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Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

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

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

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

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...

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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




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.






Next: Nature And Her Lesson

Previous: The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd



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