Samurai Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...
The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...
Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...
Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...
The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...
The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...
Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...
The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...
The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...
Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...
The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...
Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...
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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