Kūkai on Master Gonzō (758-827)

translated by Ronald S. Green
Coastal Carolina University

Gonzō was Kūkai’s first Buddhist master. He is likely the model for the Buddhist character in Kūkai’s Sangyō Shiiki, usually assumed to have been written around the time Kūkai dropped out of the imperial university. Gonzō taught Kūkai the meditation and mantra for memory retention, which Kūkai practiced before going to China. In this writing, Kūkai describes Gonzō’s training and career as a priest, publically and privately. Kūkai wrote the preface and the poem that follows it as a eulogy for Gonzō at the time his memorial image (perhaps the wooden bust mentioned therein) was dedicated as part of the memorial services in 828. The poem at the end of this writing, 20 lines of 7 characters per line, is of interest and has been analyzed by Nakatani Masamitsu in his “Study of Kūkai’s Chinese Poem.”[1]

This is an annotated translation of the 103rd entry in the Henjō hokki shōryōshū (or seireishū), which is the second entry in scroll 10 of that document. The translation is based on the classical Chinese text found on pages 772-3 in Volume 6 of the Kōbō Daishi Kūkai Zenshū (KKZ) with reference to the Japanese translations on pages 651-8 and the endnotes on pages 701-7 in that collection.

image of Master Gonzō

Dedication of the memorial image commemorating the late Venerable Master Gonzō,[2]eulogy with preface and poem (故贈僧正勤操大徳影讚并序)

Ocean vessels can voyage across and carts can transport. Nevertheless, without a driver, a cart cannot go far and without a master of the mast, an ocean vessel cannot cross the depths. The Way is also like this. Teachings are what leads people and the Way is what opens the teachings. If there is no person of the Way, it will be obstructed and if the teachings are not put into practice, they will be abandoned. If the one who conjoined all things (Buddha)[3] had not been born, Jambudvipa (the world) would have been deaf to the thunder of the Ekayana (i.e., The One Vehicle). If the person of a thousand volumes (Nāgārjuna) had not been born, India would have been undiscerning of the sun of the Eight Negations.[4] Tong Shou[5] sent off an arrow with a wide tip and China awakened to “no arising”. Zō and Ji[6] held the torch and the Ravine of the Sun (i.e., Japan) understood “no difference”. The world was told, “It is people who can broaden the Way.”[7] How true these words are.

Consequently, there was a teacher who fueled this. His Dharma name was Gonzō and his secular family name was Hata.  His mother was of the Shima no Fubito clan and his father was from the Yamato city of Takechi. At first, his mother’s family had no heir and and she worried about this in her heart. She would frequently visit Karyūji temple and drawing near the front of the precious image, offer incense and flowers, showing her sincerity with energy and diligence in her breath. One night, she dreamed that a star entered her bosom and, falling back, she became pregnant as a result. Soon the Dharma Master was born, but his father died early, leaving a (financial) burden. Alone, unprotected, and without recourse, his mother’s family supported and raised him.

When he was barely twelve years old, right away, Great Virtuous Shinryō of Daianji temple became his master.[8] In the autumn of Jingo-keiun 4 (770), there was an imperial order extending from within the palace up to Yamashina-dera temple, that one thousand (novice) monks would be examined for entering the priesthood. Dharma Master became one of the industrious ones among the one thousand. When he was 16, thirsting for solitude and quietness, loathing the clamour of the dust, he reconsidered satisfying the desire in his heart and ascended to a cave in the southern peaks.[9] Near the time he was a capped youth (20 years old),[10] he frequently convened with Shinryō and he received full ordination with the Complete Precepts (gusokukai). After ascending the ordination platform, he studied the famous craftsmanship of Sanron under Great Virtuous Zengi,[11] setting his jaw in study to accomplish the mysteries of Sanron, diligent in this for more than ten years. That Great Virtuous (Zengi) entered the house of (i.e., was a disciple of) the late Dharma Śramaṇa Vinaya Master Dōji, who went to Tang China.

As a government official he carried the chest of learning into the center of the vihāra. At the same time, he meditated in the enclosures of caves and the wilds.[12] Not straying even as long as it takes for a shadow to move slightly, he completed two-way benefits (i.e., benefits to self and others). Cranes’ echoes of this amiable reputation were heard low and to the high heavens. In Kōnin 4 (813), he was promoted to the position of Vinaya Master (Japanese: Risshi).[13] The emperor[14] inclined toward him as a Dharma Master and he was ordered to expound the Most Victorious (i.e., the Golden Light of the Most Victorious Kings Sūtra) in the Great Palace Hall.[15] That day, when he had finished speaking, even more, the Great Virtuous Masters of all the traditions gathered in the Palace Hall for State Ceremonies (i.e., Shishinden) to raise their banners (i.e., discuss doctrine). The subject was filed by the highest sitting master (zasu) as an Establishment of Meaning talk that had said, “The Three Treatises is the tradition of the ancestor lords. Hossō is the teaching followed by the children of officials. For this reason, the monk Asaṅga[16] explained Nāgārjuna’s Thesis on the Middle Way, and Dharmapāla[17] commented on One Hundred Verses Treatise (Śataka-śāstra) brushed by Āryadeva.[18] In addition, this is why he (Dharmapāla) says ‘Namas ācārya.’[19] At that time, he was a famous general of an enemy school.  The edge of his sword was broken and he withdrew his banner.” The emperor (Saga) admired this and promptly appointed him Shōzōzu[20] and simultaneously as bettō (supervisor) in the construction of Tōji temple. The present emperor,[21] who received Yao’s yielding bow with hands pressed together[22] that fanned Shun’s South Wind,[23] because of his (Gonzō’s) public wisdom and distinction, respectfulness and modesty, tireless transmission to people, skill-in-means in things to help people across, promoted him to Daisōzu[24] and transferred him to the building of Saiji (West Temple in Heian/Kyoto).

His public position was raised steadily but his ambition became increasingly lower. So, he preserved the female[25] of Yan Ying,[26] similar to Rahula’s restraint and humility.[27] Draped in the Four Infinite States of Mind,[28] he sat in single suchness.[29] Mounting the ride of non-abiding,[30] he sang of non-duality to people of causal conditions,[31] speaking to them of threefold emptiness.[32] Everyone knew that he had such good merit and looked up to his steadfastness.

He was either advising various temples everywhere to build an igniter for warmth, whole-heartedly planning offerings to provide clothing for elder monks, harmonizing in a Japanese-style hymn (wasan) to bathe Siddhārtha, or playing Tang music as a statement of enjoyment for Sakyamuni. He recited the names of three thousand Buddhas for twenty-one years[33] and chanted in the Eight Seats of the Lotus Flower at more than three hundred gatherings.[34] The master’s roar was an elegant sound,[35] cutting the listeners’ intestines.[36] With the sound of the lamentations of Kalavinka,[37] affection for appearances died. Men and women competed in rushing to develop their minds. Those of flowers and those of fields (i.e., cities and countryside) forgot their livelihood accountings, mystified by the sorrowful tones of his services.  If not the Tathāgata’s dispatch to the public, then who?

It was as if then purple clouds arose in the pagoda,[38] manifested by being moved by loyalty and filial piety, and for the sacred vessel floating on the sea, Kannon appeared in response to his voice.[39] He would remain nonjudgmental, not regarding high or low status, only remembering the sounds that he should call out,[40] without considering whether it was day or night. Ah, skillfully, the king of doctors who knows thusness (i.e., things are they really are), extinguishes illusions based on the madness of his children. Pledging to propagate the Great Vow,[41] he pursue intoxicated children by their conspicuous footprints.

The sorrow and pain of this world; the joyous happiness of the other realm.[42] As difficult to stall as a flash of lightening or the transformation of a mirage, who knows their duration? On the seventh day of the fifth month of Tenchō 4 (827), in the northern monastery of Saiji temple in the center of the capital, he suddenly transformed. 70 spring and autumns, 47 summers preserved.[43] On the tenth day, the jhāpeti (creamation) was on Higashiyama Toribe of Minamifumoto. On this day, there was an imperial decree to confer the rank of Sōjō,[44] an Imperial edict that was truly amiable. The nine levels of nobility mournfully lamented and the four groups (of Buddhists)[45] tasted sadness. Travelers on the streets covered up with tears. The livers of the revered and the humble became soft. Those who knew him and those who did not, who among them did not mourn bitterly? His official monastic disciples attended with feelings of the filial piety of the Ding family,[46] carved Udayana’s sandalwood tree (i.e., carved an image of Gonzō).[47] Wanting to hang (his virtue like) the sun and moon, I was entrusted to brush the words. This mendicant and the public official were orchard-bonded[48] for many passed springs and autumns.

In the first month of autumn of Kōnin 7 (816), I led various famous monks at Takao,[49] propagating the path of the Vajra, granting the Sanmaya Precepts, and giving the dual realms abhiṣeka.[50] Moreover, repeatedly, the founder of our lineages is one and the Dharma factions are elder and younger brothers. As I wish to continue brushing this narrative, unconsciously, tears fall suddenly.

The general of the Buddha castle, the guide of humankind, how entirely early he returned, leaving me behind as if spat out. Ah, the sorrow. Ah, the grief. His virtue has spread and his footprints are immanent. His Way is profound and his works are numerous. My statements conceal him like the hidden meaning of three yao.[51] So, I will explain in the forceful words of gatha (i.e., Buddhist verse).

Bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas. What are their bodies like?
Their facial appearance strikingly resembles people of the world.
Buddhas. Buddhas. What are their features?
Their facial cavities are just like those of all allured humans.
Our teacher's appearance was the same as ordinary types.
His mind and actions were those of Mañjuśrī with kindness like spiritual beings.[52]
The Three Treatises filled his chest with sorrow for the phantom appearances.
He concealed feelings of affection for the Ekayana as the bridge for crossing.
Clouds drifting in the empty sky, how many lives and deaths?
It is like the spring promise of red pistils in the garden.
Round, round (moon) in the water mirror, empty and false.
Glistening, glistening in the sky, that flower is also not real.
Doing for others and constantly explaining these things,
listeners sobbed and loathed the hardships of their bodies.
The past year's eastern geese and wild geese arrive this year.
At what point will the eastern flowing river water return?
On the night platform (i.e., bed or tomb), silent, silent long cycles of stars and frost.
The world recites together; these are the official’s ashes.
Wind in the pines and cypress, "sa, sa"; monkeys’ sounds are cutting.
Who can explain the subtle Dharma of the Qingluan (i.e, mythical Blue Phoenix)?

Thirteenth day of the fourth month of Tenchō 5 (828)



[53]能濟焉、 車能運焉。 然猶無御人者、不能致遠。 無柏師者

能越深。 道亦如之。 導人者教。 通教者道。 道無人則壅、 教無演

則廢。 百會未誕、 瞻部聾一乘之雷、千部不生印度瞽八不之日。

童壽投錍、 支那覺無起、 藏慈把炬、 陽谷識不異。 所謂人能弘道

斯言實焉。 爰有一傅薪者法諱勤操、俗姓秦氏。母則島史

和州高市人也。 初母氏無嗣、 中心憂之。 數詣駕龍寺玉像前、

華表誠 精勤所息。夜夢明星入懷。 逡乃有娠。 法師生而未幾

耶早棄背。 孤露無歸。 母氏鞠養 年甫十二 就大安寺信靈大德、

以爲吾師。 景雲四年秋、有勅於宮中及山階寺、度一千僧。 法師

則千勤之一也。 十六渴慕閑寂厭惡囂塵。遂懷忘歸之思、躋南

嶽之窟。比及弱冠、親敦數召、令受具足。 入壇之後 就同寺三

論名匠、 善議大德、 頤學三論之幽稟。 勤經十餘年彼大德則故

入唐學法沙門 道慈律師之入室也 公鼓篋於毗訶之中、攝念於

巖藪之裹。 不擲寸陰、 二利是競。 鶴響易聞、高夭聽卑。 弘仁四

年、 拔以律師。 皇帝屈法師於大極殿、令講最勝。 講了之日、更

於紫宸殿、 集諸宗大德、 令舉旗鼓、以公篇座主。 卽立義。 三論

是祖君之宗、 法相則臣子之教。 何者阿僧釋龍猛之中觀 護法註

提婆之百論竝稱歸命阿闍梨故。 時敵宗名將刃衄旗靡皇帝

歎之、卽任少僧都、兼造東寺別當。 今上膺堯之揖讓、扇舜之南

風。 以公智而辨、 恭而謙、 導人不倦、 濟物方便擢之大僧都、

轉造西寺 公位彌高、 志逾下 如晏嬰之守雌 似羅云之忍辱

四量衣、 一如座。 乘無住之騎、 唱此不二 慨有之人、

彼三空 所有善業、 悉皆鑽仰 或勸造煖子、 諸寺普施 或設老

僧衣 一心敬供 或調倭曲、以沐浴義成、 或奏漠樂 而詞享能

講三千佛名、 二十一年 講八座法華 三百餘會 師吼雅音、

聽者絶腸、 迦陵哀響、 見者愛死。 男女角奔發心 華野忘産設會。

職悲調之惑也 如來所使、 非公而誰矣。若乃紫雲涌塔、 表忠孝

之感神艇泛海 現觀聲之應 無心待扣、 不簡貴賤。 韞響應呼

不論晝夜。 於戲如知醫王、 因狂子而滅影、 大士弘誓、 逐醉兒以

顯迹。 此界憂苦、 他境歡喜。 電影難駐、 幻化誰久。 以天長四年

五月七曰、 於中京西寺北院 奄然化矣。 春秋七十 夏腊四十七。

以十日荼毗東山鳥部南麓。 是日有勅贈僧正。 詔旨慇懃。 九重哀

悼、 四衆含悲。 行路掩涙、 尊卑爛肝。 知與不知 誰不哀痛。

子僧等 顧丁氏之孝感、刻于邦之檀木。 欲懸日月、憑詞余翰。

貧道與公、蘭膠春秋已久 弘仁七年孟秋、 率諸名僧 於高雄金

剛道揚 授三味耶戒、 沐兩部灌頂況復祖宗是一 法派昆季。

含筆欲述、 不覺潸然佛城之將、 人間之導 一何早歸、 遺我如

唾。 哀哉悲哉 德廣而緊跡道淵而事多 述者蔽之、 三爻含義


菩薩菩薩体何似  顔容酷似世間人
仏陀仏陀是何色  面孔宛如諸趣倫
吾師相貌等凡類  心行文殊志若神
三論満懐悲幻影  一乗韞臆愛梁津
空裏浮雲幾生滅  園中紅蘂爾許春
團團水鏡空而假  灼灼空華亦不眞
為他而説常談此  聴者歔欷厭苦身
去歳鴻鴈今歳至  東流河水返何辰
夜臺寂寂星霜久  擧世風誦是公塵
松柏颯颯[54]猿響切  青鸞妙法向誰陳



Japanese translation:

海中の大船はよく物を載せてわたし、 車はよく物を運搬する。 しかし

かじとながら、 御者がいなければ車を遠きにやることはできず、 柁取りがいな

ければ深い海は越えることができない。 仏道もまたこれと同じである。

人を導くものは教えであり、教えの中心をなすものは道である。 その道

も説き明かす人がいなければふさがり、そ の教え演べ弘めることがな


百会の尊貴なる釈尊の誕生がなかったならば、 われわれの世界である

南瞻部洲の人々は仏一乗の真理の雷鳴を聞くことがで てきず、 千部の論師

たる龍猛菩薩の出現がなければ、 印度の人々は八つの否定を教える白

日の如き空の真理に盲目であったはず。 鳩摩羅什が教えを伝えたからこ

そ中国の人々も涅槃の理法を覚り 智蔵、道慈の二師が仏法の矩火を伝

えたからこそ本朝の人々も八つの否定のうちの不異 (異なることがないこ

)の理法を知り得たのである。 『論語』 (衛霊公) に拾、 「人よく道を弘

む」 とあるが、 この言葉はまことに真理であることよ。

ここに一人の、 教法を伝えた貴重な人物がいる。 出家しての御名は

(Gonzō) 俗姓は秦氏(Hata no uji)である。 母は島の庄の史氏(Shima no fubito)の出身で、 大和国の高市(Takechi)の人である。 初め母氏に世嗣(Yotsugi)がなく, 心中これを憂えるあまり, たびたび駕龍寺(Karyūji)の仏像に参詣し、香華を供えて誠を表わし、熱心に男子が授かるようにと祈っていた。ある夜のこと、明星が懐に入る夢をみてのち遂(tsui)に妊娠した。こうして勤操法師が生まれて間もなく父君が他界し、寄るべ


十二歳のとき 大安寺の信霊(Shinryō)大徳に就いて弟子となられた。

神護景雲四年(七七〇) の秋、 勅命により宮中および山階寺(Yamashina dera)で千人の僧を得度する試験があり、 法師も合格してその一人となられた。

十六歳のとき、 静寂の境地に憧れて俗塵を厭い(itoi)、 出家得道の思いを抱いて泉州槙尾山(Makinoosan)の窟(Iwaya)にこもられた。

 二十歳前後の頃、 信霊大徳はたびたび勤操大徳を呼びよせて具足戒(Gusokukai)を受けさせた。

戒壇に入ってのち同じ寺内におられた三論の学匠善議大徳についてその奥旨を学ばれ、 孜孜として十余年間修行された。

この善議大徳は、 今はなき故の入唐学法沙門道慈(Shamon Dōji)律師のお弟子であった。

公は、 かくて僧坊のうちにあって学問に専念されるとと冶に、 他面で

は山巌藪沢(Sangansōtaku)にあって禅念 (瞑想を善ぶ心) に耽りたもうたのである。


天聴にも達したほどである。 弘仁四年 (813) には抜擢をうけて律師

の位に昇られた。 嵯峨天皇は勤操法師を屈請せれて、 宮中の大極殿にお

いて 『最勝王経』 を講演する法会(hōe)を開かせられた。

講演を終えられた日に、 さらに紫辰殿(shishinden)において諸宗派の高僧を集めて

教理の論議をさせたが、 公を一 座の上首として論題を提出せしめられた。

公は言われた、 「三論は祖先、 主君に相当する宗門であり、 法相は臣下、

子供に匹敵する教えである。 その理由を言うならば、 (法相宗の祖であ

)無著(mujiyaku)は、 (三論宗の祖である) 龍樹菩薩の 『中観論』 を注釈し、 (

じく法相宗の) 護法は、 龍樹の弟子である提婆(Daiba) 『百論』を注釈したが、

それぞれ帰敬(kikkyou)の序文においては、 龍樹と提婆に対して弟子の礼をとって

いることからみても、三論宗に対して法相宗が臣下 子供に相当するこ

とは明白である」 と。

この時、 論敵たる法相宗の高僧も刃(yaiba)が折れ挫け、旗をなびかせて敗退

したのである。 嵯峨天皇は、 勤操法師を敷賞したまい、 即座に小僧部(Shōzōzu)

任ぜられ、 兼ねて造東寺別当に下命せられた。今上(Kinjō)天皇は、 かの堯帝が

舜帝に位を譲られたのと同様に、 嵯峨天皇から帝位を受けつがれた聖帝(Mikado)

におわしますが、 勤操少僧都が智にして雄弁、 恭謙にして人を導いて鯉

むことなく、 人々を救うのに方策巧みなるを嘉せられて、 犬僧都に抜擢

され、 やがて造西寺別当に転任せしめられたのである。

公は僧階がいよいよ高くなられたが、 お心はますます恭謙でたかぶる

の四無量心(Muriyōshin = apramāṇya, the four infinite states of mind)を自らの衣とし、 (存在するものはすべ て空であ るという)

一如の真理 (絶対の真理)を座とし、 空の教えを騎(norimono)として乗り、 (八つの

否定による) 不二 (funi)(唯一絶対) の教えを唱えられた。 迷える人々をあわれ

んで、 かの三つの空の道理を説かれた。 そのあらゆる善業を大衆はみな仰ぎ讃えたものである。

或いは煖子(tanshi)の火具を造るようにあまねく諸寺に勧め、 或いは老僧用の

衣を工夫し捧げていたわり提供された。 時にまた和讃を(wasan)つくって浴仏の

節に唱えるようにし、 時に唐楽を奏でて釈尊礼讃に資せられた。 佛名会

に参加し礼拝すること二十一年、 法華八講は3百余会にのぼった。 朗々


は恍惚として魂も消えんばかりであった。 善男善女は競って菩提(satori)を求め


あったが、 もとはといえば説法の音調が哀婉であったからである。 公こ


もろもろの法会のおりには、 紫雲が堂上にたなびいて公の忠孝の至情

が天に通じ、 かって渡海風難の節には、 神艇が海に浮いて観世音の霊験

に救われたもうた。 貴践の別なく無心に人の質間に応じ、 昼夜を分かた


ああ、如実に真理を知る医師の王たる仏は、 迷える衆生 (生きとし生

けるもの) のために入減を示し、 衆生救済の誓願を持つ菩薩は迷い に酔

える者にしたがってこの世に出現するという。 この世では勤操大徳の入

寂を憂い悲しむといっても、 他境にあっては大徳を迎えて歓喜(kangi)すること

であろう。 電光は止りがたく、 幻のような現われであるその身を誰が久

しく保ち得ようか。 大徳は、 天長四年 (八二七) 五月七日をもって中京

西寺の北院においてにわかに遷化ぜられた。 享年は七十、 法﨟は四十七

であ った。 十日に東山の鳥部(toribe)の南麓において荼毘(dabi)に付した。

この日、 勅命があって僧正の位が贈られた。 その詔旨たるや、 まこと

に懇篤であった。 宮中の人々は哀悼し、 四衆は悲しみに暮れた。道を行

く人も涙を流いて悼み、 身分の尊い者も卑しい者も等しく肝をただらせ

てその死を悼んだ。 大徳を知る者も知らない者も誰一人として哀痛しな

い者はない。 公の弟子の僧らは、 丁蘭(teiran)が親の像を作ってつかえた至孝の

故事に鑑み、 また、 かの優塡王(King Udayana of Kosambi)が仏の像を刻んで敬慕したその薔つに、師勤操の像を刻んだ。 そして`、日月が天に懸かれるごとく、 長く師の徳を伝えんと欲して、 その撰文を予に委嘱してきた。

予と公とは蘭契の交友を結んでから既に年久しい。かつて予は、 弘仁

七年(816)初秋に多くの職衆を率い、 高雄山神護寺の密教の道場にお

い三昧耶会をお授けし、 金剛 胎蔵の両部灌頂を伝授申しあげた。

して、 三論宗と密教は、 宗祖はいずれも龍樹菩薩で一つであるが、 その

法の流派は兄弟の関係にあるほどである。 いよいよ筆をおろさんとする

に当り、 思わず涙がはらはらと下った。

公こそ仏教の城の大将、 人間界の指導者なのに、 途に何とて早々と

彼岸に帰ってしまわれて、 唾でも吐き棄てるように予を遺れたもうのか。

哀れなるかな、 悲しぃかな。 公の徳は広く、その跡は、盛んであり、

く仏道を究められたことはまた計り知れぬものがある。 述者たる予は、

その広汎で深淵なる業績を書き姶らし、 かくすことに左ろうかと恐れる

ものであるが、 三交に天・地・人の三才のいっさいの意義が含まれるよ


菩薩、 菩薩、 その軀体はそもそも何に似ているのか

顔容は甚だ世間普通の人に類似して いる

仏陀、 仏陀、 その姿形はそもそも何色と言うべきか

顔かたちはさながら迷える凡夫 (なみの者)のそれのよう


心と行とは文殊と同じく、 志は仏菩薩そのままである












世間がこぞって諷誦するのは、 これ公の徳音


そのかみの青鸞妙音の説法、 今誰に向けて陳べたべたもうや

天長五年 (八二八) 四月十三日

[1] Nakatani Masamitsu中谷征充Kūkai kanshi bun kenkyū” (A Study of Kūkai’s Chinese Poem) in Kōyasan daigaku mikkyō bunka kenkyūjo kiyō 高野山大学密教文化研究所紀要 vol. 26, 1-37, 2013. Available at https://www.koyasan-u.ac.jp/laboratory/publications/bulletin/pdf/kiyo26/26_nakatani.pdf (accessed 02.14.2018).

[2] Gonzō (758-826) was Kūkai’s first Buddhist master.

[3] In Esoteric Buddhism 百會is a reference to the Buddha as the center of all wisdom. 大方廣佛華嚴經隨疏演義鈔 T 1736.36.223c11 [Charles Muller; source(s): Nakamura, Soothill]

[4] Nāgārjuna (c. 150 – c. 250 CE) used Eight Negations of Buddhist logic to refute wrong views. They are: neither birth/arising nor extinction, neither cessation nor permanence, neither uniformity/same nor diversity/different, neither coming nor going.

[5] Tong Shou was the proper noun Kumārajīva (344–413 CE).

[6] Chizō (dates unknown) and Dōji (d. 744) propagated the Japanese Sanron tradition base on Three Treatise of Nāgārjuna.

[7] Confucius in The Analects of Confucius, 15.28. “It is people who can broaden the Way, not the Way that can broaden people.”

[8] There is no known biography of Master Shinryō.

[9] Makinoosan mountains in Izumi Province.

[10] The Confucian Book of Rites (Liji) says, “When one is ten years old, we call him a boy; he goes out to school. When he is twenty years old, we call him a youth, he is capped.”

[11] Zengi (善議 729–812) was a scholar-priest of the Three Treatises (Sanron) school in Japan. He studied the Three Treatises doctrine under Dōji of Daian-ji temple in Nara and later went to China to further his studies. After returning to Japan, he lived at Daian-ji and lectured on the Three Treatises.

[12] The editors of the KKZ interrupt “caves and the wilds” to be a reference to areas designated by the government as sensensōtaku. The Yōrō Ritsuryō legal system, enacted in 757, designated land areas for public use called “sensensōtaku” (mountains, rivers, and wetlands ponds) where hunting, fishing, and other activities could be done freely.

[13] The Nihon Kōki records in 813, "In Transmission of the Lamp, change of position of Great Dharma Master Gonzō to Vinaya Master (Risshi). This is a middle position in the third rank of priests according to Ritsuryō legal designations.

[14] Emperor Saga, 786-842 CE, reigned 809-823 CE.

[15] The sūtra was one recited for the peace and prosperity of the emperor and the country.

[16] (320-390), founder of the Indian Yogācāra tradition.

[17] Dharmapāla (530-561) was one of the main teachers of the Yogācāra in India. He is described by Xuanzang.

[18] Āryadeva (3rd century CE), was a disciple of Nāgārjuna.

[19] In his preface to the commentary on Nagarjuna’s Thesis on the Middle Way, Asanga writes, “Namas ācārya” (praise be the master) in respect to Nagarjuna.

[20] One of the positions in the second rank of priests.

[21] Emperor Junna, reigned from 823 to 833.

[22] When legendary Chinese Emperor Yao yielded the throne to legendary Emperor Shun, he bowed with hands clasped.

[23] According to the Book of Music (Yueji) and the Book of Rites (Liji), legendary Emperor Shun composed the “South Wind Song.” The Family Sayings of Confucius (Kongzi Jiayu) says played a five-string instrument and sang the “South Wind Song”, calming the country. Emperor Shun also is said to have used a “Five Ming Fan”, alleged to be the earliest use of a fan.

[24] The highest position in the second rank of priests.

[25] According to the KKZ, note 57 on page 704, “preserve the female” 守雌 is from Laozi, number 28.  “To know one’s male and preserve one’s female is to be a stream under heaven.” This means that one should keep a balance of action and calmness. Although Yanzi (see below) does not use the expression “preserve the female”, 守雌the Yanzi chunqiu晏子春秋, records him as speaking of preserving the virtues of a wife against the idea of “male superiority/female inferiority” (男尊女卑) of his time. In that context he says, “Strongly protect the emotion of love” 坚守爱情.

[26] 晏嬰 Yàn Yīng also called Yanzi (c. 578-500 BCE), famous Chinese statesman from Qi of the Warring States. He was an elder contemporary of Confucius.

[27] Rahula, the Elder was the actual son of the Buddha Shakyamuni and the 10th of 16 Great Arhats. In the Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta (Instructions to Rahula at Mango Stone), the Buddha speaks to Rahula about training his mind in restraint. See https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.061.than.html, accessed 02.08.2018.

[28] The Four Infinite States of Mind, Sanskrit: apramāṇya, are loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha).

[29] Single suchness: the oneness of all things; that all things are empty of independent existence.

[30] 無住 no-thought and non-abiding or non-attachment.

[31] Saṁskṛta (有為). Formed or made through causes and conditions.

[32] Also written 空無相無願, meaning lacking substance, lacking distinctive marks, and lacking contrivance. Also representative of the three samādhis, three essential qualities of meditation that lead to liberation.

[33] Reciting the names of 3000 Buddhas is a part of a Buddhist memorial service for the deceased called the "Buddhas Name Gathering" (Butsumyōe).

[34] This refers to a Buddhist service in which the eight scrolls of the Lotus Sutra are read one scroll at a time, one morning and one evening reading each day for four days with a different reciter each time.

[35] The roar refers to the sound of his voice when lecturing on the Dharma.

[36] An expression meaning that his lecture made a deep impression on the listeners. Kūkai also uses his expression in his epitaph for his Chinese Master Huiguo.

[37] Kalavinka is a Buddhist mythological bird in paradise that sings sweet notes.

[38] This means that at the time when he delivered his talks at Buddhas’ Names Gathering and the Eight Scrolls Gathering, the heavens were also moved and formed purple clouds on the ceiling. Amida Buddha rides on purple clouds to welcome the spirits of the dead to the Western Paradise and the appearance of purple clouds is seen as auspicious.

[39] This means when a boat is in trouble at sea, the ship can be saved by calling the name of Kannon (Avalokiteśvara). In Buddhist mythology and iconography, Kannon is a Bodhisattva in the service of Amida Buddha, both working to save sentient beings from suffering.

[40] That is, he answered questions with the wisdom he stored inside.

[41] The Great Vow is a Bodhisattva’s pledge to save all sentient beings from suffering.

[42] Notes 85 and 86 on page 706 of the KKZ vol. 6 says this sentences means Gonzō’s death is the limit of pain and suffering and he will be welcomed into the Pure Land. However, the phrases do not say this specifically but are as translated.

[43] This means that he was a monk for 47 years. “Preserved” refers metaphorically to preserved meat after a sacrifice.

[44] The second from top position (after Daisōjō) in the first rank.

[45] The four groups of Buddhists are monks, nuns, male lay devotees and female devotees.

[46] This refers to Ding Lan (Japanese: Tei Ran 丁蘭). After the early death of his mother, Ding Lan carved a lifelike wooden image of her to which he paid his respects. Returning home one day he found a frown on the face of the statue and learned that his wife had insulted his late mother. He apologized to the wooden image and severely scolded his wife.

[47] Udayana was a king of the city of Kaushāmbī in north-central India and a patron of Shakyamuni Buddha. Xuanzang records seeing several highly revered sandalwood Buddhas, one in a large vihara at KosambI commissioned by King Udayana and associated with the propagation of the Dharma and another at Jetavana in Savatthi ordered by King Pasenadi following King Udayana's commission of the sandalwood image. Wishing to hang the sun and moon

[48] The Yijing says that when people have a close friendship their words are as beautiful as an orchid’s fragrance.

[49] At the mikkyō dōjō of Takao Mountain’s Jingoji temple in Kyoto.

[50] The abhiṣeka (Japanese: kanjō) is the ritual baptismal initiation into the dual (Garbha and Vajra) realms of mikkyō (esoteric Buddhism).

[51] Yao are the solid and broken lines of Yijing trigrams. According to KKZ Vol. 6 note 111 on page 706, here Kūkai is referring to the “three powers” in the Yijing: heaven, earth and people.

[52] Kūkai uses the graph for kami (), translated here as “spiritual beings”. The KKZ Vol. 6 renders this into modern Japanese as “Buddhas and Bodhisattvas”, page 657.

[53] The character used in the KKZ for “large ocean vessel” is made by combining (left) with (right): . If you have a digital version of this character, please send it to me at rgreen@coastal.edu.

[54] The characters 颯颯 (sa, sa) are not the ones in the KKZ: . If you have a digital version of this character, please send it to me at rgreen@coastal.edu.