hen the Master was in retreat at the Jizoji, Sekimon Osho
of the Ryomonji sent [the monk]Tenkyu
to call on him and inquire after his health.
When he met the Master at thetemple gate, Tenkyu delivered a message from Sekimon, saying: "At the Ryomonji are anumber of novices who are remiss in their duties and rude in their behavior, upsetting the decorum ofthe temple. It was thought that if they were to go someplace else—the Nyohoji, perhaps, or the Korinji —they might change their ways, and I wished to ask your Reverences opinion."
When Tenkyu had spoken, the Master summoned Shuin, Sokaku and myself,
and, repeatingfor us the gist of the message Sekimon had sent with Tenkyu, said: "What's known as a Zen temple isestablished precisely to bring together wicked fellows such as these, winning them over throughpersonal contact and making them into good men. But, without any such attitude, completely lacking incompassion, you want to dispose of wrongdoers elsewhere, to have them go and create disturbancesomeplace else! Is a person like that fit to be abbot of a Zen temple? When one whose heart is withoutgenerosity or compassion becomes abbot of [my] temple, it is the beginning of the end for myteaching!"After this severe upbraiding, everyone, whether it was the abbot, the temple officers or the Master'spersonal attendants, was afraid to complain to the Master about the behavior of the monks.
* Osho is a general term of respect for Buddhist monks, similar to "Reverend," but may have the addedmeaning of teacher or abbot. Sekimon Somin (1642-1696) was a Dharma heir of Bankei who became the thirdabbot of the Ryomonji.** Tenkyu Shihaku (d. 1722). A disciple of Bankei.*** A letter of this period (1692) addressed to Bankei from Lord Kyogoku's wife indicates that Bankei wassuffering from pains in the feet which prevented him from standing.*** Itsuzan Sonin, the compiler of the present work. The others are Bankei's disciples Reigen Shuin (1653-1718) and Taikei Sokaku (d. 1719). These three, sometimes referred to as the "three jisha (attendants)," served asBankei's close attendants during his last years.