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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
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Everything Is Living According To Zen
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The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
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The Beatitude Of Zen
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Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
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Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

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

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

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

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

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

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




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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