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

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

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists maintain that there are on earth ma...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

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

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

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




No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen








Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with the
primitive faith of Hinayanism, and are inclined to call Mahayanism, a
later developed faith, a degenerated one. If the primitive faith be
called the genuine, as these scholars think, and the later developed
faith be the degenerated one, then the child should be called the
genuine man and the grown-up people be the degenerated ones;
similarly, the primitive society must be the genuine and the modern
civilization be the degenerated one. So also the earliest writings
of the Old Testament should be genuine and the four Gospels be
degenerated. Beyond all doubt Zen belongs to Mahayanism, yet this
does not imply that it depends on the scriptural authority of that
school, because it does not trouble itself about the Canon whether it
be Hinayana or Mahayana, or whether it was directly spoken by Shakya
Muni or written by some later Buddhists. Zen is completely free from
the fetters of old dogmas, dead creeds, and conventions of
stereotyped past, that check the development of a religious faith and
prevent the discovery of a new truth. Zen needs no Inquisition. It
never compelled nor will compel the compromise of a Galileo or a
Descartes. No excommunication of a Spinoza or the burning of a Bruno
is possible for Zen.

On a certain occasion Yoh Shan (Yaku-san) did not preach the doctrine
for a long while, and was requested to give a sermon by his assistant
teacher, saying: "Would your reverence preach the Dharma to your
pupils, who long thirst after your merciful instruction?" "Then ring
the bell," replied Yoh Shan. The bell rang, and all the monks
assembled in the Hall eager to bear the sermon. Yoh Shan went up to
the pulpit and descended immediately without saying a word. "You,
reverend sir," asked the assistant, "promised to deliver a sermon a
little while ago. Why do you not preach?" "Sutras are taught by the
Sutra teachers," said the master; "Castras are taught by the Castra
teachers. No wonder that I say nothing." This little
episode will show you that Zen is no fixed doctrine embodied in a
Sutra or a Castra, but a conviction or realization within us.


Zen-rin-rui-shu and E-gen.


To quote another example, an officer offered to Tung Shan (To-zan)
plenty of alms, and requested him to recite the sacred Canon. Tung
Shan, rising from his chair, made a bow respectfully to the officer,
who did the same to the teacher. Then Tung Shan went round the
chair, taking the officer with him, and making a bow again to the
officer, asked: "Do you see what I mean?" "No, sir," replied the
other. "I have been reciting the sacred Canon, why do you not
see?" Thus Zen does not regard Scriptures in black and white
as its Canon, for it takes to-days and tomorrows of this actual life
as its inspired pages.


Zen-rin-rui-sha and To-zan-roku.






Next: The Usual Explanation Of The Canon

Previous: Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper



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