Turning the Dharma Wheel
Ten means “turn”; ho means “Dharma,” or the Buddha’s teaching, and rin means “wheel,” or in Sanskrit “cakra.” In ancient India a cakra was a wheel with pointed spokes, used as a weapon. The Buddha’s preaching was likened to the turning of a cakra, so temborin, or the turning of the Dharma wheel, means Buddhist preaching. In this chapter Master Dogen explains the true meaning of Buddhist preaching. Before this explanation, he quotes the words of several masters on what happens when someone realizes the truth and returns to the origin. Master Dogen does this to illustrate the value of Buddhist scriptures written in China. Some people claim that only scriptures written in India can be called Buddhist scriptures, and that scriptures written in China cannot be called true Buddhist scriptures. But Master Dogen takes a wider view: According to him, sutras quoted by true Buddhist Masters are true Buddhist scriptures, even if they are produced outside of India. They become true Buddhist scriptures by being quoted by true Buddhist masters. On this basis, Master Dogen, insists that the preaching of Buddhism can be done at all places and at all times. So in this chapter Master Dogen explains the universal validity of Buddhist preaching. At the same time, he insists that to preach true Buddhism is to spend one’s life in a temple, and to practice Zazen in Zazen Halls.