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

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

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

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

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

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

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

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 Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

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

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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




Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured








We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches
Buddha-nature, which all sentient beings are endowed with. The term
'Buddha-nature,'[FN#165] as accepted generally by Buddhists, means a
latent and undeveloped nature, which enables its owner to become
Enlightened when it is developed and brought to actuality.[FN#166]
Therefore man, according to Zen, is not good-natured nor bad-natured
in the relative sense, as accepted generally by common sense, of
these terms, but Buddha-natured in the sense of non-duality. A good
person (of common sense) differs from a bad person (of common sense),
not in his inborn Buddha-nature, but in the extent of his expressing
it in deeds. Even if men are equally endowed with that nature, yet
their different states of development do not allow them to express it
to an equal extent in conduct. Buddha-nature may be compared with
the sun, and individual mind with the sky. Then an Enlightened mind
is like the sky in fair weather, when nothing prevents the beams of
the sun; while an ignorant mind is like the sky in cloudy weather,
when the sun sheds faint light; and an evil mind is like the sky in
stormy weather, when the sun seems to be out of existence. It comes
under our daily observation that even a robber or a murderer may
prove to be a good father and a loving husband to his wife and
children. He is an honest fellow when he remains at home. The sun
of Buddha-nature gives light within the wall of his house, but
without the house the darkness of foul crimes shrouds him.

[FN#165] For a detailed explanation of Buddha-nature, see the
chapter entitled Buddha-nature in Sho-bo-gen-zo.

[FN#166] Mahaparinirvana-sutra may be said to have been written for
the purpose of stating this idea.






Next: The Parable Of The Robber Kih

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