Posts Tagged ‘Paramitas’

October, 1968 4th talk

Tuesday, October 1st, 1968

Suzuki-roshi in the old Tassajara zendo with Kobun Chino-roshi and another priest

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Fall 1968

Zen Mountain Center

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 68-10-00 F

Yesterday I told you about Ājñāta-Kaundinya, one of the five earliest disciples[1] of Buddha.  As I told you, when Buddha gave up the practice of asceticism, they continued practicing asceticism at the Deer Park.  After Buddha attained enlightenment, he came to the Deer Park.  At that time he told them about the four noble truths, dāna-prajñā-pāramitā, and shīla-prajñā-pāramitā.  Instead of saying you will attain enlightenment if you practice shīla-pāramitā, he said you will have a good future life.  This means that, at that time, he applied some religious understanding of the common people of India when he taught his own teaching.  According to Buddhism, you practice precepts, not to have a good future life, but because we attain enlightenment in this life.  This is actually Buddha’s teaching.

I think it is better for us to study more about what Buddha taught here about the four noble truths and eight holy paths.  The four noble truths are suffering, the cause of suffering, the way to attain liberation from suffering, and nirvāna.  Accord­ing to Buddha’s teaching, this world is full of suffering.  But in the Mahāyāna teaching which developed from these four noble truths and eight holy paths, this world is the world where we find realization or nirvana within each self.  According to the Mahāyāna, this world is not the world of suffering, but according to the Hinayāna, or according to the teaching which Buddha told for the first time to the five disciples, this world is full of suffering.