(p.207) Appendix Jōkei's Five-Part Miroku Kōshiki (c. 1196)
(p.207) Appendix Jōkei's Five-Part Miroku Kōshiki (c. 1196)
[The ritual is conducted in the following order:] ritual offerings (dengu), communal obeisance to the Buddha (sōrei), the four ceremonies (hōyō ),1 petitions to the gods (jinbun ),2 and an opening pronouncement of intent (hyōbyaku ). Reverently we address [the following:] the Triple Body of the Tathāgata; the noble teaching of the Middle Way between being and emptiness and the three-periods teaching;3 the bodhisattvas treading the early and higher stages [of the bodhisattva path]; those who are still learning, those who have nothing more to learn, and all wise and noble members of the sangha; Śākyamuni Tathāgata, sovereign of the great compassionate teaching (daion kyōshu );4 the future teacher Maitreya Jison; the minute realms (mijin setsudo ) illuminated by the Buddha-eye; all the three jewels, whether manifested or unmanifested; and we say:
Long choked by the smoke of a burning house, the triple world [of samsara] is not at rest.5 Like bubbles floating on the surface of water, [one life] does not last even one hundred years. The deluded are not even aware of their delusion. And though they endure suffering, they return again and again as though they enjoy it. The covetous multiply their greed and, facing death, crave life all the more. How difficult it is to renounce the age-old habits of this world! How fortunate we are to have encountered the True Dharma of the Mahāyāna! Yet even though we are so near the means of escape [from samsara], we nevertheless rush towards the gateway of worldly fame and profit and vainly become slaves to the affections (on’ai ).6 Even if we should happen to practice some good action, still we lack sincerity, and compared to our evil deeds, [this little good] is hardly worth speaking of. The endless cycle of transmigration (rinne ) is long, and it is invariably sorrowful. Given our minimal capacity, how many lifetimes, how many kalpas in obscurity, will it take to realize Buddhahood if we depend on our own efforts and thoughts? There is nothing like heeding directly the teachings of Śākyamuni or profoundly entrusting ourselves to (p.208) the compassionate guidance of Jishi [Maitreya].7 The merit of one offering or one verse of praise is not simply a matter of awaiting the morning breeze of [Maitreya's] Dragon Flower Assembly. Given [Maitreya's] vow of unbounded mercy and compassion, how can we not desire [to see] the autumn clouds of Tuṣita? Thus, we engage in a noble deed whenever we direct our intention [toward Maitreya]. Today's homage truly constitutes one such deed. Prostrating, we entreat the Three Treasures to receive mercifully [this offering of praise to Maitreya].
Now, this lecture does not resemble that of ordinary times. I hope to express my mind by means of the [metaphor of passing through] five gates. The first [step] is to repent one's sins (zange); second is to turn to and rely upon Maitreya; third is joyfully to seek the inner realm [of Tuṣita heaven]; fourth is truly achieving superior birth; and fifth is the fulfillment of cause and completion of effect [of Buddhahood].
First, regarding the repentance of sins, we should know that the power of false deeds is great and can obstruct the two benefits [of a bodhisattva].8 If one seeks liberation (gedatsu), then one must by all means practice repentance (zange). Even though delusion, the root of sin for all beings, is profound, the true production of afflictions (bonnō ) depends solely on the mistaken conception of self (ganin ).9 We should thus quiet the mind and constantly observe our bodies. The body is like a decaying house barely supported by the pillar of life (inochi no hashira ). And the mind seeks to pass on with the breath like a traveling guest lodging [during a journey]. A woman's beauty is no more than the effect of penciling her eyebrows and painting her pale white skin; men and women engaged in carnal pleasures in fact embrace reeking corpses. When the body grows cold after the soul passes away, it will be discarded in the wilderness. The rains will drench it, the sun will beat down upon it, and in the twinkling of an eye it will have decomposed. When burned, it will reduce to ashes. How shall we regard its form in bygone days when it is buried and returns once again to the earth? Someone who thinks of an old friend wistfully recalls a name. But while that name seems more refreshing than the sounds in a valley, this is merely hoping for some advantage [over death]. In truth, that advantage is emptier than a dream of springtime.
If you obey the self, you will receive affection (on’ai). But if you turn against the self, you will immediately make it your adversary. These two gates of obedience and disobedience represent the futility of the human condition. In the end, all of this is based on attachment to the self of no-self and calculation of the permanence of impermanence. The four types of wrong views distort and confuse what appears before our eyes.10 People in the world should be ashamed. How much more should disciples of Śākyamuni! Should you return to the old dwellings of the three woeful destinies, you will pass by some one thousand Buddhas who have appeared to save [those who inhabit these sad destinies].11 Despite hearing admonitions against returning empty-handed from a mountain of jewels, you still show no surprise.
Nonetheless, the three worlds are but one mind, and there are no distinct dharmas outside the mind. By means of delusion and perfuming (kyomō kunjū), nonexistence appears as existence.12 The sphere of cognition is originally neither good nor evil, but merely the site of the mind's [deluded] discriminations.13 Body and speech do not of themselves arise, but are the constructed tendency of the One-Mind. This One-Mind is also where the myriad causes and conditions (shuen ) come to fruition. Causes (en ) produce other causes, [yet] one after another they are unknowable (p.209) [that is, they are empty of underlying essence]. Moment by moment, these causes and conditions cease and then [new ones] arise. Within the Three Worlds [of past, present, and future], cause and effect are both empty. The past, like the trail of a bird in flight, is empty on account of its already having passed away. The future, like the appearance of sky-blossom fruits, does not exist because it is as yet unproduced.14 One thought in the present, [like] a flash of lightning, is over in an instant. Because birth is, already, not true birth, [nothing] is truly born, nor extinguished. The myriad characteristics become tranquil (jakumetsu ), and the body becomes true suchness (shinnyo ). There is no darkness in light. How can suchness admit into it falsity?
Examining the issue closely in this way is called the repentance of the unproduced [whereby] the [karmic results of] serious offenses committed through the lives of a million incalculably long eons are completely destroyed in an instant. Truly the wondrous power of the Great Vehicle is difficult to conceive! If, from time to time, we fix our mind [on this Mahāyāna teaching], why should this not (nanzo ) wipe away all sinful hindrances (zaishō )? Therefore, we intone this gāthā, chanting:
We beseech the various Buddhas to grant their holy protection and skillfully extinguish all deluded views of the mind. And we pray that we may quickly realize the origin of the mind's true nature and swiftly witness the unexcelled teaching of the Tathāgata. Since karma have no fixed nature, they are unproduced and also not subject to annihilation.
Namu tōrai dōshi Miroku nyorai zangi zange rokkon zaishō
We pay homage to the future guide, Maitreya Tathāgata, and repent with shame raising the hindrances to enlightenment by the sins we have committed through the six senses (repeat three times).
Having repented and being of pure body and mind, [one approaches] the second [gate, which] is to have absolute trust (kie ) in Maitreya. It is essential that we turn to Maitreya in order to be received (injō ) [at death]. The reason is that, although the benefits and benevolence of the great sages are equal, sentient beings receive the teachings differently according to their capacity (kikan ). This is undoubtedly the result of relations spanning numerous lives from time immemorial. Now, the benevolent virtue of Śākyamuni, teacher of the present age, surpasses all Buddhas. Ajita15 [Maitreya] is the successor to the world-honored one; his karmic connections through many lifetimes (shukuen ) are bound to this world. Who more than these two Buddhas should people of this world look up to? Among the countless sentient beings who will attend Maitreya's three [Dragon Flower] Assembly lectures will be those who have even one causal connection to the Dharma taught long ago by Śākyamuni. Although we are lacking in skill, why should we be left out of that assembly? Moreover, Jison [Maitreya], who, from the time of the Buddha with the Brilliance of the Sun, Moon, and Lamp16 until the time of Śākyamuni's appearance in this world, was known as the Fame-seeking Bodhisattva, will attain Buddhahood in his next lifetime. By steadfastly cultivating [insight into the teaching of] consciousness-only (yuishiki), he will realize the true essence of the mind.
(p.210) In due course, nine hundred years after the parinirvana of the Tathāgata Śākyamuni, [Maitreya] descended to the lecture hall at Ayodhā17 and expounded the five-part [Yogācāra-bhūmi].18 This represents the origin of the Hossō school of Mahāyāna. As we apply ourselves to this teaching every morning and every evening, enlightenment unfolds with each word and phrase, leading mysteriously to our establishing a karmic connection (kien ) [to Maitreya]. How could we doubt that [Maitreya] will receive us? Although we are practitioners of the School of the Middle Way, we each have different aspirations. We are not being duplicitous; for why should not the Buddha-eye shine [on us]? It is for this reason that Maitreya himself, [when he appeared before] Shih Ch'uan-ming (Jp. Shaku Senmyō ), declared: “I have obtained the transmission of the teaching entrusted by the Great Teacher Śākyamuni. I shall not abandon even those who do not call me to mind. How much more so [shall I assist] those who do!”19 Ah! This is the basis for trust (fuzoku ) in the Tathāgata! Although we look up to these words of truth (jōtai ), they also preserve the promise of Maitreya's becoming the future Buddha (fusho). All the more does this make known his benevolent (ingin ) intention. Even if Mt. Sumeru should be shaken and moved or the sun and moon fall to the earth, the golden words of the two sages will surely not dare to change. Whenever we recall this matter, we feel sadness and joy. Thus, we intone this gāthā, chanting:
In accordance with the Buddha with the Brilliance of the Sun, Moon, and Lamp, Maitreya realized the samādhi of consciousness-only by means of which he expounded on the seventeen stages of practice in the [Yugashijiron] that is now part of the True Dharma of Śākyamuni. He will later become the Buddha named Maitreya, broadly leading sentient beings to the other shore.
Namu tōrai dōshi Miroku nyorai shōjō seze chigū chōdai
We pay homage to the future guide, Maitreya Tathāgata; may we encounter him in lifetime after lifetime and age after age (repeat three times).
Having established absolute trust in Maitreya [one approaches], the third [gate, which] is to seek joyfully the inner palace of Tuṣita heaven according to various primary and secondary causes. It is essential that we joyously seek Tuṣita heaven if we hope to meet (chigū ) [Maitreya]. He is the bodhisattva who will surely attain supreme enlightenment and become the next Buddha of the ten directions and the three worlds. Until then, he dwells in Tuṣita heaven. Having diligently cultivated good moral activities, he majestically purified that abode, and so it is rightly called a pure land within the defiled realm.20 This is especially serious, so do not take it lightly. The bodhisattva's realm has both an outer and an inner palace. In the Jōshō kyō, [Maitreya] states: “If I were to broadly describe [the majesty of] my realm for but one intermediate kalpa, I would not exhaust the topic.”21 How then could our clumsy efforts possibly suffice to expound its praises?
Let us simply note that what is known as the outer palace is composed of fifty billion jeweled edifices, each one of which has a seven-tiered garden, all constructed of the seven jewels.22 Each and every jewel emits ten billion rays of light, and each ray of light transforms itself into fifty billion lotus flowers. These flowers in turn give rise (p.211) to fifty billion rows of trees whose crystalline fruits reflect myriad colors and forms. Their [reflected] brilliance revolves in a clockwise manner, emitting a sound of great mercy and compassion. Residing beneath the trees are gods and goddesses23 who, amid exquisite music, expound on the Dharma of the Stage of Nonretrogression.24 A wall sixty-two yojanas high surrounds [the outer palace on] all sides.25 The dragon kings guard it and bring rain upon the fifty billion jeweled trees, and even the trees preach the profound Dharma when a breeze rustles them.
Thus is the appearance of the outer palace. How much more [glorious is the appearance of] the forty-nine-storied inner palace of he who will become the Buddha in one more lifetime! Each and every aspect of its majesty fully express the realization of [his] virtues. Indeed, seeing, hearing, cognition, and knowing constitute the superior conditions for enlightenment.26 One who faces this palace has necessarily reached the Stage of Nonretrogression. The water of the [palace's] lapis-lazuli-jeweled canal wells up playfully between the [palace] ridgepoles, while disciples of ornate virtue and fragrant sounds (getoku kōon no tomogara ) manifest various phenomena from their very bodies. We should consider the flawless connection between cause and effect (hōō ) [that has led to] the undefined omniscience [of these bodhisattvas].27. Truly, can such be transcended? Within the mani 28 jeweled palace, a sheer curtain, adorned with fifty billion flowers composed of all manner of jewels, hangs above the Great Lion Throne. One hundred thousand Brahmā kings draw near from the ten directions, suspend from this curtain bells from the Brahmā heaven, and then cover it with a net made from strings of jewels (ramō ; Sk. jāla-vātāyana).
The body of the Great Sage Maitreya, seated in the lotus position upon the throne, is of majestic dimensions and extends sixteen yojanas high. The tuft on the top of his head is the color of dark blue lapis lazuli. He wears a deva-crown adorned with mani jewels29 within which dwell the transformation Buddha-bodhisattvas.30 The original teacher Śākyamuni also comes to aid in this transformation [from a bodhisattva to a Buddha]. Each and every one of [Maitreya's] thirty-two marks contains the color of fifty billion jewels, and each of his eighty minor marks emits eighty-four thousand luminous clouds. Arrayed in this infinite glory before a golden peak resplendent in the morning sun, [Maitreya] preaches to the great omniscient brahmas with [a voice like] thunder reverberating through the empty autumn skies. At all hours of the day and night he expounds on the Dharma Wheel practice of the Stage of Nonretrogression.
The assembly of gods hearing this sermon attain, in one moment, the Way and gather together on palanquin clouds with the bodhisattvas from fifty billion Buddha realms. All classes of gods, in accordance with their vows, overcome their afflictions in one thought, cultivate the highest causes of enlightenment (jōbon no shuin), and by means of a single invocation, achieve the assurance of birth (ōjō) [ins Tuṣita heaven] in their next life.31 [Although] these practices are truly easy, their merit is extraordinarily great. Without the power of Maitreya's vow, this would not be possible. Who among even the great sages and the most ignorant would not hope for this? In this way, monks and laymen (dōzoku ) of the western regions [of Central Asia and India] all bear the [fruits] of Maitreya's deeds, and many from China (shintan ) received the reward of [Tuṣita] heaven.32
The accomplished founder of one lineage excelled in this regard, and for this reason the three sages Asaṅga (Mujaku ), Vasubandhu (Tenjin ), and Buddhasimha (Shishikaku ) established a covenant as brothers [to aspire for Tuṣita].33 [Their precedent] was transmitted one after another through four generations by Śīlabhadra (Kaigen ; 529–645), Hsüan-tsang, and K'uei-chi (Tz'u-en ). And of what lineage are we also? Or do we rather forget the precedent established [by these (p.212) patriarchs]? Tao-an aspired for Tuṣita heaven, and his disciples also were without obstructions.34 And what of Nan-yang T'an-chieh , who contemplated Maitreya to the delight of both master and disciples?35 Whether wise or foolish, whether in ancient times or the present, [all] should do likewise. Now, we prostrate ourselves and pray that the Great Teacher of the Dharma Lamp (dentō daishi ) [Śākyamuni] and Jison [Maitreya], together, will greet us [when we pass from this world]. Accordingly, we intone this gāthā, chanting:
Maitreya was born into Tuṣita heaven and [enthroned] in the forty-nine-storied mani palace where he ceaselessly expounds the practice of nonretrogression and liberates sentient beings through skillful means. Those who share a [karmic] connection are one and all reborn into the wondrous lotus pond whose waters manifest the eight virtues.36 Now we, with all disciples, dedicate ourselves to Maitreya that we may achieve realization at the Dragon Flower Assembly.
Namu Miroku nyorai ōshō tōgaku?37 gan'yo ganjiki sokubu jigan
We pay homage to Maitreya Tathāgata, who is worthy of offerings and possesses perfect enlightenment; may we and [all other] sentient beings quickly be guided by his compassionate vow.
Now having established our aspiration for the inner realm according to the precedents established in the three countries [India, China, and Japan], we turn to the fourth [gate] of truly achieving that superior birth. Exercising correct thoughts at the moment of death, one must establish the fundamental intent.38 When you come to the end of life, pray that there will be minimal illness or suffering, that your body and mind will be free of pain, and that the celestial deities will be close by for protection to quickly remove any harmful obstructions (mashō ) [that may arise]. By knowing of the moment in advance, you should wait upon death [as though it were a] guest, a friend, or helper and single-mindedly contemplate the Buddha. At that time, a thin wisp of incense smoke will drift through the peaceful window, and, from the blue sky beyond, you will hear the faint song of a flute. Maitreya Bodhisattva will appear with light pouring forth from the curl of white hairs between his brow as countless heavenly beings shower large white lotus flowers (mahā-mandārava). Towering, serene, and comfortably self-possessed, [Maitreya] draws near before your very eyes. Śākyamuni of Vulture Peak and all the Buddhas of the ten directions manifest themselves from out of the void, expounding on the Great Vehicle. With your own eyes, you will, for the first time, see these things and truly hear their voices. Without restraint, tears of gratitude will flow from your eyes like rain. The sacred multitude will gradually lead you upward to the clouded thoroughfares above, until, suddenly, you find yourself arriving before a fountain within a pleasure garden, and there you will be born anew upon a jeweled lotus dais.
At this time, the various celestial deities, strewing flowers and rejoicing, will praise you, saying: “How wonderful! How wonderful! Son of a good family! Throughout [your incarnations in] Jambu-dvīpa,39 your extensive meritorious deeds, practices, and vows have not been in vain. Thus, you have been born in this place called Tuṣita heaven. The lord of this heaven is Maitreya. You should entrust yourself [to him] (p.213) forthwith!” Upon hearing these words, you should respond by making obeisance to [Maitreya]. In this act of worship you will clearly perceive the light emitted from the curl between his brow, whereupon the evils committed in ninety billion kalpas of incarnations are immediately extinguished. At this time the bodhisattva will expound the wondrous Dharma in accordance with your karmic status based on previous existences. And you should know that this wondrous Dharma is none other than the doctrine of the Middle Way of Consciousness Only (yuishiki)! Because in former times, our country of Japan (Fusō ) gratefully received the transmission of Ayodhyā [scholar Asaṅga's] Five-part [Yogācāra-bhūmi], we can today, kneeling before the mani dais, personally hear the wheel of Dharma at any time, day or night. At such times as this, it is only fitting that we contemplate upon joy.40 Accordingly, we intone this gāthā, chanting:
Again, those sentient beings who arouse the mind of faith, practice the ten good acts for a short time, pay obeisance [to Buddha images] and recite [sūtras], or even contemplate making one flower offering to a celestial deity, will thereby achieve birth in [Maitreya's] palace (nyoi den ).41
Namu Miroku nyorai shokyōnaishū gan shamyō ki hisshō kichū
We pay homage to the assembly wherein Maitreya Tathāgata abides and pray that, at life's end, we will certainly be born among its members (repeat three times).
Now, having accomplished superior birth [in the inner realm] based on our karmic opportunities (kien) in prior lives, we turn to the fifth [gate] of fulfilling the causes and completing the effects that lead to enlightenment. Seeing the Buddha and hearing the Dharma means that one has already advanced to the superior stage (shōi ).42 While you are constantly in the presence of Jison, he will readily open the marvelous gate of ambrosia, and you will visit the palaces of the assembly of holy ones and inquire of each and every one their path to enlightenment. Supernatural powers will obey your mind, and compassion will be your essence (kimo ni meijite , lit., engraved in your liver). You will at times wander through the realms of various Buddhas and gratefully take part in great gatherings of venerable saints. At other times, you will travel the six destinies [of samsara] and, with aching heart, seek the love and kindness of the distant past. And when Jison descends [for the Dragon Flower Assembly], you also will descend together with him. From his birth at Keitō castle (), to his renunciation of secular life, to his appearance beneath the Dragon Flower tree where he will overcome Māra and realize full enlightenment, you shall be like a trailing shadow, observing [the events of Maitreya's life] one by one. Accomplishing the samādhi of a Buddha's enlightenment (Bukkaku zanmai ) and hearing the True Dharma for one age, you shall abide within a universally manifest material body (fugen shikishin ) and emancipate countless beings of all kinds. During the constellation of the present age (gengō),43 you shall serve under all the Buddhas [beginning from] the Stage of Accumulation and advance step by step [along the bodhisattva path].44 At length, you shall ascend to the jeweled lotus throne and receive the name of one who has become perfectly enlightened. As you have the Buddha nature, nothing here will be difficult [to attain]. Truly, one ought to know that all of this results from the magnificent merciful (p.214) benevolence of Śākyamuni and Maitreya. Abiding in the mind of joyful gratitude, we shall surely have the chance to meet [them]. Accordingly, we intone this gāthā, chanting:
For long kalpas we have cultivated our vows and practices, and we can now hear the great and merciful name of Maitreya; we will directly receive the path tomorrow morning, though even now we are fainthearted and in despair. For three great incalculable kalpas [Maitreya] practiced hundreds of thousands of austerities. His virtues are perfected and pervade the Dharma realm—as he has thoroughly accomplished (kukyō ) the ten stages [to perfect enlightenment] and witnessed all three bodies [of the Buddha]. [We] pray that these virtues universally extend everywhere so that we and all sentient beings may together realize the Buddha way.
Namu Miroku Nyorai ōshō tōgaku jita hōkai byōdo riyaku
We pay homage to Maitreya Tathāgata who is worthy of offerings and possesses perfect enlightenment, and who renders benefits equally to self and others throughout the Dharma realm (repeat three times).
Written at the wisdom table on Mt. Kasagi on the tenth day of the second month of the seventh year of the Kenkyū era  in obedience to the request emanating from Bodhi Mountain. I humbly dedicate whatever merit is generated [by this writing] to Maitreya. The Buddhist monk Jōkei.
(1) . Hōyō, also written as , is an abbreviation of shika hōyō , or the four essential Dharma ceremonies. These generally include songs or verses of praise (bonbai ), the scattering of flowers (sanke ), recitation of verses offered to the Three Jewels (bonnon ), and the ritual wielding of the priest's staff (shakujō ).
(2) . Jinbun can mean more specifically the chanting of a specific sūtra (such as the Hannya shingyō) as a petition to the gods and the earth spirits to exorcise evil hindrances.
(3) . “Three-periods teaching” (sanji kyō ) is a reference to the Hossō school's interpretation of the three periods (and characteristics) of the Buddha's teaching (that is, the periods of Hīnayāna, Madhyāmika, and Yogācāra).
(4) . Or “The Lord of great grace and teacher of men, Buddha,” Soothill (DDB).
(5) . The burning house is obviously a reference to the famous parable of the Lotus Sūtra. The “triple world” (sankai ) is a reference to the three realms of samsara: the desire realm (yokukai ), the form realm (shikikai ), and the formless realm (mushikikai ).
(6) . On’ai is the affection one might have for a parent, child, or friend. In Buddhist terms, it is the eighth of twelve factors of interdependent origination and, thus, one of the causes of rebirth. This includes affection, attachment, covetous affection, and deluded attachment.
(7) . Jishi is an epithet for Maitreya.
(8) . A bodhisattva seeks to mutually benefit self and others (jiri rita).
(9) . In the Yogācāra system, affliction (bonnō, Sk. kleśa) comprises one of the groups of dharmas. In this case, the term refers specifically to the six “primary” afflictions of greed (ton ), anger (shin ), ignorance (chi ), pride (man ), doubt (gi ), and wrong views (akken ).
(10) . Generally, there are seven wrong views or inversions (shichitendō ); these include confusing self/no-self, permanence/impermanence, purity/impurity, and pleasure/suffering in addition to wrong views concerning thought, theory, and feeling. It appears that Jōkei refers here to the first four errors of apprehension.
(11) . The three woeful destinies are the hell of fire, the hell of blood (where animals devour each other), and the hell of swords.
(14) . This appears to be a reference to illusory flowers seen in the sky as the result of an optical disorder. This is often used as a metaphor in Yogācāra and other East Asian texts (for example, Awakening of Faith and Sūtra of Perfect Enlightenment) for a form of ignorance.
(15) . As one of the Buddha's disciples, Maitreya was known as Ajita abbreviated here as Itta , meaning the “unconquerable.”
(16) . This is Nichigetsu Tōmyō Butsu (Sk. Candra-sūrya-pradīpa-buddha) of incalculable eons ago mentioned in the Lotus Sūtra, who, the text notes, was followed by twenty thousand Buddhas of the same name (Miao-fa lien-hua ching, p. 4a).
(18) . This is a reference to the Yogācāra-bhūmi-śāstra, or Discourses on the Stages of Concentration Practice (Jp. Yugashijiron ), a one-hundred-fascicle text attributed to Maitreya and translated by Hsüan-tsang. Divided into five sections, it expounds on the seventeen realms one may realize through yogic practice.
(19) . Ch'uan-ming (788?–868?) was a Chinese monk. He appears in the Record of Divine Responses to the Three Jewels (San-bao kan-ying yao-lüeh lu; Jp. Sanbō kanriō yōryaku roku), a collection of tales about various personages compiled during the Liao Dynasty (916–1125). According to the story, Shaku Senmyō prayed, before an image of Maitreya, to be born in Tuṣita heaven, and Maitreya responded as Jōkei reports here (T 2084.51.851a14–23). This text, incidentally, had considerable influence on the Konjaku monogatari shū (Tales of Times Now Past), a similar collection of tales from India, China, and Japan about monks, peasants, princes, warriors, and so forth. Guelberg notes several other Maitreya texts, including another of Jōkei's kōshiki, that make reference to this account, so it may have been a well-known legend within the Hossō school. See Guelberg, JKS, p. 95.
(22) . Various scriptures offer different lists of the seven jewels. One list includes, for example, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian.
(23) . Literally, the sons and daughters of heaven (tenshi/devātā; tennyo/devā), the lowest level of gods.
(25) . A yojana (Jp. yujun) is an Indian measure of distance. Described as the distance an emperor travels in a day, one yojana is equivalent to seven or nine miles, making this wall either 434 or 558 miles high.
(26) . Seeing, hearing, cognition, and knowing (kenbun gakuchi) are the functions of the first six consciousnesses.
(27) . The term here is tōgaku , which can mean absolute universal enlightenment or omniscience. It also refers to the fifty-first stage in the enlightenment of a bodhisattva, so this could be a way of identifying the achievement level of the beings just mentioned.
(28) . A wish-fulfilling jewel, gem, or precious stone that often symbolizes the purity of the Buddha and his teachings.
(29) . According to Mi-le shang-sheng ching (T 14.452, p. 419c), these are Shaka-biryōga-mani jewels ().
(30) . This appears to refer to Maitreya at this point being in a liminal state between a bodhisattva of the highest rank and a Transformation-body Buddha (nirmāna-kāya) according to the standard three-body theory. As suggested in the next line, Maitreya, like Śākyamuni, will of course be classified as a Transformation-body when he becomes the next Buddha.
(31) . Although ōjō generally refers to birth specifically in Amida's Pure Land, this is one of several instances when Jōkei clearly uses the term in reference to another realm. Another is his five-part Shari kōshiki (KDB 42:153), where he uses the term to designate birth in Maitreya's inner palace. And a third example can be found in his (p.261) Busshari Kannon daishi hotsuganmon, when ōjō means birth on Kannon's Mt. Potalaka (ND 64, 33b:2).
(32) . Jōkei's emphasis here is on precedence and the universality of Maitreya's realm.
(33) . Buddhasimha was a disciple of Asaṅga known for his esoteric practice and lofty talents.
(34) . Tao-an (314–385) was an influential monk in the early Chin dynasty. He is often credited as being the founder of Maitreya worship and reportedly gathered his students before an image of the future Buddha to pray for rebirth in Tuṣita heaven.
(35) . According to Kao-seng chuan (Jp. Kōsō den, Biographies of Eminent Monks), Nan-yang T'an-chieh was a venerated monk known for his devotion to Maitreya and successful birth in Tuṣita heaven, T 50, 2059: 356b25.
(36) . That is, sweetness, freshness, softness, lightness, purity, scentlessness, cleansing, and nourishing.
(37) . This appears to be a common epithet for the Buddha that is generally rendered (nyorai ōgu tōshōgaku), “the Tathāgata who deserves offerings and possesses perfect enlightenment” (DDB).
(38) . At this point, the text turns occasionally (three times in this section and the next) to the first-person (ware ), suggesting that the lecturer is speaking on behalf of the entire assembly in a kind of collective contemplation. It appears that each participant is to imagine him or herself going through the final ritual of dying, ascending to Tuṣita heaven, visiting various sages, and so forth. I have chosen to maintain the “you” or “we” voice for consistency.
(39) . Jp. embudai ; according to Indian cosmology, this is the great island south of Mt. Sumeru on which we are now living.
(40) . These last two sentences would seem to suggest that this ritual is being conducted before an image of Maitreya seated upon a dais. It also alludes to the contemplative images of this section, which is, at least symbolically, a guided meditation toward birth in Maitreya's inner realm.
(41) . This is an abbreviation for shijūkujūn yoi den , the forty-nine-story jewel palace of Maitreya.
(42) . This may be a reference to the stage of nonretrogression, when the bodhisattva is assured against the possibility of back-sliding. Or it could also be an abbreviated reference to the “stage of overcoming the difficult” (nanshōji ), the fifth of ten stages on the bodhisattva path. In reality, this is a very advanced stage on the path to enlightenment, as these ten represent the forty-first through the fiftieth of fifty-two stages that constitute the path to Buddhahood. Either way, it is a very advanced stage on the bodhisattva path.
(43) . Gengō (Sk. Bhadrakalpa) designates the present age of one thousand Buddhas. For this reason, it is also known as the “good kalpa” (zenkō). Śākyamuni is the fourth Buddha of this kalpa.
(44) . The first of five stages of a bodhisattva, known as the Stage of Accumulation (shiryō i), actually involves thirty stages of the mind. These include the ten stages of security, the ten stages of profiting others, and the ten stages of dedicating merit to others (jūjū , jūgyō jūekō ); see Table 4.1. Jōkei here appears to combine these terms () to designate this first stage on the path. (p.262)