Lotus Sutra, Lecture No. III-4

[Third Lotus Sutra Series]
Saturday Evening, October 25, 1969
Zen Mountain Center

Last night1 I explained the most important part of this chapter [II], which runs:

“Shariputra

This is another translation,2 translated from a Chinese text,3 comparing to the Sanskrit original text.

“Shariputra, the Thus-Come One can, by a variety of distinction, skillfully preach the dharma. His words are gentle, gladdening many hearers. Shariputra, to take the essential and speak of it. As for the immeasurable and unlimited dharmas that have never been before, the Buddha has perfected them all.”

And herethis is most important part:

“Cease, Shariputra. We need no more to speak. Why is that? As for the prime, rare, hard-to-understand dharma which the Buddha has perfected, only a buddha and buddha can exalt the reality of the dharmanamely,
the suchness of dharma,
the suchness of their marks,
the suchness of their nature,
the suchness of their substance,
the suchness of their powers,
the suchness of their functions,
the suchness of their causes,
the suchness of their conditions,
the suchness of their effects,
the suchness of their retribution, and
the absolute equality of their beginning and end.”

And here there are important words. The reality of these dharma I explained last night: how things exist, and namely suchness of the dharma, and the suchness of their marks, and suchness of their nature, suchness of their substance. But all those things in words are another version of “things changes and things has no self-nature.” And things are originally organic: one whole being, which makes one whole lives. That is the fundamental teaching of this sutra.

And to have this kind of understandingview of life, view of natureis the Buddha's wisdom. And, in this sutra Buddha put emphasis on this point. And, referring to the Shobogenzo:4 “Only buddha and buddha can exalt the reality of these dharma.” This is very important.

In the Shobogenzo there is one chapter just for these words: “only buddha.”5 Buddha understands buddha. That is actually how we transmit Buddhism: When a disciple becomes a disciple, in the true sense, a disciple may have transmission. When a disciple becomes really a disciple, there is no other person but him. He represents all beings because everything existshas interdependency to the rest of beings. So his life includes everything. And a teacher's everyday life includes everything. Then there is no difference between teacher and disciple. When teacher and disciple understand dharma in this way, although there is nothing to transmit, teacher and disciple can share the same life. That is how we transmit our way.

In Japanese, yuibutsu-yobutsu.6 It means “buddha with buddhaonly buddha with only buddha.” This is a famous term—yuibutsu-yobutsu—a famous term for Soto priests, especially. Yuibutsu-yobutsu-nainogujin.7 It is a kind of stock term for us. Only buddhaone buddha exalts everything. Always one buddha exalts everything. Only buddha includes everything. Only buddhaonly one activity exalts all the activity in the world. This point should be understood from various angles. Then this understanding will be extendedthe teaching of this point will be the whole sutra.

So, skillfulness or means is not the second principle. All the activity which is called “skillfulness of buddha,” all the dharma which was left by Buddha with skillfulness is nothing but the real teaching itselfthe first principle itself. When we practice this skillfulness in its true sense, that is nothing but all the dharma we have as a Buddhist.

So, skillfulness is not any more skillfulness. But usually when we say “skillfulness,” you need some special practice. And because of this practice, you will attain some special teaching dharma, like the so-called first principle. But for Zen there is no first principle. What we have is just skillful means, which we practice moment-after-moment. That is the first principle itself.

But, how we attain this kind of skillfulnessnot “skillfulness,” but it depends on how seriously we practice this. Only when you are involved in your activity, moment after moment completely, that is what we mean by “skillfulness.”

And as long as you do your besteven if you make mistakes, that is also skillfulness, according to this sutra. But usually, they don't understand in that way. “If you make some mistake, that is not skillfulness. That is not good skill. Until you do something without any mistakes, you have no dharma, or you have no first principle.” That is the usual understanding, and that is more like the shravakayaka8 way.

You know, here in this translation there is the word “voice-hearer” many times. Voice-hearer means, in Japanese, shomon.9 Shomon is actually Buddha's disciple who practiced Buddha's way with Buddha. And, they think Buddha was great, but we are not so great. This was actually a mistake. So, even Shariputra, Buddha saidhe didn't actually say so, but after a long, long time, this was supposed to be the last sutra told by Buddha. This is the last sutra for his disciples. And after his disciples attained no-outflow stage—muro-ka—10 in Chinese muro-ka—the final stage, Buddha said, “The teaching which I am going to tell you will not be understood by you” [laughs]. So they were  confused. “After attaining the highest stage, you don't understand.”

Why he said so is because they thought, “We are arhatnext to, maybe, Buddha. We are not Buddha, but we are arhat.” So that was a mistake. Even when he started Buddhism, originally he was Buddha. So originally there is no difference between Buddha and his disciples. This understanding was missing. So that as long as you attach to this kind of dualistic ideawho is buddha and who is not buddha, who is perfect and who is not perfectyou will not understand this teaching. Or, you will not have the Buddha's view of life, or Buddha's wisdom. Or, you will not have Shoho jisso.11 You will not have “actual reality of being,” in which everything has the same value. Nothing can be separated from the other.

So, this teaching is completely different from that which was told by Buddha in some dualistic way. That is why Buddha said, “You will not understand this teaching.” Those points were the points I explained last nightin my last lecture.

At that time, the World-Honored One, wishing to restate this doctrine, spoke forth gathas,12 saying:

The same thing [as previous prose lines] is told by Buddha in the style of gatha:

“The Hero of the World is incalculable.
Among gods, worldlings,
And all variety of living beings,
There is none who can know the buddhas.
As to the Buddha's strength, his fearlessness,
His deliverance, and his samadhis, as well as
The other dharmas of Buddha,
There is none who can fathom them.”

I think you have to understand this first in a dualistic way. Buddha's teaching is very profoundsomething more than he says. Because it includes our actual life which we have we have had, and which we will have, which will continue moment after moment in various meanings. So there is no one who can fathom itfathom then. This is a very important point.

“Formerly, following numberless buddhas,
He fully trod the various paths,
Those dharma are very profound and subtle,
Hard to see and hard to understand.”

Formerly, not only in this life but also in his former life, in various ways, following numberless buddhas, he fully trod the various paths. It is actually so. It is not just a storybecause his life includes everyone's life. And when Buddha is Buddha, there is no other buddha, and there is no other disciple. There is none who can fathom them, like eyes cannot see eyes.

“Formerly, following numberless buddhas,
He fully trod the various paths,
These dharmas, very profound and subtle,
Hard to see and hard to understand.
Throughout countless millions of kalpas— ”

Having trodden those various paths on the ground of the wayhere there is a correction:13 “On the,” maybe, “platform of the path.”

“On the platform of the path, he was able to achieve the fruit:
This is—I fully know.”

Here are some words to explain.

“Throughout countless millions of kalpas
Having trodden those various paths;
On the platform of the path… ”

This isor, “ground of the way.” Translated in this way. And in Sanskrit, bodhi-manda—or some people say bodhi-mandala. Or maybe bodhi-manda is correct. In this sutra it means the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment. And this is also an important point in various sutras. In the Vimalakirti Sutra we have these words with some different connotation. Here it means the place Buddha attained enlightenment. Hmm. In its narrow senseor original meaning bodhi-manda means—manda means some holy place. Bodhi-manda means a holy place where bodhi14 was achieved. So, where Buddha attained enlightenment, like Bodhiunder the Bodhi tree, that is bodhi-manda.

And when people understand or people say this isthe translation of holy mandala meansI don't know how you make cheese out of milk. At first you will take out the essence of the milk, getting rid of the water. And, you will make cheese out of it. And, if you see the surface of the cheese, you will have some picture like a mandala which you cannot tell exactly what it is, like a Buddhist mandala. That is a mandala, which is the essence of something, and which is very pure, and which is very beautiful. That is a mandala. So, bodhi-mandala is a mandala of pure teaching, where Buddha may practice his way.

And later, in its wider sense, wherever it is, if we practice our way, that is a holy place. In Japanese or Chinese it is translated as dojo—“practice hall.” And later, in China, they built many dojo for some special practice, like zazen—a zendo. A zendo is a special building to practice our way, or dojo for chanting Amida Buddha's name. That kind of special building was built in China by various supporters of the sect.

But here it means “the place he attained enlightenment.” On the pathso, you can say

“Under the Bodhi tree, he was able to achieve the fruit:
This I fully know.”

So, according to Dogen Zenji, where we practice zazen, that is dojo, and that is the bodhi-manda. Not only underso everywhere will be bodhi-mandala if someone practices zazen there. That is actually what Dogen Zenji meant.

“As to such great fruits and retribution as these,
Such varied doctrines of nature and marks,
I and the buddha of the ten directions
Are the only ones who can know these things.
These dharmas cannot be demonstrated;
Signs of words are quiescent in them.

[Repeats.]

Sign of words are quiescent in them.
Among the remaining kinds of living beings
There are none who can understand them—”

It is impossible to understand fully because it is something beyond the signs of words. And yet,  wherever we are, there is a way, there is dharma. That is actual renunciation, because we cannot stick to human nature or buddha-nature. Human natureif you say “human nature,” no, that is buddha-nature. If you say “buddha-nature,” no, that is human nature. You shouldn't be discouraged by your human nature. You shouldn't be attached to buddha-nature. That is renunciation from buddha-nature and human nature.

If you understand, and if you practice our way in that way, there is the Buddha's teaching in its true sense, which is beyond signs of words.

“Signs of words are quiescent in them.”

These are, I think, good words. I didn't know. These are also famous words.

[Suzuki whispers to himself in Japanese.] Jaku metsu.15  

[Laughs.] In Japan when we have a funeral procession, we have four banners. In one of them it says, “Death and extinction.We enjoy death and extinction.” So [laughs] some people may think Buddhists like death and extinction. They may say: “Buddhism is very, very negative. Buddhists have a very negative attitude.” But jaku is “calmness,” and metsu is “extinction.” The calmness as a dead person. And extinction of all the desires, like a dead person. And we enjoy this.

But, it does not mean to annihilate all our desires. It means to go beyond those desires, or to go beyond even the extinction of all desires, or Buddhahood, or arhatship. That is real extinction of everything.

“Signs of words are quiescent in them.”

This is, I think, some words you should remember. And you should study thoroughlywhat will be the state of absolute calmness.

“Among the remaining kinds of remaining beings
There are none who can understand them,
Except for multitude of bodhisattvas
Whose power of faith is firm.

[Repeats.]

Except for multitude of bodhisattvas
Whose power of faith is firm.”

“Except for bodhisattvas,” maybe because this is a sutra for Mahayana Buddhists, or this teaching is for bodhisattvas. This actually expresses bodhisattva mind or Mahayana spirit. So, Mahayana students may understand it, it says. There is some discrimination: Mahayana or Hinayana. But this is a sutra which was set up by Mahayana Buddhists. I don't know who did it, but it can't be helped to have some discrimination.

So, Dogen took this kind of understanding one step further, where there is no Mahayana or Hinayana teaching.

“Except for the multitude of bodhisattvas
Whose power of faith is firm.”

So the bodhisattva's way is to have strong faith in our buddha-nature. By the way, I was very much interested in the discussion we have had on the last four-dayOctober 24th. Dogen Zenji,   talked about that kind of thing in Shobogenzo, so I felt as if we have many Dogen Zenji here [laughs] talking about the same thing.

“The multitude of Buddha's disciples
Formerly made offering to the buddhas.
All their outflow now exhausted,
They inhabit this last body.
Such men as these,
Their strength irresistible—

[Repeats.]

The multitude of the Buddha's disciples
Formerly made effort [offering] to the buddha.
All their outflow now exhausted,
They inhabit this last body.
Such men as these,
Their strength irresistible— ”

This part is actually talking about shravakas—Buddha's disciples who attained arhatship, or pratyekabuddhas, as called by Hinayana Buddhists. “The multitude of the Buddha's disciples” “Buddha's disciples” in this sutra sometimes means shravakas, and sometimes includes pratyekas too, and sometimes means Buddha's disciples who were intimately serving him. Or, sometimes in this sutra when they say “Buddha's disciples,” it may mean a priest, in contrast to a layman. So shravaka or bhikshu—16

[Sentence not finished. Tape turned over.]

or some “hearer” sometimes, in general. So, I don't know exactly who they are when they say here “Buddha's disciples.” If I check the Sanskrit, maybe I can tell.

“The multitude of the Buddha's disciples— ”

Maybe “hearers of the Buddha's teaching,” especially shravakas and pratyekas.

“Formerly made offering to the buddhas.
All their outflow now exhausted— ”

This is actually arhat, who has no evil desires.

“They inhabit this last body.”

So those who have fruit of practice

“Such men as these,
Their strength is irresistible—”

Although, their strength is wonderfulirresistible, even so, they will not understand it as long as they have dualistic ideas, or as long as they try to attain something.

“Even if they filled the world,
If all were like Shariputra—”

Shariputra is now representing all, disciples who had dualistic understanding

“If all were like Shariputra—
And if, exhausting their thoughts, all together calculated,
Could not fathom the Buddha's knowledge.”

The Buddha's knowledge, in its true sense, is not knowledge which can be understood in terms of words or signs.

“Even if they filled the ten directions,
All of them like Shariputra
And the remaining disciples,
If, further, filling the kuetras17 of ten directions—”

Kuetras means “area” or “country.”

“— filling the kuetras of ten directions
And exhausting their thoughts,
they were to calculate together,
They still could not know it.
If pratyekabuddhas of sharp intelligence,
Inhabiting a final body without outflows,
Were to fill even the zephyrs [spheres?] of the
ten directions,
In their number like to bamboo groves,
And if, putting their minds together
For millions of uncalculated kalpas,
They wish to think on the real knowledge of the Buddha,
There would be none who could know the slight portion thereof.”

“Inhabiting a final body without outflows” this actually means arhat. “Without outflows” “outflows” meansthis is a kind of special termwho have no desireswho keep precepts perfectlywithout outflows. They are not like a basket [laughs], or they are not an old container which leaks a lot [laughs]. That is actually what it means.

And the next part:

“If bodhisattva who have recently launched their thoughts
Who have made offerings to countless buddhas,
Who understand fully the direction of the various doctrines,
And who also can well preach the dharma,
Were, in the manner of ears of hemp, bamboo, and rice,
To fill the kuetras of the ten directions,
And if, with one mind and by resort to their subtle wisdom,
For kalpas as numerous as Ganges sand,
They were all to think and calculate together,
They still could not understand the Buddha's knowledge.”

Same thing as I read already.

“If bodhisattvas who do not backslide

“Backslide”it means that if you really experience something in its true sense, if that experience is very natural, and very accurate, and an outcome of your buddha-nature, that experience will never die. It is part of Buddha himself's life.

And this is very true. For instanceyou don't know actually why you came to Tassajara, maybe. Maybe some of you think, “For this reason I came to Tassajara. For this reason I am practicing here,” you may say. But, things do not happen as you expect [laughs]as you thinkas you expected. As I said, even if you have a full explanation of the enlightenment experience, the enlightenment [laughs] experience you have will not be the same as you thought before you attained enlightenment. But, the reason why is actually, it is not you who [laughs]originally it was not you who was practicing zazen. Who was practicing zazen, according to Dogen? Buddha was practicing zazen, not you.

So accordingly, what you will have as a result will not be the same thing as your small mind expects. If something like that happens, as a result of pure practice, as a result of real practice, that result will not vanish at all because that isDogen Zenji said, “Wisdom seeks for wisdom.” Buddhabecause of Buddha, Buddha will appear. So Buddha, results in Buddha. The same Buddha will be the result.

So, “Wisdom seeks for wisdom.” That kind of wisdom is wisdom which does not slide back. Some attainment you attain with some intention will slide back when your intention is not so strong any more. That is a kind of dualistic attainment you attain by your small mind.

So, the point is, when you practice real practice, you should give up all selfish ideas. You should just practice zazen for the sake of zazen. You should be completely involved in practicewhatever practice it may be. That is the point, and that is the practicethe attainment. No sliding back. This is important—futaiten—18 important wordsah words.

“If bodhisattvas who do not backslide,
In number like to Ganges sands,
Were with one mind to think and seek together,
They still could not know it.
I further proclaim to you, Shariputra,
That which is without outflows,
Beyond consultation and discussion,
The extremely profound and subtle dharma,
I have already got completely.
Only I know its mark,
As do the buddhas of the ten directions.”

He says:

“As do the buddhas of ten directions.

Only I know its marks, its features, its way—how it exists.

Excuse me, I must repeat it:

“I further proclaim to you, Shariputra,
That which is without outflow,
Beyond consultation and discussion,
The extremely profound and subtle dharma,
I have already got completely.
Only I know its marks,
As do the buddhas of the ten directions.”

Sometimes he says “only I,” but sometimes he says “the buddhas of the ten directions,” or sometimes he refers to buddhas in the future, like Maitreya Buddha. But when we say “Maitreya Buddha,” there is no other Buddha. When we say “Shakyamuni Buddha,” there is no other Buddha than Shakyamuni Buddha. When you say, “I am Buddha,” there is no other Buddha. That is our understanding. Each buddha includes the rest of the buddhas. So there may be many Buddhasat the same time actually there is one Buddha in reality.

So one and many: We have one buddha and many buddhas. There is no contradiction when we understand in this way. Do you understand [laughs]? There is no contradiction. Yes, many would say, “One Buddha, yes, only one Buddha.” Two buddhas? “Yes, two buddhas. Three buddhas, yes.” [Laughs.] There is no contradiction. This is how we understand Buddha.

So, this kind of understanding comes out of our real practice. So he says:

“As do the buddhas of the ten directions.”

And, now there are many buddhas who understand this sutra.

“Shariputra, it is to be known
That the Buddha's words are without discrepancy—”

Buddha's wordsno discrepancy. Buddha's words are always one. There is no discrepancy. There is no gap to insert some personal opinion.

“That towards the dharma preached by the Buddha
One should evince the strength of great faith.”

This is maybe a kind of faith, but a faith which is most realistic and most mystical [laughs] and most realistic, most profound and most common.

“After the World-Honored One's dharma has subsisted long— ”

Here it makes strong and wise sense.

“After the World-Honored One's dharma has subsisted long,
He must preach the truth.”

I don't know who he is. He must preach the truth because there are many dharmas, many buddhas. He must preach the truth.

“I proclaim to the multitude of voice-hearers—”

This is shravakas.

“And to those who seek the vehicle of conditioned
perceivers— ”

This is pratyekabuddhas.

“That I am the one who shall cause them to cast off the bonds of suffering
And to attain nirvana.

[Repeats.]

I proclaim
That I am the one who shall cause them to cast off the bonds of suffering
And to attain nirvana.
The Buddha, by the power of expedient devices,
Demonstrates the teaching of three vehicles.”

“Three vehicles” means the bodhisattva's vehicle, and shravaka's vehicle, and pratyeka's vehicle. Pratyeka is the second, and the bodhisattva vehicle is the first, and shravaka's vehicle is the third.

“Demonstrates the teaching of the three vehicles.
The living beings who are attached to this object and that

“To this object or the other,” maybe.

“Living beings who are attached to this object and that,
He attracted, thus enabling them to extricate themselves.”

This is the end of the stanza form of the precedent part of the sutra.

Oh. Do you have some questions?

Through this kind of Mahayana teaching, Zen practice resulted. I think we have to know this kind of sophisticated expression of the teaching. The opposite way is Zen [laughs]:

“What is Buddha?” [Laughs.] “Cats and a snake.” [Laughs.]

“What is Buddha?” “A beautiful stone by the stream [laughs],
like this.”

That is the Zen way. But the underlying spirit is not so. It is beautiful, and Buddhism is so simple it can be just one word. Hai.

Student A: Is the Lotus Sutra a Mahayana text?

SR: Yes. The

Student A: It paints a picture of Buddha as kind of a superman, and a kind of a state which is pretty unattainable. And in my past experience, that was a Hinayana kind of an approach.

SR: No.

Student A: And I wonder how. Could you explain that for me?

SR: Oh, I explained in the last training period about that: the idea of historical Buddha developed into Mahayana Buddha, like Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Dharmakaya Buddha. Like in Christianity the idea of Buddha was extended.

You may think it is not so realisticMahayana Buddhism is not so realistic. But it is more realistic [laughs]than Hinayana, Theravada Buddhism.

At first Buddha just helped his disciples and people. Started teaching the teaching of Buddha or teaching for disciples. But in Mahayana Buddhism it includes understanding of Buddha, and also the understanding of the disciples' nature, which is called buddha-nature and which is actually one, not different.

So the scale is greater, and the understanding is deeper. Of course, Buddha himself gave that kind of teaching. But for his disciples Buddha is someone who helped them, that's all. So for Mahayana teaching, Buddha is something beyond historical Buddha, which contains truth within himselfnot just a human beingnot just a hero or a special kind of hero. A more innate nature of him, or more fundamental, general human nature was found in him. That was the development of Buddhist thought from Hinayana to Mahayana. Hai.

Student B: Roshi, did the Theravadans use the namethey use the term Hinayana, or is that a Mahayana[?]

SR: No, I don't think so. Theravada: Joza-bu.19 It means a group of priests who remembers Buddha's words, and later, who made some system with the words so that they can easily remember them: putting numbers to the teaching, or collecting the same kinds of words in one place--classifying his teaching. And that is what they did later.

So the Buddha's actual teaching silted down, to the bottom of the [laughs] container, and they attached to the silt of the [laughs] drink. And they calledthis isit is easy to understand, easy to study because it was organized in some particular way so that we can remember it easilyso that we can understand it easily in terms of a dualistic sense. But it, at the same time, kills the life of the actual teaching.

So, Buddhism became more and more rigid and confined in some container. “This is Buddhism.” That was not so healthy a development of the teaching. So Mahayana Buddhists,  started to get the teaching out of the container and make it flow all over. And, they started stirring up the water. “This is the teaching [laughs]true teaching. And you have to study this.” That is more Mahayana teaching. Hai.

Student C: Skillful meansif nobody understands something such as Mahayana, and distinction between Mahayana and Hinayanais skillful means that nobody can understand it?

SR: Skillfulness actually meansusually may mean to point out some first principle or to give guidance to go to the goal. That is skillfulness. And according to the Mahayana idea, the  teaching Buddha gave to his disciples is means for some special [individual] person, not truth itself. It is so, but when some hasty person understands Mahayana teaching, he may say, “Mahayana is a more advanced teaching than Hinayana because Hinayana teaching is just skillful meansskillful, but means of guiding his disciple to the goal. Skillful means. Skillful. But it is just a means of giving guidance to the goal. It is like a finger pointing out the moon.” A hasty Mahayana Buddhist may understand in this way. And, when they say Hinayana, “Small Vehicle,” actually most, maybe, most people understood in that way in comparison to Mahayana. But, a more advanced understanding of it isskillful means itself is the First Principle.

So we have to accept Hinayana teaching with Mahayana spirit. That is a more advanced understanding.

Student D: Are all means skillful [2-4 words unclear].

SR: Yeah, if you understand more completely, it can bethe teaching can be extended to that point when Zen is for everyonethe wise or the foolish. For everyone. If it is religionif it is the perfect teaching, it should be for everyone. So skillfulwe cannot understand the skillful means as a secondary means to the first principle. That is a shallow or hasty understanding of Mahayana teaching. It may have started in that way, but we should have a deeper understanding of Buddha's teaching. Okay?

Yeahit's too late, so
_______________

1 This lecture is tentatively numbered Lecture 4. No tape for a lecture on October 24, 1969 (which would have been Lecture 3), is known to exist. In this present lecture, Suzuki three times refers to a lecture or discussion of the previous night and once to October 24th, but once to his previous lecture (i.e., not necessarily the 24th). So the tape of that lecture may or may not have existed at some time, but it has not as yet been identified.

2 That is, other than the one translated by H. Kern (used in SR-69-10-23), which relies on a Sanskrit source text. The translation Suzuki uses in this and subsequent lectures is Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma (Leon Hurvitz, trans., New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), which relies on the Kumarajiva translation as its source text. Suzuki revised Hurvitz' translation very slightly as he read and commented upon it. (Hurvitz' translation was published five years after Suzuki's death, so Suzuki must have relied on a pre-publication manuscript version of the text, which itself differs slightly from the 1976 published version.)

3 Translated from Sanskrit to Chinese by Kumarajiva in 406.

4 Possibly in Shōbōgenzō "Yuibutsu-yobutsu" ("Buddhas Alone, Together with Buddhas"). A similar phrase is also found in Shōbōgenzō "Hokke-ten-hokke."

5 Ibid.

6 Yuibutsu-yobutsu: yui: "only" or "solely"; + yo: "and" or "together with"; + butsu: "buddha." Hence, "Buddhas alone, together with buddhas."(Suzuki-rōshi also commented on this term in Lecture SR-70-07-13.)

7 "The way can be realized by a buddha alone."

8 shrāvakayāka: "vehicle of the hearers." Also used to indicate the Hīnayāna way.

9 shōmon: Japanese for Sanskrit shrāvaka, "hearer." Originally shōmon referred to an actual disciple of Shākyamuni Buddha. In Mahāyāna usage, it refers to a Hīnayāna practitioner who reaches the stage of an arhat by observing a great number of precepts.

10 muro-ka: an effect free from delusion or impurity; nirvāna; enlightenment.

11 shohō-jissō: sho, "all" or "many"; + , physical and mental dharmas; + jitsu, "real"; + , "form." Hence, "All dharmas are real form."

12 gāthā (San.): literally, "singly raising a chant." In a sūtra, gāthās are stanzas of poetry that are independent of the preceding lines of prose; an independent verse.

13 Probably in the Hurvitz manuscript

14 bodhi (San.): truth; state of truth.

15 Suzuki-rōshi is saying a Japanese term to himself (sounding as if he is trying to translate it). He customarily had dictionaries and other reference materials close at hand when giving lectures on the Lotus Sūtra, so he probably had a Japanese version of the text

16 bhikshu: monk; beggar; fully ordained member of a sangha.

17 kùetras (San.): literally, "field"; buddha-field.

18 futaiten (Jap.): not to regress from a realm one has attained.

19 Jōza-bu (Jap.): One of the schools of Hīnayāna Buddhism.

Source: City Center original tape. Verbatim transcript by Bill Redican (7/05/01). Lightly edited for readability by Peter Ford (11/2020).