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Buddhism

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

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

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

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

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

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

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

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

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

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

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 the name
implies. The Deity under the name of Brahman necessarily differs
from the Being under the appellation of Jehovah, just as the Hindu
differs from the Jew. In like manner the Being designated by God
necessarily differs from One named Amitabha or from Him entitled
Allah. To give a name to the Deity is to give Him tradition,
nationality, limitation, and fixity, and it never brings us nearer to
Him. Zen's object of worship cannot be named and determined as God,
or Brahman, or Amitabha, or Creator, or Nature, or Reality, or
Substance, or the like. Neither Chinese nor Japanese masters of Zen
tried to give a definite name to their object of adoration. They now
called Him That One, now This One, now Mind, now Buddha, now
Tathagata, now Certain Thing, now the True, now Dharma-nature, now
Buddha-nature, and so forth. Tung Shan (To-zan) on a certain
occasion declared it to be "A Certain Thing that pillars heaven above
and supports the earth below; dark as lacquer and undefinable;
manifesting itself through its activities, yet not wholly comprisable
within them." So-kei expressed it in the same wise: "There
exists a Certain Thing, bright as a mirror, spiritual as a mind, not
subjected to growth nor to decay." Huen Sha (Gen-sha) comparing it
with a gem says: "There exists a bright gem illuminating through the
worlds in ten directions by its light."


Tung Shan Luh (To-zan-roku, 'Sayings and Doings of Ta-zan')
is one of the best Zen books.

So-kei, a Korean Zenist, whose work entitled Zen-ke-ki-kwan
is worthy of our note as a representation of Korean Zen.

Sho-bo-gen-zo.


This certain thing or being is too sublime to be named after a
traditional or a national deity, too spiritual to be symbolized by
human art, too full of life to be formulated in terms of mechanical
science, too free to be rationalized by intellectual philosophy, too
universal to be perceived by bodily senses; but everybody can feel
its irresistible power, see its invisible presence, and touch its
heart and soul within himself. "This mysterious Mind," says Kwei
Fung (Kei-ho), "is higher than the highest, deeper than the deepest,
limitless in all directions. There is no centre in it. No
distinction of east and west, and above and below. Is it empty?
Yes, but not empty like space. Has it a form? Yes, but has no form
dependent on another for its existence. Is it intelligent? Yes, but
not intelligent like your mind. Is it non-intelligent? Yes, but not
non-intelligent like trees and stone. Is it conscious? Yes, but not
conscious like you when waking. Is it bright? Yes, but not bright
like the sun or the moon." To the question, "What and who is
Buddha?" Yuen Wu (En-go) replied: "Hold your tongue: the mouth is
the gate of evils!" while Pao Fuh (Ho-fuku) answered to the same
question: "No skill of art can picture Him." Thus Buddha is
unnamable, indescribable, and indefinable, but we provisionally call
Him Buddha.






Next: Buddha The Universal Life

Previous: Zen Is Iconoclastic



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