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Samurai

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

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

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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

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

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

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

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

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

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

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




Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son








A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the good
that we are born with. We are just like the only son of a
well-to-do, as the author of Saddharma-pundarika-sutra[FN#172] tells
us, who, being forgetful of his rich inheritance, leaves his home and
leads a life of hand-to-mouth as a coolie. How miserable it is to
see one, having no faith in his noble endowment, burying the precious
gem of Buddha-nature into the foul rubbish of vices and crimes,
wasting his excellent genius in the exertion that is sure to disgrace
his name, falling a prey to bitter remorse and doubt, and casting
himself away into the jaw of perdition. Shakya Muni, full of
fatherly love towards all beings, looked with compassion on us, his
prodigal son, and used every means to restore the half-starved man to
his home. It was for this that he left the palace and the beloved
wife and son, practised his self-mortification and prolonged
Meditation, attained to Enlightenment, and preached Dharma for
forty-nine years; in other words, all his strength and effort were
focussed on that single aim, which was to bring the prodigal son to
his rich mansion of Buddha-nature. He taught not only by words, but
by his own actual example, that man has Buddha-nature, by the
unfoldment of which he can save himself from the miseries of life and
death, and bring himself to a higher realm than gods. When we are
Enlightened, or when Universal Spirit awakens within us, we open the
inexhaustible store of virtues and excellencies, and can freely make
use of them at our will.


[FN#172] See 'Sacred Books of the East,' vol. xxi., chap. iv., pp.
98-118.






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