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Buddhism

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

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

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

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

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

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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

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

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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




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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