Tuesday Morning, April 29, 1969
This morning I want to—to explain how to take our bodhisattva’s vow. We say “bodhisattva’s vow,” but actually this is not only Mahāyāna Buddhist vow but also all the Buddhist vow. When we say Mahāyāna, we also—it means that something—usually it means that the something superior teaching in contrast with Hinayāna. But this is—may not be real understanding. According to Dōgen-zenji, this is not right understanding, to say “Hīnayāna” or “Mahāyāna.”
From the beginning of—the Āgama-sūtra is supposed to be the oldest sūtra—Buddhist sūtra, but even in Āgama-sūtra this kind of thought is there. [It] says, Shujō muhen—“Sentient beings are numberless. I vow to save them.” Why Buddha, you know, come to this—came to this world is to save sentient beings. Usually those who do not believe in Buddhism comes to come to this world because of karma. But for Buddhist—for Buddha, he did not come to this world because of the karma.
In Āgama-sūtra, they say Buddha passed away by his own choice. And because he finished his task, he—because he has nothing to do more in this world, he took nirvāna, it says. When he finished, you know, his task he took nirvāna. It means that already [the] purpose of his coming to this world is to save sentient beings or to help others. So if that is, you know, the reason why he come to this world if he finish his task—when he finished his task, there is no reason why he should stay in this world. So he took nirvāna.