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Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

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

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

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

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

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

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

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

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




The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon








The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,
3,000[FN#137] in number, or rather countless, and also of
Bodhisattvas no less than Buddhas. Nowadays, however, in every
church of Mahayanism one Buddha or another together with some
Bodhisattvas reigns supreme as the sole object of worship, while
other supernatural beings sink in oblivion. These Enlightened
Beings, regardless of their positions in the pantheon, were generally
regarded as persons who in their past lives cultivated virtues,
underwent austerities, and various sorts of penance, and at length
attained to a complete Enlightenment, by virtue of which they secured
not only peace and eternal bliss, but acquired divers supernatural
powers, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, all-knowledge, and what
not. Therefore, it is natural that some Mahayanists[FN#138] came to
believe that, if they should go through the same course of discipline
and study, they could attain to the same Enlightenment and Bliss, or
the same Buddhahood, while other Mahayanists[FN#139] came to believe
in the doctrine that the believer is saved and led up to the eternal
state of bliss, without undergoing these hard disciplines, by the
power of a Buddha known as having boundless mercy and fathomless
wisdom whom he invokes.


[FN#137] Trikalpa-trisahasra-buddhanrama-sutra gives the names of
3,000 Buddhas, and Buddhabhisita-buddhanama-sutra enumerates Buddhas
and Bodhisattvas 11,093 in number. See Nanjo's Catalogue, Nos. 404,
405, 406, 407.

[FN#138] Those who believe in the doctrine of Holy Path. See 'A
History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects,' pp. 109-111.

[FN#139] Those who believe in the doctrine of the Pure Land.






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