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Buddhism

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

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

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

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

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...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...




Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life








Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that survives
body (as shown in the preceding chapter), who will receive the
retributions of our actions in the present life? To answer this
question, we have to restate our conviction that life is one and the
same; in other words, the human beings form one life or one
self--that is to say, our ancestors in the past formed man's past
life. We ourselves now form man's present life, and our posterity
will form the future life. Beyond all doubt, all actions of man in
the past have brought their fruits on the present conditions of man,
and all actions of the present man are sure to influence the
conditions of the future man. To put it in another way, we now reap
the fruits of what we sowed in our past life (or when we lived as our
fathers), and again shall reap the fruits of what we now sow in our
future life (or when we shall live as our posterity).

There is no exception to this rigorous law of retribution, and we
take it as the will of Buddha to leave no action without being
retributed. Thus it is Buddha himself who kindles our inward fire to
save ourselves from sin and crimes. We must purge out all the stains
in our hearts, obeying Buddha's command audible in the innermost self
of ours. It is the great mercy of His that, however sinful,
superstitious, wayward, and thoughtless, we have still a light within
us which is divine in its nature. When that light shines forth, all
sorts of sin are destroyed at once. What is our sin, after all? It
is nothing but illusion or error originating in ignorance and folly.
How true it is, as an Indian Mahayanist declares, that 'all frost and
the dewdrops of sin disappear in the sunshine of wisdom!'
Even if we might be imprisoned in the bottomless bell, yet let once
the Light of Buddha shine upon us, it would be changed into heaven.
Therefore the author of Mahakarunika-sutra says: "When I
climb the mountain planted with swords, they would break under my
tread. When I sail on the sea of blood, it will be dried up. When I
arrive at Hades, they will be ruined at once."


The retribution cannot be explained by the doctrine of the
transmigration of the soul, for it is incompatible with the
fundamental doctrine of non-soul. See Abhidharmamahavibhasa-castra,

vol. cxiv.

Samantabhadra-dhyana-sutra.

Nanjo's Catalogue, No. 117.






Next: The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg

Previous: The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals



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