I. Zen thought and "cessation of thinking"

    It cannot be denied that the tradition of dhyaana(Ch'an, So.GIF (312 bytes)n, Zen) has its origin in pre-Buddhist Indian philosophy, because it seems quite definite, according to Buddhist scriptures, that the Buddha has practiced dhyaana and asceticism before the enlightenment(bodhi).(1)

    When dhyaana theory, or Zen thought, was introduced into Buddhism, it is most probable that the theory was modified from the standpoint of Buddhist philosophy. Therefore, if we try to understand the original or genuine form of Zen thought, we are obliged to clarify the meanings of Zen thought in its pre-Buddhist stage.

    Then, what were the essential characters of pre-Buddhist Zen thought? The essence of Zen thought in those days, I think, lied in its idea of "cessation of thinking"(2) and its inseparable connection with aatman(self) theory. It seems certain that the goal of dhyaana theory then was "cessation of thinking", because we can find, in the early Buddhist scriptures, the various theories of dhyaana or samaadhi, the goals of which can be construed as "cessation of thinking."

    For example, the word "sa^n^naa-vedayita-nirodha"() of the sa^n^naa-vedayitanirodha-samaapatti seems to mean "cessation of thinking and sensation." We can also understand that, it is "sa.mj^naa"(sa^n^naa )," the thinking faculty, that was denied by the nevasa^n^naanaasa^n^naa-aayatana-samaadhi(ުުު). Moreover, because the term "nimitta"() of the animitto ceto-samaadhi() means the object of "sa.mj^naa." Thus, we can understand that, in this samaadhi also, "cessation of thinking" seems to be aimed at as its goal.(3)

    However, against the argument above, it may be objected that the dhyaana theories above mentioned are not those practiced in pre-Buddhist stage, because they are found in Buddhist scriptures. But we cannot assume that all the theories found in Buddhist scriptures are of Buddhist origins. As for the dhyaana theories mentioned above, it seems that they have their origins in pre-Buddhist stage of Indian philosophy. In those days of India, the practices of asceticism() and dhyaana were quite popular among ascetics(^sramana ڦ), as is shown by the fact that asceticism and dhyaana were two chief virtues practiced in Jainism, which I think was the typical example of pre-Buddhist ascetic philosophy.

    According to Buddhist scriptures, the Buddha himself practiced dhyaana and asceticism for six years before his enlightenment. It is stated that he studied the aaki^nca^n^na-aayatana-samaadhi() from the master AA.laara kaalaama, and studied the nevasa^n^naanaasa^n^naa-aayatana-samaadhi from the master Uddaka Raamaputta. So if we rely on this scriptural statement, we can conclude that the nevasa^n^naa-naasa^n^naa-aayatana-samaadhi, which was counted as the last of the four formless dhyaanas() in the early Buddhist classification of dhyaanas, was of pre-Buddhist and non-Buddhist origin.

    It goes without saying that we cannot entirely rely on the scriptural statements concerning the two masters of the Buddha in question. But I think it is most probable that the dhyaana theories, which the Buddha studied before his enlightenment, had as their goals "cessation of thinking."

    In the case of the theory of the four dhyaanas in the material world() also, I think the leading idea was nothing other than "cessation of thinking and sensation," because, in the theory, the process of gradually calming and suspending all mental functions including "thinking and sensation" is explicitly stated. In fact, in the Majjhima-Nikaaya(MN), it is stated as follows:

    Having separated myself from desires(kaama) and evil properties, I have accomplished the first dhyaana, i.e. the joy and happiness(piiti-sukha), which[still] possesses "vitakka" and "vicaara."

    Then, owing to the extinction of "vitakka" and "vicaara," I have accomplished the second dhyaana, i.e. the joy and happiness born from samaadhi, inwardly pure and concentrated, which no longer possesses "vitakka" and "vicaara."

    Then, owing to the separation from joy, having become indifferent and composed, rightly conscious, I have enjoyed happiness by my body(kaaya).

    Namely, I have accomplished the third dhyaana, of which the sacred(aarya) explained "[one becomes] indifferent and composed, abiding in happiness."

    Then, owing to the abandonment of both happiness and pain(dukkha), and owing to the former extinction of joy and sorrow, I have accomplished the fourth dhyaana, which is purified by indifference and composure, without pain and happiness.


    In this passage, I think "vitakka" and "vicaara," which are made extinct in the second dhyaana, both mean the faculty of conceptual thinking(4), while pain and happiness, abandoned in the fourth dhyaana, are the variaties of sensation(vedanaa). So we can understand that, by the theory of four dhyaanas of the material world expressed in the passage above, "cessation of thinking and sensation" is definitely meant as its goal.

    Moreover, I think Fujita Klong_o.GIF (526 bytes)tatsu is right when he claims that the theory in question as well as the theory of the four formless dhyaanas was of non-Buddhist origin. Further, according to Fujita, the sa^n^naavedayitanirodha or the nirodha-samaapatti() could not have significance from the original standpoint of early Buddhism, because we can distinguish it from mere death only because it still has life(aayu), bodily heat(usmaa) and clarity of sense faculties.(5)

    Thus, we may have the conclusion that the leading idea of the original form of Zen thought was "cessation of thinking and sensation," aimed at as the goal of the various dhyaana theories of non-Buddhist origin.

    Later, in the fifth century A.D., it was stated in the Yogasuutra as follows:

    Yoga is the cessation of mental functions(citta-v.rtti-nirodha).


    This definition of "yoga," I think, shows clearly the fundamental idea of the whole Zen thought, namely, "cessation of all mental functions including thinking and sensation." However, it should be noted that "cessation or denial of thinking" especially has played the central role in the whole history of Zen thought. In other words, we can say that "thinking" has been regarded as something like "original evil" in the history of Zen thought.

    For instance, we can read the strongest aversion to "sa.m^naa"() in the whole of the A.t.thakavagga chapter of the Suttanipaata(Sn). A typical example is found in the following verse of the chapter:

    For him whose "sa.mj^naa" is abandoned(sa^n^naa-viratta)(6), there are no bondages.


    It seems undeniable that the main theme of the chapter was "cessation or denial of thinking."

    In the texts of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism we can find many passages where "cessation or denial of thinking" is preached. For example, by the passages in the Ratification of True Principles(̽), we can understand that Mo-ho-yenؤʸ, who is considered to have participated in the well-known bSam yas debate held at the end of the eighth century in Tibet, taught that one can attain Buddhahood merely by abandoning "sa.mj^naa." In fact, in the Ratification of True Principles it is stated as follows:

    If one becomes separated from false "sa.mj^naa"() without giving rise to false mind, the true nature, originally existent, and the omniscience [of the Buddha] will be naturally manifested [to him].(7)

    Mo-ho-yen's rejection of "sa.mj^naa" was based on the following two passages of the Diamond Sutra:

    [A] Some people, if they become separated from "marks"(),are called Buddhas.
    [, ٣]

    (Taisho, 8,750b)

    [B] All "marks"() are false.
    [, ]


    Here the original Sanskrit for "mark" in Passage[A] is "sa.mj^naa," while that for "mark" in Passage[B] is "lak.sa.na." However, because Mo-ho-yen, when he quoted these two passages in the Ratification of True Principles, altered "mark"() into "sa.mj^naa"(), he was able to mark the passages the scriptural basis for his theory of "separation from sa.mj^naa."(8)

    Here we must remember the fact that "nimitta"(, mark) was held to be the object of "sa.mj^naa"() in the Northern Abhidharma treatises.(9) So we have good reasons to consider that the Chinese words "hsiang"() and "hsiang"() are sometimes interchangeable in the texts of Chinese Buddhism in general. Thus, although Mo-ho-yen was wrong in understanding the original meaning or the Sanskrit meaning of Passage[B], his interpretation of "separation from sa.mj^naa" was quite consistent concerning the Chinese translations of the two passages in question.

    As to Mo-ho-yen's understanding of "sa.mj^naa," it must be noted that all "sa.mj^naa" are, according to him, totally false without exception. In other words, he did not accept the difference between true "sa.mj^naa" and false "sa.mj^naa." This theory seems to contradict with our common sense ideas, because we ordinarily think that there are two kinds of judgement, i.e. wrong judgement and right judgement. But Mo-ho-yen thought otherwise. Every judgement or every thought is wrong without exception, according to him.(10) So for him "thinking" or "sa.mj^naa" was something like "original evil," as is known from the following passage:

    [Question] What is the defect of "sa.mj^naa"?

    [Answer] The defect of "sa.mj^naa" is that it covers the omniscience which sentient beings(sattva) possess originally and makes them reborn in the three evil destinations so that they have everlasting transmigrations.(11)

    It seems noteworthy that Mo-ho-yen rejected, as something like "original evil," not only "sa.mj^naa"() but also "kuan"(κ) in the Ratification of True Principles. So he was famous for his advocation of "pu-kuan"(κ).(12) Then, what was the meaning of "kuan," which he rejected so vigorously? His theory of "pu-kuan" also was based on a passage of a sutra. It was the following passage from Kumaarajiiva's translation of the Vimalakiitrinirde^sa-suutra:

    [C] "pu-kuan"(κ) is enlightenment(bodhi) [κ], because it is separated from "yüan"() [i.e. aalambana-pratyaya].
    "pu-hsing() is enlightenment, because it is "Wu-i-nien"(ҷ).


    Mo-ho-yen quoted the phrase "pu-kuan is enlightenment" in the Ratification of True Principles.(13) But because the original Sanskrit text of the sutra is not available, it is very difficult to ascertain the original Sanskrit words for "kuan"(κ) of "pu-kuan" and for "i-nien"(ҷ) of "wu-i-nien" in Passage[C].(14) However, according to Hsüan-tsang's translation(15) and Tibetan translation,(16) it seems certain that the original Sanskrit for "i-nien" is "manasikaara," while that for "kuan" seems "samaaropa," according to Tibetan translation, because the Tibetan word corresponding to "i-nien" is "sgro btags pa."(17) But my opinion at present is that we cannot deny the possibility that the original Sanskrit for "kuan" was also "manasikaara," because it seems improbable that Kumaarajiiva translated "samaaropa" by the word "kuan."(18)

    Anyway, I think we can assume that Mo-ho-yen meant, by advocation "pu-kuan," the rejection of "manasikaara." In fact, it might be an indirect evidence that kamala^siila's opponent in the third Bhaavanaakrama, who is generally considered to be Mo-ho-yen, advocated "amanasikaara" and "asm.rti" there.

    Thus, it seems evident that not only "sa.mj^naa" but also "manasikaara" was rejected as "original evil" by Mo-ho-yen. Then what is the meaning of "manasikaara"? It is needless to say that this term has been quite important from the beginning of Buddhist tradition, because it is stated in the Mahaavagga chapter of the Vinaya that the Buddha did "manasikaara"(manasaakaasi) on Dependent-arising(pratiityasamutpaada) in regular and reverse orders at the first portion of the night of his enlightenment.(19) So if we can rely on this scriptural statement concerning the Buddha's enlightenment, we may conclude that the Buddha's enlightenment was nothing other than "manasikaara" of Dependent-arising. It goes without saying that we cannot accept the scriptural statement in question as expressing literally the historical facts. But at least we can understand that the compilers of the Mahaavagga chapter of the Vinaya seem to have been of the intention to express the interpretation that the Buddha's enlightenment lied in "manasikaara" of Dependent-arising.

    Anyway, at least we can say that "manasikaara" has been an important technical term from the beginning of Buddhist tradition. However, the Abhidharma definition of "manasikaara" as "cetasa aabhoga" (directing mind [to objects])(20) seems insufficient. In Japanese Buddhist studies, "manasikaara" is generally translated by Chinese word "tso-i"(), and sometimes translated by English word "attention." But I cannot approve these translations. As to the Chinese word "ts-i," although it is well-known for being used by Hsüan-tsang for translating the term "manasikaara," it is just a word-for-word translation of "manasikaara," and besides is not the sole Chinese translation of the term. The following is a list of examles of Chinese translations by diffrent translators for "manasikaara"(21):

    Kumaarajiiva: ҷ·ҷ

    Paramaartha: ··κ

    Hsüan-tsang: ··κ

    Among the examples shown above, "ssu-wei"() seems to be the most appropriate for translating "manasikaara," because I think "manasikaara" primarily means "thinking," like "sa.mj^naa." If we consider that the meaning of "manasikaara" is merely "attention," we cannot exactly understand the meanings of Mo-ho-yen's denial of "manasikaara" and Kamala^siila's vindication fo "manasikaara." Thus we can reach the conclusion that Mo-ho-yen advocated "separation from thinking," and rejected "sa.mj^naa" and "manasikaara" as the terms meaning "thinking."

    It is quite noteworthy that Mo-ho-yen's denial of "sa.mj^naa" and "manasikaara" was evidently under the influence of Shen-hui (684-78)(22), the famous advocator of the so-called "Southern School." He quoted, in his Platform Speech Ӧ, Passage[A] of the Diamond sutra(23) and the underlined parts(κҷͺ) of Passage[C] of the Vimalakiirti-suutra.(24) Moreover, he stated in the Platform Speech as follows:

    The mere "pu-tso-i"(, amanasikaara), without mind rising, is the true "we-nien"(ҷ). --- All sentient beings are originally markless(wu-hsiang, ). All marks() are false minds().
    If mind becomes markless(), it is immediately the Buddha's mind.(25)

    We must remember here the interchangeability of "hsiang"() and "hsiang"() in Chinese Buddhist texts. In other words, the word "hsiang"() used in the passage above must be interpreted as "hsiang"() which means "sa.mj^naa." According to this interpretation, it is quite clear that Shen-hui's message in the passage above is totally based on Passage[A] and Passage[B] of the Diamond Sutra, because "all marks are false minds"(,ܴ) in the passage above is merely a modification of Passage[B] (,), and because "if mind becomes markless, it is immediately the Buddha's mind" there is simply an alter ation of Passage[A] (. ٣).(26)

    Thus it is clear that Shen-hui, like Mo-ho-yen, denied "sa.mj^naa" and asserted that one can attain Buddhahood only by abandoning "sa.mj^naa," based on Passages[A] and [B] of the Diamond Sutra. Moreover, shen-hui also stated, in the passage above quoted, the denial of "manasikaara," i.e. "amanasikaara," by the word "pu-tso-i"(). But it shoud be noted that the word "wu-nien"(ҷ) used there also means "amanasikaara," because it seems improbable that Shen-hui was not aware that there had been some cases where the term "manasikaara" was translated by Chinese word "nien"(ҷ). Therefore, we may conclude that, for Shen-hui, the terms "pu-tso-i" () and "wu-nien"(ҷ) are synonymous, both meaning "amanasikaara."

    To sum up, Shen-hui's theory of "no thinking" was expressed by three words, i.e. "wu-hsiang"() meaning "a-sa.mj^naa," and "pu-tso-i"() and "wu-nien"(ҷ) both meaning "amanasikaara." This theory of "no thinking" was, needless to say, representing Shen-hui's central position, because he stated in the Platform Speech that he erected "wu-nien" as his central thesis(ҷ).(27)

    The influence of Shen-hui's theory of "no thinking" is to be found almost everywhere in Ch'an texts later than Shen-hui. We have already seen an example in the Ratification of True Principles. But Mo-ho-yen, because he belonged to the so-called "Northern School," did not use the term "wu-nien,"(28) The direct influence can be found in the Li-tai fa-pao-chi(774). According to the text, Wu-chu (714-774) stated as follows:

    If [one becomes] "wu-nien," he will see the Buddha.
    If [one is] "yu-nien" (ҷ), he will transmigrate.(29)

    [ҷ̸. ҷ]

    Moreover, in the text, Wu-chu is described as the person who have "exclusively stopped thinking"(Ө).(30) It goes without saying that Shen-hui's influence was found in the Platform Sutra Ӧ(Yampolsky ed.), according to which it is stated by Hui-neng(638-713) as follows:

    This teaching has established "wu-nien" as its thesis[ءҷ].(31)


    In Japanese Zen Buddhism also, the theory of "no thinking" or "cessation of thinking" has been the central idea. For example, DogenԳ(1200-1253), stated in his earliest work Fukan-zazen-gi (1227), as follows:

    Suspend the functions of "citta," "manas" and "vij^naana."
    Stop the conceptions of "nien"(ҷ), "hsiang"() and "kuan"(κ).(32)

    [, ҷκ]

    Here the terms "nien" and "kuan" must be interpreted as the translations of "manasikaara," while the word "hsiang" is to be construed as that of "sa.mj^naa." It is clear that Dogen meant here the cessation of all mental function, especially "cessation of thinking."

    Thus it is now clearly known that Zen thought, from the pre-Buddhist stage to Dogen, has rejected "thinking" as something like "original evil" and has advocated "cessation of thinking." But why was "thinking" rejected so ardently? My opinion is the following. It is undeniable that the essence of Zen thought lies in its idea of "concentration," or "cittasya eka-agrataa"(one-pointedness of mind),(33) to use the Abhidharma definition of "samaadhi." It is quite noteworthy that the word "eka"(one) is used here. The term seems to indicate that the idea of "concentration" cannot be established without conceiving the existence of something one(eka). In other words, the theory of "concentraion," or Zen thought, presupposes the existence of something which is ontologically one(eka) and equal(sama) without distinction(nirvikalpa). In this sense, it is also to be noted that the word "sama"(34) (equal) is found in both terms "samaadhi" and "samaapatti."

    Thus, to state rather extremely, it seems evident that Zen thought is possible only when it is based on monism. And this is why Zen thought has been inseparably connected with aatman theory. Then why is "thinking" rejected in monism? It is because both "thinking" and "language," which makes "thinking" possible, have the function of dichotomizing or differentiating objects. Thus, roughly speaking, "thinking" and "language" are antagonistic to monism. Zen thought, based on monism, denies "thinking" and "language."

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    II. Zen thought and aatman / Buddha-nature

    It is generally considered that the connection of Zen thought with aatman theory or monism is not fully evident. In fact, Jainism, the chief representative of pre-Buddhist ascetic philosophy, and the Yoga school, whose definition of "yoga" as "cessation of mental functions" has been discussed above, are based on dualism. However, it is undeniable that both Jainism and the Yoga school have evidently admitted aatman theory. Especially, Jain theory of asceticism is theoretically not possible without accepting the difference of impure body(B) and pure mind(A), i.e. aatman. This theory is indeed dualistic. But I believe that this is the simplest or the most general form of aatman theory in India. The monistic aatman theory of ^Sa^nkara, although held to be the most orthodox theory, cannot be considered to be the general idea in India. Without accepting two mutually opposing existences, i.e. (A) and (B), even the theory of "liberaton"(35)(mok.sa) cannot have been established in India, because "liberation" was conceived there primarily as that of aatman(A) from impure body(B). Jain asceticism was nothing other than the endeavor to reduce impure body(B) to nothing and to liberate aatman(A) from the body.

    Then, what is the meaning of "thinking" in this dualistic aatman theory? In the theory, it is evident that "thinking" and "aatman" are considered to be opposed to each other, because the former is dichotomizing function, while the latter is one and the same ontological existence(eka, sama). So it is doubtless that, among two principles, "thinking" was regarded as Principle(B), impure, false and to be reduced to nothing. Here lied the logical ground for establishing the Zen theory of "cessation of thinking."

    The connection of Zen thought with aatman theory is also found in the A.t.thakavagga chapter of the Suttanipaata. We have already discussed the rejection of "sa.mj^naa" in the chapter(Sn,v.847). Besides, in the chapter, there are many passages where the existence of "aatman" is positively admitted.(36) For example, the following expression are found there:

    "the abode aatman" (bhavanam attano) [Sn,v.937]

    "the nirvana of aatman" (nibbaanam attano) [Sn,v.940]

    "the stain of aatman" (malam attano) [Sn,v.962]

    "possessing aatman uncovered" (abhinibbutatta) [Sn,v.783]

    The strong aversion to "thinking"(B) and the positive acceptance of "aatman"(A) are not mutually incompatible in the chapter, because the leading idea there was the dualistic aatman theory explained above. Thus it goes without saying that we cannot directly reconstruct the fundamental ideas of the earliest form of Buddhism, simply relying on the accounts of A.t.thakavagga or the Suttanipaata, which principally was but a Buddhist version of the ascetic literature quite popular and prevalent in those days of India.(37)

    Moreover, as for the two masters, from whom the Buddha studied two kinds of dhyaana, the accounts in the twelfth chapter of the Buddhacarita are not to be ignored. In fact, the master AA.laara, who taught aaki^nca^n^na-aayatana-samaadhi, was there described as a Saa.mkhya phlosopher, and the master Uddaka also was there stated to have admitted the existence of "aatman." It goes without saying that we cannot simply accept the accounts in the Buddhacarita as representing historical facts. But I think they are improtant because they seem to indicate that the two samaadhis in question were of non-Buddhist origin. It is also to be noted that Saa.mkhya philosophy was the basis for the fundamental ideas of the Yoga school. Moreover, "aaki^nca^n^na" (possessionlessness, ) was one of the five chief virtues of Jainism, and theoretically presupposed the distinction between "aatman"(A) and "non-aatman"(B), because "aaki^nca^n^na" was the theory enjoining people from possessing and adhering to "non-aatman," being impure and transient.

    In early Buddhism, "dhyaana" was placed at the second level of "three studies" (tisso sikkhaa, ߲). In other words, "dhyaana" was merely the means to attain "praj^naa"(right cognition). The final goal of Buddhism was considered to be "praj^naa," or the right cognition of Buddhist philosophy. It seems clear that this evaluation of "dhyaana" contradicts the general "dhyaana" theory of "cessation of thinking," because right cognitions cannot be produced from "cessation of thinking." However, I do not think that the "dhyaana" theory of "cessation of thinking" has never been preached in the whole history of Buddhism. On the contrary, the theory has been taught quite often within Buddhism, as is shown by the arguments above.

    Then, why was Buddhist evaluation of "dhyaana" as the means to attain "praj^naa" altered into the general theory of "cessation of thinking"? I think it was due to the influence of monism or "aatman" theory. For instance, is is generally believed that Buddha's cognition(j^naana) is "distinctionless congnition"(nirvikalpa-j^naana ܬ).(38) But the concept of "distinctionless cognition" is not so old in Buddhist philosophy. I do not think that the term "distinctionless cognition" (nirvikalpa-j^naana) was used before the rise of Mahaayaana Buddhism. At the second century A.D., when the oldest form of the A.s.tasaahasrikaa-praj^naapaaramitaa-suutra was translated into Chinese for the first time(179), it seems that the term "distinctionless"(nirvikalpa) was found in the text, and not the term "distinctionless cognition"(nirvikalpa-j^naana). The same can be said about the Muulamadhyamakakaarikaa of Naagaarjuna(c.150-250), where only one example of the term "distinctionless" can be found(,9). However, the Yogaacara philosophers of the fifth century used the term "distinctionless cognition" (nirvikalpa-j^naana) quite often. These facts seems to indicate that the concept of "distinctionless cognition" was preceded by the concept of "distinctionless" in Buddhist tradition, and that the term "nirvikalpa-j^naana" (distinctionless cognition) originally meant "the cognition of what is distinctionless." It goes without saying that what is distinctionless means the single substance or the highest reality, postulated by monism.

    Thus we can understand how the concept of "distinctionless cognition" was formed under the influence of Hindu monism. At around the latter half of the fourth century A.D., the theory of Buddha-nature(buddha-dhaatu) was formed in the Mahaa-parinirvaa.na-suutra. The sutra is well known for its accpting "aatman" theory openly. The following statement is found in the first Chinese translation(418):

    The [term] "Buddha" means" aatman.(39)" [].


    According to my understanding, the theory of Buddha-nature or the theory of Tathaagatagarbha was nothing other than a Buddhist version of "aatman" theory in Hinduism. When the theory of Buddha-nature was introduced into China, there were some cases where the theory was modified under the influence of Taoist philosophy. Thus, two types of Buddha-nature theory(40) was formed in China.

    One is Buddha-nature Immanence theory Ү, and the other is Buddha-nature Manifestation theory . the former is the original type, or Indian type, according to which Buddha-nature is considered to exist in one's body, like "aatman." In fact, it is stated in the Mahaaparinirvaa.na-suutra as follows:

    All sentient beings possess Buddha-nature, which is in their bodies.

    [, .]


    The latter, Buddha-nature Manifestation theory, is the developed or the extreme type, according to which Buddha-nature is wholly manifested on all phenomenal existences, including insentient beings such as trees and stones. In other words, the phenomenal things(), as such, are regarded as Buddha-nature itself, and thus absolutized totally, according to the theory.

    Without correctly making distinction between these two theories of Buddha-nature, it seems difficult to understand the philosophical meaning of Ch'an Buddhism. Of these two theories, we will at first discuss Buddha-nature Immanence theory in Ch'an Buddhism. This theory is found in the writings or the analects of Tao-hsinԳ, Hung-jen, Shen-hsiu, Hui-neng, Shen-hui, Ma-tsuة, Pai-chang, Ta-chu, Huang-po, Lin-chi, Tsung-mi and so on.(41) For example, the Hsiu-hsin yao-lun (42) and the Kuan-hsin lun κ(43) have the following passage:

    Sentient beings have diamond-like Buddha-nature in their bodies.

    [, ˧]

    It is clear that Hui-neng's central position was Buddha-nature Immanence theory, because he stated in his commentary on the Diamond Sutra, i.e. the Chin-kang ching chieh-i ˧,(44) as follows:

    There is Buddha-nature, originally pure, in one's own body().(45)

    In the commentary, he also admitted that Buddha-nature is identical with "aatman" as follows:

    "AAtman" is [Buddha-]nature, and [Buddha-]nature is "aatman."(46)

    [, ]

    As is stated above, Buddha-nature Immanence theory is not other than Indian Tathaagatagarbha theory, which in turn is a Buddhist version of "aatman" theory in Hinduism. So, because the theoretical structure of Buddha-nature Immanence theory is nothing other than "aatman" theory, Hui-neng's identification of Buddha-nature with "aatman" was correct.

    It is needless to say that Buddha-nature Immanence theory is stated in the following passage of Shen-hui's Platform Speech:

    Everyone has Buddha-nature in one's body.(47)


    The connection of Buddha-nature Immanence theory with "aatman" theory seems evident in the case of Lin-chi. In the Lin-chi lu , his famous teaching is found as follows:

    On your lump of red flesh, there is a true man of no rank, always going in and out of the face-gate of every one of you.(48)

    [ӥ߾, , ڦ]

    As I argued before,(49) I consider the word "lump of red flesh"(ӥ), or the corresponding word "heart of flesh-lump"(ӥ) in the Sung version of the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu, to mean "heart"(h.rdaya) and think that the "true man of no rank" means "aatman," because, in Indian "aatman" theory from the times of the Atharva Veda, it has been considered that "aatman" exists in "heart" (h.rdaya). Moreover, ^Sa^nkara(c.700-750), the chief representative of the Vedaanta school, explained the word "heart" found in the B.rhadaara.nyaka Upani.sad as follows:

    The term "heart" (h.rdaya) means a lump of flesh (maa.msa-pi.n.da) possessing the shape of lotus(pu.n.dariika).(50)

    The Sanskrit word "maa.msa-pi.n.da" (lump of flesh) was translated by Hsüan-tsang as "jou-t'uan"(ӥ). So it is clear that the "lump of red flesh"(ӥ) means "heart" (h.rdaya) and that "true man"() means "aatman."

    It does not seem so inappropriate to say that the mainstream of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism has lied in Buddha-nature Immanence theory. But if we ignore the fact that the other stream of Buddha-nature manifestation theory(51) was definitely found in the history of Ch'an Buddhism, we cannot reach the correct understandings.

    The theoretical founder of Buddha-nature Manifestation theory may have been Chi-tsang (549-623), because he admitted, in his Ta-ch'eng hsüan-lun (taisho,45,40b) that grasses and trees also have Buddha-nature, and that they can attain Buddhahood.(52) The attainment of Buddhahood by grasses and trees() thereafter had become the central tenet of Buddha-nature Manifestation theory, because the attainment of Buddhahood by insentient beings cannot be established in Buddha-nature Immanence theory.

    In Ch'an Buddhaism the attainment of Buddhahood by grasses and trees was admitted in Chüeh-kuan lun κ as follows:

    Not only human beings but also grasses and trees have been predicted [by the Buddha to attain Buddhahood(53)].

    [ުԼ, ]

    However, the most confident advocator of Buddha-nature manifestation theory was Hui-chung ( -776), because he not only advocated the theory but also denied Buddha-nature Immanence theory. In the Tsu-t'ang chi , he stated as follows:

    The insentient things such as walls and tiles are the mind of the old Buddha.(54)

    [, ڪ, ͯ]

    Here "the mind of the old Buddha" means Buddha-nature or something regarded as absolute. Therefore, because phenomenal things including insentient beings are here considered to be Huddha-nature, it is evident that Buddha-nature manifestation theory is stated here. Moreover, in the same text Hui-chung stated as follows:

    My [theory of] Buddha-nature is that body and soul are identical ---, while the southern [theory of] Buddha-nature is that body is impermanent and that soul is permanent.(55)

    [, , ۰, , ]

    Here the second theory is Buddha-nature Immanence theory, because in the theory the dualistic contraposition between Buddha-nature(A) and body(B) is indispensable. For instance, it is considered that Buddha-nature(A) is permanent and pure, while body(B) is impermanent and impure. Moreover, it goes without saying that, according to the theory, Buddha-nature is considered to be pure mind or soul, because Buddha-nature is but a Buddhist version of "aatman." Therefore, it is quite evident that Hui-chung criticised Buddha-nature Immanence theory in the passage above.

    It is to be noted that Buddha-nature Immanence theory is obliged to have the dualistic structure, like the general idea of "aatman" theory which we have discussed above. On the contrary, Buddha-nature Manifestation theory has the structure of extreme monism, where all distinctions, including that between body and soul, are not admitte. Because phenomenal existences or things are, as such, absolutized by the theory, it seems clear that the theory is an ultimate form or an extremity of the theory of "affirming the realities"(56)().

    Anyway, after Hui-ching, the advocators of Buddha-nature Manifestation theory repeatedly criticised Buddha-nature Immanence theory. For example, it is well known that the criticism on Lin-chi's theory by Hsüan-sha (835-908) is found in the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu(Taisho,51.345a). But it is not correctly recognized that Hsüan-sha's phiolsophical standpoint was Buddhapnature Manifestation theory, In the Hsüan-sha kuang-lu , he states as follows:

    Mountain is mountain. River is River.---
    There is no place, in the whole world of ten quarters, that is not true.(57)

    [ߣߣ, ...۰ͣ, ڱ]

    Here every phenomenal existence, especially insentient being, is affirmed as absolute.(58) So it is doubtless that Buddha-nature Manifestation theory is stated here.

    In Japanese Zen Buddhism, Dogen, before his visit to Kamakura(1247-1248), was an ardent advocator of Buddha-nature Manifestation theory. Based on the theory, he criticised Buddha-nature Immanence theory in his Bendlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)wa(59)   ܧԳ (1231). It is evident that his criticism there was strongly influenced by Hui-chung's criticism on Buddha-nature Immanence theory, because Dogen mentioned there Hui-chung as his authority and expressed his own position by the words "body and soul are identical"(). But of course Dogen's criticism was not actually directed to the upholders of Buddha-nature Immanence theory in China. His criticism there, the criticism of the so-called "shin-jlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) slong_o.GIF (526 bytes)-metsu"() theory, was directed to the followers of the Nihon-daruma-shuu ӹب, because its position was Buddha-nature Immanence theory.(60)

    Therefore, because Dogen's own position in the Bendlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)wa was Buddha-nature manifestation theory, the extreme type of Buddha-nature theory, I cannot approve of Hakamaya Noriaki's interpretation that Dogen criticised "original enlightenment thought" () in the Bendlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)wa.(61) I am rather sceptical of the validity of the term "original enlightenment." Hakamaya's definition of the term seems indistinct. My opinion is the following. If we do not make distinction between thetwo types of Buddha-nature theory, and if we do not recognize that Dogen's own position in his early days was also one type of Buddha-nature theory, we cannot stop praising Dogen as the excellent philosopher who denied the general interpretation of Buddha-nature as something substantial and permanent.(62)

    It is quite noteworthy that Dogen criticiced his former position, i.e. Buddha-nature Manifestation theory, after his return from Kamakura. In fact, in the Shizen-biku volume of the Twelve-fascicle Shlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)blong_o.GIF (526 bytes)genzlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) , he criticised Buddha-nature manifestation theory as follows:

    Some people say that -----to see mountains and rivers is to see Tathaagatas.

    They do not know the way of Buddhas and Patriarchs.(63)

    I do not think that Dogen's criticism here is not fully logical. Nevertheless, it is evident that he tried to criticise Buddha-nature manifestation theory without declaring that the object of his criticism was nothing other than his own position in his former period.(64)

    In the Twelve-fascicle Shlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)blong_o.GIF (526 bytes)genzlong_o.GIF (526 bytes), the word "busshlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)" () was never used. On the contrary, he stressed the theory of "inga"(), meaning Dependent-arising, according to my interpretation. Although it goes without saying that Dogen was not freed from the way of thinking influenced by Tathaagatagrabha thought, it can not be denied that his philosophical position was gradually changed from Tathaagatagarbha thought to the theory of Dependent-arising(pratiityasamutpaada), which I consider to be the essence of Buddhism.

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    III. Conclusion

    According to the Eiheiklong_o.GIF (526 bytes)roku , Dogen stated in a "jlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)dlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)"(߾) [No,437] in 1251 as follows:

    Ordinary people() and non-Buddhists (Գ) also practice Zazen (). ----- If one's understanding() is identical with that of non-Buddhists, it is useless [to practice Zazen] even if he troubles his mind and body [by practicing Zazen].(65)

    I think this message of Dogen is most important. It seems that Zen practice is to be directed to attaining correct understanding of Buddhist philosophy.

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    CZ = Critical Studies on Zen Thought(Zen shislong_o.GIF (526 bytes) no hihanteki kenkyuu), Matsumoto,1994.

    DE=Dependent-arising and Emptiness(Engi to kuu), Matsumoto,1989.


    (1) Cf. MN(26), MN(36).

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    (2) Cf. CZ,pp.2-85.

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    (3) Cf. Schmithausen L., "On Some Aspects of Descriptions or Theories of 'Liberating Insight' and 'Enlightenment' in Early Buddhism, "Studien zum Jainismus und Buddhismus, Alt- und Neu-Indische Studien, No.23, 1981, p.236,n.133;CZ,p.58.

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    (4) Cf. CZ,p.84,n.106.

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    (5) Cf. Fujita k., "Genshi Bukkylong_o.GIF (526 bytes) niokeru Zenjlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Shislong_o.GIF (526 bytes)," Satlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Mitsuyuu Hakase Koki kinen Bukkylong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Ronslong_o.GIF (526 bytes), Sankiblong_o.GIF (526 bytes),1972,pp.300-308; CZ,pp.59-64.

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    (6) The word "viratta" was interpreted as "pahiina" in the Paramatthajotikaa(,p.547) and translated in the Chinese translation by the word"" (Taisho,4,180c).

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    (7) Ueyama's text(Ueyama D.,Tonklong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Bukkylong_o.GIF (526 bytes) no Kenkyuu, Hozlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)kan,1990),p.549. Cf. CZ,p.6.

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    (8) Ueyama's text,p.548,p.545. Cf.CZ,pp.7-8.

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    (9) Cf. the definition of "sa.mj^naa" as "vi.saya-nimitta-udgraha" in the Abhidharma-ko^sabhaa.sya(AKBh,Pradhan ed.,p.54,11.20-21).

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    (10) Cf.CZ,pp.8-10; Philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism(Chibetto bukkylong_o.GIF (526 bytes) tetsugaku, Matsumoto,1997),pp.288-289.

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    (11) Ueyama's text,p.546. Cf. CZ,p.57.

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    (12) Cf. Ueyama's text,p.546,p.549; CZ,pp.14-21.

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    (13) Ueyama's text,p.546.

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    (14) Cf. CZ,pp.15-17.

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    (15) The corresponding word in Hsüan-tsang's translation seems to be "" (Taisho, 14,565a).

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    (16) The corresponding word in Tibetan translation seems to be "yid la byed pa" (P.ed.Bu,198b7).

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    (17) Cf.P.ed.,Bu,198b7.

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    (18) On this point, my view has a little changed. Cf. CZ,p.17.

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    (19) Cf. Vinaya,I,p.1.

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    (20) Cf. AKBh,p.54,1.22.

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    (21) Cf. CZ,pp.18-20.

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    (22) Cf. CZ,pp.36-48.

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    (23) Hu Shih's text (Taipei,1968),p.235.

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    (24) Hu Shih's text,p.236.

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    (25) Hu Shih's text,pp.246-247.

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    (26) Cf. CZ,pp.41-42.

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    (27) Hu Shih's text,p.241.

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    (28) On this problem, cf. CZ,p.53.

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    (29) Yanagida's text(Zen no Goroku,3,Chikuma Shoblong_o.GIF (526 bytes),1976),p.170. Cf. CZ,p.50.

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    (30) Yanagida's text,p.170.

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    (31) On the formation of the Platform Sutra, I have two main perspectives. The first is that the Platform Sutra was formed on the basis of Hui-neng's commentary on the Diamond Sutra, i.e. Chin-kang-ching chieh-i, and the second is that rather strong aversion to Shen-hui is found in the Platform Sutra. On this problem, cf.CZ,chap.. In this respect, it seems that the phrase "ءҷ"(p.6.1.14) at the beginning of the seventeenth chapter of the Platform Sutra of the Tun Huang manuscript must not be altered into "ءҷ" by the Klong_o.GIF (526 bytes)shlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)ji edition, because the passage "if there is not yu-nien (ҷ), wu-nien (ҷ) also can not be established"(p.7,1.8) in the chapter can be interpreted as the message which rejected Shen-hui's thesis. On this problem, cf. CZ,pp.223-224.

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    (32) Dlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)gen Zenji Zenshuu(Chikuma Shoblong_o.GIF (526 bytes),1969,1970),p.3.

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    (33) AKBh,p.54,1.23.

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    (34) On the meaning of "sama," cf.DE,pp.243-246.

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    (35) On the theory of "liberation," cf. DE,pp.191-194.

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    (36) Cf. DE,pp.200-202.

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    (37) On my criticism of Nakamura Hajime's method of reconstructing the earliest forms of Buddhist thought by uncritically relying on the verse portions of the early Buddhist scriptures,cf. Matsumoto, "Critical Considerations on Buddhism(Bukkylong_o.GIF (526 bytes) no hihanteki Klong_o.GIF (526 bytes)satsu), Sekaizlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) No Keisei(Ajia kara kangaeru 7), Tlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)kylong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Daigaku Shuppan kai,1994,pp.137-155.

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    (38) On "nirvikalpa" and "nirvikalpa-j^naana," cf. DE,pp.238-248.

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    (39) On this passage, cf. Matsumoto, "The Nirvaa.na-sutras and aatman" (Nehangylong_o.GIF (526 bytes)to aatman), Ga No Shislong_o.GIF (526 bytes), Shunjuusha, 1991,p.150.

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    (40) On the two types of Buddha-nature theory, cf. CZ,pp.96-103;pp.589-597.

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    (41) Cf. CZ,pp.97-103,pp.193-194,n.34.

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    (42) Tanaka's text(Komazawa Daigaku Zen Kenkyuusho Nenplong_o.GIF (526 bytes), No.2,1991), p.37.

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    (43) Tanaka's text(Komazawa Daigaku Bukkylong_o.GIF (526 bytes)gakubu Kenkyuukiylong_o.GIF (526 bytes),No.4,1986),p.49.

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    (44) On my study on this commentary, cf. CZ,chap..

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    (45) Enlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Kenkyuu(Daishuu-kan, 1978),p.431.

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    (46) Enlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Kenkyuu,p.422.

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    (47) Hu Shih's text,p.232.

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    (48) Iriya Y.,Rinzairoku, Iwanami Bunko, 1989,p.20.

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    (49) Cf. CZ,chap.; Matsumoto, "On Criticising Zen Thought"(Zen shislong_o.GIF (526 bytes) hihan nitsuite), Komazawa Daigaku Zen Kenkyuusho Nenplong_o.GIF (526 bytes),No.6,pp.55-91.

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    (50) Ten Principal Upanishads with ^Saa^nkarabhaa.sya, Delhi,1964,p.894,1.22.

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    (51) It seems that Buddha-nature Manifestation theory has been dominant among the Ch'an masters belonging to the lineage of Ch'ing-yüan (673-741). I think the position of Tung-shan ߣ (807-869) also was Buddha-nature Manifestation theory, because he affirmed "Dharma-preaching by insentient beings" () On this problem, cf.CZ,pp.102-103,p.198,n.55.

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    (52) Cf.CZ,pp.101-102.

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    (53) Yanagida's text(Zenbunka Kenkyuusho,1976),p.91.

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    (54) Sodlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)shuu(Chuubun Shuppansha, 1972),p.61a.

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    (55) Sodlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)shuu,p.64a.

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    (56) I consider the philosophical position of the so called "Tendan Hongaku Hlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)mon" in Japan to be Buddha-nature Manifestation theory. Cf. Matsumoto, "Dogen and Tathaagatagarbha Thought"(Dlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)gen to nyoraizlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) shislong_o.GIF (526 bytes)), Komazawa Daigaku Bukkylong_o.GIF (526 bytes)gakubu Kenkyuukiylong_o.GIF (526 bytes),No.56,pp.136-160.

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    (57) Genshaklong_o.GIF (526 bytes)roku I(Iriya ed., 1987),p.12.

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    (58) I cannot approve of the interpretation that Hsüan-sha in his later days denied his former position(cf. Genshaklong_o.GIF (526 bytes)roku I,p.14,p.68,p.101). On this problem, I am planning to argue elsewhere.

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    (59) Cf.CZ,pp.587-597; "Dogen and Tathaagatagarbha Thought" (cf.note 56 above), pp.128-136, pp.145-148.

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    (60) Cf. "Dogen and Tathaagatagarbha Thought," pp.165-166.

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    (61) Hakamaya N.,Critiques of Original Enlightenment Thought(Hongakushislong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Hihan), Daizlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Shuppan, 1989,p.141.

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    (62) On my criticism on Hakamaya's theory, cf. CZ,chap.,especially,pp.587-597;

    "Dogen and Tathaagatagarbha Thought," pp.128-132,p.150.

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    (63) Dlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)gen Zenji Zenshuu I,p.711.

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    (64) Cf. "Dogen and Tathaagatagarbha Thought," pp.149-151,p.166,n.2.

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    (65) Dlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)genzenjizenshuu(Shunjuu-sha version), (1988),p.26. I was influenced by Ishii Shuudlong_o.GIF (526 bytes), who repeatedly stressed the importance of this "jlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)dlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)." Cf. Ishii S., "Dogen in His Last Days" (Saigo no Dlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)gen), Issues concerning the 12-fascicle Shlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)blong_o.GIF (526 bytes)genzlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) (Juunikanbon Shlong_o.GIF (526 bytes)blong_o.GIF (526 bytes)genzlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) no Shomondai), Daizlong_o.GIF (526 bytes) Shuppan, 1991,pp.359-365.

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