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Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals








Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of love and
the nucleus of sincerity, forms the warp and woof of all moral
actions. He is an obedient son who serves his parents with sincerity
and love. He is a loyal subject who serves his master with sincerity
and love. A virtuous wife is she who loves her husband with her
sincere heart. A trustworthy friend is he who keeps company with
others with sincerity and love. A man of righteousness is he who
leads a life of sincerity and love. Generous and humane is he who
sympathizes with his fellow-men with his sincere heart. Veracity,
chastity, filial piety, loyalty, righteousness, generosity, humanity,
and what not-all-this is no other than Buddha-nature applied to
various relationships of human brotherhood. This is the common
source, ever fresh and inexhaustible, of morality that fosters and
furthers the interests of all. To-ju[FN#170] expresses the similar
idea as follows:

There exists the Inexhaustible Source (of morality) within me.
It is an invaluable treasure.
It is called Bright Nature of man.
It is peerless and surpasses all jewels.
The aim of learning is to bring out this Bright Nature.
This is the best thing in the world.
Real happiness can only be secured by it.

Thus, in the first place, moral conduct, which is nothing but the
expression of Buddha-nature in action, implies the assertion of self
and the furtherance of one's interests. On this point is based the
half-truth of the Egoistic theory. Secondly, it is invariably
accompanied by a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction when it fulfils
its end. This accidental concomitance is mistaken for its essence by
superficial observers who adhere to the Hedonistic theory. Thirdly,
it conduces to the furtherance of the material and spiritual
interests of man, and it led the Utilitarians to the confusion of the
result with the cause of morality. Fourthly, it involves the control
or sacrifice of the lower and ignoble self of an individual in order
to realize his higher and nobler self. This gave rise to the
half-truth of the Ascetic theory of morality.


[FN#170] To-ju Naka-e (died A.D. 1649), the founder of the Japanese
Wang School of Confucianism, known as the Sage of Omi.






Next: The Parable Of A Drunkard

Previous: The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man



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