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Buddhism

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

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

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

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

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

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

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...




Hinayanism And Its Doctrine








The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hinayanism.
Transience never fails to deprive us of what is dear and near to us.
It disappoints us in our expectation and hope. It brings out grief,
fear, anguish, and lamentation. It spreads terror and destruction
among families, communities, nations, mankind. It threatens with
perdition the whole earth, the whole universe. Therefore it follows
that life is full of disappointment, sufferings, and miseries, and
that man is like 'a frog in a dry well.' This is the doctrine called
by the Hinayanists the Holy Truth of Suffering.

Again, when Transcience once gets hold of our imagination, we can
easily foresee ruins and disasters in the very midst of prosperity
and happiness, and also old age and ugliness in the prime and youth
of beauty. It gives rise quite naturally to the thought that body is
a bag full of pus and blood, a mere heap of rotten flesh and broken
pieces of bone, a decaying corpse inhabited by innumerable maggots.
This is the doctrine called by the Hinayanists the Holy Truth of
Impurity.


Mahasaptipatthana Suttanta, 7, runs as follows: "And,
moreover, bhikkhu, a brother, just as if he had been a body abandoned
in the charnel-field, dead for one, two, or three days, swollen,
turning black and blue, and decomposed, apply that perception to this
very body (of his own), reflecting: 'This body, too, is even so
constituted, is of such a nature, has not got beyond that (fate).'"


And, again, Transience holds its tyrannical sway not only over the
material but over the spiritual world. At its touch Atman, or soul,
is brought to nothing. By its call Devas, or celestial beings, are
made to succumb to death. It follows, therefore, that to believe in
Atman, eternal and unchanging, would be a whim of the ignorant. This
is the doctrine called by the Hinayanists the Holy Truth of No-atman.

If, as said, there could be nothing free from Transience, Constancy
should be a gross mistake of the ignorant; if even gods have to die,
Eternity should be no more than a stupid dream of the vulgar; if all
phenomena be flowing and changing, there could be no constant noumena
underlying them. It therefore follows that all things in the
universe are empty and unreal. This is the doctrine called by the
Hinayanists the Holy Truth of Unreality. Thus Hinayana Buddhism,
starting from the doctrine of Transience, arrived at the pessimistic
view of life in its extreme form.






Next: Change As Seen By Zen

Previous: Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus



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