Establishment of the Will to the Supreme
Hotsu means “to establish,” mujo means “supreme,” and shin means “mind” or “will.” Hotsu-mujoshin means the establishment of the will to the supreme truth. In the original sentences of this chapter we do not find the words hotsu-mujoshin; but the words hotsu-bodaishin, which mean “the establishment of the bodhi-mind,” appear many times. Therefore, the title Hotsu-mujoshin may have been selected to distinguish this chapter from the next chapter, Hotsu-bodaishin. Furthermore, the two chapters end with exactly the same words: “Preached to the assembly at Kippo temple in the Yoshida district of Esshu on the 14th day of the 2nd lunar month in the 2nd year of Kangen .” We need to consider how the two chapters are related. Dr. Fumio Masutani has suggested that Hotsu-mujoshin was preached for lay people who were working on the construction of Daibutsu-ji temple (later called Eihei-ji temple), and that Hotsu-bodaishin was preached on the same day for monks. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to prove this theory conclusively, but the content of the two chapters does lend it some support. Both hotsu-mujoshin and hotsu-bodaishin mean the will to pursue the Buddhist truth, which can never be pursued for any purpose other than the truth itself. Master Dogen highly esteemed this attitude in studying Buddhism, and he explains the importance of establishing the will to the truth in these two chapters.