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Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...




Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life








Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that survives

body (as shown in the preceding chapter), who will receive the

retributions of our actions in the present life? To answer this

question, we have to restate our conviction that life is one and the

same; in other words, the human beings form one life or one

self--that is to say, our ancestors in the past formed man's past

life. We ourselves now form man's present life, and our posterity

will form the future life. Beyond all doubt, all actions of man in

the past have brought their fruits on the present conditions of man,

and all actions of the present man are sure to influence the

conditions of the future man. To put it in another way, we now reap

the fruits of what we sowed in our past life (or when we lived as our

fathers), and again shall reap the fruits of what we now sow in our

future life (or when we shall live as our posterity).



There is no exception to this rigorous law of retribution, and we

take it as the will of Buddha to leave no action without being

retributed. Thus it is Buddha himself who kindles our inward fire to

save ourselves from sin and crimes. We must purge out all the stains

in our hearts, obeying Buddha's command audible in the innermost self

of ours. It is the great mercy of His that, however sinful,

superstitious, wayward, and thoughtless, we have still a light within

us which is divine in its nature. When that light shines forth, all

sorts of sin are destroyed at once. What is our sin, after all? It

is nothing but illusion or error originating in ignorance and folly.

How true it is, as an Indian Mahayanist declares, that 'all frost and

the dewdrops of sin disappear in the sunshine of wisdom!'[FN#221]

Even if we might be imprisoned in the bottomless bell, yet let once

the Light of Buddha shine upon us, it would be changed into heaven.

Therefore the author of Mahakarunika-sutra[FN#222] says: When I

climb the mountain planted with swords, they would break under my

tread. When I sail on the sea of blood, it will be dried up. When I

arrive at Hades, they will be ruined at once.





[FN#220] The retribution cannot be explained by the doctrine of the

transmigration of the soul, for it is incompatible with the

fundamental doctrine of non-soul. See Abhidharmamahavibhasa-castra,

vol. cxiv.



[FN#221] Samantabhadra-dhyana-sutra.



[FN#222] Nanjo's Catalogue, No. 117.






Next: The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg

Previous: The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals



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