With my feet astride Mount Sumeru and my head reaching up to the sky,
Single-handedly I dare to switch the sun's place.
May both East and West become the Land of Ultimate Bliss,
And Nanjing and Beijing [the southern and northern capitals of China] unite.
Let us clean up the warfare that plagues the universe,
And extensively bless mankind with beneficient government.
May all those within the Dharma Realm enjoy health and peace
And together attend the celebration of the realization of Bodhi.
Chinese people refer to the Japanese as wo nu (倭奴) meaning that they were very unruly, only fit to be slaves. When they came to attack and occupied China, I had not left the home-life yet and I wrote these lines which resemble poetry but are not really verses of any recognizable sort. They are just reckless words.
With my feet astride Mount Sumeru and my head reaching up to the sky. This means I'm talking big. I'm talking as big as it gets.
Single-handedly I dare to switch the sun’s place. That is, I can defeat Japan (the Land of the Rising Sun). However, I don't have an army or anyone to support me. If I had some support, I could triumph over the Japanese single-handedly. See how exaggerated my words are:
May both East and West become the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Whether it’s the country of the East or the country in the West, we’ll call them both the Land of Ultimate Bliss. There is a Land of Ultimate Bliss in the West, but right within this world, we can create a Land of Ultimate Bliss. If I were allowed to rule the world, I would make it into a Land of Ultimate Bliss.
And Nanjing and Beijing [the southern and northern capitals of China] unite. At that time the people of Nanjing were not allowed to go to Beijing, and those in Beijing could not go to Nanjing. They weren’t allowed to meet with one another. Now I’m telling everyone they should always meet together and see each other. Not only should Nanjing and Beijing unite, but
let us clean up the warfare that plagues the universe. Let’s set the world in peace and order, so that there are no troubles. There won’t be any wars. No one will fight with anyone, so there won’t be any wars.
And extensively bless mankind with beneficient government. If I had the power, I would definitely work for peace and blessings for all mankind. I would use virtue to influence people, like Confucius. When Confucius was the minister of the state of Lu, he set the state in order in three months’ time. After only three months, people in the state of Lu put away their weapons and set their warhorses to pasture. If things were lost on the road, no one would pick them up. They didn’t have to lock their doors at night. They didn’t have to install steel security bars on their houses, or have several metal locks.
May all those within the Dharma Realm enjoy health and peace. May all living beings enjoy health, and always have doctors to keep them free from sickness,
and may everyone together attend the celebration of the realization of Bodhi.
I was shocked by the news of my Dharma friends passing away in the car accident—in the prime of their lives. In my grief, I wrote the following poem.
They were still so young,
Yet impermanence caught up with them.
It is not that Nature does not speak Dharma;
Yet who can understand?
Early on, work hard at cultivation.
Be vigorous! Allow no laxness!
Do not wait till you are old.
See all the graves of those who've died young.
Always be mindful of birth and death;
Then you won't be swayed even by a thousand demons
Investigating Chan is like gazing at a lone mountain peak:
How wonderful the scenery is up there!
Endure the loneliness and always look within yourself.
Be content with poverty so as to cultivate the Way.
The day will come when you attain ultimate liberation
And bow to Shakyamuni Buddha.