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 II of the Shōbōgenzō, also known as The Eye and Treasury of the True Law. Volume II contains Chapters 22-41.

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 (originally published under the title 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 II
Chapter Twenty-two. Busshō: The Buddha-nature 3
Chapter Twenty-three. Gyōbutsu-yuigi: The Dignified Behavior of Acting Buddha 43
Chapter Twenty-four. Bukkyō: The Buddha’s Teaching 69
Chapter Twenty-five. Jinzu: Mystical Power 87
Chapter Twenty-six. Daigo: Great Realization 103
Chapter Twenty-seven. Zazenshin: A Needle for Zazen 115
Chapter Twenty-eight. Butsu-kōjō-no-ji: The Matter of the Ascendant State of Buddha 135
Chapter Twenty-nine. Inmo: It 151
Chapter Thirty. Gyōji: [Pure] Conduct and Observance [of Precepts] 163
Chapter Thirty-one. Kai-in-zanmai: Samādhi, State Like the Sea 229
Chapter Thirty-two. Juki: Affirmation 243
Chapter Thirty-three. Kannon: Avalokiteśvara 261
Chapter Thirty-four. Arakan: The Arhat 273
Chapter Thirty-five. Hakujushi: Cedar Trees 283
Chapter Thirty-six. Kōmyō: Brightness 293
Chapter Thirty-seven. Shinjin-gakudō: Learning the Truth with Body and Mind 305
Chapter Thirty-eight. Muchū-setsumu: Preaching a Dream in a Dream 319
Chapter Thirty-nine. Dōtoku: Expressing the Truth 333
Chapter Forty. Gabyō: A Picture of a Rice Cake 343
Chapter Forty-one. Zenki: All Functions 355

Appendix. Chinese Masters 361

Glossary of Sanskrit Terms 365
Bibliography 371
Index 379
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripiṭaka (First Series) 407