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Buddhism

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

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

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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

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

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...

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

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

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

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

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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 Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...




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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