Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma
Book 57

Extensive Study


Sixty-fascicle Shōbōgenzō
Book 37

佛祖の大道は、究竟參徹なり、足下無絲去なり、足下雲生なり、華開世界起なり、 甜苽徹蔕甜 なり、 苦苽連根苦 なり、甜甜徹蔕甜の參學もあるべし。

The great way of the buddhas and ancestors is study and penetration of the ultimate limit; it is to “go without a string at your feet”; it is “clouds arose underfoot”; it is “a flower opens and the world arises”; it is “the sweet melon is sweet through to its stem;” it is “the bitter melon is bitter to its root.”  There must also be the extensive study of “the sweet sweetness is sweet through to the stem.”

*  *  *  *  *


   The great master Zongyi of Mt. Xuansha was once addressed by Xuefeng, who said, “Bei Toutuo, why don’t you go off on extensive study?”
   The master said, “Dharma didn’t come to the Eastern Land; the Second Ancestor didn’t go to the Western Heavens.”
   Xuefeng deeply approved this.


   The principle of extensive studying is the study of a flip; it is “don’t do even the noble truths”; it is “what stages are there?”

*  *  *  *  *


   When the Chan master Dahui of Nanyue first visited the Old Buddha of Caoqi, the Old Buddha said, “What is it that comes like this?”

   He extensively studied “the one move” of this “ball of mud” for eight years from start to finish.


     In the end,when he had extensively studied it, he addressed the Old Buddha, saying, “Huairang has understood what the reverend preceptor put to Huairang when I first came:  ‘What is it that comes like this?’”
    Thereupon, Caoqi said, “How do you understand it?”
    At this point, Dahui said, “To say it’s like anything wouldn’t hit it.”

   This is the realization of extensive study, the realization of eight years.


   Caoqi asked, “Then is it contingent on practice and verification?”
   Dahui said, “It’s not without practice and verification, but it’s not defiled by them.”
   Thereupon, Caoqi said, “I'm also like this, you're also like this, and the ancestors and ancestors of the Western Heavens are also like this.”

      Thereafter, he spent eight years more in extensive study.  True from head to tail, all told it was fifteen autumns of extensive study.


    “Coming like this” is extensive study.  [In saying,] “to say it’s like anything wouldn’t hit it,” [he makes himself] “also” the “like this” that opens the hall and sees the buddhas and ancestors.  When “what comes like this” “enters the picture” and looks, he reveals the view of extensive study of transforming the body “sixty-five hundred thousands of ten thousands of hundred millions” times.  He does not take casually “entering a grove” and “leaving a grove” as extensive study.


            The meaning of the extensive study spoken of here by Xuefeng by no means recommends his leaving the peak: it helps him in the extensive study of “Dharma didn’t come to the Eastern Land; the Second Ancestor didn’t go to the Western Heavens” spoken of by Xuansha.  It is, for example, like saying, “how could this not be extensive study?”


            The “Dharma didn’t come to the Eastern Land” spoken of by Xuansha here is not some confused words about coming or not coming:  it penetrates the principle of extensive study.  Even if there were the extensive study in which the entire land of the Eastern Land suddenly gushed up, attending on Dharma and transforming the body, as the progeny of the interior of the room, [we] should still study this [as] extensive study.  These words let [us] see [him] extensively studying and studying together with Xuefeng.


    “The Second Ancestor didn’t go to the Western Heavens”:  this “not going” is “this one covers this one,” is “clouds arose underfoot.”  If the Second Ancestor went to the Western Heavens, the buddha dharma would not now have reached the Eastern Land.  If Dharma had come to the Eastern Land, the buddha dharma would not now have been correctly transmitted to the Eastern Land.  “Not coming” is the not coming that is “intimate already”; “not going” is the not going that is “without outside.”  If you move these, what to do you take as extensive study?


   This being the case, looking at the conduct of Xuefeng and investigating the traces of Xuansha, extensively study them and do not wander idly.  Extensive study is “the bigness of a stone is big, the smallness of a stone is small.”  We should make the stone big study, a small study.  As for “bigness,” extensively studying and investigating bigness is called “extensive study”; as for “smallness,” extensively studying and investigating smallness is called “extensive study.”  To see the hundreds of thousands of ten thousands in the hundreds of thousands of ten thousands is not yet extensive study.  The turning of the body hundreds of thousands of ten thousand times within the flow of half a word isthe exhaustion of extensive study.  For example, we should take “Dadi just struck the ground” as extensive study; we do not takestriking the ground once, striking the sky once, striking the four quarters and eight sides as extensive study.  We take “Juzhi just holding up one finger” as extensive study; if he then held up his fist, this would probably not be extensive study.  “For the sake of the other” should be like this; for the sake of oneself should be like this.

*  *  *  *  *


Xuansha addressed the assembly, saying, “Old Master Śākya and I studied together.”
At that time, a monk came forward and asked, “I don’t understand.  With whom did you study?”
The master said, “The Xie’s third boy on a fishing boat.”


   This being the case, the study of Old Master Śākya that is right from head to tail must itself be studying together with Old Master Śākya.  The study of Xuansha that is right from head to tail is itself studying together with Old Master Śākya.  Old Master Śākya and Old Man Xuansha study together.  The study of Old Master Śākya and Old Man Xuansha is neither sufficient nor insufficient:  this is the principle of extensive study.  Because Old Master Śākya studies together with Old Man Xuansha, he is an old buddha; because Old Man Xuansha studies together with Old Master Śākya, he is the progeny.  This principle, we should extensively study very well.  We should study in detail the meaning of “the Xie’s third boy on a fishing boat”:  i.e., we should make concentrated effort at extensive study of the moment when Old Master Śākya and Old Man Xuansha study together at the same time.  Do they study together Xuansha meeting the Xie’s third boy on a fishing boat?  Do they study together the Xie’s third boy studying together with the baldhead on Mt. Xuansha?  We should have ourselves concentrate, have others concentrate, on studying together and not studying together.  Having extensively studied Xuansha and Old Master Śākya studying together, we should extensively study the principle of “with whom” the Xie’s third boy and “I” studied.  When the principle of extensive study is not immediately present to us, our study of ourselves is not possible, our study of the other is not possible, our study of the person is not possible, study of the self is not possible; fishing for oneself and raising oneself is not possible, raising [oneself] before fishing is not possible. When extensive study has been fully exhausted, it is extensive study sloughed off; it is “when the ocean dries up, you cannot see the bottom”; it is “when a person dies, he does notleave his mind behind.”  “When the ocean dries up” means the entire ocean is entirely dried up.  Nevertheless, when the ocean is entirely dried up, “you cannot see the bottom.” “Not leaving” and quickly leaving are both the person’s mind.  Hence, when the person dies, the mind is not left behind.  Since the mind is not left behind, the person dies.  We should investigate the front and back of such a single side.

*  *  *  *  *


   My former master, the old buddha of Tiantong, on one occasion whe old acquaintances among the elders from all quarters assembled and requested a lecture, ascended the hall and said,

The great way has no gate,
It springs forth from the crownin all quarters;
Empty space ends the road,
It comes into the nostril of Qingliang.
Meeting like this,
Seeds of Gautama’s traitors,
Embryos of Linji’s misfortune.
The great house topples over, dancing in the spring wind;
Startled, the falling apricot blossoms fly in crimson chaos.12


            This lecture is from the time when my former master, the old buddha, was once the abbot of Qingliang monastery, in the district of Jiankang, to which the elders from all quarters had come.  That these were “old acquaintances” means they had once been guest and host or been neighboring seats.  They were thus his old friends; how could they not have been many?  It was a time when they had assembled and requested a lecture.  Elders “completely lacking a saying” did not come, did not request [the lecture].  Though themselves great worthies, they attended him and requested [a lecture]. In general, the extensive study of my former master was not something fulfilled by those from all quarters.  In the last two or three hundred years in the land of the great Song, there have been no old buddhas with extensive study like my former master; his was true extensive study.


            “The great way without a gate” is “one line after another,” is “you ask Zhaozhou.”  Still, when the whole body truly springs forth, without using anything else, the great way springs from “the crown,” it enters into “the nostril” and studies. If one has not yet sprung forth from the crown, one is not a person of study, is not a man of extensive study.  Even up till now, the tradition of seeing a friend, the concentrated effort of hearing a saying, have all derived from this.  The present going that goes there and coming that comes here, as though there were no interval between them, is the whole body of the great way.  “Walking on Vairocana’s head” is “the samādhi without conflict.”  Having got such is the “walk of Vairocana.”  To penetrate the extensive study that “springs forth” is the bottle gourd springing forth from the bottle gourd; for long, the crown of the bottle gourd has been made the seat where the buddha is selected.  His life is like a thread.  The bottle gourd extensively studies the bottle gourd.


Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma
Extensive Study


Presented to the assembly on the twenty-seventh day, the eleventh month, first year of Kangen, mizunoto-u;
at a thatched hut below Yamashibu, in the region of Etsu.