Poems by Daruma Ikku

If, at the end of our journev
There be no final resting place,
How can there be
A way to loose ourselves in?

That mischievious creature
Having appeared in the world
Mislead, alas, how many people

The mind, what shall we call it?
It is the sound of the breeze
hat blows through the pines
In the indian-ink picture

The vast flood
Rolls onwards
But yield yourself,
And it floats you upon it.

The mind remaining
Just as it was born -
Without any praver
It becomes the Buddha

On the sea of death and life,
The diver’s boat is freighted
With ”Is’ and ’Is not’.
But if the bottom is broken through
’Is’ and ”Is not’ disappear.

My abiding place has no pillars,
It is roofless
Yet the rain does not wet it,
Nor the wind strike it.

When it blows
The mountain wind is boisterous
But when it blows not,
It simply blows not.

Though it has no bridge,
The cloud climbs up to heaven
It does not ask aid
Of Gautamas Sutras.

Ripples appear
On the unaccumulated water
Of the undug well
As the formless, bodiless man
Draws water from it.

The mind:
Since there is really
No such thing as mind
With what enlightenement
Shall it be enlightened ?

The moon is in the house,
The mind is the master in it:
When we understand this,
It is only a transitory world
We live in here

If we say, ”There is”,
People think, ”There is”:
But though it answers It is not,
This mountain echo

If we say, ”There is not”,
People think, ”There is not”,
Though it answers.
The mountain echo 

Of heaven or hell we have
No recollection, no knowledge
We must become, what we were
Before we were born

My self of long ago
In nature non-existent,
Nowhere to go when dead
Nothing at all.

Our mind -
Without end, without beginning,
Though it is born, though it dies -
The essence of emptiness.

All sins committed
In the Three Worlds 
Will fade and disappear
Together with myself.

’We come into this world alone, we depart alone’ –
This also is illusion.
I will teach you the way
Not to come, not to go!

We eat, excrete, sleep and get up;
This is our world
All we have to do after that
Is to die.

More frail and illusory
Than numbers written on water
Our seeking from the Buddha
Felicity in the after world.

Already, over the heart
Not a cloud is hanging
And no mountain is there
For the moon to hide behind. 

I shan’t die, I shan’t go anywhere
I’ll be here;
But don’t ask me anything
I shan”t answer.

Tell a lie,
And fall into hell,
Then what will happen to Buddha who contrived
Things, that do not exist?

Rain. hail, snow and ice
Are divided from one another
But after they fall,
They are the same water
Of the stream in the valley

Should you seek the way of the Buddha
All night long, searching
You will enter
Into your own mind

When they ask you,
’Where is your’ country? what is your native place?
’I am a man of Original Inactivity”

The figure of the real man
Standing there
Just a glimpse of him
And we are in love.

The mind cannot become the Buddha.
The body cannot become the Buddha,
Only what cannot become the Buddha,
Can become the Buddha.

As lightning
Which disappears like dew,
Which vanishes like a phantom
Thus think of youself.

A mind to search elsewhere
For the Buddha
Is the foolishness
In the very center of foolishness.

As Ikku does not think of his body
As if it were his body,
He lives in the same place,
Whether it is town or country.

The mind of man is without sound
Without odour:
He who answers when called
Is nothing but a thief.

When there are not two things,
They are not one thing,
And the wind in the Indian-Ink picture
Is cool indeed. 

The dew on the lotus leaf
Undyed by it’s color,
Just as it is,
Is the real form of the Buddha

A rest on the way back
From the Leaky Road
To then Never-Leaking Road;
If it rains, let it rain:
If it blows, let it blow.

When asked, he aswered
No question, no answer;
Then master Daruma must have had
Nothing in his mind.

Whatsoever it may be,
It is all part of the world of illusion,
Death itself
Not being a real thing.

Should you wish to know the way In both this world,
And that other.
Ask a man of mercy and sincerity.

Pitiful People, who do not know
Nirvana and it’s eternal felicity!
How they grieve
At life, death and mutability! 

Shaka and Amida too,
Were originally human beings;
Have I not also
The form of a man?

Wonderful indeed
The Lotus Flower of the Law!
However many ages may pass
Still the same color.

The crescent moon becomes full and wanes.
And nothing is left,
But still, there in the dawn
The crescent moon! 

Whenever we see them, all are
Just as they are:
The willow is green,
The flower is red.

Since the journey of our life
Is little but grief and pain
Why should we be so reluctant
To return to the sky of our native place?

Though we do not preach the doctrine,
Unasked the flowers bloom in spring,
They fall and scatter
They turn to dust.

We are born, we die.
All are the same
Shakamuni, Daruma
The cat and the ladle 

To write something and leave it behind us
Is but a dream
When we awake we know
There is not even anyone to read it. 

To harden into a buddha is wrong
All the more I think so
When I look
At a stone buddha.

The mind which is unattached
To all things in the world, Does not think, does not feel
Is fluid and flexible.

All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
Achieve Buddhahood and Nirvana
As a result
Of the Merciful Vow. 

The Buddha – Nature
Means non-birth, non-extinction,
Then know that illusion
Is birth, death, reincarnation.

Though you practise virtue,
Do not grieve that misfortune arises;
The guilty Karma
Of the previous world Is vanishing away

Deeply thinking of it.
I and other people – there is no difference,
As there is no mind
Beyond this mind.

Every spring, when you see
The cherry blossoms bloom
Feel with pain
The brevity of life! 

The original man
Must return to his original place;
Why seek then
The needless Buddha? 

If it rain, let it rain
If it rain not, let it not rain
But even should it not rain
You must travel with wet, sleeves

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever
Yet mindless the spring comes again

BUDDHISM Is the shaved part of the saucepan
The whiskers of the pebble
The sound that accompanies
The bamboo in the picture

The puppet player hangs them round his neck,
Not his heart
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

If he says,
’There is nothing special about it’
Already he has transgressed
And can say nothing else
This Daruma Ikku.

Whatever runs counter
To the mind and will of ordinary people
Hinders the law of men and the law of Buddha

I would like
To offer you something,
But in the Daruma Sect
We have nothing at all

Why are people called Buddhas
After they die?
Because they don’t grumble any more,
Because they don”t make a nuisance
Of themselves anymore.

ln our way through this world
Of birth and death,
We have no companion;
Lonely we die,
Alone we are born.

Who sees naught, says naught,
Hears naught,
Simply surpasses
The Buddha