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

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

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

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

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

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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




The Parable Of A Drunkard








Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with
Buddha-nature, why have they not come naturally to be Enlightened?
To answer this question, the Indian Mahayanists[FN#171] told the
parable of a drunkard who forgets the precious gems put in his own
pocket by one of his friends. The man is drunk with the poisonous
liquor of selfishness, led astray by the alluring sight of the
sensual objects, and goes mad with anger, lust, and folly. Thus he
is in a state of moral poverty, entirely forgetting the precious gem
of Buddha-nature within him. To be in an honourable position in
society as the owner of that valuable property, he must first get rid
himself of the influence of the liquor of self, and detach himself
from sensual objects, gain control over his passion, restore peace
and sincerity to his mind, and illumine his whole existence by his
inborn divine light. Otherwise he has to remain in the same plight
to all eternity.


[FN#171] Mahaparinirvana-sutra.


Lot us avail ourselves of another figure to explain more clearly the
point at issue. Universal Spirit may fitly be likened to the
universal water, or water circulating through the whole earth. This
universal water exists everywhere. It exists in the tree. It exists
in the grass. It exists in the mountain. It exists in the river.
It exists in the sea. It exists in the air. It exists in the cloud.
Thus man is not only surrounded by water on all sides, but it
penetrates his very body. But be can never appease his thirst
without drinking water. In like manner Universal Spirit exists
everywhere. It exists in the tree. It exists in the grass. It
exists in the ground. It exists in the mountain. It exists in the
river. It exists in the sea. It exists in the bird. It exists in
the beast. Thus man is not merely surrounded by Spirit on all sides,
but it permeates through his whole existence. But he can never be
Enlightened unless he awakens it within him by means of Meditation.
To drink water is to drink the universal water; to awaken
Buddha-nature is to be conscious of Universal Spirit.

Therefore, to get Enlightened we have to believe that all beings are
Buddha-natured--that is, absolutely good-natured in the sense that
transcends the duality of good and bad. One day, to cite an
example, Pan Shan (Ban-zan) happened to pass by a meat-shop. He
heard a customer saying: 'Give me a pound of fresh meat.' To which
the shopkeeper, putting down his knife, replied: Certainly, sir.
Could there be any meat that is not fresh in my shop?' Pan Shan,
hearing these remarks, was Enlightened at once.






Next: Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son

Previous: Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals



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