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Buddhism

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

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

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...

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

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

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

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

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

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

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




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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