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Samurai

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

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

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...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

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

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




Hinayanism And Its Doctrine








The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hinayanism.
Transience never fails to deprive us of what is dear and near to us.
It disappoints us in our expectation and hope. It brings out grief,
fear, anguish, and lamentation. It spreads terror and destruction
among families, communities, nations, mankind. It threatens with
perdition the whole earth, the whole universe. Therefore it follows
that life is full of disappointment, sufferings, and miseries, and
that man is like 'a frog in a dry well.' This is the doctrine called
by the Hinayanists the Holy Truth of Suffering.

Again, when Transcience once gets hold of our imagination, we can
easily foresee ruins and disasters in the very midst of prosperity
and happiness, and also old age and ugliness in the prime and youth
of beauty. It gives rise quite naturally to the thought that body is
a bag full of pus and blood, a mere heap of rotten flesh and broken
pieces of bone, a decaying corpse inhabited by innumerable maggots.
This is the doctrine called by the Hinayanists the Holy Truth of
Impurity.[FN#146]


[FN#146] Mahasaptipatthana Suttanta, 7, runs as follows: And,
moreover, bhikkhu, a brother, just as if he had been a body abandoned
in the charnel-field, dead for one, two, or three days, swollen,
turning black and blue, and decomposed, apply that perception to this
very body (of his own), reflecting: 'This body, too, is even so
constituted, is of such a nature, has not got beyond that (fate).'


And, again, Transience holds its tyrannical sway not only over the
material but over the spiritual world. At its touch Atman, or soul,
is brought to nothing. By its call Devas, or celestial beings, are
made to succumb to death. It follows, therefore, that to believe in
Atman, eternal and unchanging, would be a whim of the ignorant. This
is the doctrine called by the Hinayanists the Holy Truth of No-atman.

If, as said, there could be nothing free from Transience, Constancy
should be a gross mistake of the ignorant; if even gods have to die,
Eternity should be no more than a stupid dream of the vulgar; if all
phenomena be flowing and changing, there could be no constant noumena
underlying them. It therefore follows that all things in the
universe are empty and unreal. This is the doctrine called by the
Hinayanists the Holy Truth of Unreality. Thus Hinayana Buddhism,
starting from the doctrine of Transience, arrived at the pessimistic
view of life in its extreme form.






Next: Change As Seen By Zen

Previous: Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus



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