What is called the Line of Marriage is that mark or marks, as the case may be, found on the side of the Mount under the fourth finger. I will first proceed to give all the details possible about these lines, and then call my reader's attentio... Read more of Signs Relating To Marriage at Palm Readings.orgInformational Site Network Informational
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Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...




A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World








The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment nor of
palm-leaves, nor in black and white, but one written in heart and
mind. On one occasion a King of Eastern India invited the venerable
Prajnyatara, the teacher of Bodhidharma, and his disciples to dinner
at his own palace.

Finding all the monks reciting the sacred sutras with the single
exception of the master, the Ring questioned Prajnyatara: Why do you
not, reverend sir, recite the Scriptures as others do? My poor
self, your majesty, replied he, does not go out to the objects of
sense in my expiration nor is it confined within body and mind in my
inspiration. Thus I constantly recite hundreds, thousands, and
millions of sacred sutras. In like manner the Emperor Wu, of the
Liang dynasty, once requested Chwen Hih (Fu Dai-shi) to give a
lecture on the Scriptures. Chwen went upon the platform, struck the
desk with a block of wood, and came down. Pao Chi (Ho-shi), a
Buddhist tutor to the Emperor, asked the perplexed monarch: Does
your Lordship understand him? No, answered His Majesty. The
lecture of the Great Teacher is over. As it is clear to you from
these examples, Zen holds that the faith must be based not on the
dead Scriptures, but on living facts, that one must turn over not the
gilt pages of the holy writ, but read between the lines in the holy
pages of daily life, that Buddha must be prayed not by word of mouth,
but by actual deed and work, and that one must split open, as the
author of Avatamsaka-sutra allegorically tells us, the smallest grain
of dirt to find therein a sutra equal in size to the whole world.
The so-called sutra, says Do-gen, covers the whole universe. It
transcends time and space. It is written with the characters of
heaven, of man, of beasts, of Asuras,[FN#13l] of hundreds of grass,
and of thousands of trees. There are characters, some long, some
short, some round, some square, some blue, some red, some yellow, and
some white-in short, all the phenomena in the universe are the
characters with which the sutra is written. Shakya Muni read that
sutra through the bright star illuminating the broad expanse of the
morning skies, when he sat in meditation under the Bodhi Tree.


[FN#13l] The name of a demon.


Ling Yun (Rei-un) read it through the lovely flowers of a peach-tree
in spring after some twenty years of his research for Light, and said:

A score of years I looked for Light:
There came and went many a spring and fall.
E'er since the peach blossoms came in my sight,
I never doubt anything at all.

Hian Yen (Kyo-gen) read it through the noise of bamboo, at which he
threw pebbles. Su Shih (So-shoku) read it through a waterfall, one
evening, and said:

The brook speaks forth the Tathagata's words divine,
The hills reveal His glorious forms that shine.






Next: Great Men And Nature

Previous: Sutras Used By Zen Masters



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