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Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

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

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

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

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

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

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

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

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

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

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

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




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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