Master Tosan (807-869)
宝 鏡 三 昧
Nyoze no hō,
1 如是之法。( 如是の法。)
The Law [Dharma] of such-ness [Tathagata],1
Busso mitsu ni fusu,
2 仏祖密附。( 仏祖密に附す。)
Buddha ancestors intimately handed [it] down.2
nanji ima kore o etari,
3 汝今得之。( 汝今之を得たり。)
You have now received it,
yoroshiku yoku hogo subeshi,
4 宜能保護。( 宜しく能く保護すべし。)
Protect [and] guard [it] carefully, well.
Q ginwan ni yuki o mori,
5 銀椀盛雪。( 銀椀に雪を盛り、)
Fill [a] silver bowl [with] snow,5
meigetsu ni ro o kakusu,
6 明月蔵鷺。( 明月に鷺を蔵す。)
Conceal [an] egret [in] bright moonlight.
rui shite hitoshi-karazu,
7 類而不斉。( 類して斉からず。)
[They are] alike, yet not [the] same,
konzuru tokinba tokoro o shiru,
8 混則知処。( 混ずるときんば処を知る。)
[When] they are together, only then [you] know [the] place.8
kokoro koto ni ara-zareba
9 意不在言。( 意言に在ざれば、)
Because Mind is not in words,
raiki mata omomuku,
10 来機亦赴。( 来機亦赴く。)
Come [to the] point of change [and you] move [in its] direction.
dozureba kakyū o nashi,
11 動成カ臼。( 動ずればカ臼を成し、)
When agitated [you] make [a] pit-fall,
tagaeba kocho ni otsu,
12 差落顧佇。( 差えば顧佇に落つ。)
When [you] diverge [you] fall into vacillation.
haisoku tomo ni hi nari,
13 背触共非。( 背触共に非なり。)
[Turning your] back [and] touching [are] both wrong,
taikaju no gotoshi,
14 如大火聚。( 大火聚の如し。)
Like [with] a great fire-mass.14
tada monsai ni arawaseba,
15 但形文彩。( 但文彩に形せば、)
When you put [it] merely [in the] form [of] literary elegance,
sunawachi zenna ni zokusu,
16 即属染汚。( 即ち染汚に属す。)
That is the same as consigning [it] to stain and dirt.
17 夜半正明。( 夜半正明。)
[The] middle [of the] night [is] truly bright.
18 天暁不露。( 天暁不露。)
Day dawns [but there is] no dew.18
mono no tame ni nori to naru,
19 為物作則。( 物の為に則となる。)
For things/beings it becomes a rule [code],
mochiite shoku o nuku,
20 用抜諸苦。( 用いて諸苦を抜く。)
[Its] function to eradicate [the] various sufferings.
ui ni arazu to iedomo,
21 雖非有為。( 有為に非ずといえども、)
Although [it] is not [of the] world [of] phenomena [Samsara],
kore go naki ni arazu,
22 不是無語。( 是れ語なきにあらず。)
[It is] not [a matter] of wordlessness.22
hokyō ni nozonde,
23 如臨宝鏡。( 宝鏡に臨んで、)
[It is] like looking in [a] precious mirror,
gyōyō ai-miru ga gotoshi,
24 形影相覩。( 形影相い覩るが如し。)
[in which] form [and] reflection look [at] each other.
nanji kore kare ni arazu,
25 汝是非渠。( 汝是れ渠に非ず。)
You are not the other-side [the reflection],25
kare masani kore nanji,
26 渠正是汝。( 渠正に是れ汝。)
But the other-side [the reflection] is truly you.26
yo no yōni no …
27 如世嬰児。 ( 世の嬰児の …)
Like a new-born baby in the world,
gosō gangu suru ga gotoshi,
28 五相完具。(… 五相完具するが如し。)
fully endowed with the five aspects [Skandhahs].28
29 不去不来。( 不去不来。)
[It does] not go, [it does] not come,
30 不起不住。( 不起不住。)
[It does] not arise, [it does] not stay.
31 婆婆和和。( 婆婆和和。)
[It says] “ba-ba wa-wa”.
32 有句無句。( 有句無句。)
Are words there? Are words not there?
tsuini mono o ezu,
33 終不得物。( ついに物を得ず。)
In the end [it does] not gain [any]thing,
go imada tadashi-kara-zaru ga yueni,
34 語未正故。( 語未だ正しからざるが故に。)
Because the words [are] not yet correct.34
35 重離六爻。( 重離六爻。)
[The] double-fire [Li hexagram] six [lines] intertwine,35
36 偏正回互。( 偏正回互。)
Tilted [broken/yin] and straight [yang] mutually rotate.
tatande san to nari,
37 畳而成三。( 畳んで三と成り、)
Fold and [they] make three,37
henji tsukite go to naru,
38 変尽為五。( 変じ尽きて五と為る。)
Change and [they] completely become five.38
chi-sō no ajiwai no gotoku,
Like the [five] flavours of the herb chisō,
kongo no cho no gotoshi,
40 如金剛杵。( 金剛の杵の如し。)
as [symbolized in the] diamond-pounder [vajra-sceptre].40
41 正中妙挾。( 正中妙挾。)
Precise [form] and middle [Absoluteness] are marvellously embraced,41
42 敲唱双挙。( 敲唱双び挙ぐ。)
Drumming and singing arise together.42
shō ni tsūji to ni tsūzu,
43 通宗通途。( 宗に通じ途に通ず。)
[To] pass through [this] essence/religion [is to] pass along the way,43
44 挾帯挾路。( 挾帯挾路。)
[to] hold [it] in [the] girdle [is to] hold in [the] path.44
shakunen naru tokinba kitsu nari,
45 錯然則吉。( 錯然なるときんば吉なり。)
[When] respectful and restrained [towards it], then good fortune,
46 不可犯忤。( 犯忤す可からず。)
[And you] cannot commit an offence.
tenshin ni shite myō nari,
47 天真而妙。( 天真にして妙なり。)
[When you are] natural and unaffected [it is] marvellous,
meigo ni zoku sezu,
48 不属迷悟。( 迷悟に属せず。)
[For it] does not belong to erroneous-enlightenment.
49 因縁時節。( 因縁時節。)
Causes and [karma-] relations, times and seasons,
jakunen to shite shōcho su,
50 寂然昭著。( 寂然として昭著す。)
In stillness [it is] clearly revealed.
sai niwa, muken ni iri,
51 細入無間。( 細には無間に入り、)
So fine [it] enters [where there is] no gap,
dai niwa hōjo o zessu,
52 大絶方所。( 大には方所を絶す。)
So great [it] transcends dimensions.
gokotsu no tagai,
53 毫忽之差。( 毫忽の差い、)
The tiniest moment’s divergence [straying],
ritsuryo ni ōzezu,
54 不応律呂。( 律呂に応ぜず。)
[And you are] not in-tune [with it].
ima tonzen ari,
55 今有頓漸。( 今頓漸あり。)
Now there are sudden and gradual [conditioned-states],
shūshu o rissuru ni yotte,
56 縁立宗趣。( 宗趣を立するによって、)
[And] by connection [there] arise ‘teachings’ and ‘approaches’.56
57 宗趣分矣。( 宗趣分る。)
[The] ‘teachings’ and ‘approaches’ become distinguished,
sunawachi kore kiku nari,
Specifically [within] this standard-template [of the five-stages].
shū tsūji shu kiwamaru mo,
59 宗通趣極。( 宗通じ趣極まるも、)
Teachings [when] passed out approach culmination,
[In which] Truth [perceived] endlessly flows into [you].60
hoka jaku ni uchiugoku wa,
Outside still, inside trembling.
tsunageru koma, fukuseru nezumi,
62 繋駒伏鼠。( 繋げる駒伏せる鼠。)
Tethered pony, crouching mouse.62
senshō kore o kanashinde,
63 先聖悲之。( 先聖之れを悲しんで、)
Ancient sages were grieved by this,
hō no dando to naru,
64 為法檀度。( 法の檀度と為る。)
Making [the] staff [of the] law.64
sono tendō ni shitagatte,
65 随其顛倒。( 其の顛倒に随って、)
In accordance with the inversion of it,65
shi o motte so to nasu,
[They] took black [and] made it white.
tendō sometsu sureba,
67 顛倒想滅。( 顛倒想滅すれば、)
[When] the overturning, collapsing, idea [was] destroyed,
kōshin mizukara yurusu,
68 肯心自許。( 肯心自ら許す。)
[with] consenting-mind [they] personally approved.
kotetsu ni kanawan to yōseba,
69 要合古轍。( 古轍に合わんと要せば、)
[If you] aim to follow [the] ancient track,
kou zenko o kanzeyo,
70 請観前古。( 請う前古を観ぜよ。)
Please look [to] ancient times.
Butsudō o jōzuru ni nannan to shite,
71 佛道垂成。( 佛道を成ずるに垂んとして、)
[When the] Buddha about to accomplish [the] way [to Enlightenment],
jikkoju o kanzu
72 十劫観樹。( 十劫樹を観ず。)
Contemplated [beneath the Bodhi]-tree for ten aeons [kalpas].
Q tora no kaketaru ga gotoku,
73 如虎之缺。( 虎の欠けたるが如く、)
Like a tiger with something lacking,73
uma no yome no gotoshi,
74 如馬之馵。( 馬の馵の如し。)
Like a horse with a left hind leg that is white.74
geretsu aru o motte,
75 以有下劣。( 下劣あるを以って、)
Since there exist [those of] extremely-inferior [capabilities],
76 宝几珍御。( 宝几珍御。)
[with] treasure tables, rare-esteemed.76
kyōi aru o motte,
77 以有驚異。( 驚異あるを以って、)
And there exist [those of] amazing uncommon [capabilities],
78 狸奴白牯。( 狸奴白牯。)
[Like] racoon-[dogs], [and] white-oxen.78
Q gei wa gyōriki o motte,
Art by means of skill [and] strength,
ite hyappo ni atsu,
80 射中百歩。( 射て百歩に中つ。)
Shoots and hits the middle [of a target] from one hundred paces.
81 箭鋒相値。( 箭鋒相い値う、)
[But when two] arrow-heads meet together,
gyōriki nanzo azukaran,
82 巧力何預。( 巧力なんぞ預らん。)
Skill and strength, what [does it] give [further]?82
bokujin masani utai,
83 木人方歌。( 木人まさに歌い、)
[When the] wooden man sings,83
sekijo tatte mau,
84 石女起舞。( 石女起って舞う。)
And the] stone woman gets up to dance.84
jōshiki no itaru ni arazu,
85 非情識到。( 情識の到るに非ず、)
[It is] beyond feelings and knowledge,
mushiro shiryo o iren ya,
86 寧容思慮。( むしろ思慮を容れんや。)
Just permit [this] realisation and consider ….
shin wa kimi ni bushi,
87 臣奉於君。( 臣は君に奉し、)
A subject serves his ruler [the Absolute],
ko wa chichi ni junzu
88 子順於父。( 子は父に順ず。)
[As] a child obeys its father.
junze-zareba kō ni arazu,
89 不順不孝。( 順ぜざれば孝にあらず、)
Not to obey [is] not filial,
Buse-zareba ho ni arazu.
90 不奉非輔。( 奉せざれば輔に非ず。)
Not serving [is] not helping.
senkō mitsuyō wa,
91 潜行密用。( 潜行密用は、)
Hide [your] actions, conceal [your] function,
gu no gotoku ro no gotoshi,
92 如愚如魯。( 愚の如く魯の如し。)
like an idiot, like a fool.92
- · tada yoku sōzoku suru o,
93 只能相続。( 只能く相続するを、)
[But] just skilfully [working] continuously [in-succession],93
- · shuchū no shu to nazuku.
94 名主中主。( 主中の主と名づく。)
[For this then is] called main-principle within main-principle [Host-in-Host].94
0 Translation and syntax of the Chinese Kanji was made by Graham Healey, Dept. East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield (U.K), and Shindo Gensho (Richard Jones), ArrivingHome, Sheffield (U.K). Where necessary further interpretation was made by Gensho, who was influenced by the interpretations found in the references below.1, 2, 3 In this translation and interpretation, we have tried to remain faithful to the original Chinese Kanji where possible. However, it is hard not to be influenced by the Japanese texts and the generations of connection that have existed with the Chinese text. The Hokyo Zanmai sutra was originally given by master Dongshan Liangjie Sama of Dongshan mountain (Jap: Tozan Ryokai, 807 - 869),4 the author, to his disciple Caoshan Benji of Caoshan mountain (840 - 901),4 as the latter was taking his leave.1, 4 These two patriarchs were the founders of the Caodong (Jap: Soto Zen) Sect. Benji was a patriarchal Dharma heir of master Liangjie Sama, and this poem represents Liangjie’s final instructions for the safe keeping of the Sects’s Dharma. As is usual with Chinese Buddhist texts there are manifold layers of meaning. In particular the sutra can be read as a guide to true Enlightenment, for all followers of the Way, as well as the more personal patriarchal instructions for the conditions of inheritance. The sutra generally reads in couplets, which are then combined into large groupings. In order to overcome obscurity and ambiguity, referenced (italic) line notes have been added (e.g. … handed [it] down.1), which refer to the corresponding line notes at the end of the text. It is hoped that by doing this, the flow of the sutra can be kept unhindered and free from intellectualism. Also, there is nothing worse than reams of notes if you don’t need them, because the meaning is self-evident. References in normal print (e.g. … triple-base set.4) refer to the author references listed at the end of the text. Referenced, abbreviated, capitals (e.g. CZT),1 are used to refer to the interpretations of other translators. The abbreviated capitals are also to be found at the respective references in bold capitals (e.g. [CZT]). Square brackets in the translation, are used to denote an added interpretation (e.g. … [of a target from] …). These have been added by the interpreter to enhance understanding where it is believed to be necessary, and do not come directly from the Chinese Kanji. They can also be left out sometimes, if the reader wishes the translation to be more like the original Chinese poetical form. We hope the reader will forgive the inclusion of the square-bracketed, interpretations, because it is difficult, if not impossible, to remain true to the original form and convey full meaning in English. The complete text may be found at http://uk.geocities.com/rajonesuk/. In the text here, the ‘Roma-ji’ has been corrected of some small errors that were evident in the Soto Shu translation (SSS).2 The symbols Q and · represent the positions, of the large and small bell chimes, respectively. Japanese-‘Roma-ji’ text is given first in bold text, for Japanese chanting by English speakers, this is followed by the Chinese Kanji, with line numbers, and the Japanese text in Hirogana and Kanji, then the English translation-interpretation.
1 This line is written as ‘the Law of Such-ness’ and not ‘such is the Law’, which is in keeping with the Buddhist interpretation of Tathagate.
2 Intimately here implies person to person without interruption in an unbroken line of succession.
5,6 Lines 5 and 6 are similes for Form (snow, egret) and Absoluteness (silver bowl, bright moonlight), which are carefully chosen.
8 ‘know [the] place’. Know the connection, relationship or difference.
14 Lines 13 and 14 could be interpreted as suggesting that the absolute is to be likened to the form of a great mass of fire, notably (CZT – ‘For it is like a great mass of fire.’).1 However, since the author is fond of using similes after a statement, it is much more likely that he meant ‘like a great fire - one would be a fool to ignore it and also to try to touch it’. It is difficult to believe that he would be reducing the Absolute even to the form of a great fire-mass.
18 Lines 17 and 18 are often interpreted to mean the light is seen at night but not at dawn, or in the day time. The literal translation of line 18 is ‘day/sky dawns no dew’ and as the author is fond of placing similes after statements, we take this to be a simile for line 17, in that the light dawns, during night-time realization, without the material sun-dawn, which is accompanied by dew.
22 Although line 9 and lines 15 are intimating that words cannot be used to contain Absoluteness, here, line 22, suggests that they can be used, by a skilled master, to point/elucidate the way to its realisation.
25 This line consists of four characters, which translate as ‘you are are-not the-other-side’. The Japanese version tries to avoid the difficulty of ‘are/are-not’ by reading the second character with one of its other meanings ‘this’ i.e. ‘You this are-not the-other-side’, which hardly makes any more sense, because if ‘you’ is defined ‘this’ is not required. The original Chinese version says ‘you negative-are the-other-side’ meaning ‘you are-not the reflection’. What appears to have happened is that the phrases ‘bu-shi’ and ‘fei’, which both mean ‘are-not’, have found their way into the line together and then the character ‘bu’ has been mistakenly edited out instead of ‘fei’. Fortunately, the Japanese rendering gives the correct interpretation. It may be that the author has chosen to use ‘the other-side’ for reflection also as an allusion to the ‘other-shore’ as used in the Prajna-paramitta scriptures, however, this is pure conjecture.
26 Lines 23 to 34 are describing your Original-Self/Buddha-Nature as seen through Samadhi. Although in ultimate reality there is no separate ‘you’ (form) or ‘other-side’ (reflection) they are used here for descriptive purposes.
28 Some translators interpret ‘aspects’ to mean the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and feeling), but if this were so in Buddhism there are six senses, because ‘consciousness’ is also included as a sense. It is more likely that the author was referring to the five Skandhahs (form, feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness). In either case the intimation is that, the baby, or ‘Original-Self/Buddha-Nature’ that it is a simile for, is already complete at birth.
34 They are not correct, because they have not yet taken form in this Original-self-nature.
35 ‘Real’ Li (30, ) and ‘seeming,’ Chung Fu (61, ) hexagrams.1, 5
37,38 Three trigrams are used to build up the five positions, which are also grouped into a triple-base set.1 Also three of the five positions are hexagrams. It is not exactly clear which Master Liang Chiai Sama is talking about in line 37, it is more likely that he is talking about the trigrams, because this makes sense with the two previous lines (35, 36), although then the triple-basis would not be mentioned. The five positions are; 1 Host or ; 2 guest or ; 3 Host coming to light or ; 4 guest returning to Host or ; 5 Host in Host or .1
40 It appears that the Vajra-sceptre was used to expound the five positions as follows; ‘Host (1)’ and ‘guest (2)’ positions at one end, ‘Host coming to light (3)’ in the middle and ‘guest returning to Host (4)’ and ‘Host in Host (5)’ at the other end.1
41 Since this line is typically followed by a simile line (42), we take ‘precise and middle’ to mean form (or the seeming), and Absoluteness (or the Real) respectively. These then are marvellously embraced. However, no other translations appear to make this interpretation.
42 Drumming and singing are taken to be similes for ‘precise’ and ‘middle’ in the previous line (41). There is also nothing to distinguish between singing and chanting, the same Kanji character could be used for both. Hence, the analogy is probably of drumming and chanting within Zen-Buddhist services, because drumming is precise and mono-tonic chanting becomes quite formless.
43 The Kanji宗 (shu), originally meant essence or origin, it was used to describe the main-point of something and, hence, later became used to symbolise ‘religion’. In the preceding, (41-42) and succeeding lines the author is referring to the ‘origin/essence’ meaning, whereas prior to lines (35–40) he had been talking in terms of ‘religion’. This line could be taken to embrace both parts of the meaning of this Kanji.
44 Literally: ‘Hold in belt/girdle, hold in path’. This is most likely a reference to holding the truth in Tanden, many Japanese monks have a large band/girdle support tied over their abdomen. No other interpreters have taken this meaning from the line and interpretations vary.
56 It is most likely that the author was using shu-shu here for the sudden and gradual states of mind e.g. shu (宗) – sudden-teachings for quick aptitudes and propensities; and shu (趣) – approaches for gradual aptitudes and propensities. SPMS agrees with this interpretation.3
60 ‘[perceived]’ is used here because the author is talking about perceived truth-realization. Truth endlessly flows anyway (Tathagate).
62 This line is a paired simile for the preceding line (61), using the idea of a teathered horse and a trembling mouse to represent stillness outside and trembling inside, respectively.
64 ‘Danda’ - originally a stick or staff [sometimes] acquires the meaning of a rod as an instrument of punishment [Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Trans. Bhikhu Nanamoli and Bhiku Bodhi, MN 56, note 579, Pali Text Society, 2002]. The word is the same in Sanskrit. The 3rd (dan) and 4th (do) Kanji in line 64 are therefore, taken to be Chinese/Japanese approximations for the syllabic sounds for Danda.
65 The inversion of the wrong view, in this case, that stillness has to be presented falsely by a non-still state of mind, rather than being found naturally at the centre of being.
73 Previous interpretations for this line differ; SPMS has - Like a battle-scarred tiger;3 SSS has - Like a tiger that has tattered ears;2 CZT has - like a tiger leaves behind (a portion of) its prey;1 the latter is probably right, because the image of a tiger returning for a portion of its prey implies a high degree of concentration.74
74 There are various interpretations for this line; SPMS has - like a horse with shanks gone grey;3 CZT has - (and) a horse (indifferent to) a left hind leg that’s white;1 SSS has - Or like a hobbled-horse.2 The latter interpretation is more in keeping with the radicals for the Kanji. However, the dictionary and the other interpretations agree roughly in definition, but not interpretation. It is most likely, as with other parts of the sutra, that the images are similes for the ideas given in previous lines. In this respect, line 72 has two ideas, contemplation (concentration, because this is a sutra from a Dhyana school), and time (aeons), which would be fulfilled by the tiger returning for a portion of its prey and the horse being old and indifferent to time, respectively.
76 SSS has – jewelled table and ornate robes;2 SPMS has - : ‘jewelled table ornate robes’;3 however, the original Kanji is less specific, and by way of an example to the previous line (75), is best interpreted as given here – ‘treasure tables, rare-esteemed’.
78 These are similes for the ‘amazing uncommon capabilities’ of line 77.The kanji 狸 (ri) is a tanuki, a racoon like animal, which is cunning and clever. This is coupled with the Kanji 奴 (nu), which means a manservant, or lower-class person. Together, there is no direct translation and we represent this as ‘racoon-dog’. The other paired kanji (白 牯, byakko) is a white-oxen, an animal with solid obedient strength when trained. Together these animals represent the qualities Master Liang Chiai Sama believed were necessary in those of ‘amazing uncommon capabilities’ and would respond well to ‘sudden teachings’. Similarly, SSS has – cats and white-oxen,2 however, there is no direct reference to cats in the Kanji.
82 SSS has – how could it be a matter of skill;2 However, Master Liang Chiai Sama is probably saying at this point - testing is complete, of no further use, you have found your match (Enlightened and/or future Patriarchal Mind).
83/84 Lines 83 and 84 are similes for the total unification of form (precise) and Absoluteness (Middle) within the enlightened person. This continually recurring them is now applied to the individual. The wooden man (form) is now singing, an act which was previously attributed to the Absolute (middle), e.g. respectively, ‘drumming and singing’. Absoluteness the stone woman radiantly gets up to dance free from all human emotional expression, with the apparent form of stone in the simile.
92 Appearing like a stupid-fool [in foolish company].
93 SSS has – just to continue in this way;2 The present interpretation has been left open, because there may be a double meaning in the instruction i.e. working uninterruptedly, and also for the succession of the sect.
94 The last of the five stages ‘Host in Host’.
1. Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk), “Ch’an and Zen Teaching”, Vol.2, pp 149 – 154, Pub: Weiser, Maine, (1993). [CZT]
2. Soto Shu Sutras, by Soto Shu Shumucho (Soto Zen Buddhism)/Kinko printing Co.
Tokyo, (1986 & 2001). [SSS]
3. URL: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/hz/hz.htm ; Visited June 2005. [SPMS]
4. URL: http://sped2work.tripod.com/dongshan.html ; Visited June 2005.
5. ‘I Ching or Book of Changes’, Trans. R. Wilhelm, C. F. Baynes; Pub Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, London, (1975).