THE RELIGION OF THE SAMURAI
A STUDY OF ZEN PHILOSOPHY AND DISCIPLINE IN CHINA AND JAPAN
Professor of Kei-O-Gi-Jiku University and of So-To-Shu Buddhist College, Tokyo
(1) The Southern and Northern Schools of Buddhism (2) The Development and Differentiation of Buddhism (3) The Object of this Book is the Explaining of the Mahayanistic View of Life and the World (4) Zen holds a Unique Position among the Established Religions of the World (5) The Historical Antiquity of Zen (6) The Denial of Scriptural Authority by Zen (7) The Practisers of Zen hold the Buddha as their Predecessor, whose Spiritual Level they Aim to Attain (8) The Iconoclastic Attitude of Zen (9) Zen Activity (10) The Physical and Mental Training (11) The Historical Importance
HISTORY OF ZEN IN CHINA
1. The Origin of Zen in India 2. The Introduction of Zen into China by Bodhidharma 3. Bodhidharma and the Emperor Wu 4. Bodhidharma and his Successor, the Second Patriarch 5. Bodhidharma's Disciples and the Transmission of the Law 6. The Second and the Third Patriarchs 7. The Fourth Patriarch and the Emperor Tai Tsung 8. The Fifth and the Sixth Patriarchs 9. The Spiritual Attainment of the Sixth Patriarch 10. The Flight of the Sixth Patriarch 11. The Development of the Southern and the Northern School of Zen 12. The Missionary Activity of the Sixth Patriarch 13. The Disciples under the Sixth Patriarch 14. Three Important Elements of Zen 15. Decline of Zen
HISTORY OF ZEN IN JAPAN
1. The Establishment of the Rin Zai School of Zen in Japan 2. The Introduction of the So To School of Zen 3. The Characteristics of Do-gen, the Founder of the Japanese So To Sect 4. The Social State of Japan when Zen was Established by Ei-sai and Do-gen 5. The Resemblance of the Zen Monk to the Samurai 6. The Honest Poverty of the Zen Monk and the Samurai 7. The Manliness of the Zen Monk and the Samurai 8. The Courage and Composure of Mind of the Zen Monk and the Samurai 9. Zen and the Regent Generals of the Ho-jo Period 10. Zen after the Downfall of the Ho-jo Regency 11. Zen in the Dark Age 12. Zen under the Toku-gawa Shogunate 13. Zen after the Restoration
THE UNIVERSE IS THE SCRIPTURE OF ZEN
1. Scripture is no More than Waste Paper 2. No Need of the Scriptural Authority for Zen 3. The Usual Explanation of the Canon 4. Sutras used by the Zen Masters 5. A Sutra Equal in Size to the Whole World 68 6. Great Men and Nature 7. The Absolute and Reality are but an Abstraction 8. The Sermon of the Inanimate
BUDDHA, THE UNIVERSAL SPIRIT
1. The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon 2. Zen is Iconoclastic 3. Buddha is Unnamable 4. Buddha, the Universal Life 5. Life and Change 6. The Pessimistic View of Ancient Hindus 7. Hinayanism and its Doctrine 8. Change as seen by Zen 9. Life and Change 10. Life, Change, and Hope 11. Everything is Living according to Zen 12. The Creative Force of Nature and Humanity 13. Universal Life is Universal Spirit 14. Poetical Intuition and Zen 15. Enlightened Consciousness 16. Buddha Dwelling in the Individual Mind Enlightened Consciousness is not an Intellectual Insight 18. Our Conception of Buddha is not Final 19. How to Worship Buddha
THE NATURE OF MAN
1. Man is Good-natured according to Mencius 2. Man is Bad-natured according to Siun Tsz 3. Man is both Good-natured and Bad-natured according to Yan Hiung 4. Man is neither Good-natured nor Bad-natured according to Su Shih 5. There is no Mortal who is Purely Moral 6. There is no Mortal who is Non-moral or Purely Immoral 7. Where, then, does the Error Lie? 8, Man is not Good-natured nor Bad-natured, but Buddha natured 9. The Parable of the Robber Kih 10. Wang Yang Ming and a Thief 11. The Bad are the Good in the Egg 12. The Great Person and the Small Person 13. The Theory of Buddha-Nature adequately explains the Ethical States of Man 14. Buddha-Nature is the Common Source of Morals 15. The Parable of a Drunkard 16. Shakya Muni and the Prodigal Son 17. The Parable of the Monk and the Stupid Woman 18. 'Each Smile a Hymn, each Kindly Word a Prayer'
19. The World is in the Making 20. The Progress and Hope of Life 21. The Betterment of Life 22. The Buddha of Mercy
1. Enlightenment is beyond Description and Analysis 2. Enlightenment Implies an Insight into the Nature of Self 3. The Irrationality of the Belief of Immortality 4. The Examination of the Notion of Self 5. Nature is the Mother of All Things 6. Real Self 7. The Awakening of the Innermost Wisdom 8. Zen is not Nihilistic 9. Zen and Idealism 10. Idealism is a Potent Medicine for Self -Created Mental Disease 11. Idealistic Scepticism concerning Objective Reality 12. Idealistic Scepticism concerning Religion and Morality 13. An Illusion concerning Appearance and Reality 14. Where does the Root of the Illusion Lie? 15. Thing-in-Itself means Thing-Knowerless 16. The Four Alternatives and the Five Categories 17. Personalism of B. P. Bowne 18. All the Worlds in Ten Directions are Buddha's Holy Land
1. Epicureanism and Life 2. The Errors of Philosophical Pessimists and Religious Optimists 3. The Law of Balance 4. Life Consists in Conflict 5. The Mystery of Life 6. Nature favours Nothing in Particular 7. The Law of Balance in Life 8. The Application of the Law of Causation to Morals 9. The Retribution in the Past, the Present, and the Future Life 10. The Eternal Life as taught by Professor M?nsterberg 11. Life in the Concrete 12. Difficulties are no Match for an Optimist 13. Do Thy Best and Leave the Rest to Providence
THE TRAINING OF THE MIND AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDITATION
1. The Method of Instruction adopted by Zen Masters 2. The First Step in the Mental Training 3. The Next Step in the Mental Training 4. The Third Step in the Mental Training 5. Zazen, or the Sitting in Meditation 6. The Breathing Exercise of the Yogi 7. Calmness of Mind 8. Zazen and the Forgetting of Self 9. Zen and Supernatural Power 10. True Dhyana 11. Let Go of Your Idle Thoughts 12. 'The Five Ranks of Merit' 13. 'The Ten Pictures of the Cowherd' 14. Zen and Nirvana 15. Nature and Her Lesson 16. The Beatitude of Zen
ORIGIN OF MAN
REFUTATION OF DELUSIVE AND PREJUDICED (DOCTRINE)
REFUTATION OF INCOMPLETE AND SUPERFICIAL (DOCTRINE)
1. The Doctrine for Men and Devas 2. The Doctrine of the Hinayanists 3. The Mahayana Doctrine of Dharmalaksana 4. Mahayana Doctrine of the Nihilists
THE DIRECT EXPLANATION OF THE REAL ORIGIN
5. The Ekayana Doctrine that Teaches the Ultimate Reality
RECONCILIATION OF THE TEMPORARY WITH THE REAL DOCTRINE
Buddhism is geographically divided into two schools[FN#1]—the Southern, the older and simpler, and the Northern, the later and more developed faith. The former, based mainly on the Pali texts[FN#2] is known as Hinayana[FN#3] (small vehicle), or the inferior doctrine; while the latter, based on the various Sanskrit texts, is known as Mahayana (large vehicle), or superior doctrine. The chief tenets of the Southern School are so well known to occidental scholars that they almost always mean the Southern School by the word Buddhism. But with regard to the Northern School very little is known to the West, owing to the fact that most of its original texts were lost, and that the teachings based on these texts are written in Chinese, or Tibetan, or Japanese languages unfamiliar to non-Buddhist investigators.
[FN#1] The Southern School has its adherents in Ceylon, Burma, Siam, Anan, etc.; while the Northern School is found in Nepal, China, Japan, Tibet, etc.
[FN#2] They chiefly consist of the Four Nikayas: (1) Digha Nikaya (Dirghagamas, translated into Chinese by Buddhaya?as, A.D. 412-413); (2) Majjhima Nikaya (Madhyamagamas, translated into Chinese by Gautama Sanghadeva, A.D. 397-398); (3) Sanyutta Nikaya (Samyuktagamas, translated into Chinese by Gunabhadra, of the earlier Sung dynasty, A.D. 420 479); (4) Anguttara Nikaya (Ekottaragamas, translated into Chinese by Dharmanandi, A.D. 384-385). Out of these Hinayana books, the English translation of twenty-three suttas by Rhys Davids exist in 'Sacred Books of Buddhist,' vols. ii.-iii., and of seven suttas by the same author in 'Sacred Books of the East,' vol. xi.
[FN#3] The Southern Buddhists never call their faith Hinayana, the name being an invention of later Buddhists, who call their doctrine Mahayana in contradistinction to the earlier form of Buddhism. We have to notice that the word Hinayana frequently occurs in Mahayana books, while it does not in Hinayana books.
[FN#4] A catalogue of the Buddhist Canon, K'-yuen-luh, gives the titles of 897 Mahayana sutras, yet the most important books often quoted by Northern Buddhist teachers amount to little more than twenty. There exist the English translation of Larger Sukhavati-vyuha-sutra, Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha-sutra, Vajracchedika-sutra, Larger Prajna-paramita-hradya-sutra, Smaller Prajna-paramita-hrdaya-sutra, by Max M?ller, and Amitayur-dhyana-sutra, by J. Takakusu, in 'Sacred Books of the East,' vol. xlix. An English translation of Saddharma-pundarika-sutra, by Kern, is given in 'Sacred Books of the East,' Vol. xxi. Compare these books with 'Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism,' by D. Suzuki.
It is hardly justifiable to cover the whole system of Buddhism with a single epithet[FN#5] 'pessimistic' or 'nihilistic,' because Buddhism, having been adopted by savage tribes as well as civilized nations, by quiet, enervated people as well as by warlike, sturdy hordes, during some twenty-five hundred years, has developed itself into beliefs widely divergent and even diametrically opposed. Even in Japan alone it has differentiated itself into thirteen main sects and forty-four sub-sects[FN#6] and is still in full vigour, though in other countries it has already passed its prime. Thus Japan seems to be the best representative of the Buddhist countries where the majority of people abides by the guiding principle of the Northern School. To study her religion, therefore, is to penetrate into Mahayanism, which still lies an unexplored land for the Western minds. And to investigate her faith is not to dig out the remains of Buddhist faith that existed twenty centuries ago, but to touch the heart and soul of Mahayanism that enlivens its devotees at the present moment.
[FN#5] Hinayanism is, generally speaking, inclined to be pessimistic, but Mahayanism in the main holds the optimistic view of life. Nihilism is advocated in some Mahayana sutras, but others set forth idealism or realism.
[FN#6] (1) The Ten Dai Sect, including three sub-sects; (2) The Shin Gon Sect, including eleven sub-sects; (3) The Ritsu Sect; (4) The Rin Zai Sect, including fourteen sub-sects; (5) The So To Sect; (6) The O Baku Sect; (7) The Jo Do Sect, including two sub-sects; (8) The Shin Sect, including ten sub-sects; (9) The Nichi Ren Sect, including nine sub-sects; (10) The Yu Zu Nen Butsu Sect; (11) The Hosso Sect; (12) The Ke Gon Sect; (13) The Ji Sect. Out of these thirteen Buddhist sects, Rin Zai, So To, and O Baku belong to Zen. For further information, see 'A Short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects,' by Dr. B. Nanjo.
The object of this little book is to show how the Mahayanistic view of life and of the world differs markedly from that of Hinayanism, which is generally taken as Buddhism by occidentals, to explain how the religion of Buddha has adapted itself to its environment in the Far East, and also to throw light on the existing state of the spiritual life of modern Japan.
For this purpose we have singled out of thirteen Japanese sects the Zen Sect, [FN#7] not only because of the great influence it has exercised on the nation, but because of the unique position it holds among the established religious systems of the world. In the first place, it is as old as Buddhism itself, or even older, for its mode of practising Meditation has been handed down without much alteration from pre-Buddhistic recluses of India; and it may, on that account, provide the student of comparative religion with an interesting subject for his research.
[FN#7] The word Zen is the Sinico-Japanese abbreviation of the Sanskrit Dhyana, or Meditation. It implies the whole body of teachings and discipline peculiar to a Buddhist sect now popularly known as the Zen Sect.
In the second place, in spite of its historical antiquity, ideas entertained by its advocates are so new that they are in harmony with those of the New Buddhists;[FN#8] accordingly the statement of these ideas may serve as an explanation of the present movement conducted by young and able reformers of Japanese Buddhism.
[FN#8] There exists a society formed by men who have broken with the old creeds of Buddhism, and who call themselves the New Buddhists. It has for its organ 'The New Buddhism,' and is one of the influential religious societies in Japan. We mean by the New Buddhists, however, numerous educated young men who still adhere to Buddhist sects, and are carrying out a reformation.
Thirdly, Buddhist denominations, like non-Buddhist religions, lay stress on scriptural authority; but Zen denounces it on the ground that words or characters can never adequately express religious truth, which can only be realized by mind; consequently it claims that the religious truth attained by Shakya Muni in his Enlightenment has been handed down neither by word of mouth nor by the letters of scriptures, but from teacher's mind to disciple's through the line of transmission until the present day. It is an isolated instance in the whole history of the world's religions that holy scriptures are declared to be 'no more than waste[FN#9] paper by religionists, as done by Zen masters.
[FN#9] Lin Tsi Luh (Rin-zai-roku).
Fourthly, Buddhist as well as non-Buddhist religions regard, without exception, their founders as superhuman beings, but the practisers of Zen hold the Buddha as their predecessor, whose spiritual level they confidently aim to attain. Furthermore, they liken one who remains in the exalted position of Buddhaship to a man bound by a gold chain, and pity his state of bondage. Some of them went even so far as to declare Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to be their servants and slaves.[FN#10] Such an attitude of religionists can hardly be found in any other religion.
[FN#10] "Shakya and Maitreya," says Go So, "are servants to the other person. Who is that other person?" (Zen-rin-rui-ju, Vol. i., p. 28).
Fifthly, although non-Buddhist people are used to call Buddhism idolatry, yet Zen can never be called so in the accepted sense of the term, because it, having a grand conception of Deity, is far from being a form of idol-worship; nay, it sometimes even took an iconoclastic attitude as is exemplified by Tan Hia, [FN#11] who warmed himself on a cold morning by making a fire of wooden statues. Therefore our exposition on this point will show the real state of existing Buddhism, and serve to remove religious prejudices entertained against it.
[FN#11] A Chinese Zen teacher, well known for his peculiarities, who died in A.D. 824. For the details of this anecdote, see Zen-rin-rui-ju, Vol. i., P. 39.
Sixthly, there is another characteristic of Zen, which cannot be found in any other religion-that is to say, its peculiar mode of expressing profound religious insight by such actions as the lifting up of a hair-brush, or by the tapping of the chair with a staff, or by a loud outcry, and so forth. This will give the student of religion a striking illustration of differentiated forms of religion in its scale of evolution.
Besides these characteristics, Zen is noted for its physical and mental training. That the daily practice of Zazen[FN#12] and the breathing exercise remarkably improves one's physical condition is an established fact. And history proves that most Zen masters enjoyed a long life in spite of their extremely simple mode of living. Its mental discipline, however, is by far more fruitful, and keeps one's mind in equipoise, making one neither passionate nor dispassionate, neither sentimental nor unintelligent, neither nervous nor senseless. It is well known as a cure to all sorts of mental disease, occasioned by nervous disturbance, as a nourishment to the fatigued brain, and also as a stimulus to torpor and sloth. It is self-control, as it is the subduing of such pernicious passions as anger, jealousy, hatred, and the like, and the awakening of noble emotions such as sympathy, mercy, generosity, and what not. It is a mode of Enlightenment, as it is the dispelling of illusion and of doubt, and at the same time it is the overcoming of egoism, the destroying of mean desires, the uplifting of the moral ideal, and the disclosing of inborn wisdom.
[FN#12] The sitting-in-meditation, for the full explanation of which see Chapter VIII.
The historical importance of Zen can hardly be exaggerated. After its introduction into China in the sixth century, A.D., it grew ascendant through the Sui (598-617) and the Tang dynasty (618-906), and enjoyed greater popularity than any other sect of Buddhism during the whole period of the Sung (976-1126) and the Southern Sung dynasty (1127-1367). In these times its commanding influence became so irresistible that Confucianism, assimilating the Buddhist teachings, especially those of Zen, into itself and changing its entire aspect, brought forth the so-called Speculative philosophy.[FN#13] And in the Ming dynasty (1368-1659) the principal doctrines of Zen were adopted by a celebrated Confucian scholar, Wang Yang Ming,[FN#14] who thereby founded a school, through which Zen exercised profound influence on Chinese and Japanese men of letters, statesmen, and soldiers.
As regards Japan, it was first introduced into the island as the faith first for the Samurai or the military class, and moulded the characters of many distinguished soldiers whose lives adorn the pages of her history. Afterwards it gradually found its way to palaces as well as to cottages through literature and art, and at last permeated through every fibre of the national life. It is Zen that modern Japan, especially after the Russo-Japanese War, has acknowledged as an ideal doctrine for her rising generation.
[FN#13] See 'A History of Chinese Philosophy,' by Ryukichi Endo, and A History of Chinese Philosophy,' by Giichi Nakauchi.
[FN#14] For the life of this distinguished scholar and soldier (1472-1529), see 'A Detailed Life of O Yo Mei by Takejiro Takase, and also 'O-yo-mei-shutsu-shin-sei-ran-roku.'
HISTORY OF ZEN IN CHINA
1. Origin of Zen in India.
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form only among the Japanese Buddhists. You cannot find it in the so-called Gospel of Buddha anymore than you can find Unitarianism in the Pentateuch, nor can you find it in China and India any more than you can find life in fossils of bygone ages. It is beyond all doubt that it can be traced back to Shakya Muni himself, nay, even to pre-Buddhistic times, because Brahmanic teachers practised Dhyana, or Meditation,[FN#15] from earliest times.
[FN#15] "If a wise man hold his body with its three parts (chest, neck, and head) erect, and turn his senses with the mind towards the heart, he will then in the boat of Brahman cross all the torrents which cause fear.
"Compressing his breathings let him, who has subdued all motions, breathe forth through the nose with the gentle breath. Let the wise man without fail restrain his mind, that chariot yoked with vicious horses.
"Let him perform his exercises in a place level, pure, free from pebbles, fire, and dust, delightful by its sounds, its water, and bowers; not painful to the eye, and full of shelters and eaves.
"When Yoga, is being performed, the forms which come first, producing apparitions in Brahman, are those of misty smoke, sun, fire, wind, fire-flies, lightnings, and a crystal moon.
"When, as earth, water, light, heat, and ether arises, the fivefold quality of Yoga takes place, then there is no longer illness, old age, or pain for him who has obtained a body produced by the fire of Yoga.
The first results of Yoga they call lightness, healthiness, steadiness, a good complexion, an easy pronunciation, a sweet odour, and slight excretions "(Cvet. Upanisad, ii. 8-13).
"When the five instruments of knowledge stand still together with the mind, and when the intellect does not move, that is called the highest state.
"This, the firm holding back of the senses, is what is called Yoga. He must be free from thoughtlessness then, for Yoga comes and goes" (Katha Upanisad, ii. 10, 11).
"This is the rule for achieving it (viz., concentration of the mind on the object of meditation): restraint of the breath, restraint of the senses, meditation, fixed attention, investigation, absorption-these are called the sixfold Yoga. When beholding by this Yoga, be beholds the gold-coloured maker, the lord, the person, Brahman, the cause; then the sage, leaving behind good and evil, makes everything (breath, organs of sense, body, etc.) to be one in the Highest Indestructible (in the pratyagatman or Brahman) " (Maitr. Upanisad, vi. 18).
"And thus it has been elsewhere: There is the superior fixed attention (dharana) for him-viz., if he presses the tip of the tongue down the palate, and restrain the voice, mind, and breath, he sees Brahman by discrimination (taraka). And when, after the cessation of mind, he sees his own Self, smaller than small, and shining as the Highest Self, then, having seen his Self as the Self, he becomes Self-less, and because he is Self-less, he is without limit, without cause, absorbed in thought. This is the highest mystery—viz., final liberation " (Maitr. Upanisad, vi. 20).
Amrtab. Upanisad, 18, describes three modes of sitting-namely, the Lotus-seat (Padmasana), the sitting with legs bent underneath; the mystic diagram seat (Svastika); and the auspicious-seat (Bhadrasana);—while Yogacikha directs the choice of the Lotus-posture, with attention concentrated on the tip of the nose, hands and feet closely joined.
But Brahmanic Zen was carefully distinguished even by early Buddhists[FN#16] as the heterodox Zen from that taught by the Buddha. Our Zen originated in the Enlightenment of Shakya Muni, which took place in his thirtieth year, when he was sitting absorbed in profound meditation under the Bodhi Tree.
[FN#16] The anonymous author of Lankavatara-sutra distinguishes the heterodox Zen from the Hinayana Zen, the Hinayana Zen from the Mahayana Zen, and calls the last by the name of the Buddha's Holy Zen. The sutra is believed by many Buddhists, not without reason, to be the exposition of that Mahayana doctrine which Acvaghosa restated in his Craddhotpada-castra. The sutra was translated, first, into Chinese by Gunabbadra, in A.D. 443; secondly, by Bodhiruci in A.D. 513; and, thirdly, by Ciksanada in A.D. 700-704. The book is famous for its prophecy about Nagdrajuna, which (according to Dr. Nanjo's translation) is as follows:
"After the Nirvana of the Tathagata, There will be a man in the future, Listen to me carefully, O Mahatma, A man who will hold my law. In the great country of South, There will be a venerable Bhiksu The Bodhisattva Nagarjuna by name, Who will destroy the views of Astikas and Nastikas, Who will preach unto men my Yana, The highest Law of the Mahayana, And will attain to the Pramudita-bhumi."
It is said that then he awoke to the perfect truth and declared: "All animated and inanimate beings are Enlightened at the same time." According to the tradition[FN#17] of this sect Shakya Muni transmitted his mysterious doctrine from mind to mind to his oldest disciple Mahakacyapa at the assembly hold on the Mount of Holy Vulture, and the latter was acknowledged as the first patriarch, who, in turn, transmitted the doctrine to Ananda, the second patriarch, and so till Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth[FN#18] patriarch. We have little to say about the historical value of this tradition, but it is worth while to note that the list of the names of these twenty-eight patriarchs contains many eminent scholars of Mahayanism, or the later developed school of Buddhism, such as Acvaghosa,[FN#19] Nagarjuna,[FN#20] Kanadeva,[FN#21] and Vasubhandhu.[FN#22]
[FN#17] The incident is related as follows: When the Buddha was at the assembly on the Mount of Holy Vulture, there came a Brahmaraja who offered the Teacher a golden flower, and asked him to preach the Dharma. The Buddha took the flower and held it aloft in his hand, gazing at it in perfect silence. None in the assembly could understand what he meant, except the venerable Mahakacyapa, who smiled at the Teacher. Then the Buddha said: "I have the Eye and Treasury of Good Dharma, Nirvana, the Wonderful Spirit, which I now hand over to Mahakacyapa." The book in which this incident is described is entitled 'Sutra on the Great Brahman King's Questioning Buddha to Dispel a Doubt,' but there exists no original text nor any Chinese translation in the Tripitaka. It is highly probable that some early Chinese Zen scholar of the Sung dynasty (A.D. 960-1126) fabricated the tradition, because Wang Ngan Shih (O-an-seki), a powerful Minister under the Emperor Shan Tsung (Shin-so, A.D. 1068-1085), is said to have seen the book in the Imperial Library. There is, however, no evidence, as far as we know, pointing to the existence of the Sutra in China. In Japan there exists, in a form of manuscript, two different translations of that book, kept in secret veneration by some Zen masters, which have been proved to be fictitious by the present writer after his close examination of the contents. See the Appendix to his Zen-gaku-hi-han-ron.
[FN#18] The following is the list of the names of the twenty-eight patriarchs:
1. Mahakacyapa. 2. Ananda. 3. Canavasu. 4. Upagupta. 5. Dhrtaka. 6. Micchaka. 7. Vasumitra. 8. Buddhanandi. 9. Buddhamitra. 10. Parcva. 11. Punyayacas. 12. Acvaghosa. 13. Kapimala. 14. Nagarjuna. 15. Kanadeva. 16. Rahulata. 17. Samghanandi. 18. Samghayacas. 19. Kumarata. 20. Jayata. 21. Vasubandhu. 22. Manura. 23. Haklanayacas. 24. Simha. 25. Vacasuta. 26. Punyamitra. 27. Prajnyatara. 28. Bodhidharma.
The first twenty-three patriarchs are exactly the same as those given in 'The Sutra on the Nidana of transmitting Dharmapitaka,' translated in A.D. 472. King Teh Chwen Tang Iuh (Kei-toku-den-to-roku), a famous Zen history of China, gives two elaborate narratives about the transmission of Right Dharma from teacher to disciple through these twenty-eight patriarchs, to be trusted without hesitation. It would not be difficult for any scholar of sense to find these statements were made from the same motive as that of the anonymous author who gives a short life, in Dirghagama-sutra, of each of the six Buddhas, the predecessors of Shakya Muni, if he carefully compare the list given above with the lists of the patriarchs of the Sarvastivada school given by San Yin (So-yu died A.D. 518) in his Chuh San Tsung Ki (Shutsu-san zo-ki).
[FN#19] One of the founders of Mahayana Buddhism, who flourished in the first century A.D. There exists a life of his translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in A.D. 401-409. The most important of his works are: Mahayanacraddhotpada-castra, Mahalankara-sutra-castra, Buddha-caritakavya.
[FN#20] The founder of the Madhyamika school of Mahayana Buddhism, who lived in the second century A.D. A life of his was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in A.D. 401-409. Twenty-four books are ascribed to him, of which Mahaprajaparamita-castra, Madhyamika-castra, Prajnyadipa-castra, Dvadacanikaya-castra, Astadacakaca-castra, are well known.
[FN#21] Sometimes called Aryadeva, a successor of Nagarjuna. A life of his was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in A.D. 401-409. The following are his important works: Cata-castra, 'Castra by the Bodhisattva Deva on the refutation of four heretical Hinayana schools mentioned in the Lankatvatara-sutra'; 'Castra by the Bodhisattva Deva on the explanation of the Nirvana by twenty Hinayana teachers mentioned in the Lankavatara-sutra.'
[FN#22] A younger brother of Asamga, a famous Mahayanist of the fifth century A.D. There are thirty-six works ascribed to Vasubandhu, of which Dacabhumika-castra, Aparimitayus-sutra-castra, Mahapari-nirvana-sutra-castra, Mahayana-catadharmavidyadvara-castra, Vidya-matrasiddhi-tridaca-castra, Bodhicittopadana-castra, Buddha-gotra-castra, Vidyamatrasiddhivincatigatha-castra, Madhyantavibhaga-castra, Abhidharma-koca-castra, Tarka-castra, etc., are well known.
2. Introduction of Zen into China by Bodhidharma.
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of China by Bodhidharma's coming over from Southern India to that country in about A.D. 520.[FN#23] It was the introduction, not of the dead scriptures, as was repeatedly done before him, but of a living faith, not of any theoretical doctrine, but of practical Enlightenment, not of the relies of Buddha, but of the Spirit of Shakya Muni; so that Bodhidharma's position as a representative of Zen was unique. He was, however, not a missionary to be favourably received by the public. He seems to have behaved in a way quite opposite to that in which a modern pastor treats his flock. We imagine him to have been a religious teacher entirely different in every point from a popular Christian missionary of our age. The latter would smile or try to smile at every face he happens to see and would talk sociably; while the former would not smile at any face, but would stare at it with the large glaring eyes that penetrated to the innermost soul. The latter would keep himself scrupulously clean, shaving, combing, brushing, polishing, oiling, perfuming, while the former would be entirely indifferent to his apparel, being always clad in a faded yellow robe. The latter would compose his sermon with a great care, making use of rhetorical art, and speak with force and elegance; while the former would sit as absolutely silent as the bear, and kick one off, if one should approach him with idle questions.
[FN#23] Buddhist historians differ in opinion respecting the date of Bodhidharma's appearance in China. Compare Chwen Fah Chan Tsung Lun (Den bo sho ju ron) and Hwui Yuen (E-gen).
3. Bodhidharma and the Emperor Wu.
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern China than he was invited by the Emperor[FN#24] Wu, who was an enthusiastic Buddhist and good scholar, to proceed to his capital of Chin Liang. When he was received in audience, His Majesty asked him: "We have built temples, copied holy scriptures, ordered monks and nuns to be converted. Is there any merit, Reverend Sir, in our conduct?" The royal host, in all probability, expected a smooth, flattering answer from the lips of his new guest, extolling his virtues, and promising him heavenly rewards, but the Blue-eyed Brahmin bluntly answered: "No merit at all." This unexpected reply must have put the Emperor to shame and doubt in no small degree, who was informed simply of the doctrines of the orthodox Buddhist sects. 'Why not,' he might have thought within himself, 'why all this is futile? By what authority does he declare all this meritless? What holy text can be quoted to justify his assertion? What is his view in reference to the different doctrines taught by Shakya Muni? What does he hold as the first principle of Buddhism?' Thus thinking, he inquired: "What is the holy truth, or the first principle?" The answer was no less astonishing: "That principle transcends all. There is nothing holy."
[FN#24] The Emperor Wu (Bu-Tei) of the Liang dynasty, whose reign was A.D. 502-549.]
The crowned creature was completely at a loss to see what the teacher meant. Perhaps he might have thought: 'Why is nothing holy? Are there not holy men, Holy Truths, Holy Paths stated in the scriptures? Is he himself not one of the holy men?' "Then who is that confronts us?" asked the monarch again. "I know not, your majesty," was the laconic reply of Bodhidharma, who now saw that his new faith was beyond the understanding of the Emperor.
The elephant can hardly keep company with rabbits. The petty orthodoxy can by no means keep pace with the elephantine stride of Zen. No wonder that Bodhidharma left not only the palace of the Emperor Wu, but also the State of Liang, and went to the State of Northern Wei.[FN#25] There he spent nine years in the Shao Lin[FN#26] Monastery, mostly sitting silent in meditation with his face to the wall, and earned for himself the appellation of 'the wall-gazing Brahmin.' This name itself suggests that the significance of his mission was not appreciated by his contemporaries. But neither he was nor they were to blame, because the lion's importance is appreciated only by the lion. A great personage is no less great because of his unpopularity among his fellow men, just as the great Pang[FN#27] is no less great because of his unpopularity among the winged creatures. Bodhidharma was not popular to the degree that he was envied by his contemporary Buddhists, who, as we are told by his biographers, attempted to poison him three times,[FN#28] but without success.
[FN#25] Northern Gi dynasty (A.D. 386-534).
[FN#26] Sho-rin-ji, erected by the Emperor Hiao Ming of Northern Wei A.D. 497.
[FN#27] Chwang-tsz in his famous parable compares a great sage with the Pang, an imaginary bird of enormous size, with its wings of ninety thousand miles. The bird is laughed at by wrens and sparrows because of its excessive size.
[FN#28] This reminds us of Nan Yoh Hwui Sz (Nan-gaku-e-shi, died A.D. 577), who is said to have learned Zen under Bodhidharma. He says in his statement of a vow that he was poisoned three times by those who envied him.
4. Bodhidharma and his Successor the Second Patriarch.
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the seed of Zen—nay, there had been many practisers of Zen before Bodhidharma.
[FN#29] The translation of Hinayana Zen sutras first paved the way for our faith. Fourteen Zen sutras, including such important books as Mahanapanadhyana-sutra, Dhyanacarya-dharmasanyjnya-sutra, Dhyanacarya-saptatrimcadvarga-sutra, were translated by Ngan Shi Kao (An-sei-ko) as early as A.D. 148-170. Cullamargabhumi-sutra was translated by K' Yao (Shi-yo) in A.D. 185; Dharmatara-dhyana-sutra by Buddhabhadra in A.D. 398-421; Dhyananisthitasamadhi-dharma-parygya-sutra by Kumarajiva in A.D. 402; 'An Abridged Law on the Importance of Meditation' by Kumarajiva in A.D. 405; Pancadvara-dhyanasutra-maharthadharma by Dharmamitra in A.D. 424-441. Furthermore, Mahayana books closely related to the doctrine of Zen were not unknown to China before Bodhidharma. Pratyutpanna-buddhasammukhavasthita-samadhi was translated by K' Leu Cia Chan (Shi-ru-ga-sen) in A.D. 164-186; Vimalakirttinirdeca-sutra, which is much used in Zen, by Kumarajiva in A.D. 384-412; Lankavatara-sutra, which is said to have been pointed out by Bodhidharma as the best explanation of Zen, by Gunabhadra in A.D. 433; Saddharma-pundarika-sutra, in its complete form, by Kumarajiva in A.D. 406; Avatamsaka-sutra by Buddhabhadra in A.D. 418; Mahaparinirvana-sutra by Dharmaraksa in A.D. 423.
If we are not mistaken, Kumarajiva, who came to China A.D. 384, made a valuable contribution towards the foundation of Zen in that country, not merely through his translation of Zen sutras above mentioned, but by the education of his disciples, such as Sang Chao (So-jo, died A.D. 414), Sang Shang (So-sho, whose writings undoubtedly influenced later Zen teachers. A more important personage in the history of Zen previous to the Blue-eyed Brahmin is Buddhabhadra, a well-known Zen master, who came over to China A.D. 406. His translation of Dharmatara-dhyana-sutra (which is said to have been preached by Bodhidharma himself when he was in India) and that of Avatamsaka-sutra may be said without exaggeration to have laid the corner-stone for Zen. He gave a course of lectures on the Zen sutra for the first time in China in A.D. 413, and it was through his instruction that many native practisers of Zen were produced, of whom Chi Yen (Chi-gon) and Huen Kao (Gen-ko) are well known. In these days Zen should have been in the ascendant in India, because almost all Indian scholars-at least those known to us-were called Zen teachers-for instance, Buddhabhadra, Buddhasena, Dharmadhi, and some others were all Zen scholars.
Chinese Buddhist scholars did no less than Indian teachers toward the uprising of Zen. The foremost among them is Hwui Yuen (E-on, died A.D. 414), who practised Zen by the instruction of Buddhabhadra. He founded the Society of the White Lotus, which comprised eighteen eminent scholars of the age among its members, for the purpose of practising Meditation and of adoring Buddha Amitabha. We must not forget that during the Western and the Eastern Tsin (Shin) dynasties (A.D. 265-420) both Taoism and Buddhism grew prosperous to no small extent. And China produced, on the one hand, Taoists of an eccentric type, such as the Seven Wise Men of the Bamboo Forest, while she gave birth to many recluse-like men of letters, such as Tao Yuen Ming (To-yen-mei, died A.D. 427) and some others on the other. Besides there were some scholars who studied Buddhism in connection with Taoism and Confucianism, and led a secluded life. To the last class of scholars belonged Chwen Hih (Hu dai shi), known as Chwen the Great. He is said to have been accustomed to wear a Confucianist hat, a Buddhist robe, and Taoist shoes. It was in A.D. 534 that he presented a memorial to the Emperor Wu, in which he explained the three grades of good. "The Highest Good consists," says he, "in the emptiness of mind and non-attachment. Transcendence is its cause, and Nirvana is its result. The Middle Good consists in morality and good administration. It results in a peaceful and happy life in Heaven and in Earth. The Lowest Good consists in love and protection of sentient beings." Thus his idea of good, as the reader will see without difficulty, is the result of a compromise of Taoism and Buddhism. Sin Wang Ming (Sin-o-mei, On the Mind-King), one of his masterpieces, together with other minor poems, are still used as a textbook of Zen. This fact unmistakably proves that Taoist element found its way into the constituents of Zen from its very outset in China.
All that he had to do was to wait for an earnest seeker after the spirit of Shakya Muni. Therefore he waited, and waited not in vain, for at last there came a learned Confucianist, Shang Kwang (Shin-ko) by name, for the purpose of finding the final solution of a problem which troubled him so much that he had become dissatisfied with Confucianism, as it had no proper diet for his now spiritual hunger. Thus Shang Kwang was far from being one of those half-hearted visitors who knocked the door of Bodhidharma only for the sake of curiosity. But the silent master was cautious enough to try the sincerity of a new visitor before admitting him to the Meditation Hall. According to a biography[FN#30] of his, Shang Kwang was not allowed to enter the temple, and had to stand in the courtyard covered deep with snow. His firm resolution and earnest desire, however, kept him standing continually on one spot for seven days and nights with beads of the frozen drops of tears on his breast. At last he cut off his left arm with a sharp knife, and presented it before the inflexible teacher to show his resolution to follow the master even at the risk of his life. Thereupon Bodhidharma admitted him into the order as a disciple fully qualified to be instructed in the highest doctrine of Mahayanism.
[FN#30] King Teh Chwen Tang Luh (Kei-toku-den-to-roku), published by Tao Yuen (Do-gen) A.D. 1004, gives a detailed narrative concerning this incident as stated here, but earlier historians tell us a different story about the mutilation of Shang Kwang's arm. Compare Suh Kas San Chwen (Zoku-ko-so-den) and Hwui Yuen (E-gen).
Our master's method of instruction was entirely different from that of ordinary instructors of learning. He would not explain any problem to the learner, but simply help him to get enlightened by putting him an abrupt but telling question. Shang Kwang, for instance, said to Bodhidharma, perhaps with a sigh: "I have no peace of mind. Might I ask you, sir, to pacify my mind?" "Bring out your mind (that troubles you so much)," replied the master, "here before me! I shall pacify it." "It is impossible for me," said the disciple, after a little consideration, "to seek out my mind (that troubles me so much)." "Then," exclaimed Bodhidharma, "I have pacified your mind." Hereon Shang Kwang was instantly Enlightened. This event is worthy of our notice, because such a mode of instruction was adopted by all Zen teachers after the first patriarch, and it became one of the characteristics of Zen.
5. Bodhidharma's Disciples and the Transmission of the Law.[FN#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Zan. As for the life of Bodhidharma, Dr. B. Matsumoto's 'A Life of Bodhidharma' may well be recommended to the reader.
Bodhidharma's labour of nine years in China resulted in the initiation of a number of disciples, whom some time before his death he addressed as follows: "Now the time (of my departure from this world) is at hand. Say, one and all, how do you understand the Law?" Tao Fu (Do-fuku) said in response to this: "The Law does not lie in the letters (of the Scriptures), according to my view, nor is it separated from them, but it works." The Master said: "Then you have obtained my skin." Next Tsung Chi (So-ji), a nun, replied: "As Ananda[FN#32] saw the kingdom of Aksobhya[FN#33] only once but not twice, so I understand the Law". The master said: "Then you have attained to my flesh." Then Tao Yuh (Do-iku) replied: "The four elements[FN#34] are unreal from the first, nor are the five aggregates[FN#35] really existent. All is emptiness according to my view." The master said: "Then you have acquired my bone." Lastly, Hwui Ko (E-ka), which was the Buddhist name given by Bodhidharma, to Shang Kwang, made a polite bow to the teacher and stood in his place without a word. "You have attained to my marrow." So saying, Bodhidharma handed over the sacred Kachaya, [FN#36] which he had brought from India to Hwui Ko, as a symbol of the transmission of the Law, and created him the Second Patriarch.
[FN#32] A favourite disciple of Shakya Muni, and the Third Patriarch of Zen.
[FN#33] The: name means I Immovable,' and represents the firmness of thought.
[FN#34] Earth, water, fire, and air.
[FN#35] (1) Rupa, or form; (2) Vedana, or perception; (3) Samjnya, or consciousness; (4) Karman (or Samskara), or action; (5) Vijnyana, or knowledge.
[FN#36] The clerical cloak, which is said to have been dark green. It became an object of great veneration after the Sixth Patriarch, who abolished the patriarchal system and did not hand the symbol over to successors.
6. The Second and the Third Patriarchs.
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko did his best to propagate the new faith over sixty years. On one occasion a man suffering from some chronic disease called on him, and requested him in earnest: "Pray, Reverend Sir, be my confessor and grant me absolution, for I suffer long from an incurable disease." "Bring out your sin (if there be such a thing as sin)," replied the Second Patriarch, "here before me. I shall grant you absolution." "It is impossible," said the man after a short consideration, "to seek out my sin." "Then," exclaimed the master, "I have absolved you. Henceforth live up to Buddha, Dharma, and Samgha."[FN#37] "I know, your reverence," said the man, "that you belong to Samgha; but what are Buddha and Dharma?" "Buddha is Mind itself. Mind itself is Dharma. Buddha is identical with Dharma. So is Samgha." "Then I understand," replied the man, "there is no such thing as sin within my body nor without it, nor anywhere else. Mind is beyond and above sin. It is no other than Buddha and Dharma." Thereupon the Second Patriarch saw the man was well qualified to be taught in the new faith, and converted him, giving him the name of Sang Tsung (So-san). After two years' instruction and discipline, he[FN#38] bestowed on Sang Tsung the Kachaya handed down from Bodhidharma, and authorized him as the Third Patriarch. It is by Sang Tsung that the doctrine of Zen was first reduced to writing by his composition of Sin Sin[FN#39] Ming (Sin zin-mei, On Faith and Mind), a metrical exposition of the faith.
[FN#37] The so-called Three Treasures of the Buddha, the Law, and the Order.
[FN#38] The Second Patriarch died in A.D. 593—that is, sixty-five years after the departure of the First Patriarch.
[FN#39] A good many commentaries were written on the book, and it is considered as one of the best books on Zen.
7. The Fourth Patriarch and the Emperor Tai Tsung (Tai-so).
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who being initiated at the age of fourteen, was created the Fourth Patriarch after nine years' study and discipline. Tao Sin is said never to have gone to bed for more than forty years of his patriarchal career.[FN#41] In A.D. 643 the Emperor Tai Tsung (627-649), knowing of his virtues, sent him a special messenger, requesting him to call on His Majesty at the palace. But he declined the invitation by a memorial, saying that be was too aged and infirm to visit the august personage. The Emperor, desirous of seeing the reputed patriarch, sent for him thrice, but in vain. Then the enraged monarch ordered the messenger to behead the inflexible monk, and bring the head before the throne, in case he should disobey the order for the fourth time. As Tao Sin was told of the order of the Emperor, he stretched out his neck ready to be decapitated. The Emperor, learning from the messenger what had happened, admired all the more the imperturbable patriarch, and bestowed rich gifts upon him. This example of his was followed by later Zen masters, who would not condescend to bend their knees before temporal power, and it became one of the characteristics of Zen monks that they would never approach rulers and statesmen for the sake of worldly fame and profit, which they set at naught.
[FN#40] He died in A.D. 606, after his labour of thirteen years as the teacher.
[FN#41] He died in A.D. 651-that is, forty-five years after the death of the Third Patriarch.
8. The Fifth and the Sixth Patriarchs.
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being educated from infancy, distinguished himself as the Abbot of the Hwang Mei Monastery at Ki Cheu. The Fifth Patriarch, according to his biographer, gathered about him seven hundred pupils, who came from all quarters. Of these seven hundred pupils the venerable Shang Sin (Jin-shu) was most noted for his learning and virtues, and he might have become the legitimate successor of Hung Jan, had not the Kachaya of Bodhidharma been carried away by a poor farmer's son of Sin Cheu. Hwui Nang, the Sixth Patriarch, seems to have been born a Zen teacher. The spiritual light of Buddha first flashed in his mind when he happened to hear a monk reciting a sutra. On questioning the monk, be learned that the book was Vajracchedika-prajnya-paramita-sutra,[FN#42] and that Hung Jan, the Abbot of the Hwang Mei Monastery, was used to make his disciples recite the book that it might help them in their spiritual discipline. Hereupon he made up his mind to practise Zen, and called on Hung Jan at the Monastery. "Who are you," demanded the Fifth Patriarch, "and whence have you come?" "I am a son of the farmer," replied the man, "of Sin Cheu in the South of Ta Yu Ling." "What has brought you here?" asked the master again. "I have no other purpose than to attain to Buddhahood," answered the man. "O, you, people of the South," exclaimed the patriarch, "you are not endowed with the nature of Buddha." "There may be some difference between the Southern and the Northern people," objected the man, "but how could you distinguish one from the other as to the nature of Buddha?" The teacher recognized a genius in the man, but he did not admit the promising newcomer into the order, so Hwui Nang had to stay in the Monastery for eight months as a pounder of rice in order to qualify himself to be a Zen teacher.
[FN#42] The book was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in A.D. 384. 417; also by Bodhiruci in A.D. 509, and by Paramartha in A.D. 592; then by Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 648. Many commentaries have been written on it by the prominent Buddhist authors of China and Japan.
9. The Spiritual Attainment of the Sixth Patriarch.
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch announced to all disciples that the Spirit of Shakya Muni is hard to realize, that they should express their own views on it, on condition that anyone who could prove his right realization should be given with the Kachaya and created the Sixth Patriarch. Then the venerable Sung Siu, the head of the seven hundred disciples, who was considered by his brothers to be the man entitled to the honour, composed the following verses:
"The body is the Bodhi-tree.[FN#43] The mind is like a mirror bright on its stand. Dust it and wipe it from time to time, Lest it be dimmed by dust and dirt."
[FN#43] The idea expressed by these lines is clear enough. Body is likened to the Bodhi-tree, under which Shakya Muni attained to his supreme enlightenment; for it is not in another body in the future existence, but in this very body that one had to get enlightened. And mind is pure and bright in its nature like a mirror, but the dirt and dust of passions and of low desires often pollute and dim it. Therefore one should dust and wipe it from time to time in order to keep it bright.
All who read these lines thought that the writer was worthy of the expected reward, and the Fifth Patriarch also, appreciating the significance of the verses, said: "If men in the future would practise Zen according to this view, they would acquire an excellent result." Hwui Nang, the rice-pounder, hearing of them, however, secretly remarked that they are beautiful, but hardly expressive of the Spirit of Shakya Muni, and wrote his own verses, which ran as follows:
"There is no Bodhi-tree,[FN#44] Nor is there a mirror stand. Nothing exists from the first What can be dimmed by dust and dirt?"
[FN#44] These verses have often been misunderstood as expressive of a nihilistic view, but the real meaning is anything but nihilistic. Mind is pure and bright in its essence. It is always free from passions and mean desires, just as the sun is always bright, despite of cloud and mist that cover its face. Therefore one must get an insight into this essential nature of Mind, and realize that one has no mean desires and passions from the first, and also that there is no tree of Bodhi nor the mirror of Enlightenment without him, but they are within him.
Perhaps nobody ever dreamed such an insignificant fellow as the rice-pounder could surpass the venerable scholar in a religious insight, but the Fifth Patriarch saw at once an Enlightened Soul expressed in those lines; therefore he made up his mind to give the Kachaya to the writer, in whom he found a great spiritual leader of future generations. But he did it secretly at midnight, lest some of the disciples from envy do violence to Hwui Nang. He was, moreover, cautious enough to advise his successor to leave the Monastery at once, and go back to the South, that the latter might conceal his Enlightenment until a time would come for his missionary activities.
10. Flight of the Sixth Patriarch.
On the following morning the news of what had happened during the night flew from mouth to mouth, and some of the enraged brothers attempted to pursue the worthy fugitive. The foremost among them, Hwui Ming (E-myo), overtook the Sixth Patriarch at a mountain pass not very far from the Monastery. Then Hwui Nang, laying down the Kachaya on a rock by the road, addressed the pursuer: "This is a mere symbol of the patriarchal authority, and it is not a thing to be obtained by force. Take it along with you, if you long for it." Upon this Hwui Ming, who began to be ashamed of his base act, tried to lift the Kachaya, but in vain, for it was, as he felt, as heavy as the rock itself. At last he said to the Sixth Patriarch: "I have come here, my brother, not for the sake of this robe, but for the sake of the Law. Grant my hearty desire of getting Enlightened." "If you have come for the Law," replied Hwui Nang, "you must put an end to all your struggles and longings. Think neither of good nor of evil (make your mind pure from all idle thoughts), then see how is, Hwui Ming, your original (mental) physiognomy!" Being thus questioned, Ming found in an instant the Divine Light of Buddha within himself, and became a disciple of the Sixth Patriarch.
11. The Development of the Southern and of the Northern School of Zen.
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Siu, though not the legitimate successor of his master, was not inactive in the propagation of the faith, and gathered about him a number of enthusiastic admirers. This led to the foundation of the Northern school of Zen in opposition to the Southern school led by the Sixth Patriarch. The Empress Tseh Tien Wa Heu,[FN#45] the real ruler of China at that time, was an admirer of Shang Siu, and patronized his school, which nevertheless made no further development.
[FN#45] The Emperor Chung Tsung (Chu-so, A.D. 684-704) was a nominal sovereign, and the Empress was the real ruler from A.D. 684 to 705.
In the meanwhile the Sixth Patriarch, who had gone to the South, arrived at the Fah Sing Monastery in Kwang Cheu, where Yin Tsung (In-shu), the abbot, was giving lectures on the Mahayana sutras to a number of student monks. It was towards evening that he happened to overhear two monks of the Monastery discussing about the flag floating in air. One of them said: "It is the wind that moves in reality, but not the flag." "No," objected the other, "it is the flag that moves in reality, but not the wind." Thus each of them insisted on his own one-sided view, and came to no proper conclusion. Then the Sixth Patriarch introduced himself and said to them: "It is neither the wind nor the flag, but your mind that moves in reality." Yin Tsung, having heard these words of the stranger, was greatly astonished, and thought the latter should have been an extraordinary personage. And when he found the man to be the Sixth Patriarch of Zen, he and all his disciples decided to follow Zen under the master. Consequently Hwui Nang, still clad like a layman, changed his clothes, and began his patriarchal career at that Monastery. This is the starting-point of the great development of Zen in China.
12. Missionary Activity of the Sixth Patriarch.
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius, and may be justly called a born Zen teacher. He was a man of no erudition, being a poor farmer, who had served under the Fifth Patriarch as a rice-pounder only for eight months, but he could find a new meaning in Buddhist terms, and show how to apply it to practical life. On one occasion, for instance, Fah Tah (Ho-tatsu), a monk who had read over the Saddharma-pundarika-sutra[FN#46] three thousand times, visited him to be instructed in Zen. "Even if you read the sutra ten thousand times," said the Sixth Patriarch, who could never read the text, "it will do you no good, if you cannot grasp the spirit of the sutra." "I have simply recited the book," confessed the monk, "as it is written in characters. How could such a dull fellow as I grasp its spirit?" "Then recite it once," responded the master; "I shall explain its spirit." Hereupon Fah Tah began to recite the sutra, and when he read it until the end of the second chapter the teacher stopped him, saying: "You may stop there. Now I know that this sutra was preached to show the so-called greatest object of Shakya Muni's appearing on earth. That greatest object was to have all sentient beings Enlightened just as He Himself." In this way the Sixth Patriarch grasped the essentials of the Mahayana sutras, and freely made use of them as the explanation of the practical questions about Zen.
[FN#46] One of the most noted Mahayana sutras, translated by Dharmaraksa (A.D. 286) and by Kumarajiva (A.D. 406). The reader has to note that the author states the essential doctrine in the second chapter. See " Sacred Books of the East," vol. xxi., pp. 30-59.
13. The Disciples under the Sixth Patriarch.
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down at the Pao Lin Monastery, better known as Tsao Ki Shan (So-kei-zan), in Shao Cheu, and it grow into a great centre of Zen in the Southern States. Under his instruction many eminent Zen masters qualified themselves as Leaders of the Three Worlds. He did not give the patriarchal symbol, the Kachaya, to his successors, lest it might cause needless quarrels among the brethren, as was experienced by himself. He only gave sanction to his disciples who attained to Enlightenment, and allowed them to teach Zen in a manner best suited to their own personalities. For instance, Huen Kioh (Gen-kaku), a scholar of the Tien Tai doctrine,[FN#47] well known as the Teacher of Yung Kia[FN#48] (Yo-ka), received a sanction for his spiritual attainment after exchanging a few words with the master in their first interview, and was at once acknowledged as a Zen teacher. When he reached the zenith of his fame, he was presented with a crystal bowl together with rich gifts by the Empress Tseh Tien; and it was in A.D. 705 that the Emperor Chung Tsung invited him in vain to proceed to the palace, since the latter followed the example of the Fourth Patriarch.
[FN#47] The Teacher of Tien Tai (Ten-dai, A.D. 538-597), the founder of the Buddhist sect of the same name, was a great scholar of originality. His doctrine and criticism on the Tripitaka greatly influenced the whole of Buddhism after him. His doctrine is briefly given in the second chapter.
[FN#48] His Ching Tao Ko (Sho-do-ka), a beautiful metrical exposition of Zen, is still read by most students of Zen.
After the death[FN#49] of the Sixth Patriarch (A.D. 713), the Southern Zen was divided into two schools, one being represented by Tsing Yuen (Sei-gen), the other by Nan Yoh (Nan-gaku.) Out of these two main schools soon developed the five[FN#50] branches of Zen, and the faith made a splendid progress. After Tsing Yuen and Nan Yoh, one of the junior disciples of the Sixth Patriarch, Hwui Chung (E-chu), held an honourable position for sixteen years as the spiritual adviser to the Emperor Suh Tsung (A.D. 756762) and to the Emperor Tai Tsung (A.D. 763-779). These two Emperors were enthusiastic admirers of Zen, and ordered several times the Kachaya of Bodhidharma to be brought into the palace from the Pao Lin Monastery that they might do proper homage to it. Within some one hundred and thirty years after the Sixth Patriarch, Zen gained so great influence among higher classes that at the time of the Emperor Suen Tsung (A.D. 847-859) both the Emperor and his Prime Minister, Pei Hiu, were noted for the practice of Zen. It may be said that Zen had its golden age, beginning with the reign of the Emperor Suh Tsung, of the Tang dynasty, until the reign of the Emperor Hiao Tsung (1163-1189), who was the greatest patron of Buddhism in the Southern Sung dynasty. To this age belong almost all the greatest Zen scholars[FN#51] of China.
[FN#49] There exists Luh Tan Fah Pao Tan King (Roku-so-ho-bo-dan-kyo), a collection of his sermons. It is full of bold statements of Zen in its purest form, and is entirely free from ambiguous and enigmatical words that encumber later Zen books. In consequence it is widely read by non-Buddhist scholars in China and Japan. Both Hwui Chung (E-chu), a famous disciple of the Sixth Patriarch, and Do-gen, the founder of the Soto Sect in Japan, deny the authority of the book, and declare it to be misleading, because of errors and prejudices of the compilers. Still, we believe it to be a collection of genuine sections given by the Sixth Patriarch, though there are some mistakes in its historical narratives.
[FN#50] (1) The Tsao Tung (So-to) Sect, founded by Tsing Yuen (died in A.D. 740) and his successors; (2) the Lin Tsi (Rin-Zai) Sect, founded by Nan Yoh (died in 744) and his successors; (3) the Wei Yan (Yi-gyo) Sect, founded by Wei Shan (Yi-san, died in 853) and his disciple Yen Shan (Kyo-zan, died in 890); (4) the Yun Man (Un-mon) Sect, founded by Yun Man (died in 949); (5) the Pao Yen (Ho-gen) Sect, founded by Pao Yen (died in 958).
[FN#51] During the Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-906) China produced, besides the Sixth Patriarch and his prominent disciples, such great Zen teachers as Ma Tsu (Ba-so, died in 788), who is probably the originator of the Zen Activity; Shih Teu (Seki-to, died in 790), the reputed author of Tsan Tung Ki (San-do-kai), a metrical writing on Zen; Poh Chang (Hyaku-jo, died 814), who first laid down regulations for the Zen Monastery; Wei Shan (Yi-san), Yang Shan (Kyo-zan), the founders of the Wei Yang Sect; Hwang Pah (O-baku, died in 850), one of the founders of the Lin Tsi Sect, and the author of Chwen Sin Pao Yao, (Den-sin-ho-yo), one of the best works on Zen; Lin Tsi (Rin-zai, died in 866), the real founder of the Lin Tsi Sect; Tung Shan (To-zan, died in 869), the real founder of the Tsao Tung Sect; Tsao Shan (So-zan, died in 901), a famous disciple of Tung Shan; Teh Shan (Toku-san, died in 865), who was used to strike every questioner with his staff; Chang Sha (Cho-sha, died in 823); Chao Cheu (Jo-shu, died in 897); Nan Tsuen (Nan-sen, died in 834); Wu Yeh (Mu-go, died in 823); who is said to have replied, 'Away with your idle thoughts,' to every questioner; Yun Yen (Un-gan, died in 829); Yoh Shan (Yaku-san, died in 834); Ta Mei (Tai-bai, died in 839), a noted recluse; Ta Tsz (Dai-ji, died in 862); Kwei Fung (Kei-ho, died in 841), the author of 'The Origin of Man,' and other numerous works; and Yun Ku (Un-go, died in 902).
To the period of the Five Dynasties (A.D. 907-959) belong such teachers as Sueh Fung (Set-po, died in. 908); Huen Sha (Gen-sha, died in 908); Yun Man (Un-mon, died in 949), the founder of the Yun Man Sect; Shen Yueh (Zen-getsu, died in 912), a renowned Zen poet; Pu Tai (Ho-tei, died in 916), well known for his peculiarities; Chang King (Cho-kei, died in 932); Nan Yuen (Nan-in, died in 952); Pao Yen (Ho-gen, died in 958), the founder of the Pao Yen Sect. During the Sung dynasty (A.D. 960-1126) appeared such teachers as Yang Ki (Yo-gi, died in 1049), the founder of the Yang Ki School of Zen; Sueh Teu (Set-cho, died in 1052), noted for poetical works; Hwang Lung (O ryu, died in 1069), the founder of the Hwang Lung School of Zen; Hwang Lin (Ko-rin, died in 987); Tsz Ming (Ji-myo, died in 1040); Teu Tsy (To-shi, died in 1083); Fu Yun (Fu-yo, died in 1118); Wu Tsu (Go-so, died in 1104); Yung Ming (Yo-myo, died in 975), the author of Tsung King Luh (Shu-kyo-roku); Ki Sung (Kai-su, died in 1071), a great Zen historian and author. In the Southern Sung dynasty (A.D. 1127-1279) flourished such masters as Yuen Wu (En-go, died in 1135), the author of Pik Yen Tsih (Heki-gan-shu); Chan Hieh (Shin-ketsu, flourished in 1151); Hung Chi (Wan-shi, died in 1157), famous for his poetical works; Ta Hwui (Dai-e, died in 1163), a noted disciple of Yuen Wu; Wan Sung (Ban-sho), flourished in 1193-1197), the author of Tsung Yun Luh (Sho-yo-roku); Ju Tsing (Nyo-jo), died in 1228), the teacher to Do-gen, or the founder of the So-to Sect in Japan.
To this age belong almost all the eminent men of letters,[FN#52] statesmen, warriors, and artists who were known as the practisers of Zen. To this age belongs the production of almost all Zen books,[FN#53] doctrinal and historical.
[FN#52] Among the great names of Zen believers the following are most important: Pang Yun (Ho-on, flourished in 785-804), whose whole family was proficient in Zen; Tsui Kiun (Sai-gun, flourished in 806-824); Luh Kang (Rik-ko), a lay disciple to Nan Tsun; Poh Loh Tien (Haku-raku-ten, died in 847), one of the greatest Chinese literary men; Pei Hiu (Hai-kyu, flourished 827-856), the Prime Minister under the Emperor Suen Tsung, a lay disciple to Hwang Pah; Li Ngao (Ri-ko, lived about 806), an author and scholar who practised Zen under Yoh Shan; Yu Chuh (U-teki, flourished 785-804), a local governor, a friend of Pang Yun; Yang Yih (Yo-oku, flourished in 976), one of the greatest writers of his age; Fan Chung Ngan (Han-chu an, flourished 1008-1052), an able statesman and scholar; Fu Pih (Fu shitsu, flourished 1041-1083), a minister under the Emperor Jan Tsung; Chang Shang Ying (Cho-sho-yei, 1086-1122), a Buddhist scholar and a statesman; Hwang Ting Kien (Ko-tei-ken, 1064-1094), a great poet; Su Shih (So-shoku, died in 1101), a great man of letters, well known as So-to-ba; Su Cheh (So-tetsu, died in 1112), a younger brother of So-to-ba, a scholar and minister under the Emperor Cheh Tsung; Chang Kiu Ching (Cho-Kyu-sei, flourished about 1131), a scholar and lay disciple of Ta Hwui; Yang Kieh (Yo-ketsu, flourished 1078-1086), a scholar and statesman.
[FN#53] Of doctrinal Zen books, besides Sin Sin Ming by the Third Patriarch, and Fah Pao Tan King by the Sixth Patriarch, the following are of great importance:
(1) Ching Tao Ko (Sho-do-ka), by Huen Kioh (Gen-kaku). (2) Tsan Tung Ki (San-do-kai), by Shih Ten (Seki-to). (3) Pao King San Mei (Ho-kyo-san-mai), by Tung Shan (To-zan). (4) Chwen Sin Pao Yao (Den-sin-ho-yo), by Hwang Pah (O-baku). (5) Pih Yen Tsih (Heki-gan-shu), by Yuen Wu (En-go). (6) Lin Tsi Luh (Rin-zai-roku), by Lin Tsi (Rin-zai). (7) Tsung Yun Luh (Sho-yo-roku), by Wan Sung (Ban-sho).
Of historical Zen books the following are of importance:
(1) King teh Chwen Tan-Luh (Kei-toku-den-to-roku), published in 1004 by Tao Yuen (Do-gen). (2) Kwan Tang Luh (Ko-to roku), published in 1036 by Li Tsun Suh (Ri-jun-kyoku). (3) Suh Tang Luh (Zoku-O-roku), published in 1101 by Wei Poh (I-haku). (4) Lien Tang Luh (Ren-O-roku), published in 1183 by Hwui Wang (Mai-o). (5) Ching Tsung Ki (Sho-ju-ki), published in 1058 by Ki Sung (Kwai-su). (6) Pu Tang Luh (Fu-O-roku), published in 1201 by Ching Sheu (Sho-ju). (7) Hwui Yuen (E-gen), published in 1252 by Ta Chwen (Dai-sen). (8) Sin Tang Luh (Sin-W-roku), published in 1280-1294 by Sui (Zui). (9) Suh Chwen Tang Luh (Zoku-den-to-roku), by Wang Siu (Bun-shu). (10) Hwui Yuen Suh Lioh (E-gen-zoku-ryaku), by Tsing Chu (Jo-chu). (11) Ki Tang Luh (Kei-to-roku), by Yung Kioh (Yo-kaku).
14. Three Important Elements of Zen.
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred years after the Sixth Patriarch, we should know that there are three important elements in Zen. The first of these is technically called the Zen Number—the method of practising Meditation by sitting cross-legged, of which we shall treat later.[FN#54] This method is fully developed by Indian teachers before Bodhidharma's introduction of Zen into China, therefore it underwent little change during this period. The second is the Zen Doctrine, which mainly consists of Idealistic and Pantheistic ideas of Mahayana Buddhism, but which undoubtedly embraces some tenets of Taoism. Therefore, Zen is not a pure Indian faith, but rather of Chinese origin. The third is the Zen Activity, or the mode of expression of Zen in action, which is entirely absent in any other faith.
[FN#54] See Chapter VII.
It was for the sake of this Zen Activity that Hwang Pah gave a slap three times to the Emperor Suen Tsung; that Lin Tsi so often burst out into a loud outcry of Hoh (Katsu); that Nan Tsuen killed a cat at a single stroke of his knife in the presence of his disciples; and that Teh Shan so frequently struck questioners with his staff.[FN#55] The Zen Activity was displayed by the Chinese teachers making use of diverse things such as the staff, the brush[FN#56] of long hair, the mirror, the rosary, the cup, the pitcher, the flag, the moon, the sickle, the plough, the bow and arrow, the ball, the bell, the drum, the cat, the dog, the duck, the earthworm—in short, any and everything that was fit for the occasion and convenient for the purpose. Thus Zen Activity was of pure Chinese origin, and it was developed after the Sixth Patriarch.[FN#57] For this reason the period previous to the Sixth Patriarch may be called the Age of the Zen Doctrine, while that posterior to the same master, the Age of the Zen Activity.
[FN#55] A long official staff (Shu-jo) like the crosier carried by the abbot of the monastery.
[FN#56] An ornamental brush (Hos-su) often carried by Zen teachers.
[FN#57] The giving of a slap was first tried by the Sixth Patriarch, who struck one of his disciples, known as Ho Tseh (Ka-taku), and it was very frequently resorted to by the later masters. The lifting up of the brush was first tried by Tsing Yuen in an interview with his eldest disciple, Shih Ten, and it became a fashion among other teachers. The loud outcry of Hoh was first made use of by Ma Tsu, the successor of Nan Yoh. In this way the origin of the Zen Activity can easily be traced to the Sixth Patriarch and his direct disciples. After the Sung dynasty Chinese Zen masters seem to have given undue weight to the Activity, and neglected the serious study of the doctrine. This brought out the degeneration severely reproached by some of the Japanese Zen teachers.
15. Decline of Zen.
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of the Southern Sung dynasty (1127-1279), when it began to fade, not being bitten by the frost of oppression from without, but being weakened by rottenness within. As early as the Sung dynasty (960-1126) the worship of Buddha Amitabha[FN#58] stealthily found its way among Zen believers, who could not fully realize the Spirit of Shakya Muni, and to satisfy these people the amalgamation of the two faiths was attempted by some Zen masters.[FN#59]
[FN#58] The faith is based on Larger Sukhavati-vyuha, Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha, and Amitayus-dhyana-sutra. It was taught in India by Acvaghosa, Nagariuna, and Vasubandhu. In China Hwui Yuen (E-on, died in A.D. 416), Tan Lwan (Don-ran, died in 542), Tao Choh (Do-shaku), and Shen Tao (Zen-do) (both of whom lived about 600-650), chiefly taught the doctrine. It made an extraordinary progress in Japan, and differentiated itself into several sects, of which Jodo Shu and Shin Shu are the strongest.
[FN#59] It is beyond all doubt that Poh Loh Tien (Haku-raku-ten) practised Zen, but at the same time believed in Amitabha; so also Su Shih (So-shoku), a most noted Zen practiser, worshipped the same Buddha, Yang Kieh (Yo-keteu), who carried a picture of Amitabha wherever he went and worshipped it, seems to have thought there is nothing incompatible between Zen and his faith. The foremost of those Zen masters of the Sung dynasty that attempted the amalgamation is Yung Ming (Yo-myo, died in 975), who reconciled Zen with the worship of Amitabha in his Wan Shen Tung Kwei Tsih (Man-zen-do-ki-shu) and Si Ngan Yan Shan Fu (Sei-an-yo-sin-fu). He was followed by Tsing Tsz (Jo-ji) and Chan Hieh (Shin-ketsu, lived about 1151), the former of whom wrote Kwei Yuen Chih Chi (Ki-gen-jiki-shi), and the latter Tsing Tu Sin Yao (Jo-do-sin-yo), in order to further the tendency. In the Yuen dynasty Chung Fung (Chu-ho, died in 1323) encouraged the adoration of Amitabha, together with the practice of Zen, in his poetical composition (Kwan-shu-jo-go). In the Ming dynasty Yun Si (Un-sei, died in 1615), the author of Shen Kwan Tseh Tsin (Zen-kwan-saku-shin) and other numerous works, writing a commentary on Sukhavati-vyuha-sutra, brought the amalgamation to its height. Ku Shan (Ku-zan, died in 1657), a Zen historian and author, and his prominent disciple Wei Lin (E-rin), axe well known as the amalgamators. Yun Ming declared that those who practise Zen, but have no faith in Amitabha, go astray in nine cases out of ten; that those who do not practise Zen, but believe in Amitabha, are saved, one and all; that those who practise Zen, and have the faith in Amitabha, are like the tiger provided with wings; and that for those who have no faith in Amitabha, nor practise Zen, there exist the iron floor and the copper pillars in Hell. Ku Shan said that some practise Zen in order to attain Enlightenment, while others pray Amitabha for salvation; that if they were sincere and diligent, both will obtain the final beatitude. Wei Lin also observed: "Theoretically I embrace Zen, and practically I worship Amitabha." E-chu, the author of Zen-to-nenbutsu ('On Zen and the Worship of Amitabha'), points out that one of the direct disciples of the Sixth Patriarch favoured the faith of Amitabha, but there is no trustworthy evidence, as far as we know, that proves the existence of the amalgamation in the Tang dynasty.
This tendency steadily increasing with time brought out at length the period of amalgamation which covered the Yuen (1280-1367) and the Ming dynasties (1368-1659), when the prayer for Amitabha was in every mouth of Zen monks sitting in Meditation. The patrons of Zen were not wanting in the Yuen dynasty, for such a warlike monarch as the Emperor Shi Tsu (Sei-so), 1280-1294) is known to have practised Zen under the instruction of Miao Kao, and his successor Ching Tsung (1295-1307) to have trusted in Yih Shan,[FN#60] a Zen teacher of reputation at that time. Moreover, Lin Ping Chung (Rin-hei-cha, died in 1274), a powerful minister under Shi Tsu, who did much toward the establishment of the administrative system in that dynasty, had been a Zen monk, and never failed to patronize his faith. And in the Ming dynasty the first Emperor Tai Tsu (1368-1398), having been a Zen monk, protected the sect with enthusiasm, and his example was followed by Tai Tsung (1403-1424), whose spiritual as well as political adviser was Tao Yen, a Zen monk of distinction. Thus Zen exercised an influence unparalleled by any other faith throughout these ages. The life and energy of Zen, however, was gone by the ignoble amalgamation, and even such great scholars as Chung Fung,[FN#61] Yung Si,[FN#62] Yung Kioh,[FN#63] were not free from the overwhelming influence of the age.
[FN#60] The Emperor sent him to Japan in 1299 with some secret order, but he did nothing political, and stayed as a Zen teacher until his death.
[FN#61] A most renowned Zen master in the Yuen dynasty, whom the Emperor Jan Tsung invited to visit the palace, but in vain.
[FN#62] An author noted for his learning and virtues, who was rather a worshipper of Amitabha than a Zen monk.
[FN#63] An author of voluminous books, of which Tung Shang Ku Cheh (To-jo-ko-tetsu) is well known.
We are not, however, doing justice to the tendency of amalgamation in these times simply to blame it for its obnoxious results, because it is beyond doubt that it brought forth wholesome fruits to the Chinese literature and philosophy. Who can deny that this tendency brought the Speculative[FN#64] philosophy of the Sung dynasty to its consummation by the amalgamation of Confucianism with Buddhism especially with Zen, to enable it to exercise long-standing influence on society, and that this tendency also produced Wang Yang Ming,[FN#65] one of the greatest generals and scholars that the world has ever seen, whose philosophy of Conscience[FN#66] still holds a unique position in the history of human thought? Who can deny furthermore that Wang's philosophy is Zen in the Confucian terminology?
[FN#64] This well-known philosophy was first taught by Cheu Men Shuh (Shu-mo-shiku, died in 1073) in its definite form. He is said to have been enlightened by the instruction of Hwui Tang, a contemporary Zen master. He was succeeded by Chang Ming Tao (Tei-mei-do, died in 1085) and Chang I Chwen (Tei-i-sen, died in 1107), two brothers, who developed the philosophy in no small degree. And it was completed by Chu Tsz (Shu-shi, died in 1200), a celebrated commentator of the Confucian classics. It is worthy to note that these scholars practised Meditation just as Zen monks. See 'History of Chinese Philosophy' (pp. 215-269), by G. Nakauchi, and 'History of Development of Chinese Thought,' by R. Endo.
[FN#65] He was born in 1472, and died in 1529. His doctrine exercised a most fruitful influence on many of the great Japanese minds, and undoubtedly has done much to the progress of New Japan.
[FN#66] See Den-shu-roku and O-ya-mei-zen-sho.
HISTORY OF ZEN IN JAPAN
1. The Establishment of the Rin Zai[FN#67] School of Zen in Japan.
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent disciple of the Sixth Patriarch, and completed by Lin Tsi or Rin Zai.
The introduction of Zen into the island empire is dated as early as the seventh century;[FN#68] but it was in 1191 that it was first established by Ei-sai, a man of bold, energetic nature. He crossed the sea for China at the age of twenty-eight in 1168, after his profound study of the whole Tripitaka[FN#69] for eight years in the Hi-yei Monastery[FN#70] the then centre of Japanese Buddhism.
[FN#68] Zen was first introduced into Japan by Do sha (629-700) as early as 653-656, at the time when the Fifth Patriarch just entered his patriarchal career. Do-sho went over to China in 653, and met with Huen Tsang, the celebrated and great scholar, who taught him the doctrine of the Dharma-laksana. It was Huen Tsang who advised Do-sho to study Zen under Hwui Man (E-man). After returning home, he built a Meditation Hall for the purpose of practising Zen in the Gan-go monastery, Nara. Thus Zen was first transplanted into Japan by Do-sho, but it took no root in the soil at that time.
Next a Chinese Zen teacher, I Kung (Gi-ku), came over to Japan in about 810, and under his instruction the Empress Danrin, a most enthusiastic Buddhist, was enlightened. She erected a monastery named Dan-rin-ji, and appointed I Kung the abbot of it for the sake of propagating the faith. It being of no purpose, however, I Kung went back to China after some years.
Thirdly, Kaku-a in 1171 went over to China, where he studied Zen under Fuh Hai (Buk-kai), who belonged to the Yang Ki (Yo-gi) school, and came home after three years. Being questioned by the Emperor Taka-kura (1169-1180) about the doctrine of Zen, he uttered no word, but took up a flute and played on it. But his first note was too high to be caught by the ordinary ear, and was gone without producing any echo in the court nor in society at large.
[FN#69] The three divisions of the Buddhist canon, viz.:
(1) Sutra-pitaka, or a collection of doctrinal books. (2) Vinaya-pitaka, or a collection of works on discipline. (3) Abhidharma-pitaka, or a collection of philosophical and expository works.
[FN#70] The great monastery erected in 788 by Sai-cho (767-822), the founder of the Japanese Ten Dai Sect, known as Den Gyo Dai Shi.
After visiting holy places and great monasteries, he came home, bringing with him over thirty different books on the doctrine of the Ten-Dai Sect.[FN#71] This, instead of quenching, added fuel to his burning desire for adventurous travel abroad. So he crossed the sea over again in 1187, this time intending to make pilgrimage to India; and no one can tell what might have been the result if the Chinese authorities did not forbid him to cross the border. Thereon he turned his attention to the study of Zen, and after five years' discipline succeeded in getting sanction for his spiritual attainment by the Hu Ngan (Kio-an), a noted master of the Rin Zai school, the then abbot of the monastery of Tien Tung Shan (Ten-do-san). His active propaganda of Zen was commenced soon after his return in 1191 with splendid success at a newly built temple[FN#72] in the province of Chiku-zen. In 1202 Yori-iye, the Shogun, or the real governor of the State at that time, erected the monastery of Ken-nin-ji in the city of Kyo-to, and invited him to proceed to the metropolis. Accordingly he settled himself down in that temple, and taught Zen with his characteristic activity.
[FN#71] The sect was named after its founder in China, Chi I (538-597), who lived in the monastery of Tien Tai Shan (Ten-dai-san), and was called the Great Teacher of Tien Tai. In 804 Den-gyo went over to China by the Imperial order, and received the transmission of the doctrine from Tao Sui (Do-sui), a patriarch of the sect. After his return he erected a monastery on Mount Hi-yei, which became the centre of Buddhistic learning.
[FN#72] He erected the monastery of Sho-fuku-ji in 1195, which is still prospering.
This provoked the envy and wrath of the Ten Dai and the Shin Gon[FN#73] teachers, who presented memorials to the Imperial court to protest against his propagandism of the new faith. Taking advantage of the protests, Ei-sai wrote a book entitled Ko-zen-go-koku-ron ('The Protection of the State by the Propagation of Zen'), and not only explained his own position, but exposed the ignorance[FN#74] of the protestants. Thus at last his merit was appreciated by the Emperor Tsuchi-mikado (1199-1210), and he was promoted to So Jo, the highest rank in the Buddhist priesthood, together with the gift of a purple robe in 1206. Some time after this he went to the city of Kama-kura, the political centre, being invited by Sane-tomo, the Shogun, and laid the foundation of the so-called Kama-kura Zen, still prospering at the present moment.
[FN#73] The Shin Gon or Mantra Sect is based on Mahavairocanabhi-sambodhi-sutra, Vajracekhara-sutra, and other Mantra-sutras. It was established in China by Vajrabodhi and his disciple Amoahavajra, who came from India in 720. Ku kai (774-835), well known as Ko Bo Dai Shi, went to China in 804, and received the transmission of the doctrine from Hwui Kwo (Kei-ka), a, disciple of Amoghavajra. In 806 he came back and propagated the faith almost all over the country. For the detail see 'A Short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects' (chap. viii.), by Dr. Nanjo.
[FN#74] Sai-cho, the founder of the Japanese Ten Dai Sect, first learned the doctrine of the Northern School of Zen under Gyo-hyo (died in 797), and afterwards he pursued the study of the same faith under Siao Jan in China. Therefore to oppose the propagation of Zen is, for Ten Dai priests, as much as to oppose the founder of their own sect.
2. The Introduction of the So-To School[FN#75] of Zen.
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an eminent disciple of the Sixth Patriarch, and completed by Tsing Shan (To-zan).
Although the Rin Zai school was, as mentioned above, established by Ei-sai, yet he himself was not a pure Zen teacher, being a Ten Dai scholar as well as an experienced practiser of Mantra. The first establishment of Zen in its purest form was done by Do-gen, now known as Jo Yo Dai Shi. Like Ei-sai, he was admitted into the Hi-yei Monastery at an early age, and devoted himself to the study of the Canon. As his scriptural knowledge increased, he was troubled by inexpressible doubts and fears, as is usual with great religious teachers. Consequently, one day he consulted his uncle, Ko-in, a distinguished Ten Dai scholar, about his troubles. The latter, being unable to satisfy him, recommended him Ei-sai, the founder of the new faith. But as Ei-sai died soon afterwards, he felt that he had no competent teacher left, and crossed the sea for China, at the age of twenty-four, in 1223. There he was admitted into the monastery of Tien Tung Shan (Ten-do-san), and assigned the lowest seat in the hall, simply because be was a foreigner. Against this affront he strongly protested. In the Buddhist community, he said, all were brothers, and there was no difference of nationality. The only way to rank the brethren was by seniority, and he therefore claimed to occupy his proper rank. Nobody, however, lent an ear to the poor new-comer's protest, so he appealed twice to the Chinese Emperor Ning Tsung (1195-1224), and by the Imperial order he gained his object.
After four years' study and discipline, he was Enlightened and acknowledged as the successor by his master Ju Tsing (Nyo-jo died in 1228), who belonged to the Tsao Tung (So To) school. He came home in 1227, bringing with him three important Zen books.[FN#76] Some three years he did what Bodhidharma, the Wall-gazing Brahmin, had done seven hundred years before him, retiring to a hermitage at Fuka-kusa, not very far from Kyo-to. Just like Bodhidharma, denouncing all worldly fame and gain, his attitude toward the world was diametrically opposed to that of Ei-sai. As we have seen above, Ei-sai never shunned, but rather sought the society of the powerful and the rich, and made for his goal by every means. But to the Sage of Fuka-kusa, as Do-gen was called at that time, pomp and power was the most disgusting thing in the world. Judging from his poems, be seems to have spent these years chiefly in meditation; dwelling now on the transitoriness of life, now on the eternal peace of Nirvana; now on the vanities and miseries of the world; now listening to the voices of Nature amongst the hills; now gazing into the brooklet that was, as he thought, carrying away his image reflected on it into the world.
[FN#76] (1) Pao King San Mei (Ho-kyo-san-mai, 'Precious Mirror Samadhi'), a metrical exposition of Zen, by Tung Shan (To-zan, 806-869), one of the founders of the So To school. (2) Wu Wei Hien Hueh (Go-i-ken-ketsu. 'Explanation of the Five Categories'), by Tung Shan and his disciple Tsao Shan (So-zan). This book shows us how Zen was systematically taught by the authors. (3) Pih Yen Tsih (Heki-gan-shu, 'A Collection and Critical Treatment of Dialogues'), by Yuen Wu.
3. The Characteristics of Do-gen, the Founder of the Japanese So To Sect.
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to knock at his door, and his hermitage was turned into a monastery, now known as the Temple of Ko-sho-ji.[FN#77] It was at this time that many Buddhist scholars and men of quality gathered about him but the more popular he became the more disgusting the place became to him. His hearty desire was to live in a solitude among mountains, far distant from human abodes, where none but falling waters and singing birds could disturb his delightful meditation. Therefore he gladly accepted the invitation of a feudal lord, and went to the province of Echi-zen, where his ideal monastery was built, now known as Ei-hei-ji.[FN#78]
[FN#77] It was in this monastery (built in 1236) that Zen was first taught as an independent sect, and that the Meditation Hall was first opened in Japan. Do-gen lived in the monastery for eleven years, and wrote some of the important books. Za-zen-gi ('The Method of Practising the Cross-legged Meditation') was written soon after his return from China, and Ben-do-wa and other essays followed, which are included in his great work, entitled Sho-bo-gen-zo) ('The Eye and Treasury of the Right Law').