The Merit of Leaving Family Life
Shutsu means “to get out of” or “to transcend.” Ke means “house,” “home” or “family life.” Kudoku means “merit.” So shukke kudoku means the merit of transcending family life. In this chapter Master Dogen praised and emphasized the merit of transcending family life. We human beings are generally brought up in families, and so we can say that the influence that our family has on us is incredibly strong. The aim of studying Buddhism is to get the truth. So if we would like to get the truth it is necessary for us to transcend our family life, because when we are accustomed to family life, we are sometimes influenced by family life and cannot discriminate what the truth is. Therefore the merit of transcending family life is much revered in Buddhism, and Master Dogen explained the merit of transcending family life, following the Buddhist tradition.