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Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...




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.

[FN#143] Sho-bo-gen-zo.


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
Him Buddha.






Next: Buddha The Universal Life

Previous: Zen Is Iconoclastic



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