I can't find this anywhere independently on the interwebs and have been using it as a bit of a "daily reflection" to see how I can work with the intructions given by Dengyo Daishi in my own daily life as I cultivate a 'bodhisattva life'. These admonitions continue to influence people and I am exploring, on a personal level, how the message can be relevant in a different time.
For example, Dengyo Daishi's words also influenced Master Shen-Yen during his time in Japan when his PhD advisor quoted Admonition 12. This one was often quoted by Rev.Keisho of California Tendai Monastery, who made it a point to never accept or solicit money in relationship to teaching or ceremonies and would say "always make the dharma your priority, you will have success in the dharma". Whether householder, priest, or monastic.
Does anyone else have an experience with the reading and practical application of Saicho's admonitions?
http://www.chancenter.org/chanctr/autobio.html << Master Shen-Yen's bio where the admonition is referenced.
Final Admonitions (Goyuikai)
1. On April the Thirteenth year of Kōnin (822) says to his various disciples. You should not
wear worldly clothes after my death.
2. Our fellow priests shouldn’t drink liquor. You will not be my fellow priests nor disciples of
Śākyamuni Buddha any more if you against this regulation. Violators should leave the
sacred confines of the Mountain House (Tendai School) promptly and they should not enter
into the area for the sake of prescriptions of teachings.
3. Women should not approach near the temple much less in the sacred temple compound.
4. I have never spoken violent words nor used violence since I was born. Now my fellows I
will be indebted if you do not use violence against the young priests. Try to be modest. Be
5. You should adhere to the following articles of admonitions. The first article deals with
rankings; among Dharma fellows, keep rankings. Those who have received the Mahāyāna
Precepts ahead of you, let them sit first. Naturally the Dharma fellows received the precepts
after more senior monks should sit behind them. On the days we get together, you should
secretly keep the bodhisattva practice in mind and display the Śrāvaka statue and stay next
to a Śrāmaṇera except when someone shares his seat with you.
6. The second deals with mindfulness; you should keep in mind the instructions in the passages
of the Lotus Sūtra Chapter10, regarding entering into the abode of the Thatāgata
(compassion), wearing the robe of the Tathāgata (forbearing), and sitting on the throne of
the Tathāgata (emptiness).
7. The third deals with robes; in the case of supplying robes, upper class priests wear the simple
woven rob with the clothes dropping on the side of rode, middle class priests wears the goods
on sale, and the lower class wear the silk robe.
8. The fourth deals with food; the upper class priest should not seek food by himself, middle
class priests have pure foods, lower class may accept extravagant food. They should have
food appropriate for their rank of priests.
9. The fifth deals with housing; the upper class priests stay in thatched houses made of bamboo,
middle class priests stay in a square house, lower class priests stay in three rooms on a
platform. When you build or repair your house pray for Buddha while arranging a ritual
platform in Autumn. Countrymen will offer a dry a measure of rice, while castle dwellers
will offer one mon coin at the ceremony.
10. The sixth deals with furniture; the upper class priests will have bamboo furniture, the middle
class priests one bed in size, the lower class priests a bed on a tatami mat.
Therefore valuable lands and more than ample amount food are not appropriate for priests.
A luxurious official cathedral is not appropriate for my temple. The great master Śākyamuni
Buddha did not allow the presence of Śrāvakas when he asked questions to Mañjuśrī when
Prabhūtaratna tathāgata and his retinue are assembled. Nor is the Śrāvaka permitted to stay
in the auditorium nor the hall, nor perform chanting together in the same room as
bodhisattvas. Beg for food in the early morning and have shared meals and dedicate a part
of the food for hungry ghosts in the mountain. Accordingly, when making platforms in
Autumn, prepare by wearing clothes appropriate for sitting on snow on the ground. Except
food and clothing, no other items are needed. However, there is an exception to the rule for
leaving home for those priests who benefit sentient beings.
11. Do not make Buddha Statue for me (Saichō). Do not copy the sūtras for me (Saichō).
Extend my intentions (resolution).
12. Robes and food are naturally a part of the process of seeking the way of the Bodhisattva.
However, the process of seeking only robes and food is not the way for Bodhisattva.
13. Lecture the various Mahāyāna sūtras every day and strive politely for the sake of everlasting
Dharma. This is to benefit the Nation and to alleviate suffering of sentient beings.
Continuously make your efforts for spreading Dharma.
14. Our fellow Boddhisattvas, don’t be remiss in practicing the four types of meditations.
Dedicate the ceremony of sprinkling water on the head of devotees monthly or annually.
Perform the goma for the prosperity of the Buddha Dharma rewarding the benevolence of
15. I would like to be reborn to this country again and again for the sake of encouragement of the
One Vehicle keeping the three types of learning, i.e., precepts, meditation, and wisdom of
Buddha. Brothers following the Dharma must keep and practice the way of Buddha until our
dream comes true.
The following passage is from the Denjutsu Isshin Kaimon by kōjo (779-858), disciple of Saichō
(Dengyō Daishi Zenshū Vol.1. p.535.)
(Anger should forsake) One’s anger is not conquered by the anger itself. If you substitute your
anger with virtue, then your anger shall be conquered.
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