From Tanko Magazine, Sep. 2011
Scrolls for the Tea Room Q&A
Please teach us about “Ba So Gan Getsu”
Shogen Junior College Research Professor Shuugaku Chisaka

The most formost amoung the many students of Baso Douitsu Zenshi were called the three great teachers: Hyakujou Enkai, Seidou Chizou, and Nansen Fugan. This is a story about when these three people accompanied the teacher Baso Douitsu Zenshi to veiw the moon that is called “Gan Getsu (Playful Moon)”.
I dare say that that night’s moon was more splendid than any other. It’s refinement was deep, so the teacher Baso challenged his three students. He said, “Truely, this is a splendid moon. Surely, at such a time as this, you can explain the teachings of Buddhism, you can perceive frankly the teachings at this moment.”
Thereupon, Seidou Chizou first answered, “Masayoshi kuyou (Truely, holding a memorial is good/ Truely holding a memorial for the Buddha is exactly right. Here, when even feasting, it is also exceptional. Isn’t that so?)” Then, Hyakujou Enkai responded, “Masayoshi shugyou (Truely, pursuing learning is good/ especially on this night of the full moon, this night is ideal for night meditation. Isn’t that so?)” However, only Nansen Fugan did hotsushuu–that is–brushed at his sleeves, did not give forth even a word, and went out.
Connecting with the three different point of veiws, it is said that the teachings of Baso are evaluated as “Putting the scriptures in the treasury”, “Zen is returning to the ocean”, and “Only Fugan alone passed into the transcendental world.” In other words, the scriptures are what is entrusted to Chizou and zazen is what is entrusted to Enkai. Only Fugan alone was praised as passing far over the other two’s positions. The reason being that Nansen’s way of answering was most liked by Baso, but having spoken first in such a way, Hyakujou Enkai who understood the opportunity the most was classified together Seidou Chizou and Nansen Fugan, and they are treated as the three great teachers of Baso’s disciples.
From the start, the man called Baso Douitsu Zenji was a man standing in the dharmic lineage of “The Sixth Patriarch Enou; The Seventh Patriarch Nangaku Ejou; The Eigth Patriarch Baso Douitsu.” The zen monk who represented and passed down to posterity the teachings of this Baso Douitsu was Hyakujou Enkai. After his death, Hyakujou made the regulations called “Hyakujou Shingi”, but regrettably it has not been perserved to this day. In the former age, Touyou Tokki who lived at Mt. Hyakujou complied the “Chokushu Hyakujou Shingi” that accepted the imperial decree of that time’s emperor Juntei. In Zen, which says (the saying) “dignity is buddhism, etiquette is the tenets”, the sacred ceasless pursuit of learning (gyouji) of buddhism is expressed in the four kinds of dignity in walking, standing, sitting, and lying. In Japan, this Shingi, as well as Zen temples, gave a great influence to tea ceremony which has a deep connection with Zen. And also the etiquette in the tea room and so on seems to have a lot of influence from the Shingi. There is the feeling of the greatness of Hyakujou Zenshi’s influence.

正眼短期大学特任教授 千坂秀學 ちさかしゅうがく