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Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

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

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

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

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

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

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




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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