the essence of mind and the utterness of the Dharma (myôhô) or the wind as the wisdom to understand all things (hannya no ege), we now use Myôhô renge kyo, the place and time where the simultaneousness of the cause and effects of the whole of existence take place. Hence it says in Myôraku’s Explanatory Notes on the Recondite Meaning of the Dharma Flower (Hokke Gengi Shakusen), “If you look for the appropriate expression (gonmyô) for all physical manifestations as well as sounds then you have to go as far as the ultimate principal of the absolute truth as having no differentiated perceptions (musô).”

There is another explanation that says the appropriate name for all physical manifestations as well as sounds are like the fan and the tree of the dreamland of all the sutras and their commentaries. Whereas the ultimate principal of the absolute truth that has no differentiated perceptions are comparable to our being enlightened to the moon and the wind of the ultimate joy of silence and illumination of the essence of our own minds.

This ultimate joy is the subjectivity of the sentient beings of the dharma realms of the ten directions along with their dependent abodes and terrains of reward all combined together in a single entity. This would indicate the objective realm of the Dharma, wisdom and corresponding bodies of the Buddha all put into one.

This ultimate joy is also the non-differentiation of the four abodes of the Buddha which are 1) the dwelling place of humankind, devas, disciples of the Buddha and the people who are not disciples, 2) hearer of the Buddha’s voice and people who are partially enlightened due to karmic circumstances, 3) partially enlightened bodhisattvas and 4) the space of silence and illumination. All these abodes are therefore installed in the Dharma body of a single Buddha.

The realms of dharmas seen as a whole entity is the body of the Dharma. These ten realms of dharmas seen in terms of our minds are the body reward or wisdom and when the ten realms of dharmas take on our personal shapes they then become the corresponding body. There is no Buddha outside of the ten realms of dharmas. Outside of the Buddha there are no ten realms of dharmas. There is only the non-duality of our subjectivity and its dependent objective environment or our persons and their environmental terrains are not separate entities.

Since the realms of dharmas of the ten directions are the embodiment of the one Buddhahood, these realms of dharmas can also be seen as the terrain of silence and illumination. This means the oneness of the ultimate principal of the absolute truth without any differentiated perceptions. It is far removed from the impermanency of things, such as coming into being and later disintegrating into nothingness, hence it is the ultimate reality which cannot be conceived as having any particularization whatsoever. Here is the principal of the recondite meaning at the very bottom of the profoundest depth of the Dharma nature it is also the place from whence the bodhisattvas who sprung from the earth came as well as being the absolute truth. The absolute truth that has no particularization at all is the essence of the mind of sentient beings, it is immaculately pure and karmically determined environment that is entirely free from troublesome worries. If we were to give a name to it, it would be the calyx of the lotus of the mind of the Utterness of the Dharma.

Therefore outside of mind there is not a single item (dharma) that exists independently, so that when we realize this it is the perception and understanding that all existence (dharmas) are the Dharma of the Buddha.

It is then the two polarizations of life and death change and become the concept of the dream of living and dying and that both these two are only a hallucination and a flurry of mental images. When we see our persons correctly in the light of the original awakening, our births are not the beginning and our deaths are not the end. We are not killed by swords nor are we shot by arrows. If we are put inside a mustard seed, the mustard seed doesn’t get any bigger, nor do our minds and material worlds shrink. If we were to fill the empty sky, the empty sky would not get any bigger, nor can the mind and things be reduced in size.

The opposite of good is bad, the opposite of bad is good. But due to the fact that outside our own minds nothing exists whatsoever, there is no real such thing as good nor is there any real such thing as bad. What exists apart from the qualifications of good and bad is something that is morally neutral (muki). Both good and bad are unrecordable as neither being one thing or another (muki). There cannot be any mind that is separated from any experience whatsoever, hence good and bad, pure and defiled, common mortals or the enlightened, heaven and earth, great and small, east and west, north and south, the four points of the compass as well as above and below are all judged by the words that describe them. Everything that is or comes into our minds and all actions produced by our minds fade away and cease to exist. Thoughts are discriminated (tunbetsu) and expressed in words so that outside of our minds there can not be differentiation of things or one concept and another nor can there be neither any perception nor any understanding of the fundamental identity of all things (mufunbetsu). Words are the expression in the sounds of speech of the echoes of our mental processes.

The ordinary person being unenlightened and unaware of the reality of things is confused about the mind in his own body. The Buddha who is enlightened to the nature of mind is referred to as having the power to penetrate the reaches of the mind (shinzû). The power to penetrate the reaches of the mind (shinzû shi riki) is to be able to see into it all dharmas without any hindrance whatsoever. Sentient beings are also endowed with the power of the mind to see into all dharmas at will. Badgers and foxes (who in Japanese folklore are said to have special powers) are able to reveal them, but this is only the partial enlightenment that is common to all beings that are sentient.

Mind flows out automatically to depict the spaces and terrains that we depend on for an existence (kokudô seken). (But mind does not create.) This was explained throughout the Buddha’s lifetime of holy teaching that is made up of the treasury of the Dharma of eighty-four thousand sutras. Each and every one of these teachings are all gateways to the Dharma in the body of the single person of Shakyamuni.

Nevertheless this Dharma treasury of eighty-four thousand sutras is the text of a diary for each one of us as a single individual. [In other words, even though this treasury of eighty-four thousand sutras are the make-up of the body of the Buddha, it is the same life as the as the ordinary person. The number of atoms in the human body is supposed to be eighty-four thousand. Hence this term is used for a number of things, often in the general sense of a great number. There are said to be eighty-four thousand physical signs of a Buddha as well as the same number of troublesome worries and mortal distresses.] This store of eighty-four thousand dharmas is brought about and cherished within the mind in our own bodies. As a result to think of the Buddha, his Dharma and his immaculate terrain as being anywhere outside the mind in our own bodies or to call upon them as being somewhere else is completely misguided.

The mind on its encounters with good or evil karmic relationships conjures up good or evil dharmas. In the Flower Garland Sutra (Kegon Kyô), it says, “Just as a skilled painter depicts and shows the different five aggregates that darken the awareness of our original enlightenment (go’on) [1) bodily form, matter, physicality related to the five organs of sense, 2) reception, sensation feeling as a psychological process, 3) thought, discerning and turning things over in the mind, 4) the mental process of deciding what is good or bad, right or wrong and deciding whether to act on those decisions, 5) the mental faculty that makes us think we are who we are on account of our experiences and what we know] so are all the dharmas in the spaces where existence takes place (seken), entirely dreamt up by the mind. So it is the same with the Buddha and ordinary people. Also the three realms (sangai) [where 1) sentient beings have appetites and desires, 2) which are incarnated in a subjective materiality with physical surrounding, 3) who are at the same time endowed with the immateriality of the realms of thoughts and ideas] are only the manifestation of mind. Outside of the mind there are no separate dharmas. Between the mind, the Buddha and ordinary people there is no distinction since all three are in the mind.” In the Sutra on Boundless Implications (Muryôgi Kyô) is says, “Both the absolute truth as having no differentiated perceptions (musô) and the inexplicable quality of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces that is inherent in all life (fusô), are born out of the single Dharma that has boundless implications.” The absolute truth as having no differentiated perceptions as well as the inexplicable quality of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces are both included in the mind of the one instant of thought of all sentient beings.

In explaining this sutra The Textual Explanations of the Dharma Flower says, “Existing or turning into nothing are not the appearance of impermanency but the absolute truth as having no differentiated perception that is common to everything (musô). The aspect of the two nirvanas of the people of the two vehicles (nijô) who have a remainder of karma to fulfill along with those whose remains of karma are completely ended are both separate from the position of having attained nirvana and have become the inexplicable quality of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces that is inherent in all life (fusô).

The discussion and clarification of the imponderably inexplicable (fushigi) quality of mind is said to be the visceral essential (kanyô) of the sutras and their explanations, the person who is awakened to and realizes this is referred to as a person who has arrived at suchness (nyorai, Tathâgata).

When we look into this and see what it amounts to, then the ten realms of dharmas (jikkai) are our bodies, our minds and the realities we live in. Hence this is the originally awakened Tathâgata (hongaku no nyorai) in terms of our own bodies and minds. When this is not understood it is called enlightenment, when we are aware of this as well as knowing it, it is called the inner nature of the Dharma (hosshô). However our minds just as they are do not become enlightened. Unenlightenment and the inner nature of the Dharma are different expressions for the oneness of mind. The words and names may be two but there is only one mind. This is why we must not simply cut off our unenlightenment or just chop off the self deceptive illusionary qualities of our unenlightement. Because the general meaning of the all embracing teachings (enkyô) is that we should not even sever a single hair of our bewilderment since all dharmas are the Dharma of the Buddha.

In the Second Chapter of the Dharma Flower Sutra on Expedient Means it says, “Suchness is such an appearance which implies the features and bodily characteristics of all sentient beings as well as the manifest body of the originally enlightened Tathâgata (hongaku no ôjin nyorai), suchness is such an inner nature which is the essence of the mind of all sentient beings and hence the wisdom and reward body of the originally enlightened Tathâgata (hongaku no hôshin nyorai), suchness is also such an entity which includes the whole of life as well as being the embodiment and life of the originally enlightened Tathâgata (hongaku no hosshin nyorai). Then we have another seven such qualities which have their origins in these first three. Altogether there are ten such qualities of suchness.

These ten such qualities of suchness run all the way through the ten realms of dharmas. The Universal Teacher Myôraku states in his Vajra Scapel, “The real aspect of all dharmas has to imply each and every dharma. All dharmas must include the ten such qualities of suchness and these ten qualities of suchness must include the ten realms of dharmas which are the inhabitants of hell, hungry ghosts, animality, titans (ashuras), humanity, devas hence the transitory qualities of ecstasy and joy, the hearers of the Buddha’s voice which means those people who wish to understand, those people who are partially enlightened due to karmic circumstances, the bodhisattvas and the Buddha. These ten realms of dharmas must include their respective subjective lives as well as their environments.”

These ten realms of dharmas all stem from the mind of one person but these ten realms amount to the countless atoms in the human body as well as the same amount of incalculable gateways to the Dharma.

[This teaching which although it refers to the single person of the Buddha it also equally applies to all sentient beings. Shakyamuni was talking about himself but the ten realms of dharmas open up the concept of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces which leads to the possible enlightenment of all people.]

This paragraph on the ten such qualities of suchness is signed and sealed to show that it is the current teaching that has been thought over and agreed upon by all the Buddhas of the past, present and future. The seal of the Buddha is the single mudra (hand gesture) for the real aspect of all dharmas. A mudra is another word for a seal of judgment. Apart from the Dharma Flower Sutra all the other sutras are devoid of the mudra of the real aspect of all dharmas and are not texts from the manuscripts that apply to reality. There is no real Buddha in these texts and since there is no real Buddha, these manuscripts belong to the dream. Furthermore there is no immaculate terrain for the Buddha to dwell on.

Although there are ten times the ten realms of dharmas there is only a single one of the sequence of ten such qualities of suchness. In the same way there is only one moon in the sky.

The ten such qualities of suchness in the nine realms of dharmas from hell to that of the bodhisattvas are the ten such qualities of the dream rather like the moon reflected in water. The ten such qualities of suchness of the Buddha realm of the Dharma are the ten such qualities of wide awake understanding of the original enlightenment (hongaku no utsutsu), just like the real moon in the sky.

It is because of this the one sequence of the ten such qualities of suchness (jûnyoze) reveal at the same time the whole entity (tai) and the role played by the Dharma realm of the Buddha along with the nine other realms of dharmas (kyûkai) which are comparable to the moon reflected in water. Sentient beings are all equal on account of the ten realms dharmas being mutually contained in each other, the moon in the sky [which represents the Buddha realm as having been opened up through continual practice] as well as the moon reflected in water [which indicates the delusions of ordinary people] are present in each and every person without leaving a single individual out. As a result from “such an appearance” (nyoze sô) to “such a requital” (nyoze hô ), all these nine such qualities of suchness are all equal without differentiation, from beginning (hon) to end (matsu) they are all the ultimate dimension of the real aspect of all dharmas (hon matsu kukyô tô).

The beginning (hon) is the sequence of the ten such qualities of suchness of ordinary people; the end (matsu) is the sequence of the ten such qualities of suchness of All the Buddhas. All the Buddhas make their appearance out of the one instant of mind of ordinary people, it begins (hon) with ordinary people and ends (matsu) with All the Buddhas.

The point is that this is expounded in the Dharma Flower Sutra in the Third Chapter on The Parables, “Now then, these three realms where sentient beings have a physical dimension and organs of sense, where they have needs and desires and also purely mental activities are all in my possession and the people everywhere in these realms are all my children.”

This Buddha having attained to the way in order to save other people, manifested himself to them and encouraged them to arrive at the path of Buddhahood (i.e. to practice). Since he was already inside the dream of living and dying, he expounded the wide awake quality of being aware of the original state.

Consequently the Buddha preached the parable of a father as the Buddha wisdom and children as being stupid and silly.

Although sentient beings have the ten such qualities of the suchness of being awakened to the original state, it is hidden away under the one instant of dropping off into an unenlightened slumber and drifting into the dream of living and dying so that the dharmic principal of being awakened to the original state is forgotten.

Even a tiny scrap of unenlightenment such as cutting off a single hair is enough to make someone lose their way from the past, present and future in meaningless dreamlike states.

The Buddha is like a person who has woken up from the dream, he then goes back into the dream of living and dying in order to wake up the people inside it. The Buddha’s wisdom is like a parent and sentient beings such as we are like children. Hence the truth of the Buddha‘s declaration, “They are all my children everywhere.”

When we understand this principal of the Buddha teaching, then from the very beginning we are both parent and child as well as at the very end we are both parent and child. Being both parent and child is the fundamental nature with which we are born with. Thus it is perceived that our own minds and the mind of the Buddha are not different, since waking up from the dream of living and dying and returning to the wakefulness of the enlightenment of the original state is said to be the inseparability of making our inherent Buddha nature manifest with our persons just as the are (sokushin jô Butsu). To open up our inherent Buddha nature with our personal characteristics just as they normally are implies that this is a quality that we are born with and being our fundamental nature it is without troubles or obstacles, it is the destiny of sentient beings, their reward and fruition as well as the unseen protection of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas.

When you come to think it over, our dreaming is an example of our minds in a state of perplexity and our wakefulness is an example of the mind alert to reality. So that if we look at these examples in terms of the lifetime of the holy teaching of Shakyamuni we find it is a nasty experience when we are in the empty delusion of the dream devoid of footprints, covered in perspiration we wake up to find that we ourselves, our homes and beds are still the same as they always were. Nevertheless both the emptiness of the dream and the reality of being awake are there before our eyes. Even though we may think both are taking place in the mind of one person, the difference between reality and fantasy exist.

Therefore we must fully understand that whether our minds see the dream of the nine realms of dharmas of living and dying or the alertness of the eternal Dharma realm of the Buddha, there is no distinction (since these two experiences are only to be found in our respective minds). There is no difference in the place where the mind sees the dream of the nine realms of dharmas of living and dying and the alertness of the eternal Dharma realm of the Buddha, the mind and the dharmas in it do not change nor is there any alteration in where they exist or take place. Dreams are always fictions of the mind and being alert is always the real thing.

In the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries in order to See Clearly (Maka Shikan) it says, “During the Chou Dynasty 370 B.C. there was a person called Chuang Tzŭ who dreamt that he had turned into a butterfly for a period of a hundred years in which he suffered greatly and had little joy. Then, when he awoke streaming with perspiration, he found he had not turned into a butterfly nor was it for a hundred years, he had not suffered nor had he had any joy. None of it had ever happened at all, it was all an illusion.”

Referring to the concept that has just been expressed, it says in the Broad Elucidation to Support the Practice of the Desistance from Troublesome Worries (Maka Shikan bugyô kuketsu), “Unenlightenment is like the butterfly in the dream, the hundred years is an analogy for the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces. Since the one instant of thought has no reality in itself, the butterfly did not really exist. Nor are there any three thousand existential spaces so that there were no years for Chuang Tzŭ to experience.”

This explanation is a way of saying that becoming a Buddha is not separate from one’s person just as it is. When Chuang Tzŭ became a butterfly in his dream, he himself did not change at all. When he woke up he no longer thought he was a butterfly nor had he become any other Chuang Tzŭ. When we think we are just common mortals bound to the endless cycles of births and deaths we become the butterflies of our dreams which is a prejudice based on a wrong way of thinking. But when we see ourselves as the fundamentally enlightened Tathâgata, i.e. we see ourselves as life itself, then we are like Chuang Tzŭ who has returned to his original self. This is the awareness that our own inherent Buddha nature is not separate from our respective personalities (Soku shin jô Butsu).
However the body of the butterfly did not become enlightened, to think of oneself as a butterfly is nonsense and certainly not another word for Buddhahood. This however is beside the point.

When we understand that the butterfly of the dream is our unenlightenment and that our distorted way of thinking is a delusive wild idea like the inner nature shô and the entity tai of yesterday’s dream.

Who on earth could have doubts so as to believe and accept the illusionary dream of living and dying instead of the essence of the Buddha of the Eternal Nirvana?

It says in the Desistance from Troublesome Worries in order to See Clearly (Maka Shikan), “When it comes to the stupid bewilderment of unenlightenment then its origin lies in the essence of the Dharma which is the very nature of life itself. It is on account of our stupid bewilderment that our perception of the fundamental nature of existence that the essence of the Dharma is transformed into the multitude of dharmas which bring about all our absurd ideas about what is good and what is bad. When it gets cold water freezes into ice, when water becomes solid it is like ice, again when we go to sleep the mind turns into all sorts of different dreams and fantasies. Even at this very instant all the ill assorted and out of place ideas about life (moro moro no tendô) are nothing more nor less that the essence of the Dharma which is life itself. Although these concepts of life are neither a oneness nor are they separate from each other they all have to be felt deeply and accepted as real. It is said that when all our deluded perceptions arise or when they cease to exist they are like the conjurors revolving wheel of fire, which gives the illusion of fire going round and round. But in fact such a thing does not exist. You should not believe in such absurdities, instead you should hold faith in the fundamentals of life which is the essence of the Dharma. When things come into being it is the essence of the Dharma coming into existence and when things cease to exist it is the cessation of the essence of the Dharma. When we try to be enlightened to this there is in fact no coming into being nor is there any cessation of existence. It is only when we see this as a mental confusion and that fundamentally everything everywhere is the essence of the Dharma. It is on account of the essence of the Dharma that we can relate to the essence of the Dharma, it is on account of the essence of the Dharma that we are able to bear it in mind. Whatever exists it is always the workings of the essence of the Dharma. When there is no essence of the Dharma it means that there is no existence whatsoever.”

[Translator’s note: With regard to this quotation from Tendai, I shall translate the entry for the essence of the Dharma or the Dharma nature (hosshô) in the Universal Dictionary of Buddhism and Philosophy (Bukkyô Tetsugaku Daijiten)]

Although we may conceive the essence of the Dharma as non existent, so that there can be no instant for it to occur in, we  may think that the butterfly of the dream is real, but to take the living and dying of our crazy mixed up enlightenment as real is bewilderment.

In the ninth fascicle of the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries in order to See Clearly (Maka Shikan we have “For instance the dharma of sleep obscure the mind in such a way that within an instant we dream up countless existences. . . . So what stage in Buddhist practice brings about the state of the eternal and indestructible Nirvana that is free from all troubles and suffering (jakumetsu shimyo)? . . . . All sentient beings are inseparable from Nirvana. Again there is no such thing as  extinction in Nirvana. So what is this particular place in the stages of Buddhist practice that brings about this state of being, is it high or low or is it great of small? This principal of the Dharma is uncreated (fushô bushô) and indefinable (fukasetsu). Yet it is endowed with the chain of the twelve causes and karmic circumstances that run through the whole of sentient existence. 1) A fundamental unenlightenment which leads the 2) disposition that are inherited from former lives, 3) the first consiousness after conception tht takes place in the womb, 4) body and mind evolving in the womb, 5) the five organs of sense and the functioning of the mind, 6) contact with the outside world, 7) receptivity or budding intelligence and the making of distinctions from six or seven years onwards, 8) the urge for sensual existence that forms 10) the substance of future karma, 11) the completed karma ready to be born again 12) and facing in the direction of old age and death. All this can be explained. The teaching of the chain of the twelve causes and karmic circumstances that run through the whole of sentient existence explains the reasons why sentient beings come about. This chain of the twelve causes and karmic circumstances is described as a picture of a painted tree that is planted in empty space, it is only an expedient device to explain how these causes and karmic circumstances come into being.

The karmic recompense that produces the objective and subjective environments of the ten realms of dharmas (ten worlds) of our lives is the Dharma body and the universal ultimate truth of the Buddha. To know that this single entity is endowed with effectuality (toku) that comprises the three bodies which are the Universal Dharma, wisdom and manifest presence, as well as to be able to thoroughly understand and realize completely that all dharmas are the existence of the Buddha (Buppô) is to arrive at the second stage which is an intellectual understanding of the truth in the six stages of practice (myôjisoku).

Since the second in the six stages of practice is an intellectual understanding of the truth it is also the stage in which our inherent Buddha nature (Busshô) are made manifest. Therefore the direct teaching of the all inclusive one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces has no grades of practice in a consecutive order.

It says in the Recondite Significance of the Dharma Flower, (Hokkegengi), “Many scholars of final phase of the Buddha teaching of Shakyamuni will compete with each other and argue over the practices and attachments to the treatises and sutras that are an expedient means in order to cutoff and suppress our troublesome worries. Even though the water is cold, you can still have to drink some in order to find out if it is so.”

Among the explanations of the Universal Teacher Tendai we have “The general features and outlines of the concept of stages of practice in a consecutive order coming from the Sutra on the Benevolent Sovereign (Ninnôkyô) and the Sutra on the Bodhisattva’s Necklace of Precious Stones (Yôrakukyô). The stage in the practice for cutting off and suppression of our troublesome worries is as pointed out in the full edition of the Sutras on the Wisdom that Carries People over to the Shores of Nirvana (Daibon Hannya Kyô) and Nagarjuna’s Universal Discourse on the Wisdom that Carries People over to the Shores of Nirvana (Daichidô Ron).

The Sutra on the Benevolent Sovereign, The Sutra on the Bodhisattva’s Necklace of Precious Stones, the full edition of the Sutra on the Wisdom that Carries People over to the Shores of Nirvana and Nagarjuna’s Universal Discourses on the Wisdom that Carries People over to the Shores of Nirvana are all based on Sutras and discourses that were preached during the doctrinal periods prior to the Dharma Flower Sutra. Because when it comes to the practices of the provisional teachings people ascend through consecutive stages toward enlightenment over an uncountable number of aeons, hence the reference to a coherent order. Now because of the all inclusive teaching (engyô) we have gone beyond the eight doctrinal periods that came before the Dharma Flower Sutra and swiftly and speedily attain enlightenment without passing through the different levels of practice.

Mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are all esconced in each single instant inside the mind. If one can see that there is nothing outside the mind, then even the practitioner with lesser propensities can in a single lifetime arrive at the stage of enlightenment of Utterness (myôgaku). The one and the many have a phenomenal identity, i.e. the one is just like the many and the many are just like the one. Each stage of practice is fully endowed with all the other stages, therefore in a single lifetime of practice one can reach the stage of enlightenment of Utterness.

If this is valid for people of lesser propensities then naturally it is the same for people of middling aptitude. So with people who have superior propensities it goes without saying. Beyond what we perceive as reality there are no separate dharmas. Therefore in our perception of reality there is no order nor are there stages of enlightenment within it.

Generally speaking the lifetime of holy teaching is a Dharma based on the example of the one individual so that we ought to know thoroughly what our own constituents are. The person who is aware of what his body consists of is called a Buddha and those people who are confused about it are referred to sentient beings of ordinary people.

The Universal Teacher Myôraku says in the sixth chapter of his Broad Elucidation to Support the Practice of the Universal Desistance from Troublersome Worries (Maka Shikan Bugyô Kuketsu). “It is understood that our bodies are inch by inch a duplication of the sky and the earth. The roundness of our heads mirrors the dome of the sky and the squareness of our feet emulates the quadrangular surface of the earth. The empty space in our bodies is in imitation of the empty space of the universe. The warmth of our stomachs is modeled after Spring and Summer and the hardness of our spinal column is in conformity with the Autumn and Winter. Our four limbs are patterned after the four seasons. The twelve major joints in our bodies are an echo of the twelve months of the year and the three hundred and sixty lesser joints represent the number of days in a year. The breath coming in and out of our noses fits the pattern of the wind that blows over the marshes and through mountain valleys and dales, the breath that comes and goes through our mouths is the wind that blows through the empty space. Our two eyes are like the sun and the moon and our blinking is comparable to the alternation of day and night. The hair on our head resembles the stars and constellations in the sky.

 Our bones are like the minerals and precious stones. Our skin is like the soil and earth. The clusters of hair on our bodies suggest the woods and forests. The five major organs in our bodies which are 1) the spleen, 2) the liver, 3) the heart, 4) the lungs and, 5) the kidneys take after the planets in the sky; 1) Saturn, 2) Jupiter, 3) Mars, 4) Venus, 5) Mercury and also on the earth the five major organs resemble the five great mountain peaks in China; 1) Mount Tai in the east, 2) Mount Hêng in the south, 3) Mount Hua in the west, 4) Mount Yu Hêng in the north and, 5) Mount Song in the centre. The two poles Yin and Yang connect the five elements; 1) earth, 2) wood, 3) fire, 4) metal, 5) water. In the world of humankind the five elements correspond to the five principals in Confucian thought; 1) sincerity, 2) benevolence, 3) wisdom, 4) integrity 5) propriety. In terms of the functions of the mind the number five refers to its five aspects; 1) thought (i, kokoro), 2) its spiritual nature (kon), 3) the psyche (shin, kami), 4) its animal nature (haku), 5) intention (shi, kokoraza). In behaviour there are the five Confucian virtues; 1) cordiality (on, atataka), 2) sincerity (ryô, yo), 3) reverence (kyô, uyauya), 4) economicalness (ken, tsuna), 5) deference (, yuzu). Then there are the five punishments of Ancient China; 1) tattooing the forehead, 2) cutting off the nose, 3) amputating the feet, 4) castration and, 5) death. There are the five heavenly tutelary rulers whose concern is the five elements of earth, wood, fire, metal and water, along with these tutelary spirits there are the five clouds; 1) the blue cloud, 2) the white cloud, 3) the red cloud, 4) the black cloud, 5) the yellow cloud, when these five clouds turn into the five Dragons they become 1) Vermilion Sparrow who rules the heart, 2) Black Warrior who rules the kidneys, 3) Blue Dragon who rules the liver, 4) White Tiger who rules the lungs and, 5) the spleen is ruled by Aquiline Constellation.

Again in the same way The Broad Elucidation to Support the Practice of the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries (Myôraku) states, “The five notes in Ancient Chinese music, the five illuminating studies of Ancient India which are 1) grammar, 2) linguistics, 3) engineering, 4) astronomy and, 5) medicine, as well as the five arts in Zhou dynasty (China 1122-770 B.C.)  1) court ceremony, 2) music, 3) archery, 4) horsemanship, 5) calligraphy all come from the five visceral organs. Moreover this also holds good for the control of what is inside us. The mind that is enlightened to this become a universal sovereign whose royal palace (i.e. person) is surrounded by a hundred walls and guarded on the outside by the five military officials. The lungs are guarded by Si Ma, the live by Si Tu, the spleen by Si Kung. The four limbs are watched over by the loyal people, the left is watched over by Si Ming and the right Si Lu, the navel is guarded by Tai Yi Jun.

The Universal Teacher Tendai in his Explanation of the Gateways to the Dharma of Graded Meditations in order to Cross over to the Shores of Nirvana (Shaku Zen Haramitsu Shidai Hômon) makes this teaching clear in detail.

On looking into the human body meticulously you will find that it is just as the preceding paragraphs. If you think that the indestructible Vajra (Diamond) body is not subject to impermanency then you are mistaken. It is rather like the butterfly in the dream of Chuang Tzû or just as the Universal Teacher Myôraku explained in his Broad Elucidation to Support the Practice of the Universal Desistance from Troublesome worries.

The five elements that are the components of the universe are earth, water, fire, wind and the void of latency and relativity (kû).

The five aggregates that overshadow our original enlightenment, 1) bodily form, matter, the physical form related to the five organs of sense, 2) receptivity, sensation, feeling, the functioning of the mind or the senses in connection with affairs and things, 3) conception, thought, discerning, 4) the functioning of mind in its processes with regard to likes, dislikes, good and bad etc. as well as actions that inevitably pass on their effects. 5) The mental faculty that makes us think we are who we are on account of what we know. The five precepts of the individual vehicles (hinayana) for men and women who do not becomes monks or nuns, 1) no killing whatsoever, 2) no stealing, 3) no sexual relationships, 4) no telling lies or make believe, 5) no consumption of intoxicants. The five permanent values of Confucian thought, 1) trust, 2 benevolence, 3) wisdom, 4) righteousness, 5) courtesy, the five directions of east, west, south, north and the centre, the five kinds of wisdom of the Tathâgata, 1) to clearly understand that the fundamental elements of existence are earth, water, fire, wind, latency and cognition, 2) the wisdom to perceive that all existence reveals itself as though it were in a mirror, 3) the wisdom to see that all differences between the dharmas are extinguished in their essential equality, 4) the wisdom to contemplate and observe in terms of utterness and to be able to take away the doubts of sentient beings. 5) The wisdom to be able to accomplish all that is necessary in order to benefit others and oneself, as well as the five periods of the teaching of the Buddha, 1) the Flower Garland (Kegon) period, 2) the period of the teaching of the individual vehicle (Agon), 3) the period of the Equally Broad doctrine (Hôdô), 4) the Wisdom (Hannya) period, 5) the period of The Dharma Flower Sutra, (Hokke Kyô). Originally all these groups of five referred to one thing only. In the sutras there are various explanations. Within the Buddha teaching and outside of it the subject matter of these groups of five have grown apart from each other.

In the Dharma Flower Sutra the five elements that are the make up of all existence are taken for granted. In the minds of all ordinary people there are the five essentials of Buddhahood, 1) the Buddha nature as a direct cause for enlightenment, all beings are inherently endowed with this Buddha nature, 2) the enlightening or revealing cause that is associated with the Buddha wisdom, 3) the revelation of the Buddha nature that is brought about by the environmental circumstances of practice, 4) the fruition of the Buddha nature which is enlightenment, 5) the fruition of enlightenment is the substantiation of Nirvana. This refers to the five ideograms for Myôhô Renge Kyô.

Because the essence of our persons is composed of these five ideograms, our entities have always existed and are also the originally enlightened Tathâgata.

This was expounded by the ten such qualities of suchness in the Second Chapter on Expedient Means of the Dharma Flower Sutra where the Buddha says, “Only Buddha and Buddha can exhaustively look into the real aspect of all dharmas.”

When the Buddha preached this gateway to enlightenment it was then not known to the bodhisattvas who were beyond the stage of any regression (futai no bosatsu), nor those who had attained the supreme reward of the individual vehicle (arhant), (arakan), nor even those intellectuals who were still studying or those who were partially enlightened (nijô). But because all those who could hold faith in this all inclusive teaching that brought about an immediate realization, were ordinary people at the first stage of faith. They were able to become aware of the fact that their inherent Buddha natures where not separate from their respective personalities. Hence they became comparable to the substance of the indestructible diamond (vajra), (kongô fue).

In this way my person, heaven and earth are a single inseparable entity. If heaven crumbles then I crumble with it. If the earth splits apart then I also split apart. If earth, water, fire and wind perish then I will perish along with them. Even though these five principle elements pass through the three tenses of past, present and future these five elements do not change. Although the correct, formal and final periods of the teaching of Shakyamuni are separate from each other, the five major elements remain the same, they simply flourish, decline, supplant each other and swap places.

In one of the commentaries on the Fifth Chapter on the Parables of the Three Medicinal Herbs and Two Trees in the Dharma Flower Sutra it says, “The Dharma principle of the all inclusive teaching of the Dharma Flower is like the great earth. The all inclusive direct teaching is like the rain that falls from the sky. Again the three doctrines of the individual teaching (Sanzôkyô), the interrelated teaching (tsûgyô), and the particular teaching for bodhisattvas (bekkyo) are like the three kinds of medicinal herbs and the two kinds of tree in this parable. The reason for this is that these medicinal herbs and trees grow out of the great earth of the Dharma principle of the all inclusive teaching and are nourished by the rain from the sky of all inclusive teaching that brings about an immediate awakening to the Buddha truth. So that the herbs and trees of the five vehicles that were taught because they were suited to the propensities of 1) ordinary humankind, 2) devas, 3) intellectuals who are still studying, 4) intellectuals who are partially enlightened due to karmic circumstances and 5) the bodhisattvas were all able to flourish. Did you not think or realize that it is because of the grace and mercy of heaven and earth that our persons are able to thrive? The Buddha uses a metaphor for the three teachings for humankind, devas, the two classes of intellectuals and bodhisattvas. However since these people are said to be ungrateful, they are referred to as inanimate plants and trees. The point is since these people began to listen to the Dharma Flower Sutra the people of the five vehicles who were represented in the parable as the two trees and three herbs recognized that the principle of the all inclusive direct doctrine was their father. By becoming aware that they all grew out of the single great earth they were able to know their mother’s love. In the same way by being watered by the one rain they were able to know what a father’s affection was.” This is the intended meaning of the Fifth Chapter on the Parable of the Three Medicinal Herbs and Two Trees in the Dharma Flower Sutra.
In the Fourteenth Chapter on Practicing in Peace and with Joy in the Dharma Flower Sutra it asserts that during the final phase of the Dharma of Shakyamuni (mappô) even those ordinary people who have only begun to do the practice of the Dharma Flower Sutra will certainly become aware of their own inherent Buddha nature with their personalities just as they are.

1) These people practicing in peace and with joy means that if the persons of the final phase of the Dharma of Shakyamuni avoid tempting distractions they will find a suitable place to practice in peace and with joy. 2) Verbally practicing in peace and with joy means after Shakyamuni’s demise into Nirvana then these people will expound the implications of the Dharma Flower Sutra but they will not be despised by other people nor will they have their errors exposed. They will be able to proclaim and expound this teaching in peace. 3) Mentally practicing in peace and with joy means when the Dharma of Shakyamuni has ceased to be effective. Those people who hold faith in and recite Nam Myôhô Renge Kyô will not be jealous of other people who try to study Buddha teaching nor will they seek to dispute with them. 4) To make the vow of practicing in peace and joy means to have a heart of all embracing loving kindness and vow to try and save all sentient beings. These four references to the final phase of the Dharma of Shakyamuni are recounted in the Fourteenth Chapter on Practicing in Peace and with Joy in the Dharma Flower Sutra.

Apart from these references in the Fourteenth Chapter of the Dharma Flower which is the chapter that alludes to the final phase of Shakyamuni’s Dharma, we have in the Twenty Third Chapter on The Original Practice of the Bodhisattva Yakuo two more items that indicate this final phase. “Following the Buddha’s demise into Nirvana after the fifth period of five hundred years we have a woman who on hearing this sutra practices just as it is preached.” Then there is “During the fifth hundred year period after my demise into Nirvana there will be the broad propagation (kôsen rufu) throughout the world of humankind (embudal).” Also in the Twenty-Eight Chapter on The Compelling Inspiration of the Bodhisattva Fugen in the Dharma Flower Sutra there are again three more references to this final age (mappô). In the polluted evil age that comes after the fifth five hundred year period subsequent to the Buddha’s passing over to Nirvana, there will still be people who hold faith in this (Dharma Flower) sutra.” “In the latter age after the fifth five hundred years period of the polluted evil generation there will be monks and nuns along with male and female believers who seek the truth by holding faith, reading and copying out as well as desiring to do the practice of this Dharma Flower Sutra.” “If there is  person who after the fifth five hundred years after the Tathâgata’s demise into Nirvana who holds faith in the Dharma Flower Sutra who also is seen to recite and bears it in mind….”

What the Buddha has handed down to us clearly refers to present times. Other people have ignored the correct teachings and have attached their own mundane commentaries to them. The testament inherited from the Buddhas of the past, present and future has been entrusted to stupidly foolish minds who contradict it in such a way that should the Dharma be brushed aside, then how desperately regretful and how lamentably sad it would be for All those Buddhas of the past, present and future.

In the Sutra on the Buddha’s Passing over to Nirvana there is the admonition that says. “It should be according to the Dharma and not in conformity with the person who teaches it.” It is indeed painful and sad that the scholars of the final era who through the work on their studies devastate the Dharma of he Buddha.

It is unhappily pointed out in Myôraku’s Broad Elucidation to Support the Practice of the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries, “They listen to this all inclusive teaching of the Dharma Flower that can bring about immediate enlightenment, yet they do not solemnly revere it, indeed the people of recent times who study and practice the universal vehicle (mahayana, daijô) are confused about what is correct and what is distortion, let alone those scholars of the formal period of the Buddha teaching (zôbô), who were with little common sense and weak faith. Even though the repository of the volumes on this all inclusive teaching that brings about immediate enlightenment is full to overflowing, it never occurred to those scholars to have made the slightest attempt to consult them from time to time, instead they shut their eyes to what the Buddha Dharma really is, they led meaningless lives and had senseless deaths.

Indeed it says in the fourth fascicle of the Broad Elucidation to Support the Practice of the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries, “The all inclusive teaching of the Dharma Flower which brings about an immediate enlightenment is from the very outset a gateway to the Dharma that was expounded for ordinary people. If ordinary people cannot take advantage of this doctrine, then how can the Buddha stay in his own terrain of the essence of the Dharma. If the Buddha did not expound this all inclusive teaching that brings about immediate enlightenment to all the Bodhisattvas by means of his entity of the essence of the Dharma, then, would it not be that the Buddha needed to appear in the three realms (sangai), where 1) beings have appetites and desires which, 2) are incarnated in a subjective materiality who, 3) at the same time are endowed with the immateriality of the realms of thoughts and ideas. Because ordinary people are given the life and destiny of the Buddha so that it makes it possible for them to learn from and do the practice of the Tathâgata.

As a result our individual minds and the person of the Buddha are seen as a single entity and therefore we can readily become aware of our own inherent Buddha nature which is not separate from our respective personalities. Once again this is stated in the Broad Elucidation to Support the Practice of the Universal Desistance from Troublesome Worries. “The Buddha essence of All the Buddhas is not thought of as something separate from the Buddha mind so that we are able to become aware of our own Buddha natures.”

This is what is referred to as contemplating the mind (kanjin). So that if we really become awakened to the fact that our own minds and that of the Buddha ate the oneness of mind. If we have to be obstructed by the moment of death being pressed upon us, there will probably be no bad karma and if we are forced into the cycles of living and dying again they will be no more than a series of illusionary thoughts.

If we know that all dharmas are those of the Buddha, then there is no need for a good acquaintance (zenchishiki), to stimulate our minds to greater wisdom or give us instruction. So whatever people may say or whatever people may do or however they may behave, they are all the four respect inspiring forms of behaviour (shi’igi) of walking, standing, sitting or lying down which are all in harmony with the mind of the Buddha, as well as being a single embodiment that is independently free from the karma of actions as well as having thoughts that are free from delusion (jiyujizai) and without any fault whatsoever or without any obstruction. This is thought of as the personal practice of the Buddha.

As a matter of course the Tathâgata casts aside his conduct that is free from the karma of actions as well as having thoughts that are free from delusion in order to be present and yet not making his prescence felt or leaving any traces in the minds of unenlightened people with insane ideas. Those people who turn their backs on the teaching and explanations of All the Buddhas of the past, present and future drift from one benighted uncertainty to the next perplexity of not understanding (mumyô), and the situation of those who continually oppose the Dharma of the Buddha is pitiful.

Now, those who can rectify their way of thinking can change their perplexities for enlightenment and realize it cannot be any other way than to become aware that their own inherent Buddha nature is not separate from their personal traits just as they are.

Although the mirror of our minds and the mirror of the mind of the Buddha is only a single mirror, but when we look into the mirror of our own minds we do see not our respective Buddha nature, this is why this is referred to as our inherent bewilderment (mumyô).

The Tathâgata looks at the whole of the mirror as the one instant of thought containing three-thousand existential spaces and perceives our inherent Buddha natures inside it, therefore enlightenment myô) and unclearness (mumyô) are a single entity.

Even though there is only the one mirror it is the way we see it for the difference between enlightenment (myô) and ignorance (mumyô) to come about.

Regardless of the mirror having its own depth, the whole is not an obstruction. It is only the way we look at it that makes us see what it does or does not reflect. Since both of these ways of looking are the coordination of our own minds and our surroundings that makes them a single reality. Nevertheless this is a single state of affairs with two different meanings.

The provisional Dharma that was expounded for the conversion of others are like staring right into the various reflections inside the mirror. But the Buddha’s own practice of observing the mind is like looking at the mirror as a single whole.
 
The mirror of the provisional teachings that were expounded for the benefit of others and the mirror of the Buddha’s own practice are not separate mirrors but the single mirror of the essence of our own minds.

The word mirror is used as a metaphor for the concept of “not being separate from our persons just as they are.” So that when we face the whole of the mirror it becomes a metaphor “opening up our inherent Buddha nature.” Looking at the particulars of what is reflected inside the mirror is a metaphor for “the bewilderment (mayoi) of ordinary people (shujô). This implies that we do not cut away the bad qualities of or personalities in the mirror of the mind. When we look into the mirror as a whole it reflects various items which in itself is not a virtue, hence it is used as a metaphor for what the provisional teachings consist of. This is because the reflections in the mirror do not reveal the inherent Buddha nature of ordinary people like ourselves.

The Buddha’s own practice and the practice he used in order to convert others has the power and effectiveness of the discrepancy between gain and loss. In the first fascicle of the Recondite Significance of the Dharma Flower Shôan says, “When Sarvasiddharta which was Shakyamuni’s childhood name took his grandfather’s bow and drew it to the roundness of the full moon, this is referred to as power. On releasing the string of the bow, the arrow tore its way through seven iron drums and the iron enclosing mountains that encircle the world, then perforating the earth and struck the wheel of water that is the third of the four wheels on which the world rests. This is called effectiveness. This is the power and effectiveness of the Buddha’s own practice.

In contrast the power and effectiveness of the various teachings that are an expedient means (hôben) are all flimsy and ineffective, just like an ordinary person who tries to shoot an arrow from the bow of the Buddha’s grandfather. The reason being that for forty-two years those people who listened to the Buddha’s preaching only received gateways to the Dharma that were a combination of the twofold wisdom of the provisional doctrines and the truth, since the principal of the Dharma of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces had not yet been broadly diffused. So that those listeners had still not evolved a deep faith and had not yet exhausted all their remaining doubts. The above refers to the power and effectiveness of the teachings that were for the conversion of other people. Nowadays ordinary people who have a karmic relation with the Dharma Flower Sutra can receive gateways to the Dharma that are a combination of the twofold wisdom of the provisional doctrines and the truth and yet can investigate thoroughly the karmic dimension of the Buddha by giving rise to faith in the realm of the Dharma, by making headway on the path of the all inclusive teaching of Utterness (myô), by breaking off their fundamental perplexities and by getting rid of the changes and deviations of living and dying. Not only will they have the advantages and benefits of either those bodhisattvas born into mortal form who have not yet broken off their unenlightenment or the bodhisattvas who have through practice attained the patience to withstand the delusions of unenlightenment but will also have the advantages and benefits of either being a bodhisattva who had freed himself from pointless illusions or even a bodhisattva who is in his last incarnation who has freed himself from delusions and has attained the six universal powers acquired by the Buddha. The merit and influence of teaching and converting people is universally broad and the advantages are deep and wide, but the power and effectiveness of the Dharma Flower Sutra is as powerful and effective as I have recounted above.”

The superiority or the inferior qualities of the power and effectiveness of the Buddha’s own practice and the teachings he used in order to convert others are conspicuously clear. You should take a good look at this text from the Recondite Significance of the Dharma Flower, it reflects the extent of a lifetime’s holy teaching like a polished mirror.

“To investigate thoroughly the karmic dimension of the Buddha” points to the gateway to the Dharma of the ten such qualities of suchness (jûnyoze). These ten such qualities of suchness and the ten realms of dharmas (jikkai) are mutually contained in each other. The cause and effect that lies within the ten realms of dharmas and the ten such qualities of suchness are the twofold wisdom of the individual vehicle (hinayana) and the universal vehicle (mahâyana). The nine objective realms determined by karma (Kyûkai no kyô) and the objective realm of the Buddha (Bukkai no kyô) are all installed in our own persons, the ten realms of dharmas are the nature of our minds (shinshô) and when the ten reams of dharmas take on a shape and form then they become the originally enlightened Tathâgata. You must believe that all this lies within our own persons.

“Making headway on the path of the all inclusive teaching of Utterness (myô)” means that the Buddha‘s own practice and the teachings he used in order to convert others are not separate from the all inclusive accommodation of phenomenon (ke), latencies in the void () and the middle way (chû). In the same way as a jewel, its brilliance and its value are all the qualities of a single precious stone which cannot be separated from it. The Dharma of the Buddha is furnished with the whole of existence without leaving any items aside. By accepting and holding faith in the Dharma people can open up their inherent Buddha nature within a single lifetime. Hence people can make headway on the path of the all inclusive teaching of Utterness with joy and happiness.

“Cutting off our fundamental perplexities” means to wake up from the one instant of the sleep of unenlightenment and then return to the wide awake state of the original enlightenment so that the sufferings of living and dying and the joys of Nirvana become the dream we had yesterday that leaves no trace whatsoever. “Getting rid of the changes and deviations of living and dying” means that those people who have passed over and were reborn in the three terrains of utmost joy 1) the utmost joy of the terrain where the holy and ordinary people live alongside each other (dôkyodo), 2) the utmost joy of the terrain of expedient means (hôbendo) and 3) the utmost joy of the terrain of real reward (jippôdo), where such people carry out the practices of the bodhisattvas and strive for the attainment of Buddhahood. Then on their realization of this attainment, they cross over from practices for the cause of enlightenment and move on to the effectiveness of ultimate fruition (katoku). They wait over many kalpas for the attainment of becoming a Buddha this is referred to as the changes and deviations of living and dying.

The advancement from the practices that bring about enlightenment and the rejection of the lower stages that the practitioner has gone through implies death. The progress upwards to the various higher stages of practice is thought of a life. In this way the changes and deviations of living and dying become the bitter worries in the immaculate terrains (i.e. the three terrains of utmost joy.)

To be continued . . . last upadated: July 15, 2008

Translator's Note on the S Kan Mon Sh by Martin Bradley

NOTE: Martin is in the process of moving to southern Japan and will resume translating in 3-4 months time.


The tenth month of the second year of Kô.an [1279]
Nichiren

Copyright © 2008, Martin Bradley

Western Samoa