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Shōbōgenzō (正法眼蔵, lit. "Treasury of the True Dharma Eye") is the title most commonly used to refer to the collection of works written in Japanese by the 13th century Japanese Buddhist monk and founder of the Japanese Sōtō Zen school, Eihei Dōgen. Several other works exist with the same title (see above), and it is sometimes called the Kana Shōbōgenzō in order to differentiate it from those. The term shōbōgenzō can also more generally as a synonym for the Buddha Dharma as viewed from the perspective of Mahayana Buddhism.
Source of the Title
Shōbōgenzō as a General Term
In Mahayana Buddhism the term True Dharma Eye Treasury (Japanese: Shōbōgenzō) refers generally to the Buddha Dharma, and in Zen Buddhism, it specifically refers to the realization of Buddha's awakening that is not contained in the written words of the sutras.
In general Buddhist usage, the term "treasury of the Dharma" refers to the written words of the Buddha's teaching collected in the Sutras as the middle of the Three Treasures of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In Zen, however, the real treasure of the Dharma is not to be found in books but in one's own Buddha Nature and the ability to see this Correct View (first of the Noble Eightfold Path) of the treasure of Dharma is called the "Treasure of the Correct Dharma Eye".
In the legends of the Zen tradition, the Shōbōgenzō has been handed down from teacher to student going all the way back to the Buddha when he transmitted the Shobogenzo to his disciple Mahākāśyapa thus beginning the Zen lineage that Bodhidharma brought to China.
The legend of the transmission of the Shōbōgenzō to Mahākāśyapa is found in several Zen texts and is one of the most referred to legends in all the writings of Zen. Among the famous koan collections, it appears as Case 6 in the Wumenguan (The Gateless Checkpoint) and Case 2 in the Denkoroku (Transmission of Light). In the legend as told in the Wumenguan, the Buddha holds up a flower and no one in the assembly responds except for Arya Kashyapa who gives a broad smile and laughs a little. Seeing Mahākāśyapa's smile the Buddha said,
I possess the Treasury of the Correct Dharma Eye , the wonderful heart-mind of Nirvana, the formless true form, the subtle Dharma gate, not established by written words, transmitted separately outside the teaching. I hand it over and entrust these encouraging words to Kashyapa.
Dahui's Shōbōgenzō and Dōgen's Shinji Shōbōgenzō
Dahui Zonggao, the famous 12th century popularizer of koans in Song Dynasty China, wrote a collection of kōans with the Chinese title Zhengfa Yanzang (正法眼藏). In Japanese this is read as Shōbōgenzō, using the same kanji for its title as Dōgen's later work. When Dōgen visited China in 1223, he first studied under Wuji Lepai, a disciple of Dahui, which is where he probably first came into contact with Dahui's Zhengfa Yanzang. In his book Dogen's Manuals of Zen Meditation, the modern scholar Carl Bielefeldt acknowledges that Dōgen likely took the title from Dahui for his own kōan collection, known now as the Shinji Shōbōgenzō. He later used the same title again for what is now his most well known work, the Kana Shōbōgenzō (now almost always referred to simply as "the Shōbōgenzō"):
Indeed the fact that Dōgen styled his effort "Shōbō genzō" suggests that he had as his model a similar compilation of the same title by the most famous of Sung masters, Ta-Hui Tsung-kao [Dahui Zonggao]. Unlike the latter, Dōgen was content here simply to record the stories without interjecting his own remarks. A few years later, however, he embarked on a major project to develop extended commentaries on many of these and other passages from the Ch'an literature. The fruit of this project was his masterpiece--the remarkable collection of essays known as the kana, or "vernacular", Shōbō genzō.
Compilation of the Shōbōgenzō
The different component texts—referred to as fascicles—of the Kana Shōbōgenzō were written between 1231 and 1253—the year of Dōgen's death (Dōgen, 2002, p. xi). Unlike most Zen writings originating in Japan at that time, including Dōgen's own Shinji Shōbōgenzō and Eihei Koroku, which were written in Classical Chinese, the Kana Shōbōgenzō was written in Japanese. The essays in Shōbōgenzō were delivered as sermons in a less formal style than the Chinese language sermons of the Eihei Koroku. Some of the fascicles were recorded by Dōgen, while others were recorded by his disciples.
Dōgen rearranged the order of the fascicles that make up the Shōbōgenzō several times during his own lifetime, and also edited the content of individual fascicles. After his death, various editors added and removed fascicles to make different versions of the Shōbōgenzō. In pre-modern times there were four major versions that consisted of 60, 75, 12, and 28 fascicles, with the 60 fascicle version being the earliest and the 28 fascicle version the latest. The first two were arranged by Dōgen himself, with the 75 fascicle version containing several fascicles that had been edited from the earlier 60 fascicle version. Several copies of both the 60 and 75 fascicle versions exist, including one containing Dōgen's handwriting and that of his student, Koun Ejō. On the other hand, the 12 fascicle version, also known as the Yōkōji manuscript after the temple where it was found in 1936, is known from only two examples, one copied in 1420 and the other recopied from that in 1446. This version contains 5 fascicles not found in the older versions, including the only surviving manuscript of Ippyakuhachi Hōmyō Mon'. It also contains a note at the end of Hachi Dainin Gaku written by Koun Ejō indicating that it was to be the last fascicle of a 100 fascicle version; this was never completed due to Dōgen's illness near the end of his life. It is unclear which chapters this 100 fascicle version would have included and in what order. Finally, the 28 fascicle version, also known as the Eihei-ji manuscript or the "Secret Shōbōgenzō" (Japanese: Himitsu Shōbōgenzō), dates from the mid-1300's and actually only contains 26 fascicle because Shin Fukatoku appears twice and Butsudō is included twice in two different versions. The fascicles of the Eihei-ji manuscript were taken from the 75 and 12 fascicle versions and still retain the numbering system used from their source collections. Yoibutsu Yobutsu is an exception and is numbered as fascicle 38, which does not correspond to any extant version.
Other pre-modern versions of the Shōbōgenzō exist, all of which were rearrangements of the four main versions discussed above, often with additional material from Dōgen that he did not intend to include. Bonsei, who died in the early 15th century, created an 84 fascicle version consisting of the 75 fascicle version plus 9 books from the 60 fascicle version. Four copies of Bonsei's collection survive, with the oldest dating from 1644. An 89 fascicle version called the Daijōji manuscript was put together in 1689 by Manzan Dōhaku based on Bonsei's version of 84 plus 5 additional fascicles, including Bendōwa, Jūundō Shiki, and Jikuin Mon, which were not previously considered part of the Shōbōgenzō. He also ordered the books based on the date they were written and not on the order Dōgen intended, suggest he likely believed the ordering was a later decision not made by Dōgen himself. Hangyo Kōzen, aiming to make the most comprehensive version of the Shōbōgenzō, compiled a 96 fascicle version called the Komazawa University Library manuscript containing every known book from previous versions except Ippyakuhachi Hōmyō Mon. It also included more additional writings, including the apocryphal Chinzo and several variant versions of other chapters. Kōzen's version became the basis for the first printed version of the Shōbōgenzō, the Honzan edition. Finally, a 78 book version was made by Tenkei Denson while he was preparing his commentary, Benchū, on the text. He thought that the 60 fascicle version was compiled by Giun and was the oldest, most correct version, and as result his version is identical for the first 59 fascicles except for two replacements from other versions and one combination of two fascicles into one. The remainder is added from the 12 and 75 fascicle versions with 10 fascicles from those being specifically excluded.
Modern editions of Shōbōgenzō contain 95 fascicles based on the late 17th century 96 fascicle version of Hangyo Kozen, the 35th abbot of Dōgen's monastery Eihei-ji. This began as a 90 fascicle version, the first to be printed on woodblocks rather than hand copied, beginning in 1815 and known as the Honzan edition. The six fascicles that were removed included the inauthentic Chinzo as well as five chapters regarded as secrets of the Sōtō School. The original woodblocks are now stored at Eihei-ji. In 1906 the revised Honzan version of 95 fascicles including the five "secret" chapters was published. The only chapter originally intended to be part of the Shōbōgenzō missing from the revised Honzan version at this stage was Ippyakuhachi Hōmyō Mon because it was not discovered until 1936. In 1929, the Sōtōshū Zensho edition was released adding back Chinzo. It was removed again in a revised edition in 1970, and then added again in the 1974 Zoku Sōtōshū Zensho along with Ippyakuhachi Hōmyō Mon. Many other versions were made in the 20th century, some of which indiscriminately combined sections from different manuscripts. Today, arguably the most faithful printed version in Japanese is the 1988 edition compiled by Kōdō Kawamura consisting of the original 75 fascicle version from the single 1547 Ryūmonji manuscript, the 12 fascicle 1446 Yōkōji manuscript, nine uncollected works not originally intended for the Shōbōgenzō, and initial drafts of seven chapters.
History of Textual Analysis
For centuries, all of Dōgen's work, including the Shōbōgenzō, was known only to a very small number of monks. Beginning in the 1700s, a movement began to reform the Sōtō school of Zen that Dōgen had founded half a millennium earlier. Specifically, monks such as Manzan Dōhaku sought to remove influences from other Zen schools and return practice back to the way they believed it would have been during Dōgen's time. One of the earliest commentaries on the Shōbōgenzō was in opposition to the movement by Tenkei. Using the 60 fascicle version, he harshly criticized the text and made his own revisions. This version was soon denounced by the Sōtō School. Around the same time Menzan Zuihō was dedicating much of his life to analyzing the Shōbōgenzō in order to uncover Dōgen's source material. Menzan's student Fuzan and his students put this extensive study into writing in the 1770s. Within a few years the monk Honkō made a commentary on the text and translated it into what was at the time the more respectable language of Classical Chinese. Commentaries were also made by the monks Zōkai and Rōran. An abridged collection of a variety of Dōgen's work appeared at this time called The Record of Eihei Dogen, which the famous poet Ryōkan wrote a verse on.
The Dōgen Zenji Zenshu contains all 95 Japanese fascicles, untranslated. There are now four complete English translations of the Kana Shobogenzo. A translation by Gudo Nishijima and Chodo Cross is available under two titles, Master Dogen's Shobogenzo and Shōbōgenzō: The True Dharma-Eye Treasury. The latter is freely distributed digitally by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK) with many other Mahāyāna texts. Kosen Nishiyama and John Stevens have a translation titled Shobogenzo (The Eye and Treasury of the True Law). Shasta Abbey has a free digital translation of the Shobogenzo and offers other Soto Zen works. A translation by a "team of translators that represent a Who’s Who of American Zen" and edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi, Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen's Shobo Genzo, was released in mid-2011. Additionally, the Stanford-based Soto Zen Text Project, a project to translate Dōgen and other Sōtō texts, has completed several fascicles, freely distributed in digital format.
Books of the Shōbōgenzō
The 75 Fascicle Version
1. Genjōkōan 現成公案
2. Maka hannya haramitsu 摩訶般若波羅蜜 The Perfection of Wisdom
3. Busshō 佛性. Buddha Nature
4. Shinjin gakudō 身心學道 Practicing the Way with the Body and Mind
5. Sokushin zebutsu 即心是佛 The Very Mind is Buddha
6. Gyōbutsu iigi 行佛威儀 Deportment of the Practicing Buddha
7. Ikka myōju 一顆明珠 One Bright Pearl
8. Shin fukatoku 心不可得 The Mind Cannot Be Got
9. Kobutsushin 古佛心 The Old Buddha Mind
10. Daigo 大悟 Great Awakening
11. Zazen gi 坐禪儀 Principles of Zazen
12. Zazen shin 坐禪箴 Lancet of Zazen
13. Kaiin zanmai 海印三昧 The Ocean Seal Samadhi
14. Kūge 空華 Sky Flowers
15. Kōmyō 光明 Illuminating Wisdom
16. Gyōji 行持
17. Inmo 恁麼 Being So
18. Kannon 觀音
19. Kokyō 古鏡 The Old Mirror
20. Uji 有時
21. Juki 授記 Conferring Predictions
22. Zenki 全機 Full Function
23. Tsuki 都機 The Moon
24. Gabyō 畫餅 Painted Cakes
25. Keisei sanshoku 谿聲山色 Sounds of the Valley, Forms of the Mountain
26. Bukkōjōji 佛向上事 What Is Beyond the Buddha
27. Muchū setsumu 夢中説夢
28. Raihai tokuzui 禮拜得髓 Getting the Marrow by Doing Obeisance
29. Sansui kyō 山水經 The Mountains and Waters Sutra
30. Kankin 看經 Sutra Reading
31. Shoaku makusa 諸悪莫作 Not Doing Evils
32. Den e 傳衣
33. Dōtoku 道得
34. Bukkyō 佛教
35. Jinzū 神通 Spiritual Powers
36. Arakan 阿羅漢 The Arhat
37. Shunjū 春秋 Spring and Autumn
38. Kattō 葛藤 Twining Vines
39. Shisho 嗣書
40. Hakujushi 柏樹子 The Cypress Tree
41. Sangai yuishin 三界唯心 The Three Realms Are Only Mind
42. Sesshin sesshō 説心説性 Talking of the Mind, Talking of the Nature
43. Shohō jissō 諸法實相
44. Butsudō 佛道 The Way of the Buddha
45. Mitsugo 密語 Secret Language
46. Mujō seppō 無情説法 The Insentient Preach the Dharma
47. Bukkyō 佛經
48. Hosshō 法性 Dharma Nature
49. Darani 陀羅尼 Dharani
50. Senmen 洗面
51. Menju 面授 Face to Face Transmission
52. Busso 佛祖
53. Baika 梅華 Plum Flowers
54. Senjō 洗淨Purification
55. Jippō 十方 The Ten Directions
56. Kenbutsu 見佛
57. Henzan 徧參 Extensive Study
58. Ganzei 眼睛 The Eye
59. Kajō 家常 Everyday Matters
60. Sanjûshichihon bodai bunpō 三十七品菩提分法
61. Ryūgin 龍吟 Song of the Dragon
62. Soshi seirai i 祖師西来意 The Intention of the Ancestral Master's Coming from the West
63. Hotsu bodai shin 發菩提心 Bringing Forth the Mind of Bodhi
64. Udon ge 優曇華
65. Nyorai zenshin 如來全身
66. Zanmai ō zanmai 三昧王三昧 The King of Samadhis Samadhi
67. Ten hōrin 轉法輪
68. Dai shugyō 大修行 Great Practice
69. Jishō zanmai 自證三昧 The Samadhi of Self Verification
70. Kokū 虚空
71. Hou 鉢盂
72. Ango 安居
73. Tashin tsū 佗心通 Penetration of Other Minds
74. Ō saku sendaba 王索仙陀婆
75. Shukke 出家 Leaving Home
The 12 Fascicle Version
1. Shukke kudoku 出家功徳
2. Jukai 受戒Taking Vows/ Ordination
3. Kesa kudoku 袈裟功徳
4. Hotsu bodai shin 發心菩提
5. Kuyō shobutsu 供養諸佛
6. Kie buppōsō bō 歸依佛法僧寶
7. Jinshin inga 深信因果Deep Belief in Cause and Effect
8. Sanji gō 三時業
9. Shiba 四馬
10. Shizen biku 四禪比丘
11. Ippyakuhachi hōmyō mon 一百八法明門
12. Hachi dainin gaku 八大人覺
Other Fascicles Not Originally Included
1. Bendōwa 辨道話
2. Jūundō shiki 重雲堂式
3. Hokke ten hokke 法華轉法華
4. Shin fukatoku 心不可得 (Go Shin fukakaku) The Mind Cannot Be Got
5. Bodaisatta shishōhō 菩提薩埵四摂法
6. Ji kuin mon 示庫院文
7. Yuibutsu yobutsu 唯佛與佛
8. Shōji 生死. Birth and Death
9. Butsudō 佛道 (Dōshin 道心) The Way of the Buddha
Fascicles With Alternate Versions
1. Bendōwa 辨道話
2. Shisho 嗣書
3. Bukkōjōji 佛向上事 What Is Beyond the Buddha
4. Senmen 洗面
5. Henzan 徧參 Extensive Study
6. Daigo 大悟 Great Awakening
7. Sanji gō 三時業
- Bielefeldt, Carl (1988), Dogen's Manuals of Zen Meditation, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, p. 46, ISBN 0-520-06835-1
- Bodiford, William M. (2012), "Textual Genealogies of Dōgen", in Heine, Steven, Dogen: Textual and Historical Studies, Oxford University Press, pp. 24–27, ISBN 9780199754472
- Bodiford, William M. (2012), "Textual Genealogies of Dōgen", in Heine, Steven, Dogen: Textual and Historical Studies, Oxford University Press, pp. 27–29, ISBN 9780199754472
- Dōgen (1985), Tanahashi, Kazuaki, ed., Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen, San Francisco: North Point Press, ISBN 0-86547-185-1
- Bodiford, William M. (2012), "Textual Genealogies of Dōgen", in Heine, Steven, Dogen: Textual and Historical Studies, Oxford University Press, p. 29, ISBN 9780199754472
- Dogen (1994), Nishijima, Gudo Wafu; Cross, Chodo, eds., Master Dogen's Shobogenzo, 1, London: Windbell Publications, p. xi, ISBN 0-9523002-1-4
- Bodiford, William M. (2012), "Textual Genealogies of Dōgen", in Heine, Steven, Dogen: Textual and Historical Studies, Oxford University Press, pp. 29–31, ISBN 9780199754472
- Dōgen (1985), Tanahashi, Kazuaki, ed., Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen, San Francisco: North Point Press, ISBN 0-86547-185-1
- "Digital Texts". Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK). Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- "SHOBOGENZO The Treasure House of the Eye of the True Teaching". Shasta Abbey. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- "Shōbōgenzō Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma". Soto Zen Text Project. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- Dogen, Trans. Thomas Cleary; Shobogenzo: Zen Essays By Dogen; U. of Hawaii Press, Honolulu; ISBN 0-8248-1014-7 (1st edition, hardback, 1986).
- Dogen, Trans. Norman Waddell and Masao Abe; The Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo; SUNY Press, Albany; ISBN 0-7914-5242-5 (1st edition, hardback, 2002).
- Dogen, Trans. Thomas Cleary; Rational Zen: The Mind of Dogen Zenji; Shambhala, Boston; ISBN 0-87773-689-8 (1st edition, hardback, 1992).
- Dogen, Trans. Gudo Wafu Nishijima & Chodo Cross; Master Dogen's Shobogenzo; Windbell Publications, London; ISBN 0-9523002-1-4 (four volumes, paperback, 1994).
- Dogen, Ed. Kazuaki Tanahashi; Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen; North Point Press, San Francisco; ISBN 0-86547-185-1 (hardback, 1985).
- Yuho Yokoi; Zen Master Dogen; Weatherhill Inc., New York; ISBN 0-8348-0116-7 (6th edition, paperback, 1990)
- Steven Heine; Dogen and the Koan Tradition: A Tale of Two Shobogenzo Texts; SUNY Press, Albany; ISBN 0-7914-1773-5 (1st edition, hardback, 1994)
- Carl Bielefeldt; Dogen's Manuals of Zen Meditation; University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London; ISBN 0-520-06835-1 (paperback, 1988?)
- Dogen, Trans. Shohaku Okumura and Taigen Daniel Leighton, with commentary by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi: The Wholehearted Way; Tuttle Publishing; ISBN 0-8048-3105-X (first edition, paperback, 1997).
- Roshi P. T. N. Houn Jiyu-Kennett; Zen is Eternal Life; Shasta Abbey Press; ISBN 0-930066-06-5 (third edition, paperback, 1987).
- Shobogenzo, or The Treasure House of the Eye of the True Teachings by Great Master Dogen, VOLUME 1 - Translator, Rev. Hubert Nearman, F.O.B.C.; Editor & Consultant, Rev. Daizui MacPhillamy, M.O.B.C.; Shasta Abbey Press; ISBN 0-930066-17-0 (1996)
- Dogen, Trans. Eido Shimano Roshi & Charles Vacher; Shobogenzo Uji; ISBN 2-909422-24-0 (1997); and Shobogenzo Yui Butsu Yo Butsu and Shoji; ISBN 2-909422-37-2 (1999).
- Dogen, Trans. Kosen Nishiyama and John Stevens; Shobogenzo: The Eye and Treasury of the True Law, Volume One; Nakayama Shobo, Tokyo, Japan; ISBN 0-87040-363-X (hardback, 1975). Volume Two; same ISBN (hardback, 1977). Volume Three; same ISBN (hardback, year unknown). Out of print.
- Chapters of the Shobogenzo translated by the Soto Zen Text Project
- Understanding the Shobogenzo by Gudo Nishijima
- Full english PDF(free distribution) - 8MB
- Nishijima & Cross' four volume translation freely distributed by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK) volume 1 volume 2 volume 3 volume 4