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Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

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

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

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

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

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

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

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...




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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