THE SELF IN MEDIEVAL JAPANESE BUDDHISM: FOCUSING ON DOGEN

By Kiyotaka Kimura
Philosophy East and West
Volume 41, Number 3
July 1991
P.327-340
(C) by University of Hawaii Press


P.327 Preface In the past many scholars and thinkers have sought to discover some deep-rooted factor common to all of medieval Japanese Buddhism, especially in the case of the "Kamakura Neo-Buddhist" sects. For example, Suzuki Daisetsu (1870-1966), who made an outstanding contribution to the introduction in the West of Oriental thought--particularly Zen--termed this common factor "Japanese spirituality" and has provided the following comment: When with the advent of Kamakura times government and culture lost their distinctively aristocratic and conceptual conventions and took on the qualities of the earth, Japanese spirituality awakened to itself.(1) Anezaki (Anesaki) Masaharu (1873-1949), on the other hand, who was the first to compose a History of Japanese Religion from the standpoint of modern positivistic scholarship, defined the general characteristic of the Buddhism of this period as "simple piety" or "spiritual exercise, " and asserting that this accorded with the spirit of the times, he concluded: The Buddhist religion of the new age was not one of ceremonies and mysteries but a religion of simple piety or of spiritual exercise. Dogma gave way to personal experience, ritual and sacerdotalism to piety and intuition, and this new type of religion exerted its influence beyond class limits, exhibiting many democratic features.(2) Furthermore, according to Watsuji Tetsuro (1889-1960), renowned as a major representative philosopher of modern Japan, the Kamakura period witnessed a reconsideration of the nature of the traditional gods of Japan, a reconsideration which was brought about through the influence of Buddhism; in this regard Watsuji stated: Contemporaneous with the sudden rise of the warrior class there occurred in the foundations of Buddhism a new faith movement, and contemporaneous with the establishment of military rule this lead to the development of a new Kamakura Buddhism. This must be regarded as the greatest achievement of this period. Just as an ethic of self-sacrifice was to develop among the warriors, so an ethic of universal compassion came to be strongly promoted by the latter.(3) In other words, Watsuji discovered the basic characteristic of so-called Kamakura Neo-Buddhism in "compassion," corresponding to the "self-sacrifice" of the warrior. Just how valid, then, are these interpretations of medieval Japanese Buddhism, focused as they are on "Kamakura Neo-Buddhism"? Is there P.328 any possibility that there may exist some other method of generalization possessing a greater degree of probability? It is with such an awareness that we wish to attempt to shed some light on one aspect of the history of medieval Japanese Buddhism by focusing on Dogen(4) (1200-1253), regarded as one of its most important representative figures, and we shall make an introductory approach to our problem through a consideration of the concept of the "self," which has constituted a major point of contention in Buddhism since its very beginnings. I. The Conception of the Self Dogen, who was born into a noble family of high standing, took the tonsure at the age of thirteen and first studied the doctrines of the Tendai school. But overcome by doubts regarding the need for cultivated practice and the significance of Esoteric rituals, he changed his affiliation to Zen and at the age of twenty-four crossed over to China. There he continued his studies and eventually became a successor to his teacher Ju-ching (1163-1228), after which he returned to Japan and founded the Japanese Soto sect. Although the groundwork for his understanding of Buddhism had been laid in Japan, his was a Buddhism that was introduced directly from China. In this sense, too, it should be evident that the question of just how "Japanese" his thought was is a subject requiring careful examination. When considering the question of the "self" in regard to Dogen, the first point to be noted is that for him "to learn the Buddha Way is to learn one's own self."(5) In other words, it was Dogen's conviction that there existed no Buddhism apart from the learning and pursuit of the "self" and that this constituted the whole of Buddhism. It should thus be clear that for Dogen the question of the "self" was of considerable importance. However, this conviction of Dogen's is quite different from the idea that the self is already possessed of the totality of Buddhism and that therefore "simply knowing that the Buddha Dharma exists intrinsically in oneself is attainment of the Buddha Way in its totality."(6) In fact, Dogen's conception of the self runs directly counter to this view, and he asserts that "if the Way were attained by knowing that the self is Buddha, `Saakyamuni (the founder of Buddhism) long ago would not have undergone the hardships he did in guiding others to enlightenment."(7) There was a reason for Dogen's discussion and criticism of the idea that "the self is Buddha," a view traceable to the current of Tathaagatagarbha thought, which occurred around 300 A.D. in India and has widely influenced East Asian Buddhism. This was that views leading to such a conclusion were to be found on the one hand occupying a central position in Tendai thought, which constituted the mainstream of Japanese Buddhism at the time,(8) and were on the other hand also quite P.329 predominant in the Zen of China which Dogen had himself studied,(9) and in Dogen's view such ideas defiled Buddhism and exerted a harmful influence upon society. This being the case, what does Dogen mean then when he says that "to learn the Buddha Way is to learn one's self"? In the "Genjo koan" in the Shobogenzo this statement is given elaboration in the following manner: To learn one's self is to forget one's self. To forget one's self is to be confirmed by all dharmas. To be confirmed by all dharmas is to effect the casting off of one's own body and mind and the bodies and minds of others as well. However, this explanation Hives the impression of having been expressed in terms that are too succinct, for it is difficult to comprehend its full import as it stands. Accordingly, we shall cite three further passages which may be considered to be related in content to the quotation above. The first is taken from the Gakudo yojinshu: When one enters the gate to study the Buddha Way, one listens to the teaching of a learned master and cultivates oneself accordingly. One must know at such a time the two teachings: (1) one moves the dharmas and (2) the dharmas move the self. When one moves the dharmas well, the self is strong and the dharmas are weak. When the dharmas move the self, the dharmas are strong and the self is weak. In the Buddha Way there have always been these two situations. Only authentic Dharma-successors know this.(10) The second passage is again taken from the "Genjo koan" and precedes the passage already quoted above: To practise and confirm all things by conveying one's self to them is illusion: for all things to advance forward and practise and confirm the self is enlightenment. Those who greatly enlighten illusion are Buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about enlightenment are sentient beings. Again, there are men who gain enlightenment beyond enlightenment, and there are men who further give rise to illusion within their illusion. When Buddhas are genuinely Buddhas, there is no need for them to be conscious that they are Buddhas. Yet they are realized Buddhas, and they continue to realize Buddha.(11) The third passage is taken from "Keisei sanshoku," also in the Shobogenzo: When you practise correctly, the sound of the valley, the colour of the valley, the sound of the mountain, and the colour of the mountain do not hold back their teaching of the 84,000 verses (which express truth itself). If you do not begrudge your body and mind which are occupied in the pursuit of fame and fortune, then the valleys and mountains will similarly express everything without holding anything back.(12) P.330 If we consider the meaning of Dogen's "to learn one's own self" in the light of these quotations, it will be noticed first of all that "to learn one's own self" is defined as "to forget one's self," which means to become free of any consciousness of self and all discriminative judgments and to commune with the embodiment of truth residing in all that exists. If at that stage action rooted in the self, including all forms of effort, should still predominate, the truth does not reveal its full form. But when the self yields completely to the truth, it is then confirmed and acknowledged by the truth. This is what is meant by being "confirmed by all dharmas, " and it is equivalent to "enlightenment" or "to effect the casting off of one's own body and mind and the body and minds of others." Such would appear to be the gist of Dogen's view. The same view is expressed more strongly in a religious tone in "Shoji," thought to have been composed in Dogen's later years, where it is presented as a total surrender of the self to the Buddha. When you simply release and forget both your body and mind and throw yourself into the house of the Buddha, and when functioning comes from the direction of the Buddha and you go in accord with it, then with no strength needed and no thought expended, freed from birth and death, you become Buddha.(13) In other words, according to Dogen the practice of the Buddhist path becomes possible only by discarding the "erroneous views of self and others," but at the same time, through practice of the Buddhist path, any consciousness of self sustaining this practice is overcome; then the world of reality reveals itself in its full splendor and one becomes a Buddha.(14) However, it is important to take note of the fact that Dogen's overcoming of self-consciousness as described above does not signify the denial of one's own existence. This should be evident, for example, from the following passage in "Uji": We set the self out in array and make that the whole world. You must see all the various things of the whole world as so many times. These things do not get in each other's way any more than various times get in the way of each other. Because of this, there is an arising of mind at the same time, and it is the arising of time of the same mind. So it is with practice and attainment of the Way too. We set our self out in array and we see that.(15) In a similar vein is this quotation taken from "Komyo": The entire world is the self, and the self is the entire world. There can be no escape from this fact, and even if there is a place to escape, that is the path to further progress. This seven-foot body is the form and phenomenon of the entire world. The entire world realized by the Buddha Way is this body, this skin, flesh, bones and marrow.(16) P.331 The entire world revealed through the overcoming of self-consciousness is nothing other than the world of the self, and it is totally revealed in individual phenomena from one moment to the next. It is impossible to draw any line of demarcation between the self and the world. What is more, the self with its "seven-foot body," which represents the entire world in condensed form as it were, is the self as it is, and it is here that the entire world is realized. Insofar as Dogen's thought was aimed at the establishment of a truly subjectively independent self, he may be said to have correctly taken over the basic standpoint of Buddhism in regard to the "self" and "no-self." II. Awareness of the Self and Compassionate Activity If Dogen's awareness of the self may be understood in the terms presented above, what, then, was the nature of Dogen's understanding of Buddhism, such that it gave birth to this self-awareness, and what mode of being for the self did it lead to in actual human relationships and the social milieu? In the following we should like to examine these points, focusing on "compassion," which was pointed out by Watsuji to constitute the distinguishing feature of medieval Japanese Buddhism.(18) In other words, we shall consider Dogen's actual mode of existence from the aspect of "compassion." As is probably the case with all outstanding practitioners of Buddhism, Dogen was convinced that it was the Buddhism which he himself taught that represented true Buddhism. Furthermore, he held that it had been handed down through direct transmission from master to disciple ever since the time of `Saakyamuni or the seven Buddhas of the past.(19) For Dogen, `Saakyamuni was both a great benefactor to whom he was indebted for the "authentic tradition of the exquisite means for attaining the Way"(20) and, as a result of direct transmission, a familiar existence with whom he came into direct contact, with whom he communed, and who was realized within his own being. Dogen describes this `Saakyamuni and the religion of Buddhism founded by him in the following terms: The reason that `Saakyamuni appeared in this world and became a great physician was that he took pity on sentient beings submerged in the depths of the sea of suffering. Accordingly, he generated compassion, displayed pity, and expounded many teachings through a variety of expedient means. These were all methods of administering medicine in accordance with the illness and helping all sentient beings to attain the state of true tranquility.(21) It is evident from this passage that Dogen regarded `Saakyamuni as having been basically a person of compassion and that he held `Saakyamuni's teaching, namely Buddhism, to be a teaching of compassion. The Eiheiji goroku records a poem of the following import, said to have been composed on the occasion of the service in honor of `Saakyamuni's P.332 enlightenment: `Saakyamuni turned into a phantom and is continuing to cause a stir in the world of mankind. As a result we have lost our sight and are unable to seek out anything whatsoever. In such a world the plum tree is causing its flowers to bloom anew on the same branches as last year.(22) Although assuming a paradoxical mode of expression characteristic of Zen, this poem is brimming over with the deep gratitude and joy felt by Dogen towards `Saakyamuni, who still continued to guide to enlightenment ordinary persons satisfied with the peace and happiness found in delusion, and who relieved Dogen of his own deluded vision and opened his eyes to enlightenment. Thus, according to Dogen, `Saakyamuni, and also the Buddhas and patriarchs who are in essence identical with him, took pity on sentient beings and expounded the teachings out of compassion for them. We are thereby drawn to the Buddhist path and able to attain true enlightenment. But does this mean, then, that compassion is ultimately an attribute of the Buddhas and patriarchs alone and that it never becomes a part of us ourselves? In the case of Dogen the answer is "No," for in the first place there is essentially no difference between the Buddhas and patriarchs on the one hand and ourselves on the other: "the past form of the Buddhas and Patriarchs is us, and our future form is the Buddhas and Patriarchs."(23) Hence, even if one has neither compassion nor wisdom, "if one learns, they can be obtained."(24) In fact the learning of the Buddhist path is itself sustained from the first by the spirit of compassion. For Dogen the learning of the Buddhist path may be summed up as "simply cultivating the Buddha Dharma for the sake of the Buddha Dharma,"(25) and this permits of no selfish motives whatsoever. This is an extremely difficult task for the majority of us, living as we do self-centered lives and forever in pursuit of fame and fortune. It requires more than an ordinary determination to aspire to such a path and to continue to follow it. It was probably for this reason that Dogen discusses the somewhat bizarre events surrounding the renunciation of the Zen master Yen-shou (904-75) , who happened to misappropriate some public funds and give them to the poor once when he was serving as a provincial governor before becoming a monk.(26) In this talk it is stated in regard to the generation of the bodhi-mind or initial resolution as the momentum leading to enlightenment that "you should think lightly of your own life, deepen your thoughts of compassion towards sentient beings, and generate a mind which seeks to surrender itself to the precepts of the Buddha." Grammatically speaking, this sentence permits a variety of interpretations. But whichever interpretation one may choose, it is clear that for Dogen thinking lightly of one's own life, taking pity on sentient beings, and surrendering oneself to the P.333 precepts of the Buddha were not mutually unrelated acts. The reason for this is in the first place that taking pity on sentient beings naturally results in a disregard for one's own life, while disregard for one's own life further deepens one's compassion towards sentient beings. Furthermore, to think lightly of one's own life means in concrete terms nothing other than to follow unconditionally the Buddha's precepts and his teaching, and this inevitably results in the birth of compassion toward sentient beings. Hence, when discussing the generation of the bodhi-mind, Dogen sometimes emphasizes the contemplation of impermanence as a means of minimizing the importance of one's own life and freeing oneself of self-attachment. But still it may be said that the essential characteristic of the generation of the bodhi-mind in the case of Dogen is to be sought in "taking pity on sentient beings." This should be clear from Dogen's discussion of the tale concerning Yen-shou mentioned above, and it is directly elaborated upon in "Hotsubodaishin" in the Shobogenzo. Generating the bodhi-mind means to wish and strive to deliver all sentient beings to the further shore of enlightenment before you yourself have crossed over. Even if your appearance be lowly, if you generate this mind, you are already a guide to all sentient beings.... Sincerely, Generally speaking, the bodhi-mind means striving unceasingly with all your energy to help all sentient beings to generate the bodhi-mind and lead them to the Buddha Way. Merely providing them with mundane pleasures to no particular purpose is not referred to as benefiting sentient beings.(27) Thus for Dogen the bodhi-mind represents a totally altruistic and nondiscriminating mind of compassion, and it therefore differs from gratitude or affection directed toward a particular person.(28) At the same time, it is not simply an inner, spiritual quality but a psychosomatic quality, which is being continually manifested through concrete action. There are no limits whatsoever to the sphere of its functioning or to its functions themselves. Hence, the generation of the bodhi-mind inevitably results in a mode of being which even if the merit necessary for becoming a Buddha has been consummated, still transfers that merit to the attainment of Buddhahood by other sentient beings. What, in concrete terms then, is actually regarded by Dogen as constituting practice grounded in the bodhi-mind? A comprehensive discussion of Dogen's views on this subject is to be found in "Bodaisatta shishobo."(29) The Bodaisatta shishobo, or "four methods of conversion of Bodhisattvas," represent four forms of practice for Mahaayaana bodhisattvas expounded in the Praj~naapaaramitaa literature and other works. They consist of "giving," "kindly speech," "beneficial action," and "identification," and the bodhisattva is said to convert sentient beings by these means. For instance, "identification," according to Dogen's interpretation, P.334 means running counter to neither self nor others; it is, namely, practice in which the self and others are in a state of total harmony. The way in which the ocean receives the waters of any river whatsoever is an example of this "identification." But Dogen points out that it should also be realized in this case that the rivers are endowed with the virtue of not exhibiting any aversion to the ocean. In other words, the manner in which self and others, forever changing with the passage of time, act as friends and partners toward each other to create a single, harmonious world represents "identification." But the actual practice of this is no easy matter. It is probable that Dogen, too, was well aware of this fact, for he writes that "it stands to reason that we may first harmonize others with ourselves and then harmonize ourselves with others," thus suggesting the direction of the path leading to such a world, and as an initial concrete step or basic form of practice he says that "we should simply face everything with a soft countenance." But of course such practice of compassion is not always correctly understood as such by others, and Dogen was clearly aware of this fact, too, as is indicated by comments on Genshin (924-1017; he laid the foundation for the rise of the Pure Land teachings in Japan and composed the Ojoyoshuu). Genshin had formerly been criticized for having once ordered someone to beat and drive away some deer which were feeding on grass in the garden, but Dogen points out that Genshin had caused the deer to be driven away not because he was begrudging them the grass but because he had been worried that they might be killed by some wicked person, and Dogen further adds: Beating the deer may seem to be a form of treatment lacking in compassion, but it is evident that in his inner motives Genshin was brimming over with compassion.(30) Did Dogen himself, then, also make efforts to tread this same path of compassionate practice? To state our conclusion first, the answer is most definitely "Yes." For example, he composed the following poem: Those astray far and near in the six paths are my father and my mother.(31) In other words, fellow beings in the six paths of transmigratory existence all represented for Dogen his father and his mother. As should be evident from Dogen's understanding of the self as already discussed in the previous section, the welfare of all sentient beings would have been for Dogen a matter of utmost personal concern. Hence, aware of his own shortcomings, he was able to write in self-admonition: Although not a Buddha, I would, foolish as I am, be a monk who delivers sentient beings to the further shore, and to pray day and night for his realization of the altruistic path of the bodhisattva. P.335 Whether I am standing or sitting in my grass hut, what I pray for is that I may deliver others before myself. This is a poem which may be said to express such sentiments. It was for this reason that Dogen also demanded of each of those disciples who lived together with him that they treat each other with thoughts of compassion, as is indicated in the following passage: If all the monks in residence abide in the thought that they have relationships as parents, siblings, blood relations, masters, and good friends, if they are compassionate towards each other, if they take pity on self and others, and if in the bottom of their hearts they maintain the thought of how difficult it is to meet, then there will assuredly be friendly and harmonious relations between them.(32) However, as is only to be expected, Dogen places special emphasis on compassion by those who hold positions of authority. For example, in the "Tenzo kyokun," Dogen describes the mental attitude to be assumed by all monastic functionaries and those responsible for a particular duty when undertaking a task in terms of "three minds," namely, a "joyful mind," an "aged mind," and a "great mind." Stated simply, a "joyful mind" is a mind satisfied with one's present condition, an "aged mind" is a parental mind, and a "great mind" is an all-embracing and non-discriminating mind. In regard to the "aged mind," Dogen gives the following explanation: The so-called "aged mind" is the parental mind. For example, just as parents think of their child, so you keep in mind the Three Treasures as if you were thinking of your own child. It is impossible for a person who does not have a child of his own to understand the nature of the thoughts of those, both rich and poor, who are intent upon loving and raising their child. It is only when you become a father or mother that you are able to understand this. With no thought for their wealth or poverty, parents desire only the growth of their child. Disregarding their own discomfort, they wrap their child up warmly when it is cold and put it to rest in the shade when it is hot. This may be described as the ultimate expression of deep parental love. Those who arouse such a mind are able to comprehend this, and those who learn such a mind realize it. Therefore, even when you look at water or grain, you should always maintain the warm and compassionate mind such as raises a child. The Great Master `Saakyamuni sacrificed twenty years of his life to help us of future generations. What was his purpose in doing so? He was simply exhibiting a parental mind.(33) It is clear from this passage that, in regard to the direction in which compassion functions, Dogen had a deep understanding of parental sentiments, that he regarded the exercise of this "aged mind" towards all things as the Buddha's practice, and that he demanded the realization of such an attitude especially in those of his disciples who occupied positions of authority. P.336 However, this practice of compassion as described above seems to have been no easy matter even for Dogen himself, as may be surmised from the following two poems: Whether asleep or awake in my grass hut, what I say is "Homage to the Buddha `Saakyamuni! Take pity on me!" On peaks and on ridges deep in the mountains, the evening cicadas herald nightfall with their singing (as if they lament for my daily life passing in vain).(34) The figure of Dogen as reflected quite candidly in these verses is that of one who realized that his earnest and ceaseless cultivation of the bodhisattva path, namely, the practice of compassion, was by nature always incomplete and inadequate, and one who was therefore always mindful of and looking up to the Buddha for assistance. In this sense, Dogen was by no means an aloof superman, nor did he pretend to be one. Rather, he was a person who was well aware of his own weaknesses and was capable of acknowledging them. When Dogen extols one who has truly attained the Way in the following terms, namely: Any person able to practise the Buddha Dharma and expound the Buddha Dharma, even a girl of seven years, is a leader to all, whether monks or lay people; he or she represents a compassionate father for all sentient beings,(35) these words of his may be considered to be inseparably linked to his awareness of his own shortcomings. Conclusion In the preceding we have examined the revelation of the self in Dogen. Although our discussion has barely been sufficient, it may at least have become clear that Dogen, faithful to the orthodox standpoint of Buddhism, grappled with the problem of the self with the whole of his being, and that not only did he present a logical picture of the world as the self and the self as the world, grasped through his own religious experiences, which were grounded in the practice of pure meditation through "just sitting," but in his actual everyday life he was also fully aware of his own inadequacies and sought to return to this true mode of being of the self, a mode of being which manifests itself as compassion or action for the welfare of others. This compassion is not, however, self-sacrificing but rather self-realizing, and in this sense it differs from Watsuji's medieval ethic of "self-sacrifice," In Dogen we see a representative example of a person living in medieval Japan who faced its realities squarely, who elucidated a truth for transcending these realities in his own way, and who further strove to act in accordance with this truth. In this sense it may be said that the characteristics of "simple piety" or "spiritual exercise" noted by Anesaki existed in Dogen's Buddhism in a unique form. But it is a moot point to what extent his thought and life-style comported P.337 with society in medieval Japan and actually succeeded in influencing people both at that time and later. Although Dogen returned to Japan with the feeling that he was "carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders" and with the desire to "spread the Dharma and save sentient beings,"(36) events did not work in his favor, and eventually he was forced to leave the capital far behind and retreat to the mountains of Echizen (modern Fukui prefecture). In addition, within the span of a few decades after his death the nature of his religious and philosophical standpoint had begun to be modified, and a schism occurred in the monastic community he had founded. In this light, it may be said that in Dogen's thought and life-style, superhistorical and supernational elements that could be also called cosmopolitic assumed a greater weight than historical and national elements. Conversely, this means that there was comparatively little in Dogen that may be described as "Japanese" in the sense of the term "Japanese spirituality" used by Suzuki.(37) This may perhaps be one of the basic reasons why Dogen today fascinates many intellectuals both in Japan and abroad. NOTES This essay was originally presented at the Tokyo Stockholm Symposium, Izu, Japan, November 1-3, 1988. 1 - Japanese Spirituality, trans. N. Waddell (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1972), p. 70. 2 - History of Japanese Religion (Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1963), p. 168. It is said that the original draft of this book was the outcome of the author's lectures at Harvard University during the years 1913-1915. 3 - Nihon rinrishisoshi (A history of Japanese ethical thought), vol. 1; Collected Works of Watsuji Tetsuro, vol. 12 (Iwanami Shoten, 1962), p. 304. 4 - The reason that we are focusing on Dogen in the present essay is on no account because we believe his thought to be representative of Kamakura Buddhism or medieval Japanese Buddhism; nor is it because we consider the branch of Buddhism which he founded, namely, the Soto sect of Zen (although Dogen himself was strongly opposed to any such sectarian appellations), to be especially important in a historical or social sense. The reason is none other than that we consider him to have been, among the Buddhist leaders of medieval Japan, one of those who reflected most deeply on the essence P.338 of the self and earnestly strove to give concrete expression in his life to the conclusions of his reflections. 5 - Shobogenzo 1, "Genjo koan." When not stated otherwise, all quotations from the Shobogenzo are taken from the 75-fascicle version, and the English translations have been made with reference primarily to the translations by N. Waddell and M. Abe in The Eastern Buddhist, new series (Kyoto, 1971--). 6 - "Bendowa." 7 - Ibid. 8 - For example, the Shinnyokan ascribed Genshin (Nihon shiso taikei 9: Tendai hongakuron (Iwanami Shoten, 1973)) contains the following passages: Both self and others originally represent the principle of the single real thusness, and there is no distinction between hell and animal life.... If when moving, when standing, when sitting, when lying down, or whenever one acts one thinks that one is identical with thusness, then one will eventually become Buddha.... Because in this manner both self and others and all sentient beings in general are thusness, they are Buddha. That being so, grass and trees, tiles and pebbles, mountains and rivers, the earth, the ocean, and space are all thusness. Therefore there is nothing which is not Buddha. 9 - In the Shobogenzo 5, "Sokushin zebutsu," for example, Dogen considers and refutes the view which would have it that "the mental faculties of sentient beings in which the bodhi-mind has not yet been generated are equivalent to Buddha's." 10 - Gakudo yojinshu: "The need to practise Zen for those who cultivate the Buddha Dharma and desire emancipation." Cf. Y. Yuasa, The Body, trans. S. Nagatomo and T. P. Kasulis (State University of New York Press, 1987) , pp. 114-115. 11 - Shobogenzo 1, "Genjo koan." 12 - Ibid., 25, "Keisei sanshoku." 13 - 95-fascicle Shobogenzo 92, "Shoji." 14 - This way of thinking bears a close resemblance to the thought of Shinran (1173-1262), the founder of the Jodo Shin sect, and of Ippen (1239-89), the founder of the Ji sect, both more or less contemporaries of Dogen. Cf. Yuishinsho-mon'i (Notes on "Essentials of Faith Alone") (Kyoto, 1979), and Ippen SHonin goroku I: "Hyakuri kugo," "Shosoku hogo." 15 - Shobogenzo 20, "Uji." P.339 16 - Ibid. 15, "Komyo." 17 - One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is the doctrine of "no-self" (anattan). This may be regarded as a doctrine which originally developed out of the quest to elucidate man's mode of existence, characterized as it is by delusion and suffering, and hence this doctrine is closely linked to the view that regards man as being composed of the five elements, known as the "five aggregates, " namely, "form" (ruupa), "perception" (vedanaa), "conception" (sa~n~naa), "volition" (sa.mkhaara), and "consciousness" (vi~n~naa.na). In our conclusion, the concept of "no-self" represents a method of observation closely related to the Buddhist understanding of impermanence and suffering, and, secondly, its goal is freedom from "self-possessiveness" and "self-attachment." Although it is true that Buddhism denies the existence of any "self" (attan) on an empirical level, this does not necessarily mean that Buddhism seeks to demonstrate the nonexistence of the "self" in a metaphysical sense. It was for this reason that it became possible for Buddhism to employ the one and the same term attan in encouraging the establishment of a subjectively independent self. Cf. Sa.myutta-nikaaya 12.15 (III, p.22); Mahaavagga 1.6.38f (Vinaya-pi.taka I, p. 13f); Diigha-nikaaya XVI.2.26; and Dhammapada 157-166. 18 - For further details see Kimura Kiyotaka, "Dogen no jihi" (Compassion in Dogen), in Nihon Bukkyo 56-57 (1983). 19 - See Shobogenzo 51, "Menju," etc. 20 - "Bendowa." 21 - "Eihei Gen Zenji goroku." 22 - "Eiheiji goroku." 23 - Shobogenzo 25, "Keisei sanshoku." 24 - Shobogenzo zuimonki 6. 25 - Gakudo yojinshu: "Admonition against cultivating the Buddha Dharma with thoughts of attainment." 26 - Shobolgenzo zuimonki 2. 27 - 95-fascicle Shobogenzo 70, "Hotsubodaishin." 28 - Shobogenzo 16, "Gyoji" 1 contains the following passage on gratitude and affection: The Buddhas and Patriarchs once had the feelings of gratitude and affection, yet they have abandoned them. The Buddhas and Patriarchs once lived in the various human relations, yet they have abandoned them. Whatever feelings of attachment we may have, the relations between self and P.340 others are not to remain worthy forever; if we do not abandon the feelings of gratitude and affection, conversely will they function to abandon us. To consider the feelings of gratitude and affection, do consider them. To consider the feelings of gratitude and affection is to abandon them. This may be described as an apposite explanation of the reasons for a religionist's abandonment of the bonds based on secular gratitude and affection. 29 - 95-fascicle Shobogenzo 45, "Bodaisatta shishobo." 30 - Shobogenzo zuimonki 1. 31 - "Sansho doei"; the following poems are also taken from the same source. 32 - "Shuryo shingi." 33 - "Tenzo kyokun." 34 - "Sansho doei." 35 - Shobogenzo 28, "Raihai tokuzui." 36 - "Bendowa." 37 - But this does not mean to say that Dogen lost his position of authority as a religious leader in the Japanese society of later times. Rather, his prestige gradually rose with the changes that took place within the Soto sect, and he became a great religious figure revered by all levels of society. In other words, Dogen attained a position of almost transcendental authority, virtually unrelated to his own basic thought and way of life, which has perdured down to the present day. When considered in relation to Suzuki's aforementioned interpretation of medieval Japanese Buddhism, it may be said that it is this very phenomenon which is related to a general and basic predisposition found among the Japanese, and it is bound up not only with the problem of an overall tendency of Japanese Buddhism to become transformed into forms of patriarchal Buddhism, but also with questions such as the deification of heroic warriors and cultural prodigies and the continuation of the Emperor system.