Identity of Relative and Absolute

Sandokai: Identity of Relative and absolute

The mind of the great sage of India

Was intimately conveyed from west to east

Among human beings are wise ones and fools

But in the way there is no northern or southern Patriarch

The subtle source is clear and bright

The tributary streams flow through the darkness

To be attached to things is illusion

To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment

Each and all the subjective and objective spheres

Are related

And at the same time independent

Related yet working differently

Though each keeps its own place

Form makes the character and appearance different

Sounds distinguish comfort and discomfort

The dark makes all words one

The brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases

The four elements return to their nature

As a child to its mother

Fire is hot

Wind moves

Water is wet

Earth hard

Eyes see

Ears hear

Nose smells

Tongue tastes the salt and sour

Each is independent of the other

Cause and effect must return to the great reality

The words high and low are used relatively

Within light there is darkness

But do not try to understand that darkness

Within darkness there is light

But no not look for that light

Light and darkness are a pair

Like the foot before and the foot behind in walking

Each thing has its own intrinsic value

And is related to everything else in function and position

Ordinary life fits the absolute

As a box and its lid

The absolute works together with the relative

Like two arrows meeting in mid-air

Reading words you should grasp the great reality

Do not judge by any standards

If you do not see the Way

You do not see it even as you walk on it

When you walk the Way

It is not near

It is not far

If you are deluded

You are mountains and rivers away from it

I respectfully say to those who wish to be enlightened

Do not waste your time by night or day