達磨四聖句 Four Sacred Verses of Bodhidharma （Daruma no Shiseiku）
教外別傳 [Kyōge betsuden]
不立文字 [Furyū monji]
直指人心 [Jikishi ninshin]
見性成佛 [Kenshō jōbutsu]
A special transmission outside the scriptures;
No dependence upon words and letters;
Direct pointing at the soul of man;
Seeing into one's nature and the attainment of Buddhahood.
Translated by D. T. Suzuki
A special [separate] transmission outside the teachings,
do not depend on written words,
directly point to the human mind,
see one‘s nature and become Buddha.
Translated by Piya Tan
Separate transmission outside the teachings (mind to mind transmission),
not posit the letters,
direct to the mind,
penetrate the self-nature and attain the Buddhahood.
Translated by Sing Song Liu 劉興松
No postulation of any thesis in words---
Transmission outside the scriptures---
Point straight at the mind of man---
See your nature and be enlightened.
Translated by Whalen Lai
MANY roads lead to the Path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice. To enter
by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things
share the same true nature, which isn't apparent because it's shrouded by sensation and
delusion. Those who turn from delusion back to reality, who meditate on walls,' the absence
of self and other, the oneness of mortal and sage, and who remain unmoved even by
scriptures are in complete and unspoken agreement with reason. Without moving, without
effort, they enter, we say, by reason.
To enter by practice refers to four all-inclusive practices:
Suffering injustice, adapting to conditions, seeking nothing, and practicing the Dharma.
First, suffering injustice. When those who search for the Path encounter adversity, they
should think to themselves, "In Countless ages gone by, I've turned from the essential to
the trivial and wandered through all manner of existence, often angry without cause and
guilty of numberless transgressions.
Now, though I do no wrong, I'm punished by my past. Neither gods nor men can foresee
when an evil deed will bear its fruit. I accept it with an open heart and without complaint of
injustice. The sutras say "when you meet with adversity don't be upset because it makes
sense." With such understanding you're in harmony with reason. And by suffering injustice
you enter the Path.
Second, adapting to conditions. As mortals, we're ruled by conditions, not by ourselves.
All the suffering and joy we experience depend on conditions. If we should be blessed by
some great reward, such as fame or fortune, it's the fruit of a seed planted by us in the past.
When conditions change, it ends. Why delight In Its existence? But while success and failure
depend on conditions, the mind neither waxes nor wanes. Those who remain unmoved by
the wind of joy silently follow the Path.
Third, seeking nothing. People of this world are deluded. They're always longing for
something-always, in a word, seeking.
But the wise wake up. They choose reason over custom. They fix their minds on the
sublime and let their bodies change with the seasons. All phenomena are empty. They
contain nothing worth desiring. Calamity forever alternates with Prosperity. To dwell in the
three realms is to dwell in a burning house. To have a body is to suffer. Does anyone with
a body know peace? Those who understand this detach themselves from all that exists and
stop imagining or seeking anything. The sutras say, "To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing
is bliss." When you seek nothing, you're on the Path.
Fourth, practicing the Dharma. The Dharma is the truth that all natures are pure. By this
truth, all appearances are empty. Defilement and attachment, subject and object don't exist.
The sutras say, "The Dharma includes no being because it's free from the impurity of being,
and the Dharma includes no self because it's free from the impurity of self." Those wise
enough to believe and understand these truths are bound to practice according to the
And since that which is real includes nothing worth begrudging, they give their body, life,
and property in charity, without regret, without the vanity of giver, gift, or recipient, and
without bias or attachment. And to eliminate impurity they teach others, but without
becoming attached to form. Thus, through their own practice they're able to help others and
glorify the Way of Enlightenment. And as with charity, they also practice the other virtues.
But while practicing the six virtues to eliminate delusion, they practice nothing at all. This is
what's meant by practicing the Dharma.