Treasury of the Eye of
the True Dharma
spiritual powers are the tea and rice in the house of the buddha.
The buddhas till now have not neglected them.<1> Among them, there are the six spiritual
powers; there is the one spiritual power; there is no spiritual
power; there is the supreme spiritual power.<2>
have taken the form of "morning blows, three thousand; evening
blows, eight hundred." Though they were born together with
the buddha, they are not known by the buddha; though extinguished
together with the buddha, they do not destroy the buddha. In
ascending to the heavens, they do so together; in descending
from the heavens, they do so together. Cultivating the practice
and getting the verification, they do so together. They are the
same as the Snowy Mountains, like trees and rocks.<3>
buddhas of the past are the disciples of the Buddha Shâkyamuni.
They present him with a kashaya; they present him with
a stûpa. At this time, the Buddha said, "The
spiritual powers of the buddhas are inconceivable." This
being the case, we know that the present and future are also
* * * * *
Chan master Daguei was an ancestor in the thirty-seventh generation
in direct descent from the Tathâgata Shâkyamuni;
he was the dharma heir of Baizhang Dazhi. The present buddhas
and ancestors who have arisen throughout the ten directions,
not the distant progeny of Daguei, are the distant progeny of
one occasion, when Daguei was lying down, Yangshan came to visit
him. Daguei turned and lay facing the wall.
Yangshan said, "Huiji is the venerable's disciple; no need
Daguei went to get up. As Yangshan was about to leave, Daguei
called to him, "Huiji."
Yangshan came back. Daguei said, "Let me tell you of my
Yangshan bent down to listen. Daguei said, "Can you interpret
my dream for me?"
Yangshan brought him a basin of water and a hand towel. Daguei
washed his face. Just as he had finished washing his face and
sat down, Xiangyan came in.
Daguei said, "Master Ji and I just did "one surpassing"
spiritual power. It wasn't like the little stuff."
Xiangyan said, "Zhixian was below; I know all about it."
Daguei said, "You, sir, should try to say something."
Xiangyan went and made a cup of tea.
Daguei praised them, saying, "The spiritual power and wisdom
of these two masters exceeds that of Shâriputra and Maudgalyâyana."<6>
we wish to understand the spiritual powers of the house of the
buddha, we should study Daguei's saying. Because it "wasn't
like the little stuff," to engage in its study is called
Buddhist study; not to study it is not called Buddhist study.
It is the spiritual power and wisdom transmitted from heir to
heir. We are not to go on to study what is studied by such as
the treatise masters or the spiritual powers of the outsiders
and the two vehicles in the land of the Western Heavens of Sindh.<7>
in studying Daguei's spiritual powers, though they may be unsurpassed,
we have [here] "one surpassing" perception [of them].<8>
Beginning with "when he was lying down," we have "he
turned and lay facing the wall"; we have "he went to
get up"; we have "he called, 'Master Ji'"; we
have "let me tell you of my dream"; we have "he
had finished washing his face and sat down"; we have "Yangshan
bent down to listen"; we have "he brought a basin of
water and a wash cloth."
such [acts], Daguei says, "Master Ji and I just did 'one
surpassing' spiritual power." We should study these spiritual
powers. The ancestral masters who correctly transmit the buddha
dharma speak like this. Do not fail to say that [Gueishan] was
"telling his dream and washing his face"; we should
be certain that this is [as he says] "'one surpassing' spiritual
power." Since he says, "it wasn't like the little stuff,"
it must not be the same as the small vehicle, a small measure,
a small view. It must not be the same as the "ten holy and
three wise." They all learn the small spiritual powers and
only aquire small stature; they do not reach the great spiritual
powers of the buddhas and ancestors. These are "the spiritual
powers of a buddha," "the spiritual powers beyond the
buddha." Those who would learn these spiritual powers should
not be moved by Mâra or the outsiders.<9>
What the sûtra masters
and treatise masters have never heard is hard [for them] to believe
even when they do hear it. The two vehicles, the outsiders, the
sûtra masters and treatise masters, and the like, learn
the small spiritual powers; they do not learn the great spiritual
powers. The buddhas maintain the great spiritual powers; they
transmit the great spiritual powers. These are the spiritual
powers of a buddha. If they were not "the spiritual powers
of a buddha," [Yangshan] would not "bring a basin of
water and a hand towel"; there would be no "he turned
and lay facing the wall"; there would be no "after
he had finished washing his face and sat down."
by the power of these great spiritual powers, there are also
the small spiritual powers. The great spiritual powers take in
the small spiritual powers; the small spiritual powers do not
know the great spiritual powers. By "small spiritual powers,"
we mean "a hair follicle swallowing the vast ocean, a mustard
seed containing Sumeru." Or "emitting water from the
upper body, emitting fire from the lower body," and the
Further, the five powers or six powers are all small spiritual
powers. These types have never experienced "the spiritual
powers of a buddha" even in their dreams.<11>
say that the five powers or six powers are small spiritual powers
is [to say that] the five powers and six powers are defiled by
practice and verification; they are cut off in time and place.
While we have them in life, they do not appear after the body.
They belong to the self and not to others. Though they may appear
in this land, they do not appear in other lands. Though they
may appear when we do not show them, they fail to appear when
it is time to show them.<12>
great spiritual powers are not like this. The teaching, practice,
and verification of the buddhas are equally brought to realization
in the spiritual powers. They are not realized only in the vicinity
of the buddhas; they are also realized "beyond the buddhas."
The manner of converting [beings] of "the buddha of the
spiritual powers" is truly inconceivable. It appears before
he has a body; its appearance has nothing to do with the three
junctures. If it were not for "the spiritual powers of a
buddha," there would never be the production of the thought,
the practice, the bodhi or the nirvâna of the buddhas.<13>
ocean of this inexhaustible dharma realm, constant and unchanging,
is all "the spiritual powers of a buddha." It is not
only that "a hair follicle swallows the vast ocean":
a hair follicle maintains the vast ocean, a hair follicle expresses
the vast ocean, a hair follicle vomits the vast ocean, a hair
follicle employs the vast ocean. When the entire dharma realm
has been swallowed into and vomited forth by one hair follicle,
we are not to learn that, since the one entire dharma realm has
become like this, there must be no more dharma realm. "A
mustard seed containing Sumeru" is the same: a mustard seed
vomiting Sumeru and a mustard seed expressing the dharma realm
are also "the ocean of the inexhaustible treasury."<14>
a hair follicle vomits forth the vast ocean or a mustard seed
vomits forth the vast ocean, they vomit it forth in a single
moment; they vomit it forth in ten thousand kalpas. Since
the ten thousand kalpas and the single moment have both
been vomited forth from the hair follicle and the mustard seed,
how are the hair follicle and mustard seed themselves obtained?
They have been obtained from the spiritual powers. Since this
obtaining is itself the spiritual powers, this is just the spiritual
powers giving rise to the spiritual powers. We should learn that
the three worlds have no other persistence or perishing. The
buddhas disport themselves only in these spiritual powers.<15>
* * * * *
layman Pang Yun was an extraordinary person of the ancestral
seat. He not only studied at the two seats of Jiangxi and Shitou,
he met and encountered many masters of the school possessed of
the way. Once he said, "The spiritual powers and the wondrous
functions: bearing water and carrying firewood." We should
investigate well the rationale [of this saying].<16>
term] unsui [in this saying] means to transport water.
Doing it oneself by oneself, another doing it by another, water
is transported. This is "the buddha of spiritual powers."
Although our knowledge of them may be at a certain time, the
spiritual powers are the spiritual powers. It is not that, when
people do not know them, their dharma is destroyed or their dharma
is extinguished. Even though people do not know it, the dharma
is the dharma as it is. Even if we do not know that bearing water
is the spiritual powers, that the spiritual powers are bearing
water is irreversible.<17>
[The term] hansai [in
the saying] means to carry firewood, as the Sixth Ancestor once
did. Although we may not recognize "morning blows, three
thousand" as the spiritual powers, although we may not think
of "evening blows, eight hundred" as the spiritual
powers, they are the realization of the spiritual powers. Indeed,
one who perceives the spiritual powers and wondrous functions
of the buddhas, the tathâgatas, will inevitably attain
the way. Therefore, the attainment of the way of all the buddhas
has always been accomplished through these spiritual powers.
being the case, while the emitting of water [from the body] in
the small vehicle may be a spiritual power, we should study the
fact that the bearing of water is a great spiritual power. Bearing
water and carrying firewood have never been discarded, nor have
people neglected them. That they have, therefore, from ancient
times to the present, been handed down from this [person] to
that, without ever reverting for a moment, is the spiritual powers
and wondrous functions. This is the great spiritual powers; they
cannot be the same as "the little stuff."<18>
* * * * *
when the great master Dongshan Wuben was attending Yunyan, Yunyan
asked him, "What are Master Jie's spiritual powers and wondrous
Dongshan joined his hands, stepped forward, and stood.
Yunyan asked again, "What about the spiritual powers and
Dongshan paid his respects and left.<19>
in this episode, there is "receiving the words, understanding
their sense" of the spiritual powers; there is "things
exist, box and lid matching" of the spiritual powers. We
should realize that the spiritual powers and wondrous functions
must have their children and grandchildren, those who do not
revert; they must have their eminent ancestors, those who do
not advance. Do not foolishly think that they should be the same
as the outsiders and two vehicles.<20>
the way of the buddha, there are the spiritual transformations
and spiritual powers of the upper body and the lower body. This
entire world of the ten directions is "the one true body
of the Shramana." The [waters of] "the nine
mountains and eight oceans," down to "the ocean of
the nature," the waters of "the ocean of sarvajña,"
are all water emitted from the upper body and lower body. Again,
they are the water emitted from the non-upper body, the non-lower
body, the non-mid body; and so on, down to the fire emitted [from
the body, which] is also like this.<21>
is not only [true of] water, fire, wind, and so on: not only
are buddhas emitted from the upper body, and buddhas emitted
from the lower body, and ancestors emitted from the upper body,
and ancestors emitted from the lower body, and immeasurable asamkhyeya-kalpas
emitted from the upper body, and immeasurable asamkhyeya-kalpas
emitted from the lower body, and the ocean of the dharma realm
emitted from the upper body, and the ocean of the dharma realm
absorbed in the upper body; but also the vomiting out of seven
or eight lands of this world and the swallowing up of two or
three, are also like this.<22>
four elements, the five elements, the six elements, the various
elements, the incalculable elements - all are the spiritual powers
emitted and submerged, the spiritual powers swallowed and vomited.
The present great earth and empty space, in every direction,
are swallowed up and vomited forth. Their strength is their being
turned by the mustard seed; their strength is their being connected
to the hair seed. Born together where knowledge does not reach;
they abide where knowledge does not reach; they return where
knowledge does not reach. The marks of the transformations of
the "spiritual powers of the buddha," which surely
have nothing to do with short or long - how could we merely consider
them in terms of [their] measurement?<23>
* * * * *
ago, when a seer with the five powers was serving the Buddha,
the seer asked, "The Buddha has six powers; I have five
powers. What is that one power?"
The Buddha called the seer, saying, "Seer with the five
The sage responded.
The Buddha said, "That one power, ask me about it."<24>
should study this episode very well. How could the seer know
that the Buddha has six powers? The Buddha has immeasurable spiritual
powers and wisdom, not just six powers. Even if one looks only
at his six powers, the six powers cannot be exhausted. How much
less, when it comes to the rest of the [Buddha's] spiritual powers,
could [he] even dream of them?<25>
let us ask [a few questions]. We should ask, even if the seer
may have seen the old master Shâkya, has he seen the buddha
or not? Even if he has seen the buddha, has he seen the old master
Shâkya or not? We should ask, even if he has seen the old
master Shâkya, even if he has seen the buddha, has he seen
the seer with the five powers or not? In this questioning, [one]
should study "using entanglements"; [one] should study
"entanglements cut off." How much less does [the question
of] the buddha having six powers reach [the level of] "counting
the neighbor's valuables"?<26>
about the point of the old master Shâkya saying here, "That
one power, ask me about it"? He does not say the seer has
"that one power" he does not say the seer lacks it.
Even if he explains the penetration or obstruction of "that
one power," how can the seer penetrate "that one power"?
For, though the seer has the five powers, they are not the five
powers in "the buddha has six powers." Even if the
powers of the seer get utterly penetrated in what the powers
of the buddha penetrate, how could the powers of the seer penetrate
the powers of the buddha? If the seer could penetrate even one
power of the buddha, by this penetration he should penetrate
we look at the seer, he has something resembling the powers of
the buddha; when we look at the deportment of the buddha, it
has something resembling the powers of the seer. Though this
may be [true of] the deportment of the buddha, we should realize
that [such deportment] is not the spiritual powers of the buddha.
Since they do not penetrate [the buddha], none of the five powers
is the same as [those of] the buddha.<28>
is the use of [his] immediately asking about "that one power"?
The old master Shâkya's point is that he should be asking
about even one power. He [should be] asking about "that
one power"; he should be asking about "that one power."
Even one power is not something the sage could reach. This being
the case, [when we speak of] "the spiritual powers of the
buddha" and the spiritual powers of others, while the term
"spiritual powers" may be the same, the term "spiritual
powers" is very different.<29>
* * * * *
regard to this [we have the following].<30>
The great master Huizhao of Linji
cloister said, "An ancient has said,
Tathâgata's presentation of the bodily marks
is done to accord with the sentiments of the worldly.
Lest people produce nihilistic views,
we expediently set up vacuous names.
We provisionally speak of the thirty-two
and the eighty, just empty sounds.
Having a body is not the substance of his enlightenment;
Having no marks is his true form.<31>
say that the buddha has six powers, and that they are inconceivable.
All the heavenly beings, transcendent seers, asuras, and
powerful spirits have spiritual powers. Does this make them buddhas?
Followers of the way, don't be mistaken. The asuras battled
with the Heavenly King Indra; defeated in battle, they led their
eighty-four thousand followers to hide inside a lotus root. Are
they not holy ones?<32>
this mountain monk has mentioned are all karmic powers or dependent
powers; they are not like the six powers of the buddha. He enters
the realm of form without being deluded by form, enters the realm
of sound without being deluded by sound, enters the realm of
smell without being deluded by smell, enters the realm of taste
without being deluded by taste, enters the realm of touch without
being deluded by touch, enters the realm of dharma without being
deluded by dharma.<33>
Therefore, when he realizes that
the six types - form, sound, smell, taste, touch, and dharma
- are all empty marks, they cannot bind this person of the way
who depends on nothing. Though his is the defiled quality of
the five aggregates, it is yet the spiritual power of walking
of the way, the true buddha is without form; the true dharma
is without marks. You are just making models and making patterns
on top of phantom transformations. Even supposing you get something
through your seeking, it will all be fox spirits. None of it
is the true buddha, it is the view of the outsiders.<34>
being the case, the six spiritual powers of the buddhas are not
something that could be reached by, not something that could
be reckoned by, any of the heavenly beings or demonic spirits,
or by the two vehicles and the like. The six powers of the way
of the buddha have been singly transmitted only by the disciples
of the buddha on the way of the buddha; they are not something
transmitted by others. The six powers of the buddha are singly
transmitted on the way of the buddha; those that do not uniquely
transmit them cannot be expected to know them. We should study
that those who have not singly transmitted the six powers of
the buddha are not people of the way of the buddha.<35>
* * * * *
Chan master Baizhang Dazhi said, "The eyes, ears, nose,
and tongue are each without the stain of craving for all the
dharmas, whether being or non-being - this is called "keeping
the four-phrase verse"; it is also called "the four
fruits." The "six entrances" without traces are
also called "the six spiritual powers." To be unobstructed
by all the dharmas, whether being or non-being, and not to rely
on the understanding - this is called "spiritual power."
Not to guard this spiritual power - this is called "no spiritual
power." Such is the bodhisattva of no spiritual powers,
whose foot prints cannot be found. He is a human beyond the buddha,
the most inconceivable human. [He] is "the heavenly being
of the self."<36>
spiritual powers transmitted here by buddha after buddha and
ancestor after ancestor are like this. The spiritual powers of
the buddhas are "the human beyond the buddha," the
most inconceivable human," "the heavenly being of the
self," "the bodhisattva of no spiritual powers,"
"the understanding not relying," "the spiritual
powers not guarding this," "all the dharmas not being
There are now in the way of the
buddha the six spiritual powers. The buddhas have transmitted
and kept them for a long time. Not a single buddha has failed
to transmit and keep them. Those who do not transmit and keep
them are not buddhas.
six spiritual powers clarify, "without traces," "the
six entrances." To say, "without traces," [means
what] an ancient has said, "The six types of spiritual functions
are empty and not empty. The one circle of light, with neither
inside nor outside." "Neither inside nor outside"
must be "without traces." When, "without traces,"
we practice, study, and verify, we do not move "the six
entrances." To say, "we do not move," means, the
one who moves deserves thirty blows.<38>
being the case, we should study the six spiritual powers in this
way. Those who are not legitimate heirs of the house of the buddha
- which of them has even heard of this principle? They just mistake
chasing about outside for the observances of coming home. Further,
while "the four fruits" may be utensils on the way
of the buddha, there is no Tripitaka [master] who has correctly
transmitted them. How could those who "count sand,"
the types who "stumble off," get these fruits? The
types who "get a little and consider it enough" - their
investigations have not mastered it; it is [something to which]
only buddha after buddha accede.<39>
four fruits" are "to receive and hold the four-phrase
verse." "To receive and hold the four-phrase verse"
means, in regard to "all dharmas, whether being or non-being,"
"the eyes, ears, nose, and tongue are each without the stain
of craving." "Without the stain of craving" is
"undefiled." To say [they are] "undefiled"
means they are "the ordinary mind"; they are "I
always take this seriously."<40>
The correct transmission of the
six powers and four fruits in the way of the buddha is like this.
We should realize that what differs from this is not the buddha
dharma. This being the case, the way of the buddha is always
mastered from the spiritual powers. Who could doubt that, in
this mastery, the smallest drop of water swallows and vomits
the vast ocean, the slightest mote of dust takes up and lets
go of a tall peak? This is just the spiritual powers.
jinzû number 35
Presented to the assembly, sixteenth day of the eleventh month
of the second year of Ninji (kanato-ushi) ,
at Kannon Dôri Kôshô Hôrinji