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Of all the descendants of Linchi, it is this man that comes in for the most extended criticism in the Shobo* genzo*. Thereupon, he turns to Tahui. Although this passage is presumably intended simply as an example of a misunderstanding of the expressions "selfverification" and "selfawakening," Dogen uses it to launch an extended and vitriolic ad hominem attack on Tahui himself. " And because Ta hui himself did not understand the teachings of the Buddhas and patriarchs, most of the followers of his tradition are "phonies''; there is not a single truly solid one among them.
For as is perfectly clear from the Butsudo text itself, Dogen's position, far from affirming a catholic appreciation of diverse forms of Buddhism, is intended precisely to limit the true religion to a single historical tradition. Already in his earliest writings it is clear that Dogen considers the Shobo genzo a historical reality, preserved only in the Zen tradition he has now brought from China. The Bendo* wa opens with a rehearsal of that tradition. (DZZ 1:730) Buddhist texts, Dogen goes on here to say, may have existed in China before the advent of Bodhidharma, but no one understood them; it was only after his arrival that the pure Buddhadharma spread there.
And because Ta hui himself did not understand the teachings of the Buddhas and patriarchs, most of the followers of his tradition are "phonies''; there is not a single truly solid one among them. Even in his subsequent training at T'ient'ung shan under Juching, Furuta argues, it is doubtful that Dogen heard much of Ts'aotung; for, as we have seen, Juching's sayings give no evidence of such teaching, and, in fact, most of this master's own associations seem to have been with Linchi figures.