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

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
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The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
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Life And Change
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Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

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

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

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

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

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

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




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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