The Buddhist Patriarchs
Butsu means “buddha” or “Buddhist,” so means “patriarch,” and therefore busso means Buddhist patriarchs. Master Dogen revered Buddhas of the past; he also esteemed the Buddhist transmission from Buddha to Buddha. Furthermore he believed in the continuity of the Buddhist order; the successive leaders of the Buddhist order held an important place in his thought. Here Master Dogen enumerates the names of the Patriarchs of the Buddhist order, and in doing so, he confirms the Buddhist tradition they maintained.