An Accord on the Principles of the Dharma
Translated by Jeffrey Hunter, Ph.D.
From ancient times there have been disagreements concerning the doctrines of our sect. This and that position have been taken, with no agreement, and differences of opinion exist to today. Further, these have become an obstacle to the prosperity of the Buddha-Dharma. This is too lamentable for words and sad indeed to consider. So it is that now the worthy heads of the temples of all lines have discussed this situation and determined that as we try to propagate our teachings far and wide it will not do for our teachings to lack unity. . . . For this reason we here synthesize the ancient disagreements of our past masters to express our intent to repay our debt of gratitude to our teachers. With glad hearts we declare the unity of main and branch temples alike and realize a unified harmony that will last forever. We wish from now on to be as inseparable as a fish and water, and that this firm covenant will never wither or be defiled. Let the lamp of the Dharma shine for more than ten thousand years and the blessed life of the enlightenment of the three assemblies endure forever.
1. Our sect's founder taught the identity (ittai) of the essential and theoretical teachings; yet one or the other can be regarded as superior depending upon a person's capacities and level of understanding.
2. Monks and lay followers alike should join forces in adopting the sole practice of shakubuku.
3. We all agree to strictly observe the prohibition against making pilgrimages to the temples and shrines of slanderers of the Dharma.
4. The offerings of slanderers of the Dharma may not be accepted, with the sole exception of donations made as an expression of secular virtues such as humanity, righteousness, love and propriety.
5. Though the Dharma principle comprises both aggressive and accommodating approaches, the aggressive approach is the proper one.
6. As for the laity, they should not forsake their original teacher under whom they first roused the thought of enlightenment, and if they should try to do so, the new temple should not permit it. If, however, in consultation all parties agree, both temples may receive alms from that person.