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There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

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

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

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

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

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

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

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

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...




The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man








This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight into the
origin of morality. The first awakening of Buddha-nature within man
is the very beginning of morality, and man's ethical progress is the
gradually widening expression of that nature in conduct. But for it
morality is impossible for man. But for it not only moral culture or
discipline, but education and social improvement must be futile.
Again, the theory adequately explains the ethical facts that the
standard of morality undergoes change in different times and places,
that good and bad are so inseparably knit together, and that the bad
at times become good all on a sudden, and the good grow bad quite
unexpectedly. First, it goes without saying that the standard of
morality is raised just in proportion as Buddha-nature or real self
extends and amplifies itself in different times and places.
Secondly, since good is Buddha-nature actualized to a large extent,
and bad is also Buddha-nature actualized to a small extent, the
existence of the former presupposes that of the latter, and the mess
of duality can never be got rid of. Thirdly, the fact that the bad
become good under certain circumstances, and the good also become bad
often unexpectedly, can hardly be explained by the dualistic theory,
because if good nature be so arbitrarily turned into bad and bad
nature into good, the distinction of good and bad nature has no
meaning whatever. According to the theory of Buddha-nature, the fact
that the good become bad or the bad become good, does not imply in
the least a change of nature, but the widening or the narrowing of
its actualization. So that no matter how morally degenerated one may
be, he can uplift himself to a high ethical plane by the widening of
his self, and at the same time no matter how morally exalted one may
be, he can descend to the level of the brute by the narrowing of his
self. To be an angel or to be a devil rests with one's degrees of
enlightenment and free choice. This is why such infinite varieties
exist both among the good and the bad. This is why the higher the
peak of enlightenment the people climb, the more widely the vista of
moral possibilities open before them.






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