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

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

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

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

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

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

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

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

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

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

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

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




Zen And Nirvana








The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sense of the
term, but in the sense peculiar to the faith. Nirvana literally
means extinction or annihilation; hence the extinction of life or the
annihilation of individuality. To Zen, however, it means the state
of extinction of pain and the annihilation of sin. Zen never looks
for the realization of its beatitude in a place like heaven, nor
believes in the realm of Reality transcendental of the phenomenal
universe, nor gives countenance to the superstition of Immortality,
nor does it hold the world is the best of all possible worlds, nor
conceives life simply as blessing. It is in this life, full of
shortcomings, misery, and sufferings, that Zen hopes to realize its
beatitude. It is in this world, imperfect, changing, and moving,
that Zen finds the Divine Light it worships. It is in this
phenomenal universe of limitation and relativity that Zen aims to
attain to highest Nirvana. We speak, says the author of
Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra, of the transitoriness of body, but not
of the desire of the Nirvana or destruction of it. Paranirvana,
according to the author of Lankavatarasutra, is neither death nor
destruction, but bliss, freedom, and purity. Nirvana, says Kiai
Hwan,[FN#276] means the extinction of pain or the crossing over of
the sea of life and death. It denotes the real permanent state of
spiritual attainment. It does not signify destruction or
annihilation. It denotes the belief in the great root of life and
spirit. It is Nirvana of Zen to enjoy bliss for all sufferings of
life. It is Nirvana of Zen to be serene in mind for all disturbances
of actual existence. It is Nirvana of Zen to be in the conscious
union with Universal Life or Buddha through Enlightenment.


[FN#276] A commentator of Saddharma-pundarika-sutra.






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