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Buddhism

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

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

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

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

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

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

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

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

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

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




Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured








We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches
Buddha-nature, which all sentient beings are endowed with. The term
'Buddha-nature,' as accepted generally by Buddhists, means a
latent and undeveloped nature, which enables its owner to become
Enlightened when it is developed and brought to actuality.
Therefore man, according to Zen, is not good-natured nor bad-natured
in the relative sense, as accepted generally by common sense, of
these terms, but Buddha-natured in the sense of non-duality. A good
person (of common sense) differs from a bad person (of common sense),
not in his inborn Buddha-nature, but in the extent of his expressing
it in deeds. Even if men are equally endowed with that nature, yet
their different states of development do not allow them to express it
to an equal extent in conduct. Buddha-nature may be compared with
the sun, and individual mind with the sky. Then an Enlightened mind
is like the sky in fair weather, when nothing prevents the beams of
the sun; while an ignorant mind is like the sky in cloudy weather,
when the sun sheds faint light; and an evil mind is like the sky in
stormy weather, when the sun seems to be out of existence. It comes
under our daily observation that even a robber or a murderer may
prove to be a good father and a loving husband to his wife and
children. He is an honest fellow when he remains at home. The sun
of Buddha-nature gives light within the wall of his house, but
without the house the darkness of foul crimes shrouds him.

For a detailed explanation of Buddha-nature, see the
chapter entitled Buddha-nature in Sho-bo-gen-zo.

Mahaparinirvana-sutra may be said to have been written for
the purpose of stating this idea.






Next: The Parable Of The Robber Kih

Previous: Where Then Does The Error Lie?



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