Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Book 2


In an evening talk, Dogen said,

People not escaping from the secular world seems to be the result of clinging to bodily life. Actually, however, they are not thinking of themselves at all. They are not considering things from a broader perspective. This is also due to not having met good teachers or friends. If they seek profit they should desire the profit of eternal happiness and offerings from dragon-gods1 or heavenly beings. If they think of fame, they should aspire to obtain the fame of a buddha, a patriarch or an ancient sage. Doing so, wise people in future generations will respect them.

  1. A dragon-god (Skt., naga) is one of the eight gods and demi-gods who protect Buddhism. A kind of snake-like creature believed to have supernatural power to form clouds and cause rain to fall at will. Of the dragons which protect Buddhism, the eight dragon-kings are often mentioned in Buddhist texts.