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Buddhism

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

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

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

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

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

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

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

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 ...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...




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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