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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

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

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

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

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

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

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




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.






Next: Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals

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