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Buddhism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...




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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