Samurai Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...
Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...
Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...
Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...
The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...
There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...
The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the
How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...
Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...
An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...
Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...
Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires,
Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...
The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...
Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...
Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what the name
implies. The Deity under the name of Brahman necessarily differs
from the Being under the appellation of Jehovah, just as the Hindu
differs from the Jew. In like manner the Being designated by God
necessarily differs from One named Amitabha or from Him entitled
Allah. To give a name to the Deity is to give Him tradition,
nationality, limitation, and fixity, and it never brings us nearer to
Him. Zen's object of worship cannot be named and determined as God,
or Brahman, or Amitabha, or Creator, or Nature, or Reality, or
Substance, or the like. Neither Chinese nor Japanese masters of Zen
tried to give a definite name to their object of adoration. They now
called Him That One, now This One, now Mind, now Buddha, now
Tathagata, now Certain Thing, now the True, now Dharma-nature, now
Buddha-nature, and so forth. Tung Shan[FN#141] (To-zan) on a certain
occasion declared it to be A Certain Thing that pillars heaven above
and supports the earth below; dark as lacquer and undefinable;
manifesting itself through its activities, yet not wholly comprisable
within them. So-kei[FN#142] expressed it in the same wise: There
exists a Certain Thing, bright as a mirror, spiritual as a mind, not
subjected to growth nor to decay. Huen Sha (Gen-sha) comparing it
with a gem says: There exists a bright gem illuminating through the
worlds in ten directions by its light.[FN#143]
[FN#141] Tung Shan Luh (To-zan-roku, 'Sayings and Doings of Ta-zan')
is one of the best Zen books.
[FN#142] So-kei, a Korean Zenist, whose work entitled Zen-ke-ki-kwan
is worthy of our note as a representation of Korean Zen.
This certain thing or being is too sublime to be named after a
traditional or a national deity, too spiritual to be symbolized by
human art, too full of life to be formulated in terms of mechanical
science, too free to be rationalized by intellectual philosophy, too
universal to be perceived by bodily senses; but everybody can feel
its irresistible power, see its invisible presence, and touch its
heart and soul within himself. This mysterious Mind, says Kwei
Fung (Kei-ho), is higher than the highest, deeper than the deepest,
limitless in all directions. There is no centre in it. No
distinction of east and west, and above and below. Is it empty?
Yes, but not empty like space. Has it a form? Yes, but has no form
dependent on another for its existence. Is it intelligent? Yes, but
not intelligent like your mind. Is it non-intelligent? Yes, but not
non-intelligent like trees and stone. Is it conscious? Yes, but not
conscious like you when waking. Is it bright? Yes, but not bright
like the sun or the moon. To the question, What and who is
Buddha? Yuen Wu (En-go) replied: Hold your tongue: the mouth is
the gate of evils! while Pao Fuh (Ho-fuku) answered to the same
question: No skill of art can picture Him. Thus Buddha is
unnamable, indescribable, and indefinable, but we provisionally call
Next: Buddha The Universal Life
Previous: Zen Is Iconoclastic