July 10th, 1970

Originally offered: July 10th, 1970 | Modified August 28th, 2013 by korin

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi



Friday Evening, July 10, 1970


Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-10

 [This is the second in a series of six lectures by Suzuki-rōshi on

the four ekōs chanted at the conclusion of morning services at

San Francisco Zen Center and other Sōtō Zen temples and monasteries.


The Second Morning Ekō:


Chōka ōgu fugin


Line 1.  Aogi koi negawakuwa shōkan, fushite kannō o taretamae.

Line 2.  Jōrai, Maka Hannyaharamita Shingyō o fujusu, atsumuru

                   tokoro no kudoku wa,

Line 3.  jippō jōjū no sambō, kakai muryō no kenshō,

Line 4.  jūroku dai arakan, issai no ōgu burui kenzoku ni ekō su.

Line 5.  Koinegō tokoro wa,

Line 6.  sanmyō rokutsū, mappō o shōbō ni kaeshi goriki hachige,

                   gunjō o mushō ni michibiki.

Line 7.  Sammon no nirin tsuneni tenji, kokudo no sansai nagaku shō

                   sen koto o.


Dedication for the Morning Service Arhat’s Sūtra[1]


Line 1.  May Buddha observe [see?] us and respond.

Line 2.  Thus, as we chant the Maha Prajñā Pāramitā Hridaya Sūtra,

we dedicate the collected merit to

Line 3.  the all-pervading, ever-present Triple Treasure,

the innumerable wise men in the ocean of enlightenment,

Line 4.  the sixteen great arhats and all other arhats.

Line 5.  May it be that

Line 6.  with the Three Insights and the Six Universal Powers,

the true teaching be restored in the age of decline.

With the Five Powers and Eight Ways of Liberation,

may all sentient beings be led to nirvāna.

Line 7.  May the two wheels of this temple forever turn

and this country always avert the Three Calamities.]


[The first chanting is chanted][2]  in Buddha hall.  In China and also in Japan, we have seven important buildings.  One is sammon.[3]  Sammon is main gate.


And the first building you see in front of sammon is Buddha hall [butsuden].  When—here we have the first chanting.  Usually those—this Buddha hall is the building where we celebrate for our nation or for our president or emperor—something which is related to the country.  That is the most official—the building where the most official ceremonies are held.


And behind the butsuden—Buddha hall—we have hattō, where we give lecture or where we observe memorial service—services for members—where we recite sūtras.  This is so-called-it hattō.  Hattō means “hall of—dharma hall,” the place where we spread dharma.

And [on] the left-hand side of the butsuden there is kitchen, kuin or kuri.[4]  Kuin or kuri.  That is the kitchen.  And usually guest room is—rooms are attached to the [1 word unclear]—attached to the kitchen building.  And [on] the other side of the kitchen—excuse me, the opposite side of the kitchen—left-hand side of the Buddha hall,[5] we have sōdō or zendō.


So that makes 1-2-3-4 [counting].  And we have 5—that makes 5:  sammon (the main gate), and Buddha hall, hattō, and kitchen, and sōdōzendō or sōdō.  And we count two more.  The one is restroom.  We call it tōsu.  Usually tōsu is built right-hand side of the—as you enter, right-hand side of the main gate we have tōsu.[6]   Tōsu is rest room.  And we have also bath room—bath room or bathing room, you know [yokushitsu].  That is, you know—you have bath room and restroom is same, but in zendō we have—in monastery we have two separate building.  And so we have seven important buildings.[7]


And in zendō and bath room and toilet, we do not talk, you know.  That is rule.  In zendō we don’t talk [laughs].  In bath room we shouldn’t talk.  And in rest- [partial word] in restroom or toilet we shouldn’t talk.  That is so “three silent practice—three silent practice place,” we call it.


And the first, most formally, the first chanting is chanted in butsuden, Buddha hall.  And next chant is usually chanted in hattō.  [At] Eihei-ji, right now we chant all those sūtra in hattō.  But most fo- [partial word]—if it is something very formal for the country, like chanting we have first—the first of every month, or fifteenth of every month, we chant sūtra for the country.  In that case, we chant it in Buddha hall.  And noon service usually held in Buddha hall too.


And next—next service or chanting is for arhat.[8]   This point, you know—you may wonder why Mahāyāna Buddhists chant for Hīnayāna, you know, arhats [laughs].  You may wonder, but we strictly observe chanting for arhats who is so-called-it, you know, Hīnayāna Buddhist.  Hīnayāna or Mahāyāna is, you know, just, you know—when Mahāyāna Buddhists arise, they denounced, you know, Theravāda Buddhist because of they—Theravāda Buddhists or Hīnayāna Buddhists just, you know—their practice is just for themselves and not much for others.  And Mahāyāna Buddhist—Buddhists’ practice is for others too—for themselves and for others too.


But this is a kind of, you know, discrimination which we should—as a Buddhist, which we shouldn’t [practice].  So in Sōtō School—or I think in Rinzai too—we recite a sūtra for arhats, who were the direct disciples of Buddha.  And there are many arhats.  We count at least sixteen arhats.  Many of tho- [partial word]—we find—find many Buddha’s disciples which belong to—which is included ten famous buddhas, outstanding buddhas, and disciple.


There are various kinds of Buddha’s disciple, you know:  the disciple who was very forgetful, maybe like me [laughs].  He couldn’t—he couldn’t remember a single words even.  So Buddha didn’t know what to do with him.  So he taught him to sweep garden only, and he swept the garden always.  And at that time he was saying—sweeping garden and—and sweep your mind.  And he was sweeping the garden, reciting that short words.  But he practiced his way so sincere that—so at last he attained arhatship by sweeping garden.  He is very famous, you know.  Buddhists, you know, put emphasis in actual, you know, attainment, not wisdom—not wisdom acquired by intellectual study, but actual experience of renunciation to—which will go beyond our intellectual understanding of the teaching.


Those arhats—the arhats, you know—their practice, of course, you know—arhats practice for arhats—or practice of Theravādin Buddhism—or we call it sometime Hīnayāna practice—is, as you know, practice of four stage of meditation.[9]   Most teachers who come [from] southern countries or from Tibet talks about four stage of practice which we will attain by our meditation.  For—for us Zen student, it is important to know what is the four stages of zazen.


The first stage is the practice, you know, with various—with many desires or ignorance.  The cause of ignorance is—cause of—we count desires maybe four or five.  The drowsiness, you know.  And ignorance—so-called-it mumyō—ignorance.  Ignorance of no under- [partial word]—ignorance—ignorance means, you know, has very deep sense.[10]   Because of ignorance we came [laughs]—we appeared in this world.  It is more than, you know, ignorance in its intellectual sense.  And greed.  Those are three important, you know, and anger.  The fi- [partial word]—in the first stage we shouldn’t have, you know, drowsiness [laughs].  If you—when you are sleepy, even though you are sitting, you are not actually sitting.  So drowsiness is the enemy of the practice.


And anger is also the enemy of the practice.  If you are angry, you know, you cannot sit, you know.  When you sit, you are, you know—when you start to sit, you are not angry anymore.  But as long as you are sitting, you have no anger.  You will have some of desires, but controlling somehow the desires, except drowsiness or anger, we can sit pretty well.  And when we—when you sit, your mind become clear, and you can think, you know, in the first stage.


So in the first stage, you will have clear mind—clear thinking mind, and you will have control of, you know, some control of various desires, and you have no anger.  You have no drowsiness.  That is the first stage.


[In] the second stage, you have—you don’t think.  That is the second stage.  But you have, you know, so- [partial word]—you have emotional, you know, trouble or desires, but you don’t think.


In the third stage, you don’t have emotional, you know, problem.  Emotionally you are calm in the third stage.  And you have joy of calmness of, you know, or calming—joy of no problem of emotional problem—problems.  So there you have emotionally—joy of being emotionally very calm.


In the last stage, which is the fourth stage, you [do not?] have even joy of calming down or conquering emotional difficulties.  You have no joy of anything.  That is the fourth stage.  And there, you know, you will attain arhatship.  There you have nothing to attain or nothing to study at the fourth stage, which is the highest stage.  But later, you know, they—they put one more stage over it.  But actual practice is the four stage is in a form world.  And over the form world we have no—no-form [?] world.  And no—no-form world is—consist of the meditation in which we experience nothingness of outward object.


And next one is, you know, the nothingness within ourselves, you know.  Even though you experience emptiness of outward object, you have some idea of outward object, you know, noth- [partial word]—emptiness of outward objects, so your mind is directed to outwards.


But in next stage your mind will be directed inward, like a jewel, you know, shine [by?] itself.  And like jewel has nothing, you know, in themselves.  That is the second stage.


And [in] the third stage, we have no idea of anything which is inside or outside.  That is the third stage.  And [in] the fourth stage is—we don’t have any idea of somethingness or nothingness.  Or we have no idea of nothingness even.  That is the last stage.


So we count eight, you know, dhyāna:[11]  first to fourth stage, and adding to it four stages.  The last stage is the characteristic, you know—you can see the characteristic of Buddhism.


When you, you know, in usual, you know, Indian meditation—according to usual meditation—excluding Buddhist meditation—those who meditate, you know, [in the] first stage will, you know, accordingly, you will be [re?]born in the first deva or heaven.  And when you practice second dhyāna, you will be [re?]born—you will come—appear in the second heaven.  In this way we have, you know, respectively, four heavens.


But, you know, if—if you—someone who appeared in heaven, according to Buddhism, should disappear from heaven too, you know [laughs].  Something which appears should disappear, you know.  There is nothing which does not disappear.  So even, you know, [if] you go to heaven, you know, you appear in the heaven, you should disappear from the heaven.  That is, you know, so-called-it “karma.”


You have karma, you know.  You create karma to go to, you know, heaven, and as long as you have karma to go to heaven, that karma will continue, and you will eventually, you know [laughs], went down to the bottom of the first or “desire world.”  So unless you, you know—as long as you are depend on karma, your practice is depend on karma activity or karmic practice.  That practice is not Buddhist practice, because it is—the practice is involved in karmic activity.


So Buddhist practice should go beyond karmic practice.  That is why we practice shikantaza, which is go beyond the way to go which is—which do not expect any result from our practice.  Just to sit, just to resume our true nature is our practice, without, you know, trying to attain something, without being involved in karmic activity.  That is Buddhist practice, you know.  Various teachers, so far, from southern countries and Tibet, emphasize this point.


Our practice should start from nothing and end in to nothing [laughs].  That is [laughs] our practice.  So that is, you know, the stage arhat, you know, will attain finally.  That is arhat.  They—their practice is very—very much similar to the non-Buddhistic practice, but actually there is clear distinction from non-Buddhistic practice.


[Line 1.  Aogi koi negawakuwa shōkan, fushite kannō o taretamae.]


In—in the sūtra—in the ekō we say, Aogi koi negawakuwa shōkan, fushite kannō o taretamaeAogi koi negawakuwa.  Aogi—aogi is “to—to look upward.”  Aogi koi negawakuwaKoi negawakuwa.is “we—what we want—I want or I ask.”  “Looking upward, what we ask is” shōkan.  Shōkan is “Buddha’s witness,” you know, or “Buddha’s protection.”  Fushite kannō o taretamae.  Fushite means “to—to kneel down.”  Fushite.  Fushite kannō o taretamae—“respond.”  When we have—when we kneel down with selfish [selfless?] attitude, with pure mind, then buddha-nature hereby will appear.  So kannō means “respond.”


Objectively speaking, you know—subjectively speaking, our buddha-nature arise from our innate nature, but objectively speaking, buddha-nature will come to us when we kneel down with pure mind.  The buddha-nature will come to us.  So fushite—”kneeling down, we ask respond—response of buddha-nature.”  It means that, you know, “we, looking upward, seeing respectively many arhats, we ask for their protection, and, looking—kneeling down, we ask arhats to join our practice.”  That is what it means.


[Line 2.  Jōrai, Maka Hannyaharamita Shingyō o fujusu, atsumuru

                   tokoro no kudoku wa]


Jōrai, you know, “so far—why we recite it—this sūtra.”  Jōrai.  Jō is “up.”   Rai is “come.”  So “until now we recited Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra.  And why we recite it, the Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra, was—the merit—atsumuru tokoro no kudoko wa.  Atsumuru is “to—we concentrate” or “gather up,” you know, the merit of reciting sūtra.


[Line 3.  jippō jōjū no sambō, kakai muryō no kenshō]


We recite the sūtra for—jippō jōjū no sambō.  Jippō jōjū no sambō kakai muryō no kenjō[12],  we say.  I—I didn’t put in—eyes—my eyes [laughs].  [Probably referring to eyeglasses.]  Jippō jōjū no sambō.  Jippō is ten—okay—it’s—it is okay—jippō jōjū is—jippō means “ten directions.”  Jōjū means “always present.”  Jōjū.  is “dwell” or “live” or “is.”  “Which exist in ten direction.”[13]   is “always.”  is “dwell” or “live.”  So the sambō is “three treasures.”  So jippō—”three treasures which is—which present—which is present in ten directions always.”


And kakai muryō no kenjō.  Kakai is—ka is “seed”—oh no, “fruits,” and kai is “ocean.”  Muryō is “limitless.”  Mu is “no.” Ryō is “limit” or “measure.”  “Beyond measurement.”  So innumerous or incalculable or limitless.


Kenshō means like sages and arhats.  So ka—why we say “fruit” words is if you practice our way, that will be a—a seed of, you know, attainment, or seed of the merit.  So practice—if practice is seed, the—what you will have by it is the result or fruit.  But here, you know, we shouldn’t understand fruit is next and seed is first.  Fruit and seed is result in the same time in our practice.  We should understand in that way, but rhetorically [?] we should say kakai muryō no kenshō:  “All the sages and arhats, which are in the limitless sea of the attainment, especially sixteen arhats—sixteen arhats.


[Line 4.  jūroku dai arakan, issai no ōgu burui kenzoku ni ekō su.]


Jūroku.  Jūroku is “sixteen.”[14]   Dai arakan:  “the great arhats.”  And issai—“all.”  Issai is “all.”  Ōgu—ōgu is another name of arhats, “who is worthy for offering,” you know.[15]   Ō means “respond,” and gu is “offering”:  “who is worthy for receive offering.”  That is arhat.  “All the arhats.


Burui kenzoku.  “And the arhats who belongs to each sixteen arhats,” you know.  There are sixteen arhats, and many arhats, you know—under each of sixteen arhats there were many arhats.  That is kenzoku.  Kenzoku is “the family,” you know.  Sixteen arhats were the head of [each of] the family of arhats.  So [laughs]—many arhats.  So some—in some temple, we say jūroku dai arakan—gohyaku[16] [corrects jūroku to gohyaku] dai arakan.  Sometime we say—we count five hundred [arhats].


Some people say why we say five hundred arhats is in the first assembly after Buddha, seventy—about one hundred years after Buddha passed away, they had big meeting to, you know, to—we say ketsuju.[17]   Ketsuju means to—to have meeting and discuss about the teaching Buddha left and recited—someone recited the teaching, what Buddha told them, and the rest of the people, you know, corrected if there is some correction.  And it is okay they—all of them said that was what Buddha said.  They agreed.  In this way, scripture was transmitted to us.  So there were supposed to be five hundred disciples, so we say “five h-” [partial word]—gohyaku dai arakan, “five hundred arhats.”  But anyway, we count sixteen arhats or more.


Issai no ōgu.  Issai no, or “all [of].” [18]  Ōgu—ōgu is another name of arhats.  Arhats has many names.  Arhats has, you know, because—according to the attainment, they have so many names, like “no-return sage.”[19]   “No-return sage” is after, you know, extinguishing all his karma.  They do not come back to, you know, to this world anymore [laughs] because he has no karma to come back.  That is a kind of stage he will attain.  [Sentence finished.  Tape turned over.  Rest of original tape is extremely slow.]


… maybe tomorrow.


They have five powers.  One of the five power is to—power to be sure that he will not come back, you know, in desire world again.  That is one of the power of arhats or confidence of arhats.  So we say arhats is fugen-ka:[20]  “no-return stage” or “no-return sage.”  Or “slaying-enemy sage.”[21]  “Enemy” means, you know, enemy of mortality.  So he has no enemy like [such as] mortality—like, you know, physical and mental desires.[22]


So sometime we call him—we translate, you know—Chinese people translated arhats in many ways:  fugen-no sage or setsuzoku-no sage—setsuzoku is “slaying enemy sage.”[23]   Ōgu is the one of the name of, or one of the translation of “arhats.”  Issai no ōgu burui kenzoku.  Kenzoku is “family.”  Burui is something like “tribe,” you know.  Bu is “group.”  [The suffix] -zoku is also “group.”[24]  They—there were various group of arhats.


[Line 5.  Koinegō tokoro wa,

Line 6.  sanmyō rokutsū, mappō o shōbō ni kaeshi goriki hachige,

                   gunjō o mushō ni michibiki.

Line 7.  Sammon no nirin tsuneni tenji, kokudo no sansai nagaku shō

                   sen koto o.]


Koinegō tokoro wa,

sanmyō rokutsū, mappō o shōbō ni kaeshi goriki hachige,

          gunjō o mushō ni michibiki.

Sammon no nirin tsuneni tenji, kokudo no sansai nagaku shō

          sen koto o.


Maybe better to explain this part—to leave it for next—tomorrow’s lecture.


If we, you know, if you call—if you—if you say them [then?], you may think there [them?] is something quite different from Hīnayāna practice, but it is not actually so, especially for Sōtō school.  Hīnayāna practice is—is very important.  We do not discriminate [against] Hīnayāna practice at all.  We respect arhats, and we respect their effort.  And we ask arhats to join our practice, or we, you know, we—our desire, our wish is to practice hard as arhats practice.  That is why we recite sūtra for arhats every morning.


Do you have some question?  Hai.


Questions and Answers


Student A:  I read in Zen Notes[25]  Sokei-an said that the arhat in the final stage liberates himself by his intellect—


Suzuki-rōshi:  Yeah.


Student A:  —liberates himself by his intellect.


Suzuki-rōshi:  Intellect?  Intellect.


Student :  Does that mean by thinking?


Suzuki-rōshi:  Oh.  Thinking.  That is not last stage, you know.  It is the second—third stage they have no intellectual thinking.  But they have joy of, you know, conquering our desires.  That is the third stage.  And last stage, we have no desire—no joy of anything but [1 word]. That is the last step.  Maybe you—


Student A:  Well, you said it was the last stage.  And it made me think that when you use the word “intellect,” it didn’t mean that—


Suzuki-rōshi:  Maybe so.


Student B:  —it didn’t mean that [6-8 words].


Suzuki-rōshi:  Maybe so.  The difference is, you know, we have clear thinking.  And they has [?] went without desires.  But they are with—what we don’t have is [1 word] and anger.  We don’t have.  [Laughs.]  Because you don’t have it [laughs], you will not seek it.  So, you know—interesting—more interesting point is, you know, everyone can, you know, go further.  So final step is similar to arhats—last stage for arhats.  [Tape ends, apparently before the question/answer session is finished.]


Appendix:  The Second Morning Ekō


“Suzuki Roshi’s Revised Translation of Morning EKO II”


Line 1.  May Buddha observe our practice and give us his response to

our sincerity.

Line 2.  Thus, as we chant the Maha Prajñā Pāramitā Hridaya Sūtra,

we dedicate the collected merit to:

Line 3.  the Three Treasures in the Ten Directions, past, present, and

future, the innumerable wise men and sages who are in

the Sea of the Fruit of Practice, and

Line 4.  the sixteen great arhats and their followers who attained the

supreme attainment of arhatship.

Line 5.  What we aspire to is that

Line 6.  the Three Powers the Six Unrestricted Ways of the arhats

may be always with us in our unceasing effort to renew

Buddha’s way, to save all sentient beings from the world

of suffering and confusion,

Line 7.  to keep the Two Wheels of the dharma turning forever,

and to avert the Three Calamities forever.

[Note:  This translation, with minor grammatical revisions

by the present transcriber, was reprinted from David Chadwick’s

Ekō Study Book, 1970, p. 82.  According to David Chadwick (10/8/99),

he may have reviewed the translation with Suzuki-rōshi,

but, if so, only briefly.  It does not follow the text of the transcript as

Suzuki-rōshi translated this ekō.  (See, e.g., the end of SR-70-07-12.)]



Sources:  Contemporaneous transcript and Ekō Study Book by David Chadwick; transcript entered onto disk by Jose Escobar, 1997; transcript checked and corrected against tape by Bill Redican 11/18/99.


 [1]  Another English version, entitled “Suzuki Roshi’s Revised Translation of Morning EKO II” is appended from Chadwick, 1970, p. 82.  See Appendix.

 [2]  The first words of the lecture are missing on tape.  Phrase in brackets was based on Suzuki-rōshi’s own wording in Paragraph 7.

 [3]  Also sanmon.

 [4]  Also commonly daikuin, “main kitchen.

 [5]  If the kitchen is to the left of the Buddha hall, the sōdō/zendō would be on the right (directions described while facing the Buddha hall from the main gate).

 [6]  At Eihei-ji, the yokushitsu (bathing hall) is to the right of the main gate, and the tōsu (toilet) is to the left.

 [7]  Sammon, butsuden, hattō, sōdō/zendō, (dai)kuin, yokushitsu, tōsu.

 [8]  Suzuki-rōshi pronounced it “arahat” throughout, which is one of several variations on the word:  arhat (San.), arahat (Pali), arakan (Jap.), fushō (Jap.), ōgu (Jap.), lohan (Chin.), rakan (Jap.), and setsuzoku (Jap. trans. of Chin.).

 [9]  Possibly referring to the four stages of the supramundane path (magga) taught in the Hīnayāna tradition:  (1) stream-enterer; (2) once-returner; (3) never-returner; and (4) worthy one (arhat). Or it may refer to the four dhyanas which are discussed in below.

[10]  mumyōmu (Jap. “no”); myō (Jap. “to be clear”); ignorance of the true nature of existence (cf. SR-67-08-14).

[11]  dhyāna (Sanskrit) or jhāna (Pali):  meditation; absorption; an absorbed state of mind arising from concentration.

[12]  Not kenshō, as in version at start of lecture.  Kenjō and kenshō may be two different ways of pronouncing the same word in Japanese.

[13]  Ten directions (jippō):  the four standard points of the compass

(N, S, E, W), plus the mid-points (NE, SE, NW, SW), plus up and down.

[14]  By tradition, there were sixteen original disciples of Shākyamuni Buddha.

[15]  Arhat is also derived from the root “worthy”:  arh, “to deserve, to be worthy, to be fit.”  The Japanese arakan may derive from āraka, “remote”:  an arahant is said to be remote (āraka) from sinful things (see Majjhima Nikāya, I, 280).

[16]  gohyaku (Jap.):  five hundred.

[17]  500 monks, all arhats, are said to have assembled in 480 B.C.E. near Rājagriha, India, for the First Buddhist Council.

[18]  The no indicates the possessive “of.”

[19]  Possibly referring to the third of the four stages of the supramundane path:  the stage of never-returning.  Someone who has reached this stage (an anāgāmin) is not born again in the world of desire or sensuality (kāmadhātu).

[20]  fugen-ka:  Japanese term for Sanskrit anāgāmin.  See also anagon (Jap.).

[21]  See Note 22.

[22]  A never-returner has overcome the first five fetters:  (1) belief in one’s individuality or ego (drishti), (2) skepticism or doubt, (3) clinging to rites and rules, (4) craving, desire, or sensual appetite, and (5) hatred or resentment.  An arhat also overcomes the remaining five fetters.

[23]  Also, “killing the thief” or “killing the enemy”—i.e., overcoming passions.  Hence, someone who has overcome his or her passions.

[24]  As in kenzoku.

[25]  From 1954–1995, a monthly publication of The First Zen Institute of America (founded in New York City by Sōkei-an Sasaki [1882-1945]).

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