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Samurai

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...

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

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

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

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

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

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

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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

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

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

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

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

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




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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