Cover of Shobogenzo, Volume 1
BDK America
Publish Date: 
Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross


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Published in four volumes, this is Volume I of the Shōbōgenzō, also known as The Eye and Treasury of the True Law. Volume I contains Chapters 1-21.

This is the literary masterpiece of Dōgen, the founder of the Japanese Sōtō School of Zen, setting forth the tenets of this school.

Note on this BDK English Tripiṭaka Series Reprint Edition 

For the BDK English Tripiṭaka Series chose, we reprint the classic translation of Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō by Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross (Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Books 1–4, by Windbell Publications, 1996–1999) to make this exemplary translation more widely available. Aside from the minor stylistic changes and the romanization of all Chinese and Japanese characters in adherence to the publishing guidelines of the BDK English Tripiṭaka Series, this edition reproduces as closely as possible the original translation.

"Reading the Shōbōgenzō is the best way to come to an exact understanding of Buddhist theory..." from the Translator's Preface.


Taishō 2582

Volume 82

Shōbōgenzō: The True Dharma-eye Treasury

In this work, Dōgen presents the tenets of the Sōtō school--not in classical Chinese, as was customary of Buddhist scholars of the day, but in Japanese.

To clarify his own standpoint, Dōgen discusses in detail the differences between his views and those of other Buddhist schools; hence one is able to gain a comprehensive understanding of his thought. The title refers to the true teachings taught by the Buddha during the span of his life, and in this work all aspects of Buddhist doctrine, scriptures, way of life and practice are described from the standpoint of the author. This work is held in high regard, being considered the most outstanding philosophical work to come out of Japan.

Dōgen originally intended to write a work of 100 fascicles, but owing to his premature death from illness he got only as far as the 95th fascicle.

Jp. Shōbōgenzō (正法眼藏), composed by Dōgen. 95 fascicles.

Table of Contents

A Message on the Publication of the English Tripiṭaka   NUMATA Yehan    v
Editorial Foreword    MAYEDA Sengaku    vii
Publisher’s Foreword    John R. McRae    ix
Note on the BDK English Tripiṭaka Series Reprint Edition xi
Translators’ Introduction   Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross    xv

Shōbōgenzō: The True Dharma-eye Treasury, Volume I
Chapter One. Bendōwa: A Talk about Pursuing the Truth 3
Chapter Two. Maka-hannya-haramitsu: Mahāprajnāpāramitā 31
Chapter Three. Genjō-kōan: The Realized Universe 41
Chapter Four. Ikka-no-myōju: One Bright Pearl 49
Chapter Five. Jū-undō-shiki: Rules for the Hall of Accumulated Cloud 59
Chapter Six. Soku-shin-ze-butsu: Mind Here and Now Is Buddha 65
Chapter Seven. Senjō: Washing 75
Chapter Eight. Raihai-tokuzui: Prostrating to the Marrow of Attainment 89
Chapter Nine. Keisei-sanshiki: The Voices of the River Valley
and the Form of the Mountains 109
Chapter Ten. Shoaku-makusa: Not Doing Wrongs 127
Chapter Eleven. Uji: Existence-time 143
Chapter Twelve. Kesa-kudoku: The Merit of the Kaṣāya 157
Chapter Thirteen. Den-e: The Transmission of the Robe 195
Chapter Fourteen. Sansuigyō: The Sutra of Mountains and Water 217
Chapter Fifteen. Busso: The Buddhist Patriarchs 235
Chapter Sixteen. Shisho: The Certificate of Succession 245
Chapter Seventeen. Hokke-ten-hokke: The Flower of Dharma Turns the Flower of Dharma 263
Chapter Eighteen. Shin-fukatoku: Mind Cannot Be Grasped (The Former) 289
Chapter Nineteen. Shin-fukatoku: Mind Cannot Be Grasped (The Latter) 297
Chapter Twenty. Kokyō: The Eternal Mirror 313
Chapter Twenty-one. Kankin: Reading Sutras 341
Appendix I. Chinese Masters 359
Appendix II. Fukanzazengi: Universal Guide to the Standard Method of Zazen (Rufubon—The Popular Edition) 363
Appendix III. Busso: The Buddhist Patriarchs 371
Appendix IV. The Kaṣāya 373
Appendix V. Traditional Temple Layout 375
Appendix VI. Lotus Sutra References 381

Glossary of Sanskrit Terms 413
Bibliography 447
Index 455
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripiṭaka (First Series) 487