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Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

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

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

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

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

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

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...




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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