Samurai Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...
Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...
Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...
Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...
Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...
Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...
The Buddha Of Mercy
Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt;
The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...
There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...
Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...
Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...
Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...
All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...
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.
Next: The Law Of Balance In Life
Previous: The Mystery Of Life