Samurai Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...
Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...
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...
Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...
Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...
The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...
The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...
The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...
Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...
Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...
Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...
Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...
Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the present writer
no small contentment, and which he believes would cure one of
pessimistic complaint. Buddha, or Universal Life conceived by Zen,
is not like a capricious despot, who acts not seldom against his own
laws. His manifestation as shown in the Enlightened Consciousness is
lawful, impartial, and rational. Buddhists believe that even Shakya
Muni himself was not free from the law of retribution, which
includes, in our opinion, the law of balance and that of causation.
Now let us briefly examine how the law of balance holds its sway over
life and the world. When the Cakravartin, according to an Indian
legend, the universal monarch, would come to govern the earth, a
wheel would also appear as one of his treasures, and go on rolling
all over the world, making everything level and smooth. Buddha is
the spiritual Cakravartin, whose wheel is the wheel of the law of
balance, with which he governs all things equally and impartially.
First let us observe the simplest cases where the law of balance
holds good. Four men can finish in three days the same amount of
work as is done by three men in four days. The increase in the
number of men causes the decrease in that of days, the decrease in
the number of men causes the increase in that of days, the result
being always the same. Similarly the increase in the sharpness of a
knife is always accompanied by a decrease in its durability, and the
increase of durability by a decrease of sharpness. The more
beautiful flowers grow, the uglier their fruits become; the prettier
the fruits grow, the simpler become their flowers. 'A strong soldier
is ready to die; a strong tree is easy to be broken; hard leather is
easy to be torn. But the soft tongue survives the hard teeth.'
Horned creatures are destitute of tusks, the sharp-tusked creatures
lack horns. Winged animals are not endowed with paws, and handed
animals are provided with no wings. Birds of beautiful plumage have
no sweet voice, and sweet-voiced songsters no feathers of bright
colours. The finer in quality, the smaller in quantity, and bulkier
in size, the coarser in nature.
Nature favours nothing in particular. So everything has its
advantage and disadvantage as well. What one gains on the one hand
one loses on the other. The ox is competent in drawing a heavy cart,
but he is absolutely incompetent in catching mice. A shovel is fit
for digging, but not for ear-picking. Aeroplanes are good for
aviation, but not for navigation. Silkworms feed on mulberry leaves
and make silk from it, but they can do nothing with other leaves.
Thus everything has its own use or a mission appointed by Nature; and
if we take advantage of it, nothing is useless, but if not, all are
useless. 'The neck of the crane may seem too long to some idle
on-lookers, but there is no surplus in it. The limbs of the tortoise
may appear too short, but there is no shortcoming in them.' The
centipede, having a hundred limbs, can find no useless feet; the
serpent, having no foot, feels no want.
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