Buddhism The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...
Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of
The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...
The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...
Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...
Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...
Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...
Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...
The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...
Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...
Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...
The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...
The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...
Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...
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
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.
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