ZAZEN WASAN ~ "ODE TO SITTING-MEDITATION"

By Hakuin Ekaku Zenji

APPENDIX 2: Line By Line Comparison Of Translations.

#: This present translation.

a: Manual of Zen Buddhism, by D.T. Suzuki, page 151.

b: ???, by ?. ??, page 65.

c: Zen: Dawn in the West, by Philip Kapleau, page 182.

d: The Embossed Tea Kettle, Translated by R.D.M. Shaw, D.D., page 182.

 

1: Living beings originally are Buddha:

a: Sentient beings are primarily all Buddhas:
b: All beings are primarily Buddhas.
c: From the beginning all beings are buddha.
d: (1)The primary essence of all sentient beings is Buddha.

2: It is the same with water and ice,

a: It is like ice and water,
b: Like water and ice,
c: Like water and ice,
d: (10)Even as water and ice go together

3: There is no ice separate from water,

a: Apart from water no ice can exist;
b: There is no ice apart from water;
c: without water no ice,
d: (39-)Just as there can be no ice without water,

4: Outside of living beings no Buddha.

a: Outside sentient beings, where do we find the Buddhas?
b: There are no Buddhas apart from beings. [end stanza]
c: outside us no buddhas.
d: (3)Without sentient beings there is no Buddha.

5: Because living beings are unconscious of the intimate

a: Not knowing how near the Truth is,
b: Not knowing how close the Truth is to them,
c: How near the truth
d: (21)But all of them come to an end in the Law.

6: They seek it far away. Alas how pitiful!

a: People seek it far away,--what a pity!
b: Beings seek for it afar--what a pity!
c: yet how far we seek,
d: (-39)To go seeking it in distant places

(40)--How foolish--

7: It is like the examples of someone sitting in the middle of water

a: They are like him who, in the midst of water,
Cries in thirst so imploringly;
b: It is like those who being in water
Cry out for water, feeling thirst.
c: like one in water crying "I thirst!"
d: (5)As one who is immersed in water

 

8. But crying out in thirst; and,

a: Cries in thirst so imploringly;
b: Cry out for water, feeling thirst.
c: .. crying "I thirst!"
d: (14)They are like the utterance of the mystic cry (at enlighten-ment).

9: While still being the son of a millionaire's family,

a: They are like the son of a rich man
b: It is like the rich man's son,
c: Like the son of a rich man ..

d: (41)So do you become the son of that rich man.

10: As a strange good-for-nothing he loses his way in the countryside living in poverty.

a: Who wandered away among the poor.
b: Who has lost his way among the poor. [end stanza]
c: ..wand'ring poor on this earth,
d:

11: The causes and conditions of the revolving wheel of the six appearances

a: The reason why we transmigrate through the six worlds
b: The reason why beings transmigrate through the six worlds,
c: we endlessly circle the six worlds.
d: (16)By it the causes and relationships of the Six Regions of the Wheel

12: Are but one's own road through the darkness of ignorance;

a: Is because we are lost in the darkness of ignorance;
b: Is because they are lost in the darkness of ignorance.
c: The cause of our sorrow is ego delusion.
d: (20)All are but the dark road of our own ignorance

13: Walking down dark roads to dark roads,

a: Going astray further and further in the darkness,
b: Wandering from darkness to darkness,
c: From dark path to dark path we've wandered in darkness--
d: (7)Even when one is tramping along dark roads

14: Someday you should abandon Birth and Death.

a: When are we able to get away from birth-and-death? [end stanza]
b: How can they ever be free from birth-and-death? [end stanza]
c: how can we be free from the wheel of samsara?
d: (18)Escape from the Life-Death cycle will take place.

15: As to the zen meditation (dhyana-samadhi) of the Mahayana,

a: As regards the Meditation practiced in the Mahayana,
b: As to Zazen taught in the Mahayana,
c: The gateway to freedom is zazen samadhi; [beyond ...] the pure Mahayana.
d: (22)As for the Meditation of the Mahayana

16: There is just too much to praise.

a: We have no words to praise it fully:
b: No amount of praise can exhaust its merits.
c: beyond exaltation, beyond all our praises,
d: (15)How thankworthy is the Law

17: The several perfections such as charity, morality, and such;

a: The virtues of perfection such as charity, morality, etc.,
b: The Six Paramitas, beginning with the Giving,
Observing the Precepts
c: Observing the precepts, [repentance,] and giving,
d: (19)Almsgiving, Obedience to the laws, the paramitas

18: Chanting Buddha's name, confession and repentance, austerities, and the like;

a: And many other good deeds of merit,--
b: and other good deeds, variously enumerated,
c: the countless good deeds,
d: (11)So good works of graciousness

19: The many good deeds and various virtuous pilgrimages;

a: And the invocation of the Buddha's name, confession, and ascetic discipline,
b: As Nembutsu, Repentance, and so on--
c: [...] repentance, [...] and the way of right living
d: (24)Recollection of the Buddha, Repentance, The Discipline of Life

20: All these are coming from within it.

a: All these issue from the practice of Meditation;
b: All are finally reducible to Zazen. [end stanza]
c: all come from zazen.
d: [no equivalent line]

21: Also, a person succeeds by the merit of a single sitting

a: Even those who have practiced it just for one sitting
b: The merit of even a single sitting in Zazen
c: Thus one true samadhi
d: (26)Then he who performs one meritorious act of Meditation

22: To destroy one's immeasurably accumulated crimes.

a: Will see all their evil karma wiped clean;
b: Erases the countless sins accumulated in the past.
c: extinguishes evils; it purifies karma, dissolving obstructions.
d: (13)Nevertheless they destroy the innumerable accumulations of sins

23: Where then should the evil appearances exist?

a: Nowhere will they find the evil paths,
b: Where then are there the evil paths to misguide us?
c: Then where are the dark paths to lead us astray?
d: (23)Where can the evil regions be?

24: The Pure Land is then not far away.

a: But the Pure Land will be near at hand.
b: The Pure Land cannot be far away. [end stanza]
c: The pure lotus land is not far away.
d: (28)From such the Pure Land is not far distant.

25: One, who by this Dharma graciously

a: With a reverential heart, let them to this Truth
b: Those who, even once, in all humility,
c: *** heart humble and grateful,
d: (30)He who extols and rejoices in the goodness of others

26: Has the occasion to hear it announced even one time,

a: Listen even for once,
b: Listen to this Truth.
c: Hearing this truth, ***
d: (25)When once these have entered our ears

27: Who is a person extolling it with deep gratitude,

a: And let them praise it, and gladly embrace it,
b: Praise it and faithfully follow it,
c: to praise and embrace it, to practice its wisdom,
d: (9)This is more than sufficient for rejoicing and praise.

28: Receives supreme blessings without limits.

a: And they will surely be blessed most infinitely. [end stanza]
b: Will be endowed with innumerable merits. [end stanza]
c: brings unending blessings, brings mountains of merit.
d: (17)Receive endless happiness.

29: Much more, to personally turn around to face inward and,

a: For such as, reflecting within themselves,
b: But if you turn your eyes within yourselves
c: And if we turn inward
d: (27)Much more he who has 'turned himself round'

30: In that case, directly confirm by one's own nature,

a: Testify to the truth of Self-nature,
b: And testify to the truth of Self-nature--
c: and prove our True-nature--
d: (32)He who bears witness to the nature of the Self as Originating Essence.

31: That here, one's own nature is neither more nor less than no-nature.

a: To the truth that Self-nature is no-nature,
b: The Self-nature that is no-nature,
c: that True-self is no-self,
our own Self is no-self--
d: (2)The originating nature of the self is the Non-Buddha nature

32: And afterwards leave off from silly debate;

a: They have really gone beyond the ken of sophistry.
b: You will have gone beyond the ken of sophistry. [end stanza]
c: we go beyond ego and past clever words.
d: (29)He who has ceased from vain argumentation

34: Then opens the gate of the oneness of cause and effect;

a: For them opens the gate of the oneness of cause and effect,
b: The gate of the oneness of cause and effect is opened;
c: Then the gate to the oneness of cause-and-effect is thrown open.
d: (34)He has opened the gate of the Absolute Undifferentiated Nature

34: The Way of not-two and not-three is straightened.

a: And straight runs the path of non-duality and non-trinity.
b: The path of non-duality and non-trinity runs straight ahead. [end stanza]
c: Not two and not three, straight ahead runs the Way.
d: (4)The reckless way of utter absorption is the true way.

35: When form is the form of non-form,

a: Abiding with the not-particular which is in particulars,
b: Your form being the form of no-form,
c: Our form now being no-form,
d: (31)He who realizes that 'Form' is 'Non-Form'

36: One's going and one's returning are not someplace else.

a: Whether going or returning, they remain for ever unmoved;
b: Your going-and-returning takes place nowhere but where your are;
c: in going and returning we never leave home.
d: (36)Whether one goes on or returns there is no 'elsewhere'

37: When thought is the thought of no-thought,

a: Taking hold of the not-thought which lies in thoughts,
b: Your thought being the thought of no-thought,
c: Our thought now being no-thought,
d: (6)So make the thought of the Nonthought the whole of your thought.

38: One's singing and dancing are the voice of Dharma.

a: In every act of theirs they hear the voice of the truth.
b: Your singing-and-dancing is none other than the voice of Dharma. [end stanza]
c: our dancing and songs are the voice of the dharma.
d: (33)To such an one singing and dancing are alike the voice of the Law

39: The sky of boundless Samadhi is wide!

a: How boundless the sky of Samadhi unfettered!
b: How boundless and free is the sky of Samadhi!
c: How vast is the heaven of boundless samadhi!
d: (38)The sky of the unhindered Samadhi is broad

40: The moon of the Four Wisdoms' round brilliance is transparent!

a: How transparent the perfect moon-light of the fourfold Wisdom!
b: How refreshingly bright, the moon of the Fourfold Wisdom! [end stanza]
c: How bright and transparent the moonlight of wisdom!
d: [no equivalent line]

41: At this time what more should you want?

a: At that moment what do they lack?
b: At this moment what is there that you lack!
c: What is there outside us,
what is there to lack?
d: (35)When that happens what is there to seek?

42: Consequently, Nirvana appears before you.

a: As the Truth eternally calm reveals itself to them,
b: Nirvana presents itself before you,
c: Nirvana is openly shown to our eyes.
d: (-39-) so Nirvana is immediately present.

43: This place is neither more nor less than the Lotus Country.

a: This very earth is the Lotus Land of Purity,
b: Where you stand is the Land of Purity.
c: This earth where we stand is the Pure Lotus Land,
d: (8)Those roads are themselves the Lotus Land,

44: As it is, this body is neither more nor less than the Buddha.

a: And this body is the body of the Buddha.
b: Your person, the body of Buddha.
c: and this very body the body of buddha.
d: (37)The very body he has is indeed Buddha.

No equivilent line:

d: (12)Do not know any attachment to sentient things.

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