Bookmark and Share
go back to Zen Essays: Dogen Studies


Some Problems in Interpretation: The Early and Late Writings of Dogen
Hakuin's Daruma

David Putney
Philosophy East and West
Volume 46, Number 4 October 1996, pp 497-531
© by University of Hawaii Press

Inconsistencies in Dogen's Writings

The Problem of Inconsistency.
One of the major difficulties for interpreters of Dogen's thought is the apparent inconsistency of some of Dogen's teachings when comparing his early and late writings.(1) Some of the key changes that we find in the later writings include: (1) his severe critique of the Rinzai (Lin-chi) tradition and especially the subtradition stemming from Ta-hui, as contrasted to his more ecumenical approach found in his early writings, (2) his escalating critique of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism in general, (3) the emphasis on his own exclusive "transmission" of the Buddha Dharma, and (4) Dogen's apparent "rejection" of lay Buddhism—all of which seem to contradict both his early writings and his teaching activities. It is argued by some that there is a shifting in Dogen's position on important doctrinal or philosophical issues as well. Did Dogen come to reject totally the doctrine of "Original Enlightenment" (hongaku), and if so, what were his late views on the doctrine of "Buddha Nature" (bussho)? Did Dogen change his views on the nature of Buddhist causality, and how does this relate to Dogen's views on the nature of time? The purpose of this essay will be to concentrate primarily on two key hermeneutical problems: (1) the problem of the textual relationship between Dogen's late versus his early writings, and (2) the problem of Dogen's method of expression in his early and mid-period writings, what I call koan expression. The results of this inquiry may furnish a groundwork for addressing the philosophical questions regarding Dogen's early, middle, and late views on Original Enlightenment, "Buddha Nature," and Causality.(2)

The Different Versions of the Shobogenzo.
Dogen's major work is his collection of essays called the Shobogenzo.(3) Within a few generations after Dogen's death, however, the Shobogenzo was virtually unknown in Japan, except to a small group associated with the Eihei-ji.(4) A ninety-five -fascicle edition of the Shobogenzo was finally published in 1690, but this version included miscellaneous writings which had never been designated as part of the Shobogenzo itself by Dogen or his immediate disciples.(5) This edition was clearly not a reproduction of Dogen's Shobogenzo, but simply a collection of Dogen's writings, in part reflecting the agenda of its editor, Kozen (1627-1693).(6) This edition includes a version of the original seventy-five-fascicle edition, edited by Ejo during Dogen's lifetime, the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo (Dogen's latest "Shobogenzo" writings), and other works. This text was reissued in 1811 by Gento and again in 1906 as the official Soto sect edition, known as the Daihonzan Ejhei-ji edition.(7)

The oldest version of Dogen's Shobogenzo is the seventy-five-fascicle edition, compiled and edited by Koun Ejo.(8) Most of the fascicles, as Steven Heine points out, appear to have started out as lecture notes, then were recorded by Ejo, and then were edited at least once in turn by Dogen, Ejo, and other disciples such as Gien.(9) It is not conclusive, however, that Dogen approved the seventy-five-fascicle version as the final Shobogenzo.

Furuta Shokin, on the one hand, argues that the fascicle "Genjo koan," originally composed in 1223 at the Kosho-ji in Kyoto, was revised in 1252, the year before Dogen's death, and that the postscript to the revision indicates Dogen's approval of Ejo's collection at that time. The traditional argument runs that since the "Genjo koan" fascicle was revised in the year before Dogen's death, and placed first in the seventy-five-fascicle edition, this indicates that Dogen, at that time, approved the whole edition.(10) The standard postscript for this fascicle, found in the seventy-five-fascicle edition, reads: "This was written in the first year of the Tempuku Era [1223] in mid-autumn and given to my lay disciple Yo Koshuu of Chinzei [Kyushu]."(11) The same edition includes the following post-postscript (for the revised version): "Kencho jinsu shuukin" ("Revised" in the fourth year of the Kencho Era [1252]).(12)

Most, but not all, contemporary scholars agree with this view. The twelve-fascicle edition would then include additions to the Shobogenzo composed by Dogen during his later years. The debate as to the significance of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo and related problems has arisen because of (1) questions regarding the apparent changes in Dogen's teachings, (2) intensive research regarding the textual formation of the Shobogenzo—especially the monumental work of Kawamura Kodo, Shobogenzo no seiritsushi-teki kenkyuu—and (3) research on pre-Zen Japanese Buddhism, as well as Chinese, Indian, and Tibetan Buddhism, based on the critiques of Dogen himself and then extending to the independent question, "What is the True Dharma anyway"?(13)

Some scholars want to treat both editions equally, thus acknowledging a Shobogenzo of eighty-seven fascicles, plus miscellaneous writings such as the "Bendowa." This is basically the position of the Soto Zen sect.(14) Among contemporary scholars who focus on Dogen's seventy-five-and twelve-fascicle editions, Kagamishima Genryuu and Kawamura Kodo represent a more traditionalist position that seeks to value both editions equally, and while recognizing some of the points of the "Critical Buddhist,"(15) Kawamura argues, however, that Dogen maintained the same critical distance from heretical views throughout his career and that it is important not to misread and overstate Dogen's criticisms.(16) Some commentators, including Tenkei Denson (1648-1735), have ranked the seventy-five-fascicle edition as primary and the twelve-fascicle edition as secondary or provisional. Kagamishima Genryuu has listed Sugio Gen'yuu, Ishii Shuudo, and Kiyomizu Hideo, as giving greater weight to the twelve-fascicle edition.(17) This group, however, is not so easily classified. Sugio Gen'yuu's essay, "Kaze to tsuki to Butsu" (The Wind, the Moon, and Buddha), seems rather to weigh the seventy-five-fascicle edition as primary, arguing that the twelve-fascicle edition is important for clarifying Dogen's relationship with his disciples, especially Ejo, during the last period of his life.(18) Ishii Shuudo's position, however, is weighted not so much on the side of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo itself, but rather toward the larger context of Dogen's later years. Especially important is material from the collection of Dogen's formal-style (jodo) sermons known as the Eihei koroku, most of which were composed from 1247 to 1253, and the Hokyoki, a collection of conversations Dogen had in China with his teacher Ju-ching.(19) Hakamaya Norikai and Matsumoto Shiro, on the other hand, view the twelve-fascicle edition as a replacement for the seventy-five-fascicle edition and indicate a fundamental change in Dogen's thought.(20)

These interpretations are all attempts to determine Dogen's intention for his Shobogenzo during the last period of his life, and, in so doing, to determine the nature of Dogen's views during these last years. The last fascicle of the Shobogenzo, "Hachi dainin-gaku" (Eight Precepts of the Great Man), composed in 1253, the year of Dogen's death, contains a postscript, which may show Dogen's final intentions with regard to the Shobogenzo. The primary source for the twelve-fascicle edition, the Yokoji edition, made public in 1931, however, only includes the postscript "Written the fifth year of Kencho [1243], on the sixth day of the first month." The versions of the "Hachi dainin-gaku" found in the Himitsu Shobogenzo and the biographical Kenzei-ki, (21) however, include an additional postscript attributed to Ejo:

I [Ejo], in this the seventh year of Kencho [1255], on the day prior to the summer retreat, (22) finished transcribing Gien's (23) notes into a final draft, [taking care to] compare my draft with Gien's notes.

The above ["Hachi dainin-gaku"] fascicle was composed by my former master [Dogen] during his last illness.(24) He stated that he intended to revise all of his "kana"(25) Shobohenzo, and along with his "New Version" [Shinso], to compile a one-hundred-fascicle edition [of the Shobogenzo]. He had completed twelve fascicles of the "New Version," when his illness worsened, and he was unable to complete the planned [one hundred fascicles]. For this reason, this ["Hachi dainin-gaku"] fascicle was his final teaching. To my deep regret, I will never be able to see the full one-hundred-fascicle version. This is my greatest sorrow. If there be any who love, honor, and treasure our former master, they should copy these twelve fascicles and keep and protect them. These are the final teaching of the Buddha, as well as the legacy of the final days of our master. I, Ejo, record this.(26)

Both the authenticity and the interpretation of this passage, however, are controversial. The traditional interpretation, according to Ishii Shuudo, would be: "I have completed revising the Old Version (seventy-five-fascicle) Shobogenzo. In addition, I have started the New (twelve-fascicle) version." (27) Many commentators, however, also note that the original Japanese is ambiguous, and the passage may just as well mean that his disciples should honor and treasure the "twelfth fascicle" rather than the "twelve fascicles." Ishii points out that Ejo had already edited and provisionally compiled forty fascicles of the Shobogenzo dating from Dogen's Kyoto period (1233-1243). Ejo subsequently compiled a seventy-five-fascicle version, which included the Kyoto period writings and the Echizen (1243-1246) period writings, these later being arranged according to the order of their delivery as sermons. This was the "Old Version." Dogen found it necessary, however, to make some revisions, as in the "Genjo koan" fascicle. Some fascicles needed extensive revision, some only partial revision, and some no revision at all. Ishii argues that after Dogen's trip to Kamakura, he developed a new design for the Shobogenzo, but was able to finish only twelve fascicles of this new project.(28) The twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo has a number of characteristics that set it apart from the seventy-five-fascicle edition. Many commentators have noted that Dogen's textual sources differ for the two editions in question. For one thing, quotations from the AAgama (Agon) suutras,(29) the Jaataka literature,(30) the Perfection of Wisdom (Praj~naa-paaramitaa) literature, and the Ta-chi-ching (Daishuu-kyo) collection, (31) though rare in the seventy-five-fascicle edition, abound in the twelve-fascicle edition.

The twelve-fascicle edition includes two quotations from the Agamas, thirteen quotations from the Jaataka literature, two quotes from the Perfection of Wisdom literature, and five quotes from the Ta-chi-ching collection.(32) We find over twenty citations from Chinese T'ien-T'ai sources(33) in the "Shizen biku" fascicle of the twelve-fascicle edition. Traditional Ch'an sources, on the other hand, are relatively rare. Quotations from the Hung-chih-lu, (34) Yuan-wu-lu, (35) and Ta-hui-lu, (36) moreover, are used only for refutation purposes. We also find ten quotations from the Ta-chi-tu-lun (Mahaapraj~naapaaramitopade`sa) (37) attributed to Naagaarjuna, (38) twelve from the Sarvaastivaadin Abhidharma-Mahaavibaa.saa-`Saastra,(39) two from the Abhidharma-ko`sa(40) of Vasubandhu, and three from the Lotus Suutra.(41) The preponderance of the twelve-fascicle edition is clearly weighted in favor of Indian Buddhism over Chinese Buddhism, with the exception of Chinese T'ien-T'ai, and generally speaking stresses (1) early and Abhidharma Buddhism, Jaataka (birth stories), and (2) the Lotus Suutra.

The twelve-fascicle version consists of the following fascicles(42) and topics, which might be interpreted to represent a stage in the process of realization.(43) (1) The "Shukke kudoku" (Merit of Leaving the House-holder's Life)(44) is a rewrite of "Shukke," the last fascicle in the seventy-five-fascicle edition. It shifts emphasis from taking the precepts in order to enter the monastic order to the merits (kudoku) of entering the monastic order as part of the Bodhisattva vow to save all beings before oneself.(45) We might consider the seventy-five-fascicle "Shukke" to be divided between the first and second fascicles of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo. (2) "Jukai" (Precepts) (46) is a fuller treatment of the discussion of the precepts in the older "Shukke." We may argue therefore that fascicles (1) and (2) of the twelve-fascicle edition represent a further development of Dogen's thought about the importance of entering the monastic life but do not necessarily represent a change in his position regarding Buddhist monasticism.

(3) "Kesa kudoku" (Merit of Wearing Buddhist Robes) (1240) is a rewrite of number 32 of the seventy-five-fascicle edition, "Den'e" (Transmission of the Robes) (1240). "Den'e" appears to be a draft for "Kesa kudoku," but the dates of composition are both 1240, while Dogen was at the Kosho-ji in Kyoto, the same year he composed the fascicles "Sansui-kyo" and "Uji,"(47) a scenario that does not fit into the philosophical anti-"original enlightenment" (hongaku) position that the critical Buddhists, Matsumoto and Hakamaya, ascribe to the twelve-fascicle edition. This fascicle deals primarily with the lines of transmission and with Dogen's claim to being the sole heir of this tradition. The position is typical of Dogen's later writings—but note that the argument begins while Dogen was still in Kyoto.(48)

(4) "Hotsu bodaishin" (Giving Rise to the Bodhi-mind) (1244) is an alternate version of "Hotsu mujoshin" (Giving Rise to the Unsurpassable Mind) (1244) , number 63 of the seventy-five-fascicle edition. In some editions, both fascicles are called "Hotsu bodaishin." Some scholars consider the "Hotsu bodaishin" a rewrite of "Hotsu mujoshin," but both versions were delivered on the same winter evening at Yoshimine-dera, prior to Dogen's trip to Kamakura.(49) This fascicle emphasizes again the Bodhisattva vow to save all beings before oneself and includes a sophisticated discussion of the meaning of the term "bodaishin" (bodhi mind).(50) In this fascicle Dogen also discuses the doctrine of "transference of merit" and the theory of moments (k.sa.na-vada/setsuna) .(51)

(5) "Kuyo shobutsu" (Venerating the Buddhas)(52) is a discussion of the merits of venerating the Buddhas, basically paralleling the emphasis of the Lotus Suutra. (6) "Kie Bupposoho" (Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures of the Buddha, Dharma, and Community of Monks and Nuns [Sa^mgha]) (53) reiterates one of the basic teachings of Buddhism, quoting from Buddhist texts of all types. Dogen, however takes special care to elevate the Lotus Suutra to the highest rank, calling all other suutras "expedient means" (hoben).(54) (7) "Jinshin inga" (Deep Faith in Causality)(55) is one of the most important fascicles in the twelve-fascicle edition. It is a "rewriting" or "rethinking" of the earlier "Daishugyo" (Great Practice) fascicle, number 68 of the seventy-five-fascicle edition (composed in 1244 after the move to Echizen). The main theme of "Jinshin inga" is the rejection of the notion that enlightenment leads to a transcendence of good and evil and karmic retribution. Those who now argue that a fundamental change occurred in Dogen's philosophical position use this fascicle as a key example. The interpretation of this fascicle, however, is highly controversial and will be addressed in the second major part of this essay.

(8) "Sanji-go" (Karmic Retribution in the Three Stages of Time)(56) continues the discussion of the effects of karmic action in the contexts of the "three periods of time": past, present, and future lives. This consists largely of mythical stories from Jaataka tales and other sources. Interestingly, however, as will be discussed in the last portion of this essay, the notion of a rigid and deterministic notion of karma is refuted.

(9) "Shime" (Four Horses) is a short fascicle dealing with the differing abilities and levels of understandings of disciples.(57) This chapter is a good resource for those who argue that Dogen's sermons were composed with a specific audience, situation, and context in mind.

(10) "Shizen biku" (The Monk in the Fourth [Stage] of Meditation)(58) is another key fascicle in the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo. Here he discusses the dangers of practicing without a master and mistakenly thinking that the attainment of the fourth stage of meditation (dhyaana) is the attainment of arhatship. There follows a sharp critique of Taoism.(59) There is also an important criticism of the notion of "seeing one's own nature" (kensho) and an assertion that the Platform Suutra, which contains this teaching, is a forgery. "Critical Buddhists" point to this chapter as an example of Dogen's "rejection" of the "original enlightenment" (hongaku) doctrine, an implication of Dogen's rejection of "seeing one's own original nature." A close reading of the entire scope of Dogen's work, however (including his earliest writing, the "Bendowa," as well as "Bussho" and this fascicle, "Shizen biku"), shows numerous critiques of the `Srenika Heresy and the notion of any kind of ontological or transcendental essential "nature."(60) There is little, if any, Ch'an or Zen in this fascicle.

(11) "Ippyakuhachi homyo-mon" (One Hundred and Eight Ways to Enlightenment)(61) is a compendium of 108 types of practice or ways to enlightenment both Early Buddhist and Mahaayaana.(62) (12) "Hachi dainingaku" (Eight Key Elements of Buddhist Practice) is the last writing of Dogen,(63) and consists of eight Buddhist virtues to be cultivated by the practitioner.(64) These, he says, are the "storehouse of wisdom of the True Dharma"(65) (shobogenzo). These two fascicles seem to confirm that Dogen saw himself as teaching the Buddha Dharma and not any particular sect of Buddhism. Both of these fascicles, and indeed all of the twelve fascicles, lack any reference to the typical Kamakura appeal to one single practice, including Dogen's own shikan taza.(66) It seems clear that from Dogen's middle period onward, shikan taza was one among a complex of practices, especially in the context of the monastic life, which Dogen emphasized.

The Problem of Audience and Authorship.
Ishii Shodo has conducted an intensive inquiry into the dates of the composition of the twelve-fascicle edition.(67) He suggests that Dogen first began to conceive of the necessity for these fascicles (as a separate entity) sometime after his trip to Kamakura in 1247-1248,(68) but began to put his plan into action from about the year 1249. In a sermon given the day after his return from Kamakura,(69) Dogen stressed that he had "always taught that those who practice good will rise [in accumulated karmic merit] and those who do evil will fall," and that this was an example of experiencing the fruit of the practice as cause (shu-in-kan-ga)."(70) This same phrase occurs in the "Jinshin inga" fascicle of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo.(71)

The dating of most of the twelve fascicles is highly problematic. The "Kesa kudoku" fascicle appears to have been composed in 1240, while Dogen was still in Kyoto, and the "Hotsu bodaishin" fascicle in 1244, prior to Dogen's trip to Kamakura. "Jukai" and "Ippyaku homyomon" are undated, and of the remainder we only know that Ejo compiled them from either his or Dogen's notes in 1255, after Dogen's death.(72) Steven Heine notes that Ishii admits that there are numerous problems with understanding the twelve-fascicle edition including problems with dating, the role of the twelve-fascicle edition in relation to the so-called one-hundred-fascicle project mentioned in Ejo's colophon, and the degree to which Ejo and other disciples may have contributed to these fascicles.(73) A considerable portion of the twelve-fascicle edition is taken up with quotations, usually followed with only a short paraphrase and interpretation by Dogen. Dogen tends to stake out a dogmatic doctrinal stance with little justifying argument. For authority, Dogen draws to a considerable degree on mythological Buddhist literature, especially the Jaataka tales, and to his own authority as a master and transmitter of the Shobogenzo. Epistemological issues relating to his own authority or to the materials used are not considered.(74) Nearly absent, except in parts of fascicles such as "Hotsu bodaishin," is Dogen's "koan" style of expression, which characterizes his earlier writings. Only rarely do we find the awareness shown in much of the seventy-five-fascicle edition of the multiple interpretations possible for the variety of Buddhist doctrines and technical terms. There is, in other words, little in the twelve-fascicle edition of precisely that material and style for which Dogen has become famous. Yanagida Seizan's quip that Dogen's writings, after the beginning of his severe attack on Lin-chi/Rinzai Zen (around 1241), (75) were an "indication of the decline in Dogen's thinking and the onset of 'senility' (rosui)" (76) can possibly best be explained in this light.

A key problem with the twelve-fascicle edition is that the majority of the fascicles appear to have been compiled by Ejo from notes, either by Dogen, Ejo, or other disciples, with little, if any, additional editing on the part of Dogen. The fascicles are thus not the finished, polished products we find in the seventy-five-fascicle edition. We may also consider how the twelve-fascicle edition might compare to Ejo's Shobogenzo zuimonki (1234), which records Ejo's recollection of Dogen's teachings. The twelve-fascicle edition, thus, may be even more "provisional" than the seventy-five-fascicle edition. It is quite possible that the version we have of the twelve fascicles consists of preliminary notes and comments that Dogen hoped some day to develop fully later, or even of notes compiled by Dogen's disciples and edited by Ejo. They may also have been meant as easily read and understood outlines for Dogen's disciples at the Eihei-ji, focusing on issues specific to those monks at that time. It certainly seems that the seventy-five-fascicle edition had a wider audience in mind.

Dogen, especially in his later years, maintained that he was Juching's sole heir and the sole patriarch of the Shobogenzo in Japan as well as China.(77) Although Koun Ejo (1198-1280) was Dogen's closest disciple, his friend, his heir, and second abbot of the Eihei-ji,(78) neither Ejo nor his immediate successors ever attained the status and authority of Dogen. Sugio Gen'yuu has argued that Ejo and his contemporaries and successors were never able to match Dogen's attainment, (79) and the difficulties Ejo had in leading the community after Dogen's death are well documented.(80) The Shobogenzo, for Sugio, is a testament written by Dogen for later generations, in part precisely because Ejo and the other disciples could not live up to Dogen's expectations. This highly speculative suggestion, however, even if true, raises severe problems for the modern reader. One implication of Sugio's thesis is that only someone of an attainment equivalent to that of Dogen himself would be able to comprehend Dogen's intention. Secondly, such a person, like Dogen, would likely be more concerned with teaching the Dharma to present generations than with the historical interpretation of a previous master's writings. On the other hand the earlier portions of the Shobogenzo were composed at the Kasho-ji while Dogen's popularity was growing, when he would have had good reason for confidence in his project. These writings project a feeling of confidence and considerable skill in composition. It is his later writings that become increasingly didactic and dogmatic, and this may indicate a tendency to "overcompensate" for problems that Dogen was experiencing with his trainees.

The change in Dogen's position with regard to his attitude toward the necessity of teaching the laity, his evaluation of other Zen masters, and his idea of what constituted correct practice may have helped to fuel the conflict between the "purist" group of Gien (d. 1314) and the syncretic group of Gikai (1219-1309). Dogen's own writings reflect a definite emphasis on taking up the monastic life. But this must not be understood to mean that Dogen was no longer concerned with his lay followers. Although his later writings seem to be focused on the needs of his disciples, he continued to teach by deed to the wider local community. Villagers and local officials were regular participants in the precept-recitation ceremonies, among others, conducted at the Eihei-ji. One of the major areas of conflict between these groups, however, was the status of mikkyo (esoteric tantric) Buddhist practices within the community.(81) Significantly, in the compendium of Buddhist practices listed in the "Ippyakuhachi homyo-mon" and the "Hachi dainin-gaku, " mikkyo teachings and practices are conspicuously absent, as in all of Dogen's writings, from which we must conclude that Dogen would not have approved of their introduction, regardless of how pragmatic they might have been in terms of gaining support from the laity in the ensuing period of the collapse of the Kamakura shogunate and the "dark ages" that followed.(82)

The picture of the latter years of Dogen emerges as that of a man struggling with disciples who had come to him already trained in doctrines of Original Enlightenment, Japanese esoteric Buddhism (mikkyo), and the naturalism of the Daruma school, whose understanding of Buddhism was swayed by these traditions in ways of which Dogen did not approve and that Dogen was unable to counter conclusively. Significantly, this was also a time in which the growing Pure Land tradition was questioning the value of the monastic vinaya. This context would explain the evolution in his writing from his early dynamic engagement with contemporary Buddhist issues to a dogmatic condemnation of doctrines, practices, and teachers during his later years. His late emphasis on the training of his disciples at the Eihei-ji may be evidence of a kind of desperation to leave behind at least something of his original vision. In this sense Professor Sugio may be right in seeing Dogen's final intention for the Shobogenzo as a legacy to future generations. But, as we have seen, this is a highly ambiguous and controversial legacy, in light of the problem of which part of the Shobogenzo represents the "true" Dogen.

It is my thesis that Dogen never intended to abandon the seventy-five-fascicle edition, which remains the primary locus for our understanding of Dogen's thought. The twelve-fascicle edition was meant, I argue, as an appendix (never completed) to the seventy-five-fascicle edition. Whether or not Dogen ever intended to compose a final total of one hundred fascicles is problematic. If the twelve-fascicle edition is taken as a kind of appendix, it can give us valuable insights into Dogen's thought and, most importantly, act as a corrective to certain misunderstandings (especially with regard to the understanding of the Buddha Nature / Original Enlightenment doctrines and their relationship to practice, as well as misunderstandings concerning the role of causality, or karmic action and effect in Buddhist theory and practice), many of which Dogen likely found current among his disciples. Problems of interpretation in comparing Dogen's seventy-five-fascicle Shobogenzo and the twelve-fascicle version will be examined in the second part of this essay.

The Role of the Koan in Dogen's Writings
We have addressed the problem of the purpose of the Shobogenzo and suggested that this purpose may have changed during the course of Dogen's career. The Shobogenzo may have begun as a collection meant for wide dissemination among the Japanese Buddhist community, and it ended as an almost esoteric legacy to a few chosen disciples and their descendants. In any case, was the Shobogenzo a philosophical treatise where Dogen attempted to take a stand on some metaphysical positions regarding the nature of the world, Buddha Nature, causality, time, and so on? Was it a form of psychotherapy designed to help his disciples overcome psychological roadblocks? Was it a soteriological device, or expedient means, designed to help his disciples (and readers) attain full realization? Undoubtedly, these and other elements are present in Dogen's writings, but the soteriological intention was clearly primary. If any teaching became an obstacle to realization, Dogen, like many of his Buddhist predecessors, did not hesitate to abandon it. The project of Buddhist salvation has always been to "see" the world as it is, in its own suchness (tathataa) , without preconceived views, habits of thought, and doctrines learned only through tradition. The masters of the Zen tradition were very much aware that their teachings, or "words and letters," could themselves become obstacles, and thus the term katto (Chin. ke-tung), or the metaphor of attachment as a tangle of vines.(83)

By the late T'ang (618-922) and the Sung dynasty (960-1279), the Zen (Ch'an) tradition had begun to define its teaching methodology in terms of the koan (Chin. kung-an) tradition. Koan, as used in the Zen tradition, refers to "enlightenment" conversations between Zen masters and their disciples. A few generations before Dogen traveled to China, some Zen (Chin. Ch'an) masters such as Ta-hui Tsung-kao (Dale Soko) (1089-1163) used koans as "objects" of meditation for students.(84) Steven Heine defines the koan, during this period, as "a form of abbreviated, paradoxical communication harboring an underlying silence and rejection of language and leading to a personal transformation from conscious to unconscious, or from a state of diffusion to unification with the sacred."(85) For Dogen, however, the "expression" of the Buddhas and Patriarchs (dotoku), whether through the language of the Buddhist suutras, the teachings of the masters, koans, or through silence, was already a full expression of the Buddha Dharma.(86)

Heine argues that koans, for Dogen, became a continuing hermeneutic. Dale Wright has pointed out that "Far from being a transcendence of language, this process [the koan] would consist in a fundamental reorientation within language... [that] require[s] training to a level of fluency in distinctive, nonobjectifying, rhetorical practices." (87)

Heine points out that the Shobogenzo(88) itself shows a structural similarity to the Mumonkan (Wu-men-kuan) and the Hekigan-roku (Pi-yen-lu), which are collections of koans with commentaries. Yet the Shobogenzo also exhibits some fundamental differences. Like these koan-roku texts, Dogen's Shobogenzo gives an interlinear exegesis on key words or phrases of the traditional koans. Each of the fascicles of the Shobogenzo, on the other hand, focuses on a specific doctrinal issue, citing koan cases as well as passages from other Buddhist texts, including (non-Zen) Mahaayaana texts(89) as well as "Nikaaya" (non-Mahaayaana) Buddhist texts. This is most markedly the case for the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo.

It is not just that Dogen uses koans in his writings and comments on them. His own writing style, especially in his earlier and middle-period works, is fundamentally informed by the koan mode of expression. Dogen not only combines koans in unique koan-like relationships, but his own "analysis" is koan-like in nature. As Heine argues, the "[kana or Japanese] Shobogenzo is notable in that its commentaries attempt to genuinely recreate or to essentially become koans," and that "this represents an erasure of difference between source and interpretation."(90)

In his important article "'The Reason of Words and Letters': Dogen and Koan Language," Hee-jin Kim has pointed out several devices used by Dogen for his purpose.(91) These devices were variations of the traditional koan of Chinese Ch'an:

[Dogen's] serious interest in the koan is evidenced by the prevalence in the Shobogenzo of extensive exegeses and interpretations of carefully selected koans.... It may be that Dogen's originality lies in his radical transformation of the language of the old-paradigm koan within the living context of the realization-koan [genjo koan].(92)

Koans are notorious for not lending themselves to precise interpretation. They are by nature open-ended, and precisely for this reason they invite participation by the reader. Our attempts to interpret them must necessarily include a consideration of the context, in terms of both the textual context and the historical occasion for their use, as well as our own intellectual context and environment. For Heine, "Koans are instructive, or heuristic, in that they are activated only relative to a fixation and delusion, and provisional, or catalytic, in that they cease to function and leave no trace of hypostatization once liberation has been attained."(93)

Matsumoto Shiro takes a more critical view of Dogen's use of language in his early writings, in the context of learning and wisdom, arguing that the early Dogen was anti-learning or anti-intellect. Matsumoto points to a passage in Dogen's "Bendowa"(94) discourse number 4. When Dogen responds to a question on the relationship between his practice of shikan taza, "just sitting," in Zazen(95) as compared to the Hokke, Kegon, and Shingon schools, Dogen responds: "You should know that as a Buddhist, you should not contest the teachings [of the various sects] as superior or inferior, or their dharmas as shallow or deep. You need only know whether the practice is authentic."(96)

Matsumoto also points to a passage from Dogen's "Fukan Zazen-gi" (A Universal Recommendation for Zazen) where Dogen instructs students in the art of Zen meditation, saying: "Do not think of good and evil, nor regulate 'this or that'. Stop piloting the conscious mind. Stop analyzing mindfulness, perception, and discerning (nen-so-kan) ."(97)

Matsumoto comments that Dogen here is clearly mounting a critique on the intellect (chisel) or "[rational] thought" (shiko).(98) Matsumoto contrasts this to Dogen's "Sanji-go" fascicle of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo, which states: "The practitioner must never engage in 'wrong view' (jaken). He should study and practice (gakushuu) until he has mastered all forms of 'right view'."(99) Matsumoto takes this to mean that the late Dogen stressed the "intellect" (chisei), which includes "study" (gaku) and "teachings" (kyo) rather than the exclusive practice of Zazen,(100) and this, according to Mastumoto, was Dogen's final intent: the study of true Buddhism, devoid of the corrupting influence of the Chinese and Japanese original-enlightenment bog.

Matsumoto, however, seems to be taking these statements out of context. In the case of the "Bendowa," Dogen is clearly opposed to a purely intellectual approach to Buddhist practice. His was a day when Buddhism tended to be either (a) a scholastic and intellectual endeavor, (b) a mystical (tantric) practice, (c) a devotional practice, (d) a funeral rite, or (e) a social and political channel for the aristocracy. Since Dogen is interested in emphasizing another kind of Buddhism, he naturally steers the question away from a distracting direction. Note that earlier in the "Bendowa," Dogen criticizes the practice of suutra and nembutsu recitation, where people are just wagging their tongues and raising their voices without understanding. They also waste their time engaged in useless (metaphysical) speculations, imagining that this is the Buddha's path. "Reading words while failing to comprehend practice is like taking medicine but failing to mix the compounds."(101)

In the case of the passage from the "Fukan Zazen-gi," it is clear that Dogen is here talking about the practice of meditation. Dogen advises his students to refrain from trying to introduce preconceived goals and metaphysical speculations into this practice. The opening paragraph of this tract, where the reader is bombarded by logical paradoxes arising from current misunderstandings of "original enlightenment" (hongaku), makes this very clear. Furthermore, the very paradoxes that we find in the opening passages of the "Fukan Zazen-gi" are precisely the problems that occupy Dogen in much of the seventy-five-fascicle Shobogenzo, a work whose purpose appears to challenge the intellect rather than to shut it off.

As applied to Dogen's use of koan-style writing, Heine argues that "Truth does not pertain to one specific signified, but evolves (or `devolves') out of the open decentric play of signifiers devoid of an objective referent of signification."(102)

Dogen sees a resolution between the hypostatization of Buddhist teachings, traditionally described in the Ch'an tradition as an "entanglement" (katto), as an opportunity for direct transmission between Buddha and Buddha and between the Buddha Dharma and student/master. But Dogen's conception of katto need not be limited to cases of "transmission." All forms of entanglement, whether they are teachings, sayings, or even the traditional psychological attachments, can be opportunities for realization. As we read in the opening passages of his early work "Genjo koan":

The Way of the buddhas
Springs forth(103) from abundance and privation;(104)
Consequently, there is generation,
As well as extinction,
Delusion and enlightenment,
Sentient beings and buddhas.
Flowers fall among attachments.
And weeds flourish amidst annoyance.(105)

It is precisely because of the fact that flowers fall among our attachments and that weeds flourish amid our annoyance that these become the occasion for realization. Dogen's conclusion here is pragmatic rather than metaphysical.

We have already noted the relationship between "Jinshin inga" (Deep Faith in Causality) in the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo and "Daishugyo" (Great Practice) in the seventy-five-fascicle edition. Both versions focus on the famous koan of Pai-chang Huai-hai (Hyakujo Ekai) (106) and the "wild fox."(107) In this story a Ch'an master is reborn as a fox for five hundred lifetimes because he believes that a person of "great cultivation" (Daishugyo) does not "fall into [the grip of] causality"(108) (furaku inga), and he is saved when he is told by Pai-chang of "not obscuring causality" (or that causality is perfectly clear) (fumai inga).(109) In the older "Daishugyo" fascicle we read:

When we thoroughly investigate the "great cultivation" (Daishugyo), we find that it is already "Great Cause and Effect" (dai inga).(110) This "Great Cause and Effect" is the completeness of cause and completeness of effect. Therefore, it is not a question of falling or not falling, or of obscuring or not obscuring. If he were to err in saying "... not falling into causality," he would also be in error in saying "not obscuring causality." But, nevertheless, even though he errs, there is falling into rebirth as a fox, and there is release from rebirth as a fox.(111)

In the "Jinshin inga" fascicle of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo, Dogen comments on this same koan, saying:

Trainees in the Way of the Buddha do not comprehend the teaching of the law of cause and effect (inga) , and they err in foolishly discarding cause and effect.... In the winds of this latter age of the Buddha Dharma, the Way of the Patriarchs is on the decline. The teaching of "[He] will not fall into the grips of cause and effect (furaku inga)" is to discard the law of cause and effect and will lead to a fall into the Three Evil Worlds. [The teaching of] "not obscuring the cause and effect (fumai inga)" is clearly "deep faith in the cause and effect" (shinjin inga).... A great many of those who are called students of the Way, in these times, have discarded the law of cause and effect. If we inquire as to why this is so, it is because they equate not falling (furaku) [into the effects of karmic action] with not obscuring (fumai) [the effects of karmic action].(112)

The primary focus of the "Daishugyo" fascicle is a sophisticated analysis of the fox koan in terms of meaning and even authenticity.(113) It is a contemplation on the nature of causality, utilizing Dogen's dialectical (koan) style of focusing on what karma is not and only obliquely hinting at what it "is."(114) Heine argues that in this fascicle Dogen is equating causality and the transcendence of causality.(115) Dogen, however, makes no such equation. To the contrary, he argues that both "not falling" (furaku) and "not obscuring" (fumai) are pivotal Zen koan phrases (ittengo) and are not to be taken at face value.(116) We must also be very careful how we use the term "transcendence" for Dogen. In fascicles such as "Bussho" (Buddha Nature), Dogen is careful to include metaphysical transcendence among rejected views. After refuting the standard metaphysical conceptions of Buddha Nature, which some take to imply a form of transcendence, Dogen turns on this position to note: "The Buddha has said: 'If you wish to know the meaning of Buddha Nature, watch temporal relations (kan jisetsu) .'"(117) Dogen comments: "This teaching, practice, illumination, forgetting, and even mistaking and not mistaking, and so on are all temporal relations. Watching temporal relations is to watch through temporal relations."(118)

This clearly counters any metaphysical notion of transcendence. On the contrary, transcendence may only apply in a linguistic sense: to transcend the ordinary limitations of our conceptualized, rigidified views, or what has been traditionally known in Buddhism as sa^mv.rti.(119) It is not language itself that is to be transcended, but rather the views that we attach to words and phrases.

In the "Daishugyo" fascicle, Dogen finds a number of problems with the fox story. We are not told, for example, what happened to the old man after his liberation from the body of the fox. Dogen also questions the probability of a Zen master being reborn as a fox for such a cryptic answer since traditional Zen koans are replete with such cryptic phrases.(120) Dogen goes so far as to say in one place that he doubts the veracity of the fox story itself(121) and later asserts that Pai-chang was not telling the full story.(122) The crux of the "Daishugyo fascicle is Dogen's argument against fundamental misunderstandings of the fox story:

All of those who have not yet seen and heard the Buddha Dharma say that after the end of his rebirths as a fox the "old master" [or whatever he was] attained supreme enlightenment (daigo) and that the fox body was completely absorbed into the ocean nature of original enlightenment (hongaku no shogai). This meaning implies the erroneous notion of "returning to an original self" (honga ni kaeru). This has never been a Buddhist teaching. Moreover, if we say that the fox had no original nature (honsho), that the fox was not originally enlightened (hongaku nashi) : this [also] is not the Buddha Dharma.(123)

We see here Dogen's traditional affirmation of Original Nature and Buddha Nature, but a rejection of any substantialist or transcendental interpretation. Dogen continues to argue that it is not the intent of the story to say that "not falling into cause and effect" is to "negate cause and effect" (hatsumu inga).(124) Dogen is here affirming the traditional Buddhist teaching of cause and effect, but calling into question our understanding of cause and effect (karma) and its relation to liberation.(125)

The position of the "Critical Buddhists" such as Hakamaya and Matsumoto is that in the "Jinshin inga" fascicle and other fascicles of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo, Dogen abandons the hongaku position still evident in the "Daishugyo" fascicle, which, as Heine summarizes, is a transformation

... from a metaphysical view that draws unwittingly from animism or naturalism and seeks a single source of reality (dhaatu) beyond causality to a literal, strict karmic determinism that emphasizes a moral imperative based on the fundamental condition that karmic retribution is active in each impermanent moment.(126)

But is karma for Dogen really a kind of strict determinism, such that if cause "a" occurs then effect "b" must necessarily occur regardless of whatever other factors may come into play? The "Daishugyo" fascicle challenges our preconceived notion of karma and cause and effect (inga), but the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo seems to take a more simplistic stance. As Heine has pointed out, in the twelve-fascicle text, Dogen refers to miracles and magical deeds to illustrate the meaning of karma.(127) Yet, if we read beyond the mythical element of these tales to his conclusions, we find a clear rejection of a deterministic understanding of karma.

Consider, for example, Dogen's "Hotsu bodaishin," in the twelve-fascicle edition, where he emphasizes the "arising of the "Bodhi-mind" (bodaishin),(128) which entails the vow to save all others before oneself" (ji mitokudo sendota).(129) If causality is nothing other than "if 'a' then necessarily 'b'," then "Hotsu bodaishin" becomes nonsensical, since no other causal agency other than the self can then have anything to do with salvation. This would clearly imply a kind of personal atomic causality where the self is isolated from all "external" influences—precisely the kind of position that Dogen is anxious to avoid.(130)

We must remember that positive acts also produce positive karma, and positive karma interacts with negative karma. In Dogen's "Kuyo shobutsu," in the twelve-fascicle edition, we read that "There is great fruit from small causes, and great benefit from small acts."(131) The implication here is that soteriological karma is more powerful than negative karma.(132) In "Sanji-go," in the twelve-fascicle edition, we read a story from the Abhidharma-mahaavibhaasaa-`saastra (sec. 69) that tells of a good man (throughout this life), who, upon dying, finds that he is to be reborn in a hell. At first he is resentful, believing himself destined for a heavenly rebirth. But he then realizes that the hellish rebirth was for evil that he had done in a previous life. This realization (wisdom) changed his karma such that he was in fact reborn in a heavenly realm.(133)

These passages show that Dogen by no means had a simplistic and deterministic view of karma. For Dogen, karma is not a static, substantial, linear series of causes and effects. There is always the possibility of change, especially through the attainment of wisdom. Thus Dogen, without denying the causal structure of life and practice, rejects a rigid interpretation of karma in favor of a fluid, karmic, interdependent universe that depends upon our actions and understanding as part of its causal structure. As Kagamishima has argued, Dogen was approaching the problem of causality from different standpoints in the "Daishugyo" and the twelve-fascicle texts.(134) I have worked to show that the younger Dogen tended toward the dialectical (or koan) mode of expression, whereas the late Dogen tended more toward a didactic and mythic mode. In the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo, we must look to the larger context of the combined texts of "Kuyo shobutsu," "Jinshin inga," and "Sanji-go," and so on to find the positions already suggested in "Dai-shugyo." For the Dogen of the twelve-fascicle texts, "not falling into [the grip] of causality" was clearly being misinterpreted by many Chinese masters and students and, more importantly, by a significant number of Dogen's own students, to mean "transcending karma." Although Dogen never suggests such a notion of transcendence in "Daishugyo," he apparently thought that the explicit rejection of such transcendence had by that time become necessary.

Dogen does not attempt in either the seventy-five-fascicle edition or the twelve-fascicle edition of the Shobogenzo to construct a concrete metaphysical explanation of the nature and structure of karma or cause and effect (inga). It is, however, a mistake to look for a concrete philosophical system in Dogen's writings. His purpose was always soteriological. His texts tend to operate from a philosophical point of view in a "deconstructive" fashion, attempting to eliminate one-sided, or "extreme" views that get in the way of practice and enlightenment, in a fashion structurally consistent with the Ch'an/Zen tradition, and ultimately with the Indian Maadhyamika position. Dogen's "koans" have no fixed or single possible response. Dogen, from the beginning, demonstrated an ambivalent attitude toward the difficult doctrines of Original Enlightenment (hongaku) and Buddha Nature (bussho). Yet, in some sense, Dogen continued to find these doctrines valuable throughout the seventy-five-fascicle edition. And, although he does not mention them in the twelve-fascicle, neither does he explicitly reject them. It is not traditional Buddhist teachings that are rejected, but misunderstandings (wrong views). Doctrines are valuable only insofar as they aid praxis, and are destructive in proportion to the degree that they hinder praxis by students using them to formulate reality rigidly according to an a priori conceptual structure. Dogen's method is neither anti-intellectual nor pro-intellectual. Rather, his method is more of a creative process between master and disciple, text and reader.(135)

The interpreter of Dogen, as we have seen, is faced with the problem of inconsistencies in Dogen's writings over the progress of his career and with the paradoxical nature of Dogen's method. I suggest that these are related yet distinct problems. The koan character as well as the content of his early and many middle-period writings should be dealt with partially in the historical context of the texts as well as in the interactive mode of praxis between Dogen and the reader, with special attention to Dogen's warnings of conceptual traps associated with traditional Buddhist teachings and to a holistic consideration of Dogen's program for Buddhist practice.

Possible inconsistencies between early and late writings should, on the one hand, be considered in the historical context of (1) Dogen's rather unsatisfactory relationship with the Tendai establishment and the Kamakura government, (2) competition with the increasingly popular Japanese Rinzai sect, (3) problems within the order of monks at the Eihei-ji, (4) errors or misunderstandings, as perceived by Dogen, within his community of monks, many of whom had their early training in the Tendai, Tantric (mikkyo), and Daruma schools, (5) Dogen's increasing weakness due to illness toward the end of his life, (6) the possible realization on the part of Dogen that he might not have fulfilled his mission in passing the transmission to a fully qualified successor, and (7) problems of authorship and dating. On the other hand, we should take care not to jump to the conclusion that any particular proposition in the twelve-fascicle edition is necessarily at odds with his position in the earlier writings, because the differing modes of expression in the seventy-five fascicles and the twelve fascicles make such comparisons problematic. Finally, we may conclude that the twelve-fascicle edition can act as a corrective to what Dogen may have seen as misunderstandings of his earlier work, especially with regard to the major themes of Dogen's later writings: the affirmation of Buddhist causality (karma, pratiityasamutpaada) , impermanence, the Bodhisattva vow, the value of the monastic life, and the vow of the Bodhisattva as expressed in the Lotus Suutra.


Abbreviations are used in the notes below as follows:

12-SBGZ-SMD Juunikanbon Shobogenzo no shomondai, ed. Kagamishima Genryuu and Suzuki Kakuzen (Tokyo: Daizo Shuppansha, 1991).
DZZS Dogen Zenji zenshuu, 2d edition, 2 vols., ed. Okubo Dosen (Tokyo: Rinsen Shoten, 1969-1970).
DZZS-SJS Dogen Zenji zenshuu, 7 vols. (Tokyo: Shunjuusha, 1989-1983).
SBGZ-M Shobogenzo 4 vols., ed. and annot. Mizuno Yaoko (Tokyo: Iwanami Bunko, 1990-1993).

1 - Carl Bielefeldt has discussed this issue in his "Recarving the Dragon: History and Dogma in the Study of Dogen," in Dogen Studies, ed. William R. LaFleur, Studies in East Asian Buddhism, no. 2 (Honolulu: The Kuroda Institute / University of Hawai'i Press, 1985), pp. 21-53.
2 - These are some of the most critical issues for Dogen studies, and to address his views on these issues from the standpoint of his life's work is a project much larger than can be approached here. This essay is the first step in researching a book precisely on this issue.
3 - The term shobogenzo is taken from the Ta-fan-t'ien-wang wen-fo chueh-i-ching (Daibonteno monbutsu ketsugi-kyo [Zokuzokyo, vol. 87, author unnamed]), a scripture telling the story of the direct transmission of the Buddha Dharma to Kaa`syapa by the `Saakyamuni Buddha. There is also a work of the same name, Cheng-fa-yen-tsang, by Ta-hui Tsung-kao (Daie Soko) (1089-1163), consisting of 661 "koan" cases, along with notes and commentary. It is likely that Dogen titled his own work Shobogenzo as a counterpoint to that of Ta-hui. Also note that Dogen compiled his own collection of koans, which are variously called Shobogenzo sambyaku-soku (The three-hundred-case Sobogenzo) or the Shinji Shobogenzo (alternately pronounced Mana Shobogenzo) (The true [Chinese-] character Shobogenzo. See DZZS-SJS.
4 - The English reader is referred to a detailed discussion of the variety of Shobogenzo texts in the article by Steven Heine, "'Critical Buddhism' (Hihan Bukkyo) and the Debate Concerning the 75-fascicle and 12-fascicle Shobogenzo Texts," Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 21 (1) (1994): 46ff., and Hee-Jin Kim's brief discussion of the textual history of the Shobogenzo in his Dogen Kigen--Mystical Realist (Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1980), pp. 3-5. The basic reference in Japanese is Kawamura Kodo, Shobogenzo no seiritsushi-teki kenkyuu (Formative and historical studies of the Shobogenzo) (Tokyo: Shunjuusha, 1986) . The reader is also referred to the recently published new Japanese edition of the Complete Works of Dogen, Dogen Zenji zenshuu (DZZS-SJS), esp. vol. 2, pp. 699-711, where Kawamura Kodo gives a brief and updated summary of these issues. Note esp. pp. 706-711, where a graph is presented comparing the seventy-five-fascicle edition, the sixty-fascicle edition, the twelve-fascicle edition, and the twenty-eight-fascicle "Secret" edition. There is also a helpful graph in Steven Heine's article that gives Hakama Noriaki's theory of development (ibid., p. 49).
5 - According to Heine, Kozen's collection was the result of "years of confusion about the exact nature of the founder's writings" (Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 47).
6 - Kawamura Kodo, "Shobogenzo no seiritsu" (The composition [and arrangement] of the Shobogenzo), in DZZS-SJS, 2:699.
7 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 47.
8 - There also exists a sixty-fascicle edition, compiled in 1329, traditionally said to have been edited by Giun, but Kawamura Kodo argues that the sixty-fascicle edition was edited in memory of Dogen by Koun Ejo. Ejo may have been trying to reconstruct what he thought might have been Dogen's final intention. See Kawamura, Shobogenzo no seiritsu, Appendix, p. 6. For a detailed treatment see pp. 449-482. On pp. 471 ff., he makes a detailed comparison between the seventy-five-fascicle, the sixty-fascicle, and the twelve-fascicle editions. Also see Kawamura Kodo, in DZZS-SJS, pp. 706-711, comparing the three editions above with the twenty-eight-fascicle "Himitsu Shobogenzo" (Secret Shobogenzo). We may remark that this project must have remained incomplete since the sixty-fascicle omits key fascicles from the twelve-fascicle edition, including the "Shizen biku, " "Shinjin inga, " "Ippyaku homyo-mon," and Dogen's last writing, "Hachi dainin-gaku."
Donsei's eighty-four-fascicle edition (1419), according to Kawamura, is a derivative of the seventy-five-fascicle edition (Shobogenzo no seiritsu, p. 13). The Himitsu Shobogenzo, kept by the Eihei-ji, is a^n abridged collection according to Kawamura(ibid.).
There is a considerable number of manuscripts of the Shobogenzo, but Kawamura Kodo arranges them all according to the number of fascicles in the collection.
1. The seventy-five-fascicle edition and derivatives.
2. The sixty-fascicle edition and its derivatives.
3. The twelve-fascicle edition.
4. The twenty-eight-fascicle edition (Himitsu Shobogenzo).
5. The eighty-nine-fascicle edition and its derivative ninety-five-fascicle edition.
6. The ninety-five-fascicle edition, including the Kozen (1627-1693) edition published in 1690 and the Gento (1729-1807) edition, finally published in 1811. The two ninety-five-fascicle editions draw on the seventy-five- and sixty-fascicle editions for source material (Kawamura, ibid., p. 13).
Three contemporary Japanese Shobogenzo collections are (1) Mizuno Yaoko's recent annotated edition, Shobogenzo (SBGZM), which includes the seventy-five-fascicle version, the twelve-fascicle version, and the "Bendowa" listed separately; (2) a two-volume collection more ambiguously titled Dogen, ed. and annot. Terada Toru and Mizuno Yaoko, Nippon shiso daikei 12 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1970, 1982) --which includes the "Bendowa, " the seventy-five-fascicle edition, and the twelve-fascicle edition, but not other miscellaneous writings; and (3) vols. 1 and 2 of the new Complete Works: Dogen Zenji zenshuu, published by Shunjuusha (DZZS-SJS) , which includes the seventy-five-fascicle and the twelve-fascicle versions, plus nine additional writings including the "Bendowa." Thus, the term "Shobogenzo" as currently used implies two meanings: (1) the writings chosen by Dogen as part of his Shobogenzo and (2) writings by Dogen traditionally associated with the Shobogenzo by the Soto tradition.
9 - Steven Heine, Dogen and the Koan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shobogenzo Texts (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994), p. 24.
10 - Furuta Shokin, Shobogenzo no kenkyuu (Tokyo: Sobunsha, 1966), p. 21. Cited by Kagamishima Genryuu, "juunikanbon Shobogenzo no ichizuke" (Determining the status of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo)," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, p. 4.
11 - DZZS-SJS, 1:7, and SBGZ-M, 1:61. Note that this postscript is not found in the sixty-fascicle edition.
12 - The word/phrase shuukin, according to Kawamura, literally says "gathered together widely and put into [final] order." Kawamura raises the question, "Does this mean that the seventy-five-fascicle edition was definitively collected?" (DZZS-SJS, notes to the text, 1:7). Also see Sugio Gen'yuu, "'Kaze to tsuki to Butsu'--Juunikanbon Shobogenzo wa doko e iku ka?" ("The Wind, the Moon, and Buddha"-The twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo: Where is it headed?), in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 71-72.
13 - One of the earliest scholars working in this area was Yamaguchi Zuiho; see his article "Chibetto Bukkyo no kenkyuu" (Tibetan studies and Buddhism), Komazawa Daigaku Bukkyo ronshuu, no. 15 (1984) . More recently, Professor Yamaguchi has published the article "Daijo Bukkyo kyori no yuurai--Shojo hibussetsu" (The origins of Mahaayaana Buddhist doctrine: The contra-Buddhist teaching of the Hiinayaana), Shiso (Iwanami Shoten), no. 828 (June 1993): 61-87, in which he challenges some of the preconceptions of standard Mahaayaana ideology.
Professor Ishii Shuudo gives a general summary of this debate and its origins in his article, published in English, "Recent Trends in Dogen Studies," trans. Albert Welter, Komazawa Daigaku Kenkyuusho nenpo, no. 1 (March 1990). He gives a summary and discussion of Professor Yamaguchi's article on pp. 233-234 (30-31).
Professors Hakamaya Noriaki and Matsumoto Shiro have continued this line of inquiry. Professor Hakamaya has published two collections of essays, Hongaku shiso hihan (A critique of original enlightenment ideology) (Tokyo: Daizo Shuppan, 1989, 1991) , and Hihan Bukkyo--Critical Buddhism (Tokyo: Daizo Shuppan, 1990) . Professor Matsumoto has published Engi to kuu-Nyoraizo shiso hihan (Causality and emptiness: A critique of Tathaagata-garbha ideology) (Tokyo: Daizo Shuppan, 1989 and 1990).
Paul Swanson gives a summary of these three books by Professors Hakamaya and Matsumoto and a brief discussion of some other scholars at Komazawa University such as Ishii Shuudo and Yoshizu Yoshihide, in his article with the provocative title "'Zen Is Not Buddhism': Recent Japanese Critiques of Buddha-Nature," Numen 40 (1993): 115-149. The positions of both Hakamaya and Matsumoto may best be summarized by the title of the first article in Matsumoto's collection Engi to Kuu: Nyoraizo shiso wa Bukkyo ni arazu (Tathaagata-garbha ideology is not Buddhism) (Swanson, "'Zen Is Not Buddhism'," pp. 1-10). Also see Steven Heine's extensive discussion, in "'Critical Buddhism'," of the movement as sociated with Matsumoto and Hakamaya.
Also, Professor Ishii Shuudo has done important detailed studies on Dogen's critique of Chinese Ch'an. See Sodai Zenshuu-shi no kenkyuu (Studies in the history of Sung dynasty Ch'an) (Tokyo: Daito Shuppansha, 1987) ; Dogen-Zen no seiritsushi-teki kenkyuu (Studies in the historical foundation of Dogen Zen) (Tokyo: Daizo Shuppan, 1991); and Chuugoku Zenshuushi-wa: Shinji Shobogenzo ni manabu (Discussions of the history of Chinese Ch'an: Studies in the true [Chinese-]character Shobogenzo (Tokyo: Zen Bunka Kenkyuujo, 1988). The latter is a study of Dogen's three-hundred-fascicle collection of Chinese koans, also known as Shobogenzo sambyaku-soku, composed in Chinese.
Swanson has pointed out that all of these studies have an older stratum of research as their foundation (Swanson, "'Zen Is Not Buddhism'," p. 138). In 1939, Hazama Jiko published his Nihon Bukkyo no kaiten to sono kicho (The development and characteristics of Japanese Buddhism) (Tokyo: Sanseido, 1939), in which he identified "original enlightenment ideology" (hongaku shiso) as the dominant ethos in Japanese Buddhism. This work was continued by Tamura Yoshiro in his Kamakura Bukkyo shiso no kenkyuu (Studies on the thought of the new Kamakura schools) (Kyoto: Keiraku-ji Shoten, 1965), and in "Tendai hongaku shiso gairon" (Outline of the Tendai theory of original enlightenment), in Tendai hongaku-ron, ed. Tada Koryuu et al., Nihon shiso taikei series, no. 9 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1973) , and more recently, just before his death in 1989, "Critique of Original Awakening Thought in Shoshin and Dogen," trans. Jan Van Bragt, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 11 (2)-3 (1984): 243-266.
14 - As previously noted, the official Soto collection is the ninety-five-fascicle edition, known as the Daihonzan Eihei-ji edition (Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 47).
15 - See the following discussion of Matsumoto Shiro and Hakamaya Noriaki. For a brief discussion of the positions of Kagamishima and Kawamura, see Kagamishima Genryuu, "Juunikanbon Shobogenzo no ichizuke" (Determining the status of the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 3-30, and Kawamura Kodo, "Juunikanbon Shobogenzo ni tsuite" (Regarding the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo, in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 405-426.
16 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," pp. 57-58.
17 - Kagamishima, "Juunikanbon," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 7 ff.
18 - 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 57-109 (esp. pp. 75-80). This position has been confirmed in private interviews.
19 - See, e.g., Ishii Shuudo, "Saigo no Doogen: Juunikanbon Shobogenzo to HoKyoki" (The late Dogen: The twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo and the Hokyoki), in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 319-374). See esp. the graph of the dates of the Eihei koroku sermons on pp. 328-330. Also see Heine, "Critical Buddhism'," for an extended study of Ishii Shudo's position (pp. 56, 59 ff).
20 - See Kagamishima Genryuu, "Juunikanbon," sec. 3, in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 15ff., and Hakamaya Noriaki, "Juunikanbon Shobogenzo to zange no mondai" (The twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo and the problem of repentance), in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 133-174, and Matsumoto Shiro, "Shinjin Inga ni tsuite" (Regarding deep faith in causality), in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 199-298. For full-length works by Hakamaya and Matsumoto, see note 13 above.
21 - Compiled by Kenzei, the fourteenth abbot of the Eihei-ji. The oldest extant version dates to 1589; although Kenzei lived about a century before that. See Heinrich Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism: A History, vol. 2, Japan, trans. James W. Heisig and Paul Knitter (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990), p. 106 n. 5. Also, for a more detailed discussion, see James Kodera, Dogen's Formative Years in China: An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-ki (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980), p. 8.
22 - Mizuno notes that this would be on the fourteenth day of the seventh month (SBGZ-M, 4:415 n. 8).
23 - Fourth abbot of the Eihei-ji (d. 1314).
24 - This fascicle was composed at the Eihei-ji in the first month P.520 of 1253. Dogen transferred the abbotship of the Eihei-ji to Ejo in the seventh month, and in the eighth month moved to Kyoto for treatment and rest. On the twenty-eighth day of that month, he died (Kawamura Kodo, in DZZS-SJS, 2:660).
25 - Kana refers to the Japanese syllabary writing system, and thus to the Japanese writings. This is in contrast to mana or shinji ("true-character") works, written in kanji (Chinese characters).
26 - DZZS-SJS, 2: 458; SBGZ-M, 4:415-416.
27 - Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, p. 321. See Okubo Dosen, Dogen Zenji zenshuu (The complete works of Zen Master Dogen), 1st rev. edition (Chikuma Shooboo, 1969); 2d rev. edition (Rinsen Shoten, 1969-1970); and 1st (original) edition (Tokyo: Shunjuusha, 1935) . Sugio Gen'yuu also agrees with this view ("'Kaze to tsuki to Butsu'," in DZZS-SJS, pp. 57-120).
28 - Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 322-333. Also see Ishii, "Recent Trends in Dogen Studies," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 220-221 (44-45). If Dogen intended further revisions of the seventy-five fascicles, we can only guess at his plan. The last fascicle in the seventy-five-fascicle Shobogenzo for example, which is titled "Shukke" (Leaving the householder's life), was composed in 1246. The Himitsu Shobogenzo (Secret Shobogenzo) version of this fascicle includes a postscript that states, "Following the old version of 'Shukke', [there exists a new version] by the master. Accordingly, this version should be discarded" (DZZS-SJS, 2:264; SBGZ-M, 4:51. Also see Ishii, "Recent Trends in Dogen Studies, " pp. 229-230 [35-36]).
The twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo begins with the fascicle "Shukke kudoku" (The merit of leaving the householder's life) . Professor Ishii has shown that the seventy-five-fascicle version of "Shukke" includes discussion of both leaving the householder's life and receiving the precepts. The "Shukke kudoku" fascicle of the "New Version" discusses only the former, and the second fascicle of the twelve-fascicle version, "Jukai" (Receiving the precepts), only the latter. It would seem logical to conclude, as does Sugio Gen'yuu, that this is an example of a revision mentioned by Dogen in the "Hachi dainin-gaku" fascicle (Sugio Gen'yuu, "Dogen no Tetsugaku," pt. 1, "The Philosophy of Dogen," Yamaguchi Daigaku Kyoiku-bu kenkyuuron-shiuu, March 1990). Ishii points out that even among those who do not recognize the validity of the postscript to the "Shukke" fascicle, there are those who nevertheless think that the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo has an intention distinct from the "Old Version" seventy-five-fascicle Shobogenzo. See, e.g., Kagamishima Genryuu, "Juunikanbon Shobogenzo ni tsuite" (Regarding the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo) , Komazawa Daigaku Bukkyogaku-bu ronshuu, no. 19 (October 1988). See the note by Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, p. 370 n. 3.
29 - The Chinese translations of Early Buddhist writings from the northern Indian Sarvastivaadin tradition, generally corresponding to the Paali Nikaayas.
30 - Stories about the previous lives of the Buddha.
31 - Sixty fascicles, Taisho vol. 13.
32 - Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, p. 327. See also (1) Kagamishima Genryu, Dogen Zenji no inyo kyoten, goroku no kenkyuu (Studies in the scriptural and Zen-sayings collection sources of Zen Master Dogen) (Tokyo: Mokujisha, 1965), esp. the chart beginning on p. 216 with the entries listed according to source, and (2) Kawamura Kodo, Shobogenzo no seiritsu, p. 537, with the quotations listed according to fascicle.
33 - E.g., eighteen quotations from the Chih-kuan-fu-hsing-ch'uan-hung-chueh (Shikan fugyoden koketsu, in Taisho, 46:141 ff., by Chan-jan (Tannen [717-782], the ninth patriarch of the Chinese T'ien-T'ai sect), and four quotations from T'ien-T'ai Chih-i's (538-597) Mo-ho-chih-kuan (Maka shikan) (Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD).
34 - Wanshi-roku, the sayings of Hung-chin Cheng-chueh (1091-1157).
35 - Engo-roku, the sayings of Yuan-wu K'o-ch'in (1063-1135), a Lin-chi (Rinzai) master, and editor of the Hekigan-roku (Pi-yen-lu), or Blue Cliff Records, one of the main collections of koans of the Rinzai sect.
36 - Daie-roku, a collection of sayings of Ta-hui Tsung-kao (Daie Soko) (1089-1163), the major target of Doogen's critique of Chinese Ch'an. It was Ta-hui who began the practice of "meditating on" koans in order to attain enlightenment.
37 - Daichido-ron: a one-hundred-fascicle commentary on the Mahaapraj~naapaaramitaa-Suutra, and based in part on Naagaarjuna's Muulamaadhyamika-kaarikaa. It is rich in information on the various philosophical systems in India, but is almost certainly of much later origin than Naagaarjuna, to whom it is attributed (Taisho, vol. 25).
38 - It should be noted that Doogen often mentions Naagaarjuna throughout his career, but his sources are primarily nonprimary ones such as the Ta-chih-tu-lun and various Ch'an collections.
39 - Ta-p'i-p'o-sha-lun (Daibibasha-ron) , a huge commentary on the J~naanaprasthaana-`Saastra by Kaatyaayaniiputra of the Sarvaastivaadin School. 40 - A-p'i-ta-mo-chuu-she-lun (Abidatsuma kusha-ron, usually referred to in Japanese as the Kusha-ron). 41 - Sabdharma-pu.n.dariika-Suutra (Hokekyo/Myohorenge-kyo). 42 - A very preliminary translation of these can be found in Yuuho Yokoi's Zen Master Dogen (New York, Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1976). The reader is cautioned, however, that Yokoi does not address any of the issues raised in this essay, and thus the assumptions used in choosing his translations for philosophical terminology are highly problematic and controversial. 43 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 50. 44 - Compiled or edited by Ejo in 1255.
45 - Ishii also notes that the earlier "Shukke" draws from five traditional Buddhist texts, whereas the later "Shukke kudoku" draws on eighteen. See Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 324 f.
46 - Date of compilation unclear.
47 - Kawamura, in DZZS-SJS, 2:657. Also see Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 51. Heine notes the proximity in time of the two versions, but not the problem of the period of composition.
48 - It is interesting to note that these fascicles were written after Ejo had joined Dogen's group in 1234, but before the Daruma-shuu monks Ekan, Gikai, et al. joined Doogen in 1241.
49 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 51.
50 - See the discussion of the fascicle in part 2 of this essay. See note 128 below.
51 - Quoting from the Daibibasha-ron (Ta-p'i-p'o-sha-lun), a huge commentary on the J~naanaprasthaana-`Saastra by Kaatyaayaniiputra of the Sarvaastivaadin School. Mention of the "Theory of Moments" can also be found in "Shukke kudoku." Interestingly, in this latter discussion, Doogen's technique is didactic, depending on the authority of Sarvaastivaadin writings, and does not apply the well-known critique that Naagaarjuna directed against this very doctrine. (It is beyond the scope of this essay to examine how this fascicle in some ways helps and yet in other ways confuses our understanding of Doogen's conception of time.)
39 - Ta-p'i-p'o-sha-lun (Daibibasha-ron) , a huge commentary on the J~naanaprasthaana-`Saastra by Kaatyaayaniiputra of the Sarvaastivaadin School. 40 - A-p'i-ta-mo-chuu-she-lun (Abidatsuma kusha-ron, usually referred to in Japanese as the Kusha-ron). 41 - Sabdharma-pu.n.dariika-Suutra (Hokekyo/Myohorenge-kyo). 42 - A very preliminary translation of these can be found in Yuuho Yokoi's Zen Master Dogen (New York, Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1976). The reader is cautioned, however, that Yokoi does not address any of the issues raised in this essay, and thus the assumptions used in choosing his translations for philosophical terminology are highly problematic and controversial. 43 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 50. 44 - Compiled or edited by Ejo in 1255.
45 - Ishii also notes that the earlier "Shukke" draws from five traditional Buddhist texts, whereas the later "Shukke kudoku" draws on eighteen. See Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 324 f.
46 - Date of compilation unclear.
47 - Kawamura, in DZZS-SJS, 2:657. Also see Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 51. Heine notes the proximity in time of the two versions, but not the problem of the period of composition.
48 - It is interesting to note that these fascicles were written after Ejo had joined Dogen's group in 1234, but before the Daruma-shuu monks Ekan, Gikai, et al. joined Doogen in 1241.
49 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 51.
50 - See the discussion of the fascicle in part 2 of this essay. See note 128 below.
51 - Quoting from the Daibibasha-ron (Ta-p'i-p'o-sha-lun), a huge commentary on the J~naanaprasthaana-`Saastra by Kaatyaayaniiputra of the Sarvaastivaadin School. Mention of the "Theory of Moments" can also be found in "Shukke kudoku." Interestingly, in this latter discussion, Doogen's technique is didactic, depending on the authority of Sarvaastivaadin writings, and does not apply the well-known critique that Naagaarjuna directed against this very doctrine. (It is beyond the scope of this essay to examine how this fascicle in some ways helps and yet in other ways confuses our understanding of Doogen's conception of time.)
52 - Date of composition unknown; the postscript lists the date of editing as summer 1255, two years after Dogen's death. 53 - Again, date of original composition unknown, but compiled or edited by Ejo, in 1255.
54 - Dogen states: "Among the suutras the great teacher `Saakyamuni has taught, the Lotus Suutra (Saddharma-pu.n.dariika-Suutra) is the Great King, the Great Teacher. All other suutras, all other dharmas, are its ministers, its servants. The doctrines taught in the Lotus are true, those of the other suutras are merely 'expedient means' (hoben/ upaaaya): they do not represent the true intent of the Buddha" (SBGZ-M, 4:260-261).
55 - Date of composition unknown, but compiled by Ejo in 1255.
56 - Date of composition unknown, but edited by Ejo in 1255.
57 - Compiled/edited by Ejo in 1255.
58 - Date of composition unknown; compiled/edited by Ejoo in 1255.
59 - Focusing on Dogen's contention that Taoism does not teach the critical doctrine of causality and Dogen's critique of the popular notion that the "complete teaching" was a combination of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
60 - This fascicle draws its source material from the T'ien-t'ai Mo-ho-chih-kuan and from works associated with India. It distinctly condemns those who deny the existence of the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, and Sa^mgha), the Four Noble Truths, and the four stages to Arhathood, which he later says will necessarily lead to the path of the Bodhisathra and thus to Buddhahood. The chapter as a whole seems to value Indian Buddhism, both early Buddhism and the Mahaayaana forms, higher than Chinese forms, with the exception of T'ien-t'ai.
61 - No date for composition or compilation included.
62 - The whole text appears to be a quotation from the Chinese T'ien-sheng Kuang-teng-lu (Yokoi, "Zen Master Doogen," p. 197 n. 1).
63 - It was composed on 6 January 1253, about eight months before his death.
64 - (1) Minimizing greed, (2) satisfaction (along the lines of equanimity [upekha]?), (3) restful quietude, (4) diligence, (5) not forgetting mindfulness, (6) the practice of samaadhi, (7) the practice of wisdom (chief), and (8) not wasting time on pointless discussion.
65 - More literally translated as "true dharma eye storehouse."
66 - In the "Ippyakuhachi hbmyo-mon," in particular, Dogen's mention of mindfulness and a wide variety of contemplations, and his failure to identify his frequent references to the merits of samaadhi with his own shikan taza may suggest that the present procedure of Japanese Soto Zen training centers, which continues the "one practice" meditation of shikan taza, may possibly be a stance that Dogen himself had abandoned. I do not mean to say that Dogen weakened in any way his emphasis on meditative practice, but rather that it is possible that his early insistence on one practice shikan taza may have been an expedient means of appealing to the new converts during his early years, many of whom were among the aristocratic and samurai classes. Also see note 95 below.
67 - In his article "Saigo no Dogen," Ishii compares the twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo with the record of Dogen's sermons, "Eihei koroku" (DZZS-SJS, vols. 3-4), as well as other documents.
68 - In his first address to the congregation on the tenth day of the ninth month of 1239, the day after his return from Kamakura, he stated that he would never again leave the monastery upon the request or command of the ruler (kokuo), and that he heretofore intended to devote himself with full vigor to his practice and the accumulation of merit, to be used to save all beings, by enabling them to see the Buddha and hear his Dharma (Ishii, "Saigo no Dogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, pp. 331-332).
69 - This is not to be confused with Dogen's first address to the congregation on the same day. See note 68 above.
70 - "Eihei koroku, " no. 251, quoted by Ishii, "Saigo no Doogen," in 12-SBGZ-SMD, p. 333.
71 - DZZS-SJS, 2:394; SBGZ-M, 4:297. Ishii implies that the sermon in the Eihei koroku would likely indicate the date of composition of the "Jinshin inga" since most of the Shobogenzo fascicles arose out of notes for sermons. However, the Eihei koroku are recordings by Dogen's disciples of his "formal" (jodo) style sermons. It is not at all impossible that the "Jinshin inga" may be of an earlier origin.
72 - Also see Kawamura, in DZZS-SJS, 2:677-697, and the postscripts for each fascicle. Kawamura notes that some "preliminary" version of (3) "Kesa kudoku" may have been delivered as early as 1240. Kawamura thinks it possible that Sanji-go" was probably copied by Ejo in 1253 (ibid., p. 412).
73 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 60.
74 - Contrast Dogen's critical analysis of the fox koan in "Daishugyo" as discussed in part 2 of this essay.
75 - Bielefeldt, "Recarving the Dragon," p. 32.
76 - Cited by Bielefeldt, ibid., p. 40. See Yanagida Seizan, "Dogen to Rinzai," Riso 513 (February 1976): 74-89, esp. pp. 81-83.
77 - Dogen claims in his Shobogenzo fascicle "Menju," compiled after his move to Echizen in the tenth month of 1243, that the seven Buddhas correctly transmitted (shoden) the "Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma" (Shobogenzo) (see note 3 above) face to face (menju) through the patriarchs to Dogen's teacher, T'ien-t'ung lu-ching (Tendo Nyojo) (1163-1228) ("Menju," in DZZS-SJS, 2:54. See, Bielefeldt, "Recarving the Dragon," pp. 32-33, and Ishii, "Recent Trends in Dogen Studies," p. 252 [131], and then to Dbgen. According to Dogen, Ju-ching said to Dogen that the "face-to-face transmission of the Buddhas and Patriarchs" is to be found "only in my chambers. Others have not seen or heard of it even in their dreams" (DZZS-SJS, 2:54-55; SBGZ-M, 3:143. Also see Bielefeldt, "Recarving the Dragon," p. 39).
78 - Ejo, according to tradition, became Dogen's heir after Dogen confirmed his enlightenment, probably in mid-November 1236. This is according to the Denkoroku (Taisho, vol. 82, no. 2585) , compiled by Keizan Jokin (1264/8-1325), probably around 1300 (Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism: A History, 2:105 n. 2, and pp. 127-128). Heinrich Dumoulin points out that the original manuscript of the Denkoroku has been lost and that the oldest extant copy dates from the year 1430. Since this history was compiled by Keizan, who would have had his own agenda, and was possibly modified by later additions, it is "historically reliable only in a restricted sense" (ibid., p. 105). For a more extended discussion on this and other Soto biographies see Takashi James Kodera, Dogen's Formative Years in China, pp. 7-13.
79 - Sugio Gen'yuu, "Kaze to tsuki to Butsu"--Juunikanbon Shobogenzo wa doko e iku ka?" (The Wind, the Moon, and Buddha--The twelve-fascicle Shobogenzo: Where is it headed?) (12-SBGZ-SMD), pp. 57-109, esp. pp. 90ff. Also see Sugio Gen'yuu, "Shobogenzo to Zuimonki--Bonkotsu to shinryuu no ningengaku," in Iwanami Koza: Nihon bungaku to Bukkyo vol. 1 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1993), pp. 77-101, esp. pp. 81 ff.
80 - See, e.g., Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism: A History, pp. 130 ff. For further discussion on the careers of Dogen in Echizen and of his successors and their relationship to the Daruma-shuu, see William M. Bodiford, "Soto Zen in Medieval Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press / Kuroda Institute, 1993).
81 - Bodiford, Soto Zen, p. 32. With regard to the issue of lay involvement, it should be remembered that Dogen's lay following in Kyoto would have consisted of highly educated aristocrats and Samurai, including powerful figures such as Konoe lezane (1179-1243) and Konoe Kanetsune (1210-1259) at court and the Samurai lord Hatano Yoshishige (d. 1258), who was later to become his major patron (ibid., p. 27). In Echizen, his lay following would naturally have been severely diminished, but would still have included the family of his Samurai patron Hatano and local villagers and officials, most of whom would have lacked the education to read and comprehend much of Dogen's more complex writings.
82 - It should be noted that Eisai (a.k.a. Yosai) was successful in gaining recognition for his introduction of the Rinzai Zen movement by joining it with Tendai mikkyo practices, which were very popular among the laity.
83 - The most basic meaning of katto is "vines" or "useless rubbish" (Nakamura Soichi, in Shobogenzo yogo jiten, p. 51). Also see Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," pp. 5-6.
84 - Prior to its adoption by the Ch'an school, the term koan (Chin. kung-an) originally meant a public case in court. The ko of koan means "public, " "common to all, " and "equally accessible." The basic meaning of an is "to investigate" (shiraberu) , or "think." The Chinese character originally used by Dogen and his disciple Koun Ejo (1198-1280) for this syllable also means to "hold down," "stop," "think, " or "investigate." Kyogo, in his commentary, interprets Dogen's an to mean "maintain the parts" (Gosho, p. 21). Kamatani Senryuu explains koan as "holding on to that which is common to all and not letting go... (or) not losing it" (Kamatani Senryuu, Shobogenzo roseikon-shuu: Shobogenzo genjo koan (Tokyo: Bukkyd Joohoo Sentaa, 1984), p. 23.
85 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 18.
86 - See, e.g., his fascicles "Bukkyo, " "Jisho sammai," "Dotoku," "Bendowa," "Nyorai Zenshin," etc. For an extended discussion of the issue, see Hee-Jin Kim, Dogen Kigen--Mystical Realist, pp. 96 ff.
87 - Dale S. Wright, "Rethinking Transcendence: The Role of Language in Zen Experience," Philosophy East and West 42 (1) (1992): 113-138.
88 - The kana, or Japanese, version as opposed to Dogen's collection of some three hundred koans, also called the Shobogenzo.
89 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 28.
90 - Ibid., p. 29.
91 - Hee-Jin Kim, "'The Reason of Words and Letters': Dogen and Koan Language," in Dogen Studies. This article, slightly modified, also appears as the introductory essay in Kim's Flowers of Emptiness: Selections from Dogen's Shobogenzo, Studies in Asian Thought and Religion, vol. 2 (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1985), pp. 1-50.
92 - Kim, "'The Reason of Words and Letters'," p. 56. Heine points out that the kana (Japanese) Shobogenzo "draws extensively on the polysemous wordplay, punning, and homophones used by the literati in Japanese court poetry and other Kamakura era religioaesthetic works" (Heine, "'Critical Buddhism', " p. 30) . Dogen's particular application of these techniques does not, however, detract from the originality of Dogen's work. The Shobogenzo stands unique in Japanese religious literature.
93 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 89.
94 - Composed by Dogen in 1231 at the age of 32. Waddell and Abe translate the title as "Discourse on Negotiating the Way." See their translation, "Dogen's Bendbwa, " Eastern Buddhist 4 (1) (May 1971) : 129-157, and Matsumoto Shiro, "Shinjin inga ni tsuite--Dogen no shiso ni kansuru shiken" (Regarding "Deep faith in causality": A personal view of Dogen's thought), in Engi to kuu-Nyoraizo shiso hihan, p. 217.
95 - I argue that Dogen never intended his style of Zen meditation, shikan taza to exclude standard Buddhist practice. Although Dogen criticizes various contemporary "single practices," such as nembutsu, his activities in the establishment of his first temple, the Kosho-ji, his numerous vinaya (temple and monk rules), and his lifelong commitment to the way of the sa^mgha clearly illustrate his commitment to the full range of traditional Buddhist practice. Indeed, it is also clear that Dogen saw his work as a restoration of original Buddhism. Thus, shikan taza is not "just sitting in meditation to the exclusion of other Buddhist practice," but rather "when meditating throw your whole 'self,' body and mind, into Zazen." Also see note 66 above.
96 - DZZS-SJS, 2: 467; SBGZ-M, 1:23. Kagamishima Genryu has stated that "There is no clearer critique of 'kyogaku' Buddhism" (Kagamishima Genryuu, "Honsho myooshu oboegaki," in Komazawa Daigaku Bukkyo gaku ronshuu, no. 18 [1987]: 70). There is a question, however, as to whether we should translate kyogaku literally as "the study of the scriptures or teachings" or as "scholasticism."
97 - DZZS-SJS, 5:4-5 (1233 version). Also see p. 10, for Dogen's P.528 earlier colophon version of 1227. With regard to the passage in question, there is no difference between the two versions. The 1227 version would be Dogen's first writing, with the possible and controversial exception of his "diary" of his travels in China, the "Hokyo-ki" (these may also be memoirs written later in life).
98 - Matsumoto, "Shinjin inga ni tsuite," p. 218.
99 - 12-SBGZ, no. 8, "Sanji-goo," in DZZS-SJS, 2:408; SBGZ-M, 4:323.
100 - Matsumoto, "Shinjin inga ni tsuite," p. 217.
101 - Dialogue no. 3 (DZZS-SJS, 2: 466; SBCZ-M, 1:21-22). Note that this passage precedes the passage introduced by Matsumoto, suggesting that the hypothetical questioner still did not get the message.
102 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 51.
103 - Japanese text: "Butsudo motoyori hoken yori chushutsu seru...." This phrase has been variously interpreted as "transcends abundance or lack" (Nishiyama Koosen and John Stevens, trans., Shobogenzo vol. 1 [Tokyo: Nakayama Shobo, 1975], p. 1) and as "sprang forth from abundance and paucity" (Thomas Cleary, Shobogenzo; Zen Essays by Dogen [Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1986], p. 32). The notions of "going beyond" and of "springing forth" are both possible readings here. Dogen may have had both meanings in mind.
104 - This verse appears in the Hung-chih kuang-lu (Wanshi Koroku), no. 2. "Abundance" is a simile for "existence" and corresponds to the first verses saying "there is" (ari), and "privation" is a simile for "nonexistence," corresponding to "emptiness" (naku).
105 - DZZS, 1:7: hana wa aijaku ni chiri, kusa wa kiken ni ofuru nomi nari. Thus the phrase may be translated as: (1) "Flowers fall among regrets, " or "Flowers fall in spite of regrets, " or "Flowers fall because of regrets." The simile of the flowers and weeds appears in Dogen's Eihei koroku with the more specific connecting phrase ni yorite (because of...) ." That passage reads as follows: "Flowers fall because of our regrets; weeds come to life following upon our annoyance and attempts to get rid of them" (Dogen, Eihei koroku, "Daiichi koshoji goroku no. 51"). I think that Dogen here has used the more ambiguous, unqualified ni in order to allow all three of these meanings to come into play. All of them are consistent with the general movement of the opening verses of the "Genjo koan" and with his later thought as expressed in the Eihei koroku.
106 - Pai-chang Huai-hai (720-814) was a disciple of Ma-tzu Tao-i (Baso Doitsu) (709-788).
107 - "Daishugyo" (DZZS-SJS, 2:185-186). This story is also found in Dogen's koan collection, the Shinji Shobogenzo, and in several passages of Dogen's Eihei koroku, esp. a verse commentary in the ninth volume. It also appears in Ejo's recordings of some of Dogen's sayings, the Zuimonki. It had previously appeared in Chinese transmission-of-the-lamp histories such as the Tensho kotoroku and the Shuumon rentoeyo, koan commentaries, the Mumonkan (case no. 2), the Shoyoroku (case no. 8), and in dozens of Sung era recorded-sayings texts (Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 52).
108 - This phrase furaku inga may have a number of interpretations, e.g. "not regressing back to causality once one has transcended it through enlightenment" and "being immune to causality since one has transcended it through enlightenment." These meanings would apply to the "Jinshin inga" fascicle, but not necessarily, as we shall see, to the "Daishugyo" fascicle. 109 - This latter interpretation was suggested to me by Ishii Shuudo in personal conversation. Another translation might be: "not being ignorant (avidya) of causality."
110 - Karmic cause and effect or, more generally, causality.
111 - DZZ-SJS, 2:186; DZZS, 1:545 (my italics).
112 - SBGZ-SJS, 2:388-389; DZZS, 1:676-677.
113 - Heine has stated that the "Daishugyo" fascicle is primarily concerned with the burial of monks. This discussion, however, functions only as a minor footnote to the fascicle (Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 65).
114 - We must be careful to take even Dogen's "positive" statements in context, since he often composes "meta"-koans by asserting both sides of a position only to deny both sides.
115 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 65.
116 - The fascicle also includes a hermeneutical discussion on the use and application of such "pivotal Zen phrases" (ittengo) as fumai inga and furaku inga.
117 - Pai-chang, quoting from the Mahaa-parinirvaa.na Suutra, chap. 28 (SBGZ-M, 1:77 n. 12, and p. 441-442, notes for p. 77).
118 - DZZS-SJS, 1:17; SBGZ-M, 2:77; DZZS, 1:16. For a fuller discussion, see my article "Dogen: Enlightenment and Entanglement," pts. 2 and 3 (in prep.).
119 - This, however, should not be misunderstood as a denial by Dogen of the value of language.
120 - Dogen also speculates that if this were possible, all the masters of the last two or three hundred years must be transmigrating as foxes, which, Dogen argues, we would surely be aware of. The fox may also even have been lying when he said that he had previously been a Zen master. Furthermore, it is absurd to say that a fox would be aware of how many years he had been reborn as a fox, and we cannot even be sure of the meaning of the term "years" in the story.
121 - DZZS-SJS, 2:189.
122 - Ibid., 2:195.
123 - Ibid., 2:189; SBGZ-M 3:373.
124 - SBGZ-SJS, 2:190. 125 - DZZS-SJS, 2:190.
126 - Heine, "'Critical Buddhism', " p. 54 (my italics).
127 - Dogen draws from Jaataka birth stories and the Abhidharmamahaavibhaasaa (Taisho 27.592a-93b) for tales such as that of a eunuch whose sexual status is reversed, a prostitute whose life dramatically changes because she briefly wears a Buddhist robe, and the power of animal transformations involving a fox and deer (Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," p. 65).
128 - He argues: "This [Bodhi]-Mind is not [something] that has existed from the beginning, nor [something] that has just now arisen. It is neither 'one' nor 'many'; neither spontaneous (jinen) nor fixed (gyonen). It is not [to be found] within our body, nor is it the case that our body is [to be found] within the mind. This mind does not pervade the Dharma-dhaatu (hokai) . It is neither 'before' nor 'after.' Nor is it 'nonexistent.' It is not 'self-nature' (jisho) or 'other nature' (tasho) or 'common nature' (guusho), nor is it 'uncaused nature' (muinsho) . Even so, it is through the 'interaction of buddhas, bodhisattvas, and sentient beings' (kanno doko) that the bodaishin arises. [But] it is not bestowed by the myriad buddhas and bodhisattvas, nor does it become attainable through our own personal efforts. Because it is through the `interaction of buddhas, bodhisattvas, and sentient beings' (kanno doko it [cannot be called] 'spontaneous' (jinen) " (SBGZ-M, 4:177-178). 129 - "Even though we have acquired sufficient merit to realize Buddhahood, we should nevertheless reflect it back to sentient beings in order that they may realize the Way" ("Hotsu bodaishin," in SBGZ-M, 4:181).
130 - This fascicle, we should note, includes some highly sophisticated koan-style discussions of what the Bodhi-Mind is not and a critique of dichotomies such as "self" and "other". "Although this mind is neither Self (ware ne arazu) nor Other (ta ni arazu), nor is it something that comes, even so, with the arousal of the mind, this great earth has become golden" (SBGZ-M, 4:181).
131 - SBGZ-M, 4:227.
132 - We also find an affirmation of the `suunyataa doctrine that "they [all dharmas including karma] are neither produced nor annihilated; also they are not not produced and not not annihilated" (SBGZ-M, 4:227). Doogen, it must be noted, proceeds also to show the errors in asserting that "karmic hindrance" (gosho) is "originally empty" (honrai-kuu). (This passage is not found in Okubo, but is found in the Eiko-ji text used by Mizuno in SBGZ-M, 4:325f.)
133 - SBGZ-M, 4:320-321; DZZS-SJS, 2:406-407.
134 - Kagamishima Genryuu, in 12-SBGZ-SMD, p. 13.
135 - As Heine points out: "A text is not a fixed and finite entity, nor is the author an independent, discrete subject with a clear-cut agenda based on personal intentionality. Rather the text is the product of a fluid and flexible continuing process of creativity in which the relativity and mutuality of author and reader contribute to the 'mosaic of citations' " (Heine, Dogen and the Koan Tradition, p. 62). As Mark C. Taylor has stated: "The meaning of a text... is never fully present. Meaning is always in the process of forming, deforming, and reforming" (Mark C. Taylor, Erring: A Postmodern A-Theology [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984], p. 179; cited by Heine, "'Critical Buddhism'," pp. 62-63).