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Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts in Progress

Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts 2012 --- INDEX

Working with the most difficult tapes in the Suzuki tape archive

Thanks to Judith Gilbert for transcription and AW for Audio work - DC, 4-05-12

Yellow words are ones where Judy guessed.

Shunryu Suzuki Lecture
Audio Problem Set
JG 1st pass

The other day someone asked me about Vairochana Buddha, Vairochana Buddha is Dharmakaya Buddha and Sambogakaya Buddha. Sambogakaya is, [in] Shingon School, the main Buddha is Vairochana Buddha, and Vairochana Buddha, when he is Dharmakaya Buddha, he is the Buddha whose body is the whole world.... the whole universe – his body. So everything is included.

But when he help people, he is Sambogakaya. And he taught Diamond Sutra, and Diamond Sutra is the fundamental sutra of Shingon School. So same Buddha in one way is Dharmakaya Buddha as the main Buddha, and when he takes the form of teacher or savior, he is someone helping. That is why same Buddha is two things as Dharmakaya Buddha, Sambogakaya Buddha.

This is true with all schools – the understanding about Dharmakaya Buddha and Sambogakaya Buddha.

So, actually, this sutra, Diamond Sutra is the sutra which was taught by Sambogakaya Buddha to himself, you know, because Dharmakaya Buddha or Sambogakaya Buddha. Vairochana Buddha includes everything, so we are part of Vairochana Buddha, and Vairochana Buddha is there, teaching to himself. To himself, but to us. To us means to himself because we are part of him.

This is the system of the Shingon School. This Shingon School is very close to Zen. Shingon School is still based on the Diamond Sutra, which was taught by Buddha, but we are not based on any....we have no fundamental sutra, but Shingon has. And Shingon is authorized by [the] Diamond Sutra. As long as they have fundamental sutra, the most important sutra on which the school is based on, they have to have someone who taught that sutra.

Dharmakaya Buddha do not do anything. He is, right? absolutely independent one, who includes everything. When he includes everything, he has noone to talk. Do you understand? He includes whole universe so he has noone to talk, to tell. And he has nothing to tell, actually. If he wants to tell, he should tell to himself.

That is Dharmakaya Buddha, but still he talks. When he talks, he should be Sambogakaya Buddha.

But from the viewpoint, from Zen viewpoint, from the standpoint of Zen, still something that was taught by someone, cannot be always true. That is why Zen has no teaching. There is no need for us to have some special teaching. We are part of the Buddha. We have Buddha nature. So we are the one who tell stuff – tell the sutra. We are not the one who listens to the teaching.

That is our fundamental attitude. So, but most school... Shingon is very similar to Zen.

Do you understand?

Sambogakaya Buddha....Nirmanakaya Buddha is the Buddha who came out, or another version of Dharmakaya Buddha. When Sambogakaya Buddha is the Buddha, he also called Jivardic body.

And Shingon School puts the emphasis on, very much, on precepts. Vairochana Buddha is the Buddha who has the version of precepts from the viewpoint of results. We say “cause and results”. Because he practices something, that practice results in a Buddha body. From the viewpoint of result, he has virtue of, practice of, virtue of precepts. When he practice...because of.... first practice of precepts, he attained ... he attained Sambogakaya Buddha for us.

So when we take the viewpoint of result, it is Buddha, when we take the viewpoint of practice, it is Bodhisattva who practices results. Vairochana Buddha has virtue of precepts, and he has, also, has virtue of wisdom, wisdom who knows sentient beings, and he also helps sentient beings by virtue of wisdom and precepts.

So Vairochana Buddha, you know, has some mudra ... expression always take some mudra, and Shingon School has many mudras to save sentient beings. I have some picture, and [sound of pages being turned] ...umm I have no time to search.

Now I must go back to this sutra. I talked about five disciples of Buddha already: Ajarnata , Kandiana Kandya ... Hanyaku Gyoji  in Japanese.... Asvarjana [Peter Schneider? “Excuse me, Roshi, what page are you referring to?”]

Page 2, the first line. Asnayata, Kondia, Anyat Kyogi.   [Bhadiya, Kodanna, Assji, Vappa and Mahanama].   We count according to Vinaya so the order is a little different, but we count five disciples the Venerable Assji, the Venerable Vappa, the Venerable Mahanama and other spelling but same, Venerable Bhadiya. Venerable Mahakashapa – this is not five disciples, those are five disciples who practiced with Buddha, but Buddha gave up asceticism. So, but he … they went to Deer Park and continued ascetic discipline, and Buddha crossed the river, the Sarnath River, and sat under the Bodhi tree, and attained enlightenment.

And after attaining enlightenment, he sat there for 40 nights, 49 days, and during that time, Kegon's sister brought toast, for at that time, we have, you know, Pratyeka Buddha. Pratyeka Buddha is a Buddha originated from this idea of sitting 49 days. Actually, he did tell anything at that time, before he taught Kegon Sutra.

So Buddha, who did not tell anything – that is the idea or viewpoint of, viewpoint of result or Buddhahood – resulted from the practice. Viewpoint of result is attainment, is Buddha under the Bodhi tree. Viewpoint of practice is to attain enlightenment is Pratyeka Buddha. Pratyeka Buddha and Buddha who do not have any special teaching to tell.

This is very complicated!

Same Buddha, you know, same idea. This is Pratyeka Buddha. After he attained enlightenment, he is called “Buddha under the Bodhi tree”. But before he attained enlightenment, he is Pratyeka Buddha. He, you know, he has no teaching, or all the phenomenal world is his teacher.

So he has no special teacher, and he has no special teaching.

Whatever it is, that is his teaching. From this viewpoint, Buddha is also Pratyeka Buddha, but Buddha has two names: Buddha who attained enlightenment – who is Nirmanakaya Buddha, but before he becomes Nirmanakaya Buddha, he is Pratyeka Buddha. And he was also Sambogakaya Buddha, because his former life, he studied under many teachers. He was the one who listened to many teachings, written teachings or teachings which was told by someone.

He is the most, from the viewpoint of result or attainment, he is Nirmanakaya Buddha, and he is also, is so, he is also Sambogakaya Buddha and Dharmakaya Buddha. So Sambogakaya Buddha and so Svravakakaya Buddha, or Pratyeka Buddha or Sambogakaya Buddha or Dharmakaya Buddha.

Same Buddha, but viewpoint is, you know, understanding is different.

Actually, this is so, but according to the school -- their [Shingon] school takes their own viewpoint. Viewpoint of Pratyeka Buddha or viewpoint of sravaka, Sravakayana Buddha, or viewpoint of Nirmanakaya Buddha or viewpoint of Sambogakaya Buddha or viewpoint of Dharmakaya Buddha. So each school takes their own viewpoint.

But Zen has no viewpoint. We have no viewpoint. When we practice zazen, you know, we are Buddha, which could be Dharmakaya Buddha or Sambogakaya Buddha or Nirmanakaya Buddha, or Pratyeka Buddha, or Arhat. That is our viewpoint.

That is Zen school.

Those are the disciples, and after 49 days, he … 49 days of practice, he told Kegonsu, but he thought that this is too difficult for people. So he had charge chosen several teachings to tell the five disciples that is:  Four Noble Truths and all it passed and teaching of Dana Prajnaparamita, and Sila Prajnaparamita, and he told so that zennai, the five disciples, may understand him, he taught why you practice Sila or precepts.

The reason why you should practice Sila is to be, to acquire the better life in the future. Actually, that was the teaching which works, that supports … that was taught by Buddha at that time. But, actually, what he meant is precepts, observation is prior, but not because of this observation, we will have a better future life. By practice of Sila, we will go to, we will have better life.

This idea is the idea of pre-Buddhist teaching. But he applied pre-Buddhistic understanding of Sila, when he taught Sila Prajnaparamita [to] those five disciples.

This is a kind of tinken talpa we say in Japanese, sekkai, shortened by practice of Dana Prajnaparamita, and Sila practice will have … will have life of celestial being.


And the next name we have here is Mahakashapa. Mahakashapa is, as you know, is the first Patriarch in Zen lineage. He was supposed to be born at Nalanda village near Naranjutia, and he got married with the daughter of a Brahmin, but both he and his wife wanted to practice jnana, or Zen. So then after, twelve years after, when he met with Shakyamuni Buddha, he joined his order. And after 8 days [of] practice, he attained enlightenment, and he attained Arhatship, Arhathood, and he changed its robe to Buddha's robe.

We call Buddha's robe in Japanese, “unzoi”. Unzoi means robe made of rags, which people, you know, put into the garbage. We pick that, all the rags, from the garbage can, and wash it and purified it, and sew it together like this. This is... That is why we have okesa in this way. We sew it: small pieces together like this, and make an okesa. This is how Buddha made his robe, and Mahakashapa changed his robe to Buddha's robe.

And since then, he was presiding over the Buddha's disciples, and when, at the first compilation, he supervised that meeting. And this is Mahakashapa, and he is also called, the Four Great Sravakas, the Four Great Disciples.

The Four Great Sravakas are: we have almost all of them are here, but some of them are not here. The Four Great Sravakas or Arhats– Mahakashapa, Pinddha Pindola, Kundadhana, Mokuren Maudgalyāyana . [sleeve noise and discussion of spelling]  Pindola is Binzuru in Japanese. Pindola. Binzuru. They have this name here? [Peter? I'm looking for these names].

Pindola is also an Arhat. Binzuru. If you go to Japan in small temples, there is Binzuru. You can get some power from it. And it's for children, too, and babies. [Peter? Is it Pindola? ba..bla] Bharad. [Bharadvaja.] Confusing. [Peter? BH or D?] B. [Peter? Second letter of the alphabet?] I have, we wrote it here.

Those are the Four Great Sravaka or Four Great Arhats. And Mahakashapa. There are many Kashapas here, but the most famous one is Mahakashapa.

I know that among them is Juriki Kasho in Japanese. I don't know which one is Juriki Kasho among those, among those great Kashapas. There will be the name of the place: Kashapa of Nadhi, the Kashapa of Gaya ... the Venerable Shariputra.

Shariputra is, you know, the most important disciple of Buddha,. who passed away before becoming a Buddha. When he passed away, Buddha was very much disappointed. [laughter] Almost, just two or three months before Buddha passed away.

The other disciple, Mahamoggallana, Mokuren, we said. Those are good friends even before he joined Buddha's order. And Shariputra … I think I had already explained when you studied Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra. Shariputra and Mahamoggallana were good friends, and Shariputra, before he was born, also, he was a son of a great scholar.

In India, you know, there were many great teachers. And if there was some great teacher, they would...they had many disciples, learned disciples, and they would discuss about teachings. And when he, and when they went in discussion, if someone defeat the great scholar, he would take over his place. That kind of thing was going on, and Shariputra was a great scholar, but because he was so great, Bimbasara, the King Bimbasara, gave him some land. But, Desha, another scholar called Desha, and Desha won that discussion or dispute, so the King took back the land and gave the land to Desha. It was terrible, you know.

And his daughter got married with Desha, and Shariputra is the daughter [son] of that woman who get married to Desha, but his name, he is named after … people called [him] Shariputra … people called Shariputra instead of calling Upadesha. Upadesha is his proper name, because Desha's son. But people were very sympathetic to that woman, called Shari. He was called by [the] name of Shari. And he went to some festival near Nagarguntika, and there he met with Maudgalyayana. And both of them were not happy to see the people playing or singing in the festival.

And he felt the vanities of life, and they felt the vanities of life, and they joined study of religion, but they promised that if I become ... if one of us becomes a good teacher, the other one would be the disciple of that teacher.

And soon, when Buddha visited  Nagarguntika, … Shariputra had met some Buddha's disciples, Shariputra asked who he is and who is his teacher. And that person said, “my teacher is Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha”. So he joined Shakyamuni Buddha's order and they both studied and attained Arhathood. Shariputra especially, give them a lecture.

And Shariputra was the most important disciple, and as I already told you, he passed away, and when he passed away he said the people, “Buddha is already right here so he may soon take nirvana, and as I'm pretty old, I'm sorry that I have to go to my home. And as soon as he arrived at Nalanda Village, he became sick and passed away, or took nirvana.

Many people missed him and he had [a] pretty big funeral, you know, he had many disciples when he passed away. His Sila throughout his life, very well respected.

Those stories are on the Buddhakarita, The Life of Shakyamuni and his Disciples. The name of the book is Buddhakarika. If you have dictionary you can consult by name of Buddhakarika. This is very reliable, what is it? It is a famous one....soja....

In Chinese, the character, he had unified, upright classical future, and a fire of various acts when he was young. When he was 16 years old, he could have disputes with many guests, instead of his father, for his father.

And he was a good friend of Mahāmoggallāna; and his father's disciples, all of his father's disciples respected him. And when he visited, when he went to the festival, he aroused, he felt deeply the impermanence of life, and hebecame, he joined the order of Sanjay, Devadhiputra, and in one week he passed in his teachers' teaching and he became the head of [the] 250 [person] group, and he joined, later he joined Buddha. And before he joined the order he saw Buddha's disciple, Assaji.

Those stories is on Zoe saikon -- in Sanskirt, it is called Karika. [Cut off 1:02:26]


Source: digital audio archive from DC. Problem set. Thanks to audio work by AW, transcribed March 2012 by Judy Gilbert. Work in progress. Further preparation to post by DC

Shunryu Suzuki Lecture Transcripts in Progress

Working with the most difficult tapes in the Suzuki tape archive

Thanks to Judith Gilbert for transcription and AW for Audio work

Suzuki lectures blog on SFZC site or Shunryu Suzuki dot com-the whole archive

Shunryu Suzuki Lectures on cuke