Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shobogenzo Ch17 (I) Hokke-ten-hokke - Introduction

Hokke-ten-hokke is translated as "The Flower of Dharma Turns the Flower of Dharma".

What is the 'Flower of the Dharma'? It is just the 'Lotus Universe'. And the Lotus Universe is just this Universe — our Universe viewed from an enlightened perspective.

The content of the buddha lands of the ten directions” is the “sole existence” of the “Flower of Dharma.” Herein, “all the buddhas of the ten directions and the three times,” and beings of anuttara samyaksaṃbodhi, have [times of] turning the Flower of Dharma, and have [times of] the Flower of Dharma turning.

From an enlightened perspective, we can see that when we are in the state of perfect enlightenment (anuttara samyaksaṃbodhi), we turn the Flower of the Dharma. In contrast, when (or perhaps even when) we are not in the state of perfect enlightenment, the Flower of the Dharma turns our Universe and us.

The Lotus Universe is grounded in an all-inclusive view of time and space. It is the manifestation of 'emptiness' in form. Because it is all-inclusive in time, because it is all-inclusive in space, because sometimes we turn the Flower of the Dharma and sometimes the Flower of the Dharma turns us, the Universe is in a state of equilibrium from which there can be no regression or deviation:

This is just the state in which “original practice of the bodhisattva way” neither regresses nor deviates. It is the “wisdom of the buddhas, profound and unfathomable.” It is the “calm and clear state of samādhi...”

The Dharma Flower’s turning may be preaching it as the “disclosure, display, realization, and entering” of buddhas who are rightful successors, and of rightful successors of buddhas. This [real wisdom] is also called the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, and it is “the method of teaching bodhisattvas.” Because this [real wisdom] has been called “all dharmas,” “Vulture Peak” exists, “space” exists, the “great ocean” exists, and the “great earth” exists, with the Flower of Dharma as their “national land.” This is just “real form”; it is “reality as it is”; “it is the wisdom of the Buddha”; it is “the constancy of the manifestation of the world”; it is “the real”; it is “the Tathāgata’s lifetime”; it is “the profound and unfathomable”; it is “the inconstancy of all actions”; it is “samādhi as [the state of] the Flower of Dharma”; it is “Śākyamuni Buddha”; it is “to turn the Flower of Dharma”; it is “the Flower of Dharma turning”; it is “the right Dharma-eye treasury and the fine mind of nirvana”; and it is “manifestation of the body to save living beings.” As “affirmation and becoming buddha,” it is maintained and relied upon, and dwelled in and retained.

The last line above suggests to me that once we have a sense of the Lotus Universe, it has a lasting effect on our perception of ourselves and our actions. That 'sense' imparts wisdom from which there is no going back -- a wisdom that "is maintained and relied upon, and dwelled in and retained."


Turner or the turned,
The one buddha vehicle,
Flower of Dharma.

Lotus Universe —
True wisdom of samadhi,
Dwelled in and retained.

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