B2/17 Hokke-ten-hokke



The Flower of Dharma Turns the Flower of Dharma

Ho means “Dharma,” “the law of the Universe,” or the Universe itself. Ke means “flowers.” So hokke means “the Universe which is like flowers.” The full title of the Lotus Sutra, Myoho-renge-kyo, “The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma,” is usually abbreviated to Hokke-kyo. So hokke also suggests the wonderful Universe as manifested in the Lotus Sutra. Ten means “to turn,” or “to move.” So hokke-ten-hokke means “the wonderful Universe which is like flowers is moving the wonderful Universe which is like flowers itself.” This is the Buddhist view of the Universe, and Master Dogen’s view. In this chapter, Master Dogen explains this view of the Universe, quoting many words from the Lotus Sutra. The message of the Lotus Sutra is “How wonderful is the Universe in which we are now living!” So here Master Dogen unfolds his view of the Universe, following the theory of the Lotus Sutra.