百千万億の経巻 | You will read billions of scrolls of sutras out there.

二十七祖・般若多羅はんにゃたら尊者が国王主催の昼食会に招かれた時のこと。

国王が尊者に問い質した、「他の僧侶らは皆わたしの前で経典を読誦した。あなたはなぜしないのか」。すると尊者は答えた、「諸縁に随わず、我身に安住もしない。わたしは百千万億巻の経典を常に誦じている。一巻や二巻どころではない」。–––正法眼蔵第三十「看経」より

ここで「我身に安住しない」と訳したところは「不居蘊界」で、蘊界とは五蘊(人間の身心を構成する五要素=色受想行識)をいう。尊者が居るのは、五蘊に規定された世界の外ということになる。不随衆縁・不居蘊界の眼に映るすべてのものは、たとえ文字でなくても仏典でないものはなく、耳に聞くすべての音は、たとえ言語でなくても仏説でないものはない。

蘊界の外。そこは蘊界の別なく、もの・ひと・ことばが交わる空間だ。その空間を一々の衆生の行動様式として「現成」させる。どうやらこれが仏道のほんとうの目的ではないか。個人のさとりとか、もう関係ない。

 

When the King of East India invited Prajnatara the 27th Ancestor to his luncheon, the King asked him, “Everyone turns [reads] a sutra except you, venerable. Why is this so?” Prajnatara said, “While exhaling I do not follow conditions. While inhaling I do not reside in the realm of skandhas [physical and mental constituents of the human being]. I’m turning hundreds, thousands, myriads, and billions of scrolls of sutras, not just one or two.”  (Reading a Sutra, Shōbōgenzō Ch.30)

So it is the outside of the realm of skandhas that Prajnatara lives in. Every object he sees there could be a passage of sutra even if it might not be a text. Every sound he hears there could be a talk of Buddha even if it might not be a speech. It is the place where people, words and things can meet and mix each other without referring to any ‘realms’. Buddhism seems to be a way of realizing it in the form of our behavior; it could bring each one a kind of spiritual change that is a possible consequence of Buddhist practice rather than its ultimate goal.

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