A traveler in the South chatted with an aged negro, whom he met in the road. "And I suppose you were once a slave?" he remarked. "Yes, suh," the old colored man answered. "And, so, after the war, you gained your freedom," the gentleman ... Read more of Slavery at Free Jokes.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

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

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

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

True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

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

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




Buddha The Universal Life








Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires,
enlivens, and vitalizes everything. Accordingly, we may call Him the
Universal Life in the sense that He is the source of all lives in the
universe. This Universal Life, according to Zen, pillars the heaven,
supports the earth, glorifies the sun and moon, gives voice to
thunder, tinges clouds, adorns the pasture with flowers, enriches the
field with harvest, gives animals beauty and strength. Therefore,
Zen declares even a dead clod of earth to be imbued with the divine
life, just as Lowell expresses a similar idea when he says:

Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers.

One of our contemporary Zenists wittily observed that 'vegetables are
the children of earth, that animals which feed on vegetables are the
grand-children of earth, and that men who subsist on animals are the
great-grand-children of earth.' If there be no life in earth, how
could life come out of it? If there be no life, the same as the
animal's life in the vegetables, how could animals sustain their
lives feeding on vegetables? If there be no life similar to ours in
animals, how could we sustain our life by subsisting on them? The
poet must be in the right, not only in his esthetic, but in his
scientific point of view, in saying-

I must
Confess that I am only dust.
But once a rose within me grew;
Its rootlets shot, its flowerets flew;
And all rose's sweetness rolled
Throughout the texture of my mould;
And so it is that I impart
Perfume to them, whoever thou art.

As we men live and act, so do our arteries; so does blood; so do
corpuscles. As cells and protoplasm live and act, so do elements,
molecules, and atoms. As elements and atoms live and act, so do
clouds; so does the earth; so does the ocean, the Milky Way, and the
Solar System. What is this life which pervades the grandest as well
as the minutest works of Nature, and which may fitly be said 'greater
than the greatest and smaller than the smallest?' It cannot be
defined. It cannot be subjected to exact analysis. But it is
directly experienced and recognized within us, just as the beauty of
the rose is to be perceived and enjoyed, but not reduced to exact
analysis. At any rate, it is something stirring, moving, acting and
reacting continually. This something which can be experienced and
felt and enjoyed directly by every one of us. This life of living
principle in the microcosmos is identical with that of the
macrocosmos, and the Universal Life of the macrocosmos is the common
source of all lives. Therefore, the Mahaparinirvana-sutra says:

Tathagata (another name for Buddha) gives life to all beings, just
as the lake Anavatapta gives rise to the four great rivers.
Tathagata, says the same sutra, divides his own body into
innumerable bodies, and also restores an infinite number of bodies to
one body. Now be becomes cities, villages, houses, mountains,
rivers, and trees; now he has a large body; now he has a small body;
now he becomes men, women, boys, and girls.






Next: Life And Change

Previous: Buddha Is Unnamable



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