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The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

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

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

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

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

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

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

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

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




Real Self








If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where does
personality lie? What is Real Self? How does it differ from soul?
Self is living entity, not immutable like soul, but mutable and
ever-changing life, which is body when observed by senses, and which
is mind when experienced by introspection. It is not an entity lying
behind mind and body, but life existent as the union of body and
mind. It existed in our forefathers in the past, is existing in the
present, and will exist in the future generations. It also discloses
itself to some measure in vegetables and animals, and shadows itself
forth in inorganic nature. It is Cosmic life and Cosmic spirit, and
at the same time individual life and individual spirit. It is one
and the same life which embraces men and nature. It is the
self-existent, creative, universal principle that moves on from
eternity to eternity. As such it is called Mind or Self by Zenists.
Pan Shan (Ban-zan) says: The moon of mind comprehends all the
universe in its light. A man asked Chang Sha (Cho-sha): How can
you turn the phenomenal universe into Self ? How can you turn Self
into the phenomenal universe? returned the master.

When we get the insight into this Self, we are able to have the open
sesame to the mysteries of the universe, because to know the nature
of a drop of water is to know the nature of the river, the lake, and
the ocean--nay, even of vapour, mist, and cloud; in other words, to
get an insight into individual life is the key to the secret of
Universal Life. We must not confine Self within the poor little
person called body. That is the root of the poorest and most
miserable egoism. We should expand that egoism into family-egoism,
then into nation-egoism, then into race-egoism, then into
human-egoism, then into living-being-egoism, and lastly into
universe-egoism, which is not egoism at all. Thus we deny the
immortality of soul as conceived by common sense, but assume
immortality of the Great Soul, which animates, vitalizes, and
spiritualizes all sentient beings. It is Hinayana Buddhism that
first denied the existence of atman or Self so emphatically
inculcated in the Upanisads, and paved the way for the general
conception of Universal Self, with the eulogies of which almost every
page of Mahayana books is filled.






Next: The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom

Previous: Nature Is The Mother Of All Things



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