曹洞宗でよまれるお経のひとつに修証義があります。 開祖道元禅師の主著「正法眼蔵」を中心に引用し、明治23年に編纂されたものです。 経典は、全5章3704文字から成り立ち、日本語によるわかりやすい経典であります。


Chap1. General Introduction Real audio sound file


The thorough clarification of the meaning of birth and death - this is the most important problem of all for Buddhists. Since the Buddha [enlightenment] dwells within birth and death [delusion], the latter do not exist.

Simply understand that birth and death are in themselves Nirvana, there being no birth-death to be hated nor Nirvana to be desired. Then, for the first time, you will be freed from birth and death. Realize that this problem is of supreme importance.

It is difficult to be born as a human being, let alone come into contact with Buddhism. By virtue of our good deeds in the past, however, we have been able not only to be born as human beings but to encounter Buddhism as well. Within the realm of birth-death, then, our present life should be considered to be the best and most excellent of all. Do not waste your precious human body meaninglessly, abandoning it to the winds of impermanence.

Impermanence cannot be depended upon. We know neither when nor where our transient life will end. This body is already beyond our control; and life, at the mercy of time, moves on without stopping for even an instant. Once the ruddy face of youth has disappeared, it is impossible to find even its traces. When we think about time carefully, we find that time, once lost, never returns. Faced suddenly with the prospect of death, kings, state ministers, relatives, servants, wife and children, and rare jewels are of no use. We must enter the realm of death alone, accompanied only by our good and bad karma.

You should avoid associating with those deluded people in this present world who are ignorant of the law of causality and karmic retribution. They are unaware of the existence of the three stages of time and unable to distinguish good from evil.

The law of causality, however, is both clear and impersonal: those who do evil inevitably fall [into hell]; those who do good inevitably ascend [into heaven] . If this were not so, the various Buddhas would not have appeared in this world, nor would Bodhidharma have come to China.

The karmic retribution of good and evil occurs at three different periods in time:
(1) retribution experienced in one's present life,
(2) retribution experienced in the life following this one, and
(3) retribution experienced in subsequent lives.

This is the first thing that should be studied and understood when practicing the way. Otherwise many of you will make mistakes and come to hold wrong views.

Not only that, you will fall into evil worlds, undergoing a long period of suffering.

Understand that in this life you have only one life, not two or three. How regrettable it is if, fruitlessly holding false views, you vainly do wrong; thinking that you are not doing bad when, in fact, you are. You cannot avoid the karmic retribution of your evil acts even though you mistakenly assume that because you do not recognize its existence you are not subject to it.

Concerning the English translation. - These translations are not offered as versions, but rather are selections from the by various English.speaking Zen groups.

Chap1. General Introduction
Chap2. Release Through Repentance
Chap3. Ordination and Enlightenment
Chap4. Making the Altruistic Vow
Chap5. Constant Practice and Gratitude

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