Œá—B‘«’m
Ryōan-ji@@From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ryōan-ji also has a teahouse and tea garden, dating to the 17th century. Near the teahouse is a famous stone water basin, with water continually flowing for ritual purification. This is the Ryōan-ji tsukubai (çLæõ), which translates literally as "crouch;" because of the low height of the basin, the user must bend over to use it, in a sign of reverence and humility. The kanji written on the surface of the stone basin, ŒÜ, è°, •D, –î, are without significance when read alone. Though the water basin's frame is circular, the opening in the circular face is itself a square (Œû). If each of the four kanji is read in combination with Œû (the square-shaped radical is pronounced kuchi, meaning "mouth" or "aperture"), which the square opening is meant to represent, then the characters become Œá, —B, ‘«, ’m. This is read as "ware, tada taru (wo) shiru", which translates literally as "I only sufficiency know" (Œá = ware = I, —B = tada = merely, only, ‘« = taru = be sufficient, suffice, be enough, be worth, deserve, ’m = shiru = know) or, more poetically, as "I know only satisfaction". Intended to reinforce Buddhist teachings regarding humility and the abundance within one's soul, the meaning is simple and clear: "one already has all one needs". Meanwhile, the positioning of the tsukubai, lower than the veranda on which one stands to view it, compels one to bow respectfully (while listening to the endless trickle of replenishing water from the bamboo pipe) to fully appreciate its deeper philosophical significance. The tsukubai also embodies a subtle form of Zen teaching using ironic juxtaposition: while the shape mimics an ancient Chinese coin, the sentiment is the opposite of materialism. Thus, over many centuries, the tsukubai has also served as a humorous visual koan for countless monks residing at the temple, gently reminding them daily of their vow of poverty. Notwithstanding the exquisite kare sansui rock garden on the opposite side of the building, the less-photographed Ryōan-ji tea garden is one of the most sublime and valued cultural treasures the temple offers to the world.@



Four Chinese characters, Œá—B‘«’m ("ware tada taru wo shiru" (I simply know what is enough))" are carved on the Tsukubai stone. The feature of the stone is the square water hole in the centre of the stone, where the water is stored, forms a part of each letter
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