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Buddhism

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

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

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

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

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

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

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

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

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

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

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

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




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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