Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma
The Way of the Buddha
1. “The old buddha of Caoqi” refers to the Sixth Ancestor, Huineng. The number forty adds the standard list of the Seven Buddhas of the past, from Vipaśyin to Śākyamuni, to the thirty-three ancestors in the traditional Zen lineage from Mahākāśyapa to Huineng.
2. “Kāśyapa” here probably refers to the First Ancester, Mahākāśyapa, as opposed to the Buddha Kāśyapa, mentioned just below, who is the sixth of the Seven Buddhas of the past, just preceding Śākyamuni.
3. Māra Pāpīyān, or Māra The Evil One, is the deva who sent his minions to prevent Śākyamuni from attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
4. The famous story of the transmission from Śākyamuni to the First Ancestor, Mahākāśyapa. The “sāṅghāti robe” is the monk’s formal outer garment.
5. “Raising the eyebrows and blinking the eyes” is another reference to the first transmission on Vulture Peak; “bones and marrow of body and mind” alludes to the transmission from Bodhidharma to Huike.
6. “My marrow” and “you have got” allude to the story of the transmission from Bodhidharma to Huike, in which the former says, “You have got my marrow.”
7. “The five divisions of the rules” refers to the tradition that five schools of monastic rules developed in India from the time of the Fifth Ancestor, Upagupta.
8. The expression “a manly student and weak advancement (as a teacher)” is variously interpreted; Dōgen’s statement is generally taken to mean that Qingyuan was no less a master than Caoxi.