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The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

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 ...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

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

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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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