Academic journal article Japanese Journal of Religious Studies

Jokei's Monju Koshiki in Five Parts (C. 1196)

Academic journal article Japanese Journal of Religious Studies

Jokei's Monju Koshiki in Five Parts (C. 1196)

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)

Translators Note

The most accessible source for Jökei's five-part Monju köshiki is found in the Jökei köshiki shü ... , which includes both Chinese (kanbun ...) and classical Japanese (yomikudashi ...) renderings (Taishö Daigaku 2000, 143-60). The translation here is based on the Chinese text in the Jökei köshiki shü. Jökei's köshiki itself is undated, but it is likely that it was composed around 1196.1 The Jökei köshiki shü edition is based on a 1917 copy held by Tokyo University's Shiryö Hensanjo ... , with reference to mid-Muromachi-period (1333-1568) copies held by Otani University and Koyasan University (the latter on behalf of Kongo zanmai'in on ...).2 The Shiryö Hensanjo version is part of a compilation of Jökei's writings whose original title appears to have been Gedatsu Shönin bunsö Ä?SÄTAAT, but is often referred to as Shönin gosö tö .... The texts in this compilation are widely believed by specialists to be authentic writings of Jökei's. The Shönin gosö tö held by Shiryö Hensanjo is based on a manuscript held by Hanazono University (and formerly Közanji Höbenchi'in ... ). Sugisaki Takahide has investigated the Hanazono manuscript and suggests based on the handwriting style that it was likely made in the Kamakura period not long after Jökei's death (Sugisaki 2001, 61).3

Translation4

MONJU KOSHIKI ... (MAÑJUSRI KÖSHIKl)

First, we perform the communal obeisance (...):

Respectfully, we pay reverence to the heavenly beings and to the Honored Greatly Awakened One,

whose blessings and knowledge are as vast as the grains of sand in the Ganges.

Through the perfection of causes and the fulfillment of the fruits, [he] attained perfect awakening,

long-dwelling and steadfast, without past or future.5

Homage to the Mother of Awakening for the Three Times, the Great Sage Mañjusri Bodhisattva (repeat three times).

[Next,] we perform the essential dharma rites as usual.6 Next, the petition to the kami.7 Next, the pronouncement:8

Pronouncement of Intentions (Hyobyaku)

Respectfully, we address the collective body and the separate bodies of all the three jewels and declare:

We should loathe birth-and-death. We should loathe it, but we do not yet. We should rejoice in bodhi. We should rejoice in it, but we do not yet. We are like the children playing in a burning house, unaware and thus unafraid.9 Again, we are like the blind approaching a mountain of treasures, unable to see it and thus not longing for it.10 The follies and delusions of sentient beings are like this again and again. While transmigrating and reincarnating through countless lives since the distant past, we fall into the three paths and the eight difficulties, suffering and anguishing without respite, unable to bear arousing [the aspiration for enlightenment].11 Or we come [to be born] among the heavenly beings, coveting and pursuing, incapable of liberation. The wicked conditions of our favorable and adverse [circumstances] persist before our eyes; the false conceptions of our attachments and aversions blaze in our dreams. The reversal of permanence, bliss, selfhood, and purity is endless; the cycle of birth, old age, sickness, and death is limitless. Affections and attachments are like shackles and chains; we are long bound in the prison of the three worlds. Fame and profit are like poison, always afflicting the body and mind in this and future lives. From darkness into darkness, we do not hear the Buddhas name for ages.12 Even chancing to approach the three jewels, those with faith and reverence are few.

The unsurpassed enlightenment is vast and deep. Even the initial awakening of the aspiration for enlightenment will inevitably become the three wondrous contemplations (sanmy ...).13 The first is called the mind that loathes and separates from the conditioned (ui TfS), because one loathes the pervasive void of the conditioned. Second is the mind that deeply considers sentient beings, because one saves the exhaustive void of sentient beings. …

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