花は愛惜にちり

「現成公案」章の冒頭は名文で、しかも難しい。その3番目のセンテンス。句読点は原文には無いはずだから外す。

仏道もとより豊倹より跳出せるゆゑに 生滅あり 迷悟あり 生仏あり しかもかくのごとくなりといへども 花は愛惜あいじゃくにちり 草は棄嫌におふるのみなり

名文の宿命として、深読みされやすい。とくに最後の、花と草のフレーズは、ここに禅の真髄ありみたいな解説をよくきく。だけど名文を書くのは道元には朝飯前なんだ。生まれたのが藤原家ですから。朝は和歌で起き、昼は漢詩で遊び、夜は枕草子で寝ていたでしょう。兄貴の通具なんか新古今和歌集の撰者ですし。

これを平凡な文に直せば、こうなるんじゃないだろうか。

–––仏道はもともと豊と倹(有り/無し)の世界を超え出ているので、生と滅、迷と悟、衆生と諸仏があるとはいえ、それは愛でられるか嫌われるかのちがいで花と草が分かれてしまうみたいな、その程度のことなのだ。どっちも植物、どっちも仏道だし。

 

The first paragraph of the chapter “Realization of Dharma” begins with beautiful phrases yet hard to understand. Its 3rd and 4th sentence, according to Tanahashi’s English edition, goes as follows:

The buddha way, in essence, is leaping clear of abundance and lack; thus there is birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas. Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread.

A poetic phrase like this tends to be read as something more than it actually means, particularly the metaphors of “blossoms” and “weeds”. You often find a commentary saying that the very essence of Zen lies here; it is the expression of the Zen soul. However, writing poetically would have been an easy job for Dōgen, who was born in Fujiwara family, one of the noblest lineages in medieval Japan. Creating and sharing poems was just part of everyday life in their social milieu.

So I would prefer to take more simple way of interpretation as follows: The buddha way, in essence, is leaping clear of divisions like abundance and lack. Even though there is birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas, these contrasts means no more than the blossoms falling in attachment and the weeds spreading in aversion. The former and the latter are just the phases in the way of plants or buddhists.

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