The Testament and Kōan of Kanzan Yegen 関山恵玄

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Other Title
  • 関山恵玄の遺誡と公案
  • カンサン ケイゲン ノ イカイ ト コウアン

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<p>Kanzan Yegen (関山恵玄, 1277–1360), the first abbot of Myōshinji Zen temple (妙心禅寺), gave his testament to his disciple Juō (授翁). In his last will he stated his acknowledgements to his two teachers, Nampo (南浦) and Shūhō (宗峯). Here I trace the original texts used in this testament and its materials. I already separated the real and false testaments in a contribution to IBK 63-2. Kanzan offered his disciple Juō the kōan asking why the enlightened Buddha had been born in the secular world. I earlier also traced the original source of this kōan to the Yuanjue-jing (円覚経). This unique kōan was referenced when, 200 years after Kanzan’s death, Emperor Gonara (後奈良) awarded him the postumous title ‘Honnu-Enjō Imperial Preceptor’ (本有円成国師).</p><p>In this paper we presumed the original structures of Myōshinji temple. ‘Hanazono’ (花園) meant the flower garden of Ninnaji temple near Myōshinji temple. But nowadays ‘Hanazono’ has come to indicate the name of Pope Hanazono and the region of Myōshinji temple. The kōan of ‘Buddha’s flower’ (世尊拈花) is the last scene and preceded by the kōan of ‘Buddha’s sermon’ (世尊陞座) in the Zen episode. In the last scene he showed a lotus bloom in the last assembly, and his disciple Mahākāśyapa only smiled. Then Buddha proclaimed that Mahākāśyapa shall get Buddha’s teaching (正法) and a noble heart (妙心). Thus Abbot Shūhō named the new temple created by Pope Hanazono after this episode as ‘Shōbōzan Myōshinji Zen temple’ (正法山妙心禅寺).</p>


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