Anda di halaman 1dari 17

Thoughts on the Ideological Background of Social Discrimination

H AKAMAYA Noriaki

in a series of essays I have published this year criticizing the idea of original enlightenment.1 One factor that makes the criticism of original enlightenment so difcult is that so many inuential intellectuals routinely and with such utter condence repeat the idea that this doctrine represents the mainstream and quintessence of the Buddhist tradition. From there they go on to claim that because the idea permeates the whole of Japanese culture, the ideals of peace and harmony were able to take rm hold in Japan. Rejecting the doctrine of original enlightenment then becomes tantamount to rejecting the best ofif not even the whole ofJapanese culture. I am not resorting here to hyperbole. One nds examples of such thinking everywhere, as for example in the following newspaper column by Umehara Takeshi:
HIS ESSAY IS ONE

[In contrast to my earlier ideas I now think that] Japanese Buddhism, while having the appearance of Buddhism, was greatly inuenced by preBuddhist indigenous religion and thus became something quite distinct. Or perhaps it is better to say that Japanese Buddhism is the truly genuine development of the Mahayana Buddhist traditionthat Japan was already, in a latent form, a Mahayana country, so that with the introduction of Buddhism the latent became manifest as Japan developed into an Eka-Mahayana Buddhist nation, unique in the world. [Prince Shtoku, who deserves the utmost credit for establishing Buddhism in Japan, tried to employ people of talent in government ofces and to break the shackles of the clan system.] To accomplish this he needed a philosophy of equality and unity, which Prince Shtoku discovered in the rmldev Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, considered to be the only sutras that teach Ekayana Buddhism. Prince Shtoku later called this Eka-Mahayana. He demonstrated that the doctrine of tathgata339

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

garbha was the other side of the coin of Ekayana thought. After this, Japanese Buddhism developed along the lines of the tathgata-garbha and Ekayana Buddhism advocated by Prince Shtoku. I especially wish to emphasize the uniquely Japanese development of this Ekayana Buddhismwhere, unlike Indian or Chinese Buddhism, the doctrine of the Buddhahood of mountains, rivers, grasses, and streams evolved. In other words, the Buddhistespecially Mahayana Buddhistdoctrine of equality went beyond humanity, to encompass the whole of the natural world, beginning with animals and plants. In this sense, though we often focus on the Buddhist assertion of human equality alive in the national polity of Japan today, it is the extension of this equality to mountains, rivers, grasses, and treesunique to Japanese Buddhismthat is truly important, for it can stave off the destruction of nature resulting from the anthropocentric ideas so strong in European thought. Ours is a doctrine essential to the future of humanity.2

I hardly need mention that what Umehara calls Ekayana Buddhism or tathgata-garbha Buddhism is what I mean by the doctrine of original enlightenment. If we follow his line of argument, we may well end up in the deluded notion that the Japanese alone, thanks to the doctrine of original enlightenment, have enjoyed a history of peace and equality, free of war and slaughter. This kind of blithely authoritative attitude, completely indifferent to the facts of the matter, combined with a loose logic that mixes indigenous religiosity with Ekayana Buddhism (the problem lying not in the claim that Japanese Buddhism was strongly inuenced by pre-Buddhist indigenous religiosity, but that prior to the introduction of Buddhism Japan was already a latently Mahayana country), are all typical of the abuse perpetrated by a group of inuential intellectuals who conceive of everything in terms of the doctrine of original enlightenment. It is not the purpose of this essay to go after Umeharas ideas. I leave that for another time. My aim is to show how the doctrine of original enlightenment is representative of the very sort of establishment ideology that has been instilled in us unremittingly up to the present day, where it is typied in thinkers like Umehara. The primary focus of my critique is, therefore, the institutionalized and authoritarian character of the doctrine of original enlightenment. In so doing, the critique runs the risk of being itself politicized and removed from its academic moorings. There are already some who claim that my criticisms are too hasty and lacking in scholarly rigor. They say that I have strayed from my own eld of expertise and trespassed into the territory of others in an attempt to cause
340

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

havoc; or that I split hairs over trivial details, throw out the baby with the bath, miss the whole picture, and so on. Nothing would please me more than if the publication of this essay would provoke direct criticism of my ideas without getting tangled up in tangential issues. I say this because I am convinced that Prince Shtokus constitutional mandate to value harmonyusually lauded as a Buddhist sentimentis, in fact, political. Actually, I do not see any reason to make a big fuss over the critique of the doctrine of original enlightenment. Quite the contrary, I believe that a simply unbiased look will disclose its authoritarian and institutional nature. I cannot resist repeating the words of Motoori Norinaga, who had the following to say when asked why he was more critical of Confucianism than Buddhism:
Buddhism is a disorderly and composite tradition, and of course differs from the Way. Its harm is obvious and easily seen, and has already been argued by the Confucian scholars in China and in contemporary times by the Shintoists of our own country. There is thus no need to burden ourselves with repeating these arguments all over again. Confucian thought, in contrast, is not as obviously harmful or as obviously loathsome. Lacking this sort of reputation, and with explanations and doctrines that, on the surface, seemed entirely in keeping with the Principle (dri 7), these teachings have long been commonly believed. Even among the learned, there were none who did not base themselves in this thought. In modern times one occasionally nds Shintoists who criticize this way of thinking, but by failing to plumb the depths of what they are criticizing, they eventually slip back into the selfsame Confucian beliefs. Of old few have truly understood this mistake, and hence, because the Way seems at rst glance to be without harm, the depth and measure of its harm surpasses that of Buddhism.3

It is the obvious harm of the doctrine of original enlightenment, then, that I shall endeavor to point out in this essay. As to the question of the depth and measure of the harm of the Confucian Way, I will leave that for another day.

In his discussion of kirigami in St Zen,4 Ishikawa Rikizan provided a concrete and exhaustive investigation of how, in a Japanese cultural climate that placed great value on secret transmissions, kirigami played a signicant role in the development of the St community from medieval
341

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

times. These kirigami are only one example of social discrimination. I would like, from a religious point of view, to take up the doctrinal context that engenders and sustains such social discrimination. Because a religious point of view entails personal opinion, and because the ideas presented here have yet to be adopted by the Joint Conference of the Special Section of the St Doctrinal Advisory Committee (of which I am a member and to which I address these remarks), I have tried to restrict myself to questions of ideological background in order to refrain from introducing too many individual and idiosyncratic speculations of my own. The thoughts are mine, of course, but I have tried to keep the conclusions of the Joint Conference in mind as I express them. Since its rst meeting in January of this year (1985), the Joint Conference has held ten sessions focusing on the problem of karma. In order to keep our topic in focus we have been studying the question of karma in the three times (X%) as presented in the rst chapter of the Shushgi.5 The Shushgi, a fundamental statement of doctrine for St members, does not itself use the language of social discrimination. The work does not date from the beginning of the St sect, but is rather a collection of materials from Dgens Shbgenz compiled by uchi Seiran (18451918) during the Meiji period and later ofcially recognized by the Stsh.6 This was why the Committee decided to broaden our investigation and look for discriminatory language not only in the Shushgi but in its source, the Shbgenz, as well. There we found only a handful of examples, such as ca^la (sendara ), eunuch (Skt. a^ha, Jpn. mon ), and pa^aka (funan #C), although it turned out that even these terms were not Dgens own but only appeared in citations from other works.7 Even so, the fact that they were repeated was enough to merit an investigation into their place in the overall context of the work. We found that they are not examples of strong discrimination, and that compared to other Chinese and Japanese Buddhist texts whether of the same era, earlier, or laterDgens works are conspicuous for their lack of discriminatory language. Still, we did not feel condent to claim infallibility for our founder in this regard or to rest easy with the fortunate outcome of our study of the Shushgi and the Shbgenz. For, once the Shushgi had been completed and was adopted as a text within the Stsh, we do in fact nd a conspicuous use of discriminatory language by St preachers who used the work, as indeed it is still used to this day. Matters have now gone far beyond anything that a simple recog342

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

nition of these facts can repair. I believe we have come to a point where we must question the very meaning of our religion, and thereby, perhaps for the rst time, clarify the nature of the religious issues involved. I believe that by focussing on the issue in this way a determination of the relationship between the Shushgi, the Shbgenz, and the discriminatory language used by Stsh preachers can be expressed in terms that draw it beyond the connes of the St community and its doctrine something that I consider absolutely crucial. Aside from questions surrounding the compilation of the Shushgi, we need to determine whether the teachings of the St preachers who have used this ofcially recognized text for generations actually bears any resemblance at all to Dgens Shbgenz. For what we nd in these sermons is often the sort of easy answers to suffering and wisdom that Dgen resisted his whole life. Let me clarify the point with a citation. As is well known, immediately after his return to Japan from China Dgen undertook a sharp critique of a number of questions then current among Japanese Buddhists; this critique makes up the Bendwa chapter of the Shbgenz. Regarding the popular notion of eternal mind and perishable phenomena,8 he wrote:
Question: Some have taught that One should not fret over the constant ux of life and death. There is an extremely simple path to freedom from the cycle of life and death: by knowing the eternal, unchanging mind. This means that although the body dies the real essence of the mind never perishes. When you realize that the essence of the mind is not subject to the cycle of life and death and only exists temporarily in the body, you perceive that it continues to live on in various places without ceasing. It is constant and never changes throughout past, present, or future. To know this is to be released from the cycle of life and death. The cycle of life and death is put to an end, and when the body dies you enter the ocean of true being. When you merge with this ocean of being you possess the same cardinal virtues as the Buddhas and Tathagatas. Even if you comprehend this in your present life you nevertheless are different from a holy man because of the delusions accumulated in your former lives. If you fail to understand this [i.e., the unchanging and eternal nature of the mind] you will revolve forever within the cycle of life and death. Without further delay we should grasp the minds immutability. What good is spending your entire life sitting quietly, without doing anything? Is such a view in accordance with your interpretation of the Way of the Buddhas and Patriarchs? 343

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

Answer: What you have just said is certainly not the Buddhist Dharma but rather the view of the non-believer Senika.9

Among the various dialogues in the Bendwa, this section on the eternal mind and perishable phenomena is the longest, an indication of just how much effort Dgen put into its critique. Dgen goes on at some length to criticize the idea of this eternal mind that some have taught, but what is important to note here is that this critique was directed towards the doctrine of original enlightenmenta contagion spreading throughout the Japanese Buddhist world from its center on Mt. Hiei. The rst to clearly make this point was the great Tendai scholar Hazama Jik;10 more recently Yamauchi Shuny has also given attention to this issue from the St point of view.11 Since Yamauchis is a pioneering work within the St tradition, we may assume that the controversy has only just begun to unfold. Here I shall illustrate the signicance of the passage apropos of the question of karma as it relates to the preaching of St evangelists. I cannot emphasize enough the fact that the ideas Dgen condemned as the view of the non-believer Senika constitute the doctrine of the eternal mind and perishable phenomena,12 and that this doctrine is, in fact, none other than the doctrine of original enlightenment. Is it not ironic that this idea, criticized by Dgen, has from his time up to the present been accepted as the mainstream of Japanese Buddhism, even among St believers who revere Dgen as their founder? The idea of original enlightenment refers to a fundamental enlightenment that transcends the phenomenal world.13 All people are by nature primordially endowed with this enlightenment, which exists eternally. Since the doctrine implies that, at a level preceding awareness, the phenomenal transformations of samsara remain, it is of a single piece with the idea of eternal mind and perishable phenomena. It would appear, on the surface of things, that such a doctrine is a direct expression of equality, based on the recognition of a universal underlying enlightenment shared by all people. This is no more than a complete delusion. This simplistic and one-dimensional notion of original enlightenment asserts that truth lies in a monistic, underlying enlightenment, which turns out to be the dominant force behind the perpetuation of social discrimination. Even more alarming is the fact that, because of its longstanding predominance in the mainstream of Japanese Buddhism, the doctrine of original enlightenment is often considered to be the central
344

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

philosophy of Buddhism. I have not the condence to speak of other Buddhist denominations, but would like at least to clarify the facts as far as the St sect is concerned. In a sense the clarication is superuous, since even a cursory perusal of the sermons on the Shushgi brings one again and again up against the very thing that Dgen was criticizing. In any case, I wish to cite a few examples to illustrate the point. In Shh No. 390, published by the St at the beginning of the Taish era, we nd a sermon on the fourth section of the rst chapter of the Shushgi. That chapter itself reads:
In general, the principle of cause and effect is clear: without any doubt those who do evil fall and those who cultivate virtue ascend; if cause and effect ceased to exist or were invalid, there would be no appearance of the Buddhas in the world, and the Patriarch would not have come from the West.

The sermon on this passage reads as follows:


The original foundation of the cosmos is one reality, the same and equal, with no separation between even the most minute particles; however, within the true essence of that one reality, same and equal, a single great spiritual force exists of its own power. That spiritual power manifests a wondrous function based upon the law of the universe that has not changed from past to present; that law is called the principle of cause and effect. From the great universe above to a single blade of grass or tree below, all things are born and nurtured according to this rule of cause and effect. Likewise with our physical bodies and minds, our sufferings and joysnothing exists that is not according to this law. Actions in the past become the root cause that invites the fruits of the present; manifold causes and manifold effects ow continuously and without pause, without beginning or end. However, there are various differences in the fruits because there are myriad disparities () in the root causes; hence those who do evil fall and those who cultivate virtue ascend. The environment of those who give rise to an evil mind and practice evil gradually degenerates, their position falls, and the nation becomes deled; in contrast, the position of those who give rise to a virtuous mind and cultivate virtue ascends and the world becomes pure. Thus we must resign ourselves to the fact that the reason that we are born into this world and experience various and myriad punishments and rewards is entirely due to the causes and conditions of past lives.14

This is a good example of a deceptive logic that, starting from one reality, the same and equal as the original foundation of the cosmos,
345

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

suddenly jumps to accepting present disparities as the result of the karma of former lives. This insipid passage is also a splendid example of what Dgen had criticized as the teaching of the heretical Senika. In spite of the fact that the portion of the Shushgi that is being commented upon is itself directly lifted out of the Jinshin inga chapter of the Shbgenz,15 the preacher ends up contradicting the teaching presented there by Dgen. In fact, the Jinshin inga does warn against denying cause and effect, and teaches the need for a deep belief in the principle of cause and effect. But it does not teach the acceptance of present disparities as the fruit of accumulated karma. On the contrary, Dgen argues that the idea of an ocean of true being lying at the base of the cosmos, from which the various disparities arise and to which they again return, is itself the denial of cause and effect. For example:
[Those who] deny this world say that though the form is in this world, in the end the [true] nature is the same as that of satori. This is because our [true] nature is the mind, and the mind is not the same as the body. This interpretation is that of the non-believers. They also say that upon a persons death there is assuredly a reuniting with the ocean of true being and regardless of whether one cultivates the Buddha-dharma one naturally returns to this ocean of awakening and there is no more cycle of birth and death, and hence there is no afterlife. This is the understanding of the non-believers. Even if [those who assert this] have the appearance of the monk, if they hold such false views they are not a disciple of the Buddha, for this is truly a heresy. From the rejection of cause and effect comes the error of denying this world and the future world. The rejection of cause and effect comes from the failure to meet and study with true good friends. If one spends time with a true good friend false views such as the rejection of cause and effect cannot occur. We should accept and have deep faith in these compassionate teachings of our Patriarch Ngrjuna.16

There are, of course, complex doctrinal questions involved in determining just what kind of cause and effect Dgen is advocating here,17 but it is clear that in this passage from his later years (as was the case in his earlier Bendwa), he is emphatically rejecting the teaching of an eternal mind and perishable phenomena. It is equally clear that he holds this teaching of original enlightenment to be a denial of cause and effect. The same point is made in the Daishugy chapter, though with a somewhat different accent.18 Throughout his life, Dgen maintained this critique of
346

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

eternal mind and perishable phenomena or original enlightenment, and did so by relating it explicitly to the question of cause and effect. But let us return to the sermons on the Shushgi. Harada Sogaku (18711961) had the following to say in a sermon on nearly the same portion of the Shushgi cited above:
In order to clearly understand the principle of truly empty and profoundly existent OWU and the principle of the non-existent nature of cause and effect F[, we must above all know the truth of the monistic absolute s. Immediately upon knowing the dharma of this monistic absolute, the principle of the true character of impermanence, no-self, and nirvana will be clearly resolved and thereupon one will conclusively obtain the seal of the one reality so|. Therefore, one must rst know the teaching of the three seals [of impermanence, no-self, and nirvana], for in ignorance of the three seals it is entirely futile to attempt to understand the path of the Buddhist patriarchs, that is, the seal of the one reality. In St we call this seal of reality the true nature of the transmission or the most important matter of cause and condition.19 In order to aid us in perceiving, accepting, and believing this, we express it in our Mahayana Zen as a distinction between the true (sh ) and the provisional (hen ). True means nondiscriminating equality; it is the aspect of the nonsubstantial (mush [). Provisional means the myriad differences and manifold distinctions; it is the aspect of both temporal and spatial causal necessity. Thus the true points to the essential content, while the provisional points to the variety of appearances. In other words, the one refers to principle, the other to things. But the principle and the things are never two, but together constitute the true fact of the one absolute (suO). In todays language we would speak of phenomenain-true existence, and true existence-in-phenomena. This is the purport of our Mahayana Zen. The path to satori is what effects the Great Awakening to this fact. In the Shushgi this is called the precepts of the Buddha (bukkai [w).20

At the risk of repeating myself, the idea that if you know the truth of the monistic absolute you will immediately resolve the principle of the true character of impermanence, no-self, and nirvana and conclusively obtain the seal of the one reality is nothing other than the extremely quick path to the freedom from the cycle of life and death that Dgen criticized in the Bendwa as an utterly facile and worthless way to thinkor better, to not-think. Without the slightest hint of discomfort
347

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

one sits there and simply announces that the true is the provisional and the provisional is the true, that discrimination is none other than equality and equality none other than discrimination. This is the very kind of extremely quick path that Dgen found so completely disgusting. But far from being dismissed from the St circle as a heretic, Harada Sogaku was held up as its representative. No doubt the reason the very ideas that Dgen criticized managed to become central to St lies in the fact that the mainstream of Japanese Buddhism itself has long been dominated by the doctrine of original enlightenment. Whether consciously or unconsciously, St simply allowed itself to be swept along with the current rather than follow Dgen and swim against it. This resulted in a formulation of doctrine based on ideas like the ve ranks, which Dgen himself had despised.21 I believe this also to be the reason that such works as the Tsan-tung-chi (Jap. Sandkai, 8th c., T. 48.327ab) and the Pao-ching-san-mei (Jap. Hkyzanmai, 9th c., T. 47.515ab) came to occupy important positions as scriptures within the St. (Indeed, Haradas ideas coincide perfectly with what we nd in the Sandkai and the Hkyzanmai.) Kishizawa Ian (18651955), a great lecturer on the Shbgenz and representative gure of St during the Meiji era who gave a teish on these two texts, explained the doctrine as a secret teaching of St. For example, in the Sandkai we read: The spiritual spring is pure in its brightness, while the streams ow in darkness; attachment to phenomena is originally delusion, but enlightenment is also not to agree with the principle. And now Kishizawas teish on the passage: These four lines reveal the profound meaning of the Sandkai. If just this much is absorbed, one has nished the reading of the Sandkai. If the Buddha-dharma, the cosmic truth, is realized, philosophy and practice have also thereby been exhausted. This Sandkai is extremely important in our doctrinal tenets, and in these few words the oral transmission of the St is exhausted.22 It may be true that this is how the oral transmission of St doctrine based on the idea of enlightenment is completed, but merely absorbing this teaching and returning to the ocean of true being, quickly and simply perfecting the truth of the universe and thereby exhausting the whole of philosophy and practice is, once again, the very thing that Dgen condemned. If practice were fullled by merely absorbing this truth, then the
348

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

seated meditation that Dgen stressed would also be unnecessary. But this is the kind of teaching that, in direct contradiction to Dgens intentions, took precedence in the St sect. Kishizawa continues:
The spiritual source is pure in its brightness. The spiritual source of course refers to the source of the water. Its ow is dispersed through the tributaries, which can then be followed back to the spiritual source. The source and its tributaries are one. The cause of the Buddhas arises from conditions, and the stem that arises from conditions is twisted to become the six-foot-long gilded body [of the Buddha-image], and the six-footlong gilded body is twisted to become the stem. For this reason Buddhism teaches equality on the one hand and discrimination on the other. One aspect of the mind of the Indian sage [kyamuni Buddha] is called equality while the other is called discrimination, and this applies to social class as well. That is, [phenomenal differences in social] class + nondiscrimination [of the spiritual source] = the mind of the Indian sage. The two aspects becoming one is what is called the mind of the Indian sage. I have said this before, but thinking that if I repeat myself perhaps you will be able to understand it, I have said it again.23

What Kishizawa has to say is not so difcult that it bears repeating. The spiritual source he described is structured exactly like the ocean of true being that Dgen singled out as the view of the heretic Senika: When you merge with this ocean of being you possess the same cardinal virtues as the Buddhas and Tathagatas. Far from being hard to understand, its goal and essence belong to that extremely quick path that Dgen had censured. Of course, if Kishizawa wants to exaggerate the difculty in order to mask its simplicity, that is up to him. But it was this very simplicity that allowed such slogans as discrimination is equality and equality is discrimination to be bandied about without the slightest reection. It is precisely because there is no thought involved that people could babble this nonsense on and on without a care in the world, oblivious of the fact that they were helping to absolutize existing patterns of discrimination. Immediately after the remark just cited, Kishizawa makes a dim-witted attempt to give an example of the ridiculous equation he had dreamed up, social class + nondiscrimination = the mind of the Indian sage:
The master of this home [where I am giving this teish] is not simply his ve-foot-tall body. The masters body, I need hardly remind you, is comprised of the members of the family, and the whole household participates 349

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

in it. The fortunes and misfortunes of the master are the fortunes and misfortunes of the family. When the Tokugawa bakufu perished, Edo was destroyed. And when Edo was destroyed, the Japan that the bakufu had ruled up to that time was also destroyed. The Japan of the bakufu era was the body of the Tokugawa bakufu. Because the Tokugawa bakufu was destroyed, the Japan that was the body of that bakufu was also destroyed. With the Meiji Restoration, the Japan that is the body of the Meiji Emperor appeared. It is not simply that Edo became Tokyo. Tokyo was born with the new Meiji Emperor. It is the Japan that arose simultaneously with the Meiji Emperor. Japan is the body of the Meiji Emperor. In the same way, the body of kyamuni Buddha is kyamunis world. kyamunis body is pure. The extent of the Tathagatas wisdom and the Tathagatas virtuous qualities are said to be the body of the Buddha. The Buddhas body is the world of the Tathagatas wisdom and the Tathagatas virtuous qualities. That world is called the pure land of great bliss.24

I dont mean to nitpick such a crude argument, but how in the world do we get from Japan is the body of the Meiji Emperor to the body of kyamuni Buddha is kyamunis world? The metaphor seems to sanction and excuse just about any social situation in any time or place without any need for critical reection. We need to pause and consider how such patterns of thinking can lead us from bowing to the inevitability of karma to resigning ourselves to social discrimination. That social discrimination permeates the language of St preachers is clear. I wish to argue that the doctrinal background to this way of thinking is the establishment and popularization of the doctrine of original enlightenment on Mt. Hiei from the Kamakura period onward. Before we move on to a discussion of this point, it may serve our purpose to cite the example of yet another esteemed teacher. The following is not based directly on the Shushgi, but comes from a general dharma talk by Arai Sekizen (18641924). The talk opens like this:
The universe is in essence a spiritual dynamic ({). Its origin is truly empty and eternally quiescent, but because it is a spirit moving continually and without rest, its deepest workings are also continually and ceaselessly changing. Yet within those changes there is a fundamental law that unites past and present. It is called the law of original cause and related effect. The effect necessarily follows from the cause, and that effect again becomes a cause that is tied to a new effect. In this way the cause becomes an effect and the effect a cause, in inexhaustible and innite succession. 350

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

The beginning of this world, the movement of the sun and moon, the changing of the four seasons, the blooming of the owers and the falling of the autumn leaves, the drifting of the clouds and the downpour of the rains, the movement of the breezes and the ow of the streamsall of this activity takes place in complete accord with the law of cause and effect. So, too, with our birth into this world and our death. There is nothing whatsoever that is not controlled by this law of cause and effect.25

This sounds more like Sakhy philosophy than a Buddhist dharma talk; but then again, in Japan, thanks to the doctrine of original enlightenment, this kind of thing has come to be considered properly Buddhist.26 Arai starts with the proposition of a truly empty and eternally quiescent origin that is said to be the foundation of the universe, not a mere philosophical notion but a deep functioning in constant ux. Its particular changes and movements are not arbitrary but are controlled by a law that admits of no exceptionsin effect absolutizing discrimination. This is the same as the doctrine of original enlightenment in the Awakening of Mahayana Faith, the main source for the ideas of essence and function in East Asian Buddhism.27 It is also the same doctrine that Dgen spent his entire life criticizing. I didnt choose this talk of Arai Sekizens because it is unique or unusual, but because it is so typical of what one nds everywhere. The illustrious position he holds within St only makes his remarks all the more convincing and thus once again illustrates that the dominant view in St is more in line with the doctrine of original enlightenment la The Awakening of Mahayana Faith than it is with Dgen. If a teacher is armed with this kind of doctrinal arsenal, it is a simple matter to inict the absolutization of social discrimination on unsuspecting believers. As to how the doctrine of original enlightenment could become so rmly established within the mainstream of Japanese Buddhism, a certain consensus was reached in our study group. First of all, questions were raised concerning the foundational Buddhist ideas of impermanence and emptiness and how the radically different notion of tathgata-garbha in India, the land of Buddhisms birth and development, opposed it. We next considered how in the fourth to fth century in China this same tathgata-garbha thoughtsimilar to and yet not Buddhismcame to be established within the Buddhist community as the tradition of original enlightenment. A similar development within the history of the Chinese Chan school was also discussed.28
351

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

With a few modications the doctrine of original enlightenment took root in Japan along the same lines of its development in China. Despite a few distinctive twists, such as the oral teachings on the kirigami, the Japanese version can clearly be traced back to Chinese Buddhism and the overwhelming inuence of the Awakening of Mahayana Faith. For example, the Rybu shint nizu,29 traditionally ascribed to Kkai but today universally considered an apocryphal text of the Kamakura period, was composed in an atmosphere in which the idea of original enlightenment enjoyed a great popularity, centered on Mt. Hiei. Although this work is thoroughly Japanese in form, as was the kirigami, the inuence of the Awakening of Mahayana Faith is unmistakable. But whatever forms the idea of original enlightenment took in order to enter and then dene the mainstream of Japanese Buddhism, Dgens censure remains: this is not a correct interpretation of Buddhism.30 Where shall we locate the Shushgi within St once we have understood that the preachers who worked from the text used it to foster social discrimination based on the doctrine of original enlightenment and counter to the ideas of Dgen? This remains an important and vexing problem inasmuch as the work has served as the main text for St householders since the Meiji era. I foresee the debate on this question continuing for some time. In my own view, no matter how closely the Shushgi relies on the Shbgenz, as a compilation it lacks coherent philosophical form and can in no way be compared to the straightforward style of the Shbgenz. But to say that it is a collection of extracts does not mean that there is no pattern to it (be it political or religious), which is why the committee has seen the need to study the situation of Japanese Buddhism in the Meiji period surrounding its compilation.31 In Okabe Kazuos report it was noted that the St university was set up in Azabu in 1882, the St institutional rules were codied in 1885, the rst edition of the Gyji kihan (Manual of Religious Ceremonies) was published in 1889, the St Fuskai (St Support Assembly) formed around uchi Seiran (the compiler of the Shushgi) in 1887, and in 1890 the Shushgi was ofcially recognized by the St. I was personally struck how during this time of institutional consolidation, the doctrinal background of those who supported Meiji Buddhism after the anti-Buddhist movement was marked not only by the idea of original enlightenment but also by their Confucian training. Original enlightenment and Chu-hsi style Confucianism show a similar structure in that
352

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

both place a fundamental importance on the idea of principle (7), making it easy to imagine how they could join hands in the Meiji intellectual world of government-sponsored universities and national priorities. Chu-hsi studies, begun by Hayashi Razan and adopted by the bakufu as the educational foundation of the government, based its support for the social order of the day on the concept of principle as the natural order of the universe. Meantime the St sectlike all of Japanese Buddhism, maintaining the illusion of being Buddhist by crowding under the umbrella of original enlightenment theoryjustied its support for the ofcial government education of the bakufu by seeing it as a phenomenal world grounded in an underlying principle, a function of a deeper essence, a provisional expression of the true, a specic social discrimination outweighed by a universal human equality. It is hardly surprising that the language of social discrimination should be present in abundance. But however deeply St participated in this justication of social discrimination through recourse to religious doctrine, Dgen himself had been absolutely opposed to the doctrine of original enlightenment that spawned this insensitive and thoughtless way of reasoning, and was consistent throughout his life in condemning it. The contradiction does not promise to resolve itself quickly, nor can I do much here to advance the discussion. I would, however, like to devote the remainder of my remarks to a question related to this contradiction, and to do so, as I mentioned at the outset, from a religious point of view. One of religions most momentous concerns is the problem of death. Although it may appear off the point, I would like to begin by citing a remark by Motoori Norinaga. One of Norinagas students once asked him about death: Buddhism and Confucianism teach the doctrine of cause and effect or the principle of Heaven and Earth and thereby give people peace of mind, but does Shinto have [any teachings that impart] such peace of mind? I cite the end of Norinagas reply:
Some would say that Shint has no [teachings that impart] peace of mind, but even among the one or two people out of a thousand who have some understanding of such matters, the question of what becomes of us after we die remains a difcult one to answer. Yet this is the rst thing everybody worries about, which is altogether natural. Buddhism is grounded on awareness of this fact. And so, when they sense the approach of death, even those who do not normally believe in the Buddha are driven by their insecurity to follow this path. This is a 353

HAKAMAYA NORIAKI

natural and reasonable human sentiment. Nor is it unreasonable that people do not understand Shint, which gives no assurance as to what happens after a person dies. Peace of mind in Shint means that everybody, the good as well as the evil, will go to the land of darkness (yomi no kuni). It does not mean, as the ancient writings make clear, that the good will be reborn in a good place. But if this is all we have to say, Confucianists and Buddhists alike will dismiss it as utter folly. And even the foolish will reject it, since they are used to hearing the teachings of the Buddha. Buddhists are able to accommodate human emotions in a most engrossing way in their teaching of peace of mind after death, and Confucianists have the principle of Heaven and Earth as a truth to teach. People are used to such Buddhist and Confucian teachings, and as a result believe them. In Shint, however, peace of mind means that the good and the evil alike go to the land of darkness, but there is no principle to this truth and so nobody accepts it. Indeed such a principle would be beyond peoples comprehension. Confucian or Buddhist teachings, while engrossing, are in fact designed to entice people. In ancient days, before people in our country had heard of the teachings of Confucius or Buddha, people were not so calculating and simply believed that they would go to the land of darkness after death. They had no feeling about this other than sorrow, and yet neither did they have any doubts; nor did anybody ask for a rational explanation. For although the land of darkness is a deled and evil place, that is where each of us is to go after we die. This is why there is nothing more sorrowful in this world than death. But Confucianism and Buddhism give all sorts of reasons as to why such intense sorrow need not bring them to grief. This is obviously not the true way.32

Norinagas criticism gives a superb look at the character of the Buddhism of his time, a Buddhism that was entirely colored by the doctrine of original enlightenment.33 Apart from a few anonymous monks who shared the sufferings of the people, Buddhism in Japan at that timeand all the way up to todaytook the doctrine of original enlightenment as its foundation and from there encouraged people to accept their karma, giving all sorts of reasons as to why such intense sorrow need not bring them to grief. The sermons of the St preachers on the Shushgi, expounding their knowledge of the principle of cause and effect, thus led to a complete indifference towards others and in this way supported oppressive controls over them. The sermons also illustrate how the same principle was designed to entice people.
354

IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF DISCRIMINATION

I am certain the true Buddhism taught by kyamuni had nothing whatsoever to do with this sort of cleverly manufactured explanation, but rather, through a deep understanding of impermanence, opened the way to increasing ones awareness of the suffering of others. I also believe that, not only in the case of Buddhism but for religion in general, the depth of a religion is measured by the depth of the suffering that it brings to light. Dgen also spoke of the awareness of impermanence that comes at the time of death and, awakened to the true suffering of this world, wrote:
When one suddenly experiences impermanence [at the time of death], neither kings, ministers, relatives, servants, wives and children, nor treasures can save one. There is only a single thing that will carry over to the land of Darkness (yomi), and what will follow one is just this good and evil karma.34

This is completely different from the use of cause and effect to explain away anothers lot in life; it represents a deep acceptance of ones own karma. I fear I may have given the impression of maligning St Zen. In line with my belief that the depth of a religion is measured by the depth of the suffering that it brings to light, I therefore wish to make a proposal for consideration of the Religion Section of the Buraku Liberation Research Center Religion Group, not as a political issue but as a religious problem. I realize that the question I am about to raise is a difcult one, but this does not exempt us from taking it up in religious discussion. In the introduction to his Human Liberation and Karma, Komori Tatsukuni gives a biting account of his mothers habit of accepting her misfortunes and ignorance as due to deep karma.35 I want to ask whether we should lay all the blame on her own mistaken understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of karma. I most certainly would not. Far more ignorant and far more to blame are those preachers who simply tell others to accept your karma, and make no attempt at a deep understanding of their own karma. In this sense, when I read that his mother understood the depths of her suffering as due to deep karma, I can only believe that she was in fact in touch with an extremely deep and noble religious truth.36 If one is given to deception, there is no better place to exercise it than at the juncture of religion and politics. It is my fervent hope that in the future we will be better able to face this juncture together, honestly and without deception.
[Translated by Jamie Hubbard]

355