Cover of Shobogenzo Volume 4
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Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross


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Published in four volumes, this is Volume IV of the Shōbōgenzō, also known as The Eye and Treasury of the True Law. Volume IV contains Chapters 73-95 and four Appendices.

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 IV

Chapter Seventy-three. Sanjūshichi-bon-bodai-bunpō: Thirty-seven Elements of Bodhi 3
Chapter Seventy-four. Tenbōrin: Turning the Dharma Wheel 35
Chapter Seventy-five. Jishō-zanmai: Samādhi as Experience of the Self 41
Chapter Seventy-six. Dai-shugyō: Great Practice 57
Chapter Seventy-seven. Kokū: Space 71
Chapter Seventy-eight. Hatsu-u: The Pātra 79
Chapter Seventy-nine. Ango: The Retreat 85
Chapter Eighty. Tashintsū: The Power to Know Others’ Minds 117
Chapter Eighty-one. Ō-saku-sendaba: A King’s Seeking of Saindhava 131
Chapter Eighty-two. Ji-kuin-mon: Sentences to Be Shown in the Kitchen Hall 141
Chapter Eighty-three. Shukke: Leaving Family Life 147
Chapter Eighty-four. Sanji-no-gō: Karma in Three Times 155
Chapter Eighty-five. Shime: The Four Horses 169
Chapter Eighty-six. Shukke-kudoku: The Merit of Leaving Family Life 177
Chapter Eighty-seven. Kuyō-shobutsu: Serving Offerings to Buddhas 207
Chapter Eighty-eight. Kie-sanbō: Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures 235
Chapter Eighty-nine. Shinjin-inga: Deep Belief in Cause and Effect 251
Chapter Ninety. Shizen-biku: The Bhikṣu in the Fourth Dhyāna 263
Chapter Ninety-one. Yui-butsu-yo-butsu: Buddhas Alone, Together with Buddhas 289
Chapter Ninety-two. Shōji: Life and Death 299
Chapter Ninety-three. Dōshin: The Will to the Truth 303
Chapter Ninety-four. Jukai: Receiving the Precepts 309
Chapter Ninety-five. Hachi-dainingaku: The Eight Truths of a Great Human Being 317

Appendix I. Editions of the Shōbōgenzō 325
Appendix II. Butsu-kōjō-no-ji: The Matter of the Ascendant State of Buddha 329
Appendix III. Ippyakuhachi-hōmyōmon: One Hundred and Eight Gates of Dharma Illumination 343
Appendix IV. Chinese Masters 359

Glossary of Sanskrit Terms 361
Bibliography 365
Index 373
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripiṭaka (First Series) 405