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The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
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The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

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...

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

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

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

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

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

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

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




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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