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Buddhism

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

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...

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

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

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

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

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

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

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

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

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




Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son








A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the good
that we are born with. We are just like the only son of a
well-to-do, as the author of Saddharma-pundarika-sutra tells
us, who, being forgetful of his rich inheritance, leaves his home and
leads a life of hand-to-mouth as a coolie. How miserable it is to
see one, having no faith in his noble endowment, burying the precious
gem of Buddha-nature into the foul rubbish of vices and crimes,
wasting his excellent genius in the exertion that is sure to disgrace
his name, falling a prey to bitter remorse and doubt, and casting
himself away into the jaw of perdition. Shakya Muni, full of
fatherly love towards all beings, looked with compassion on us, his
prodigal son, and used every means to restore the half-starved man to
his home. It was for this that he left the palace and the beloved
wife and son, practised his self-mortification and prolonged
Meditation, attained to Enlightenment, and preached Dharma for
forty-nine years; in other words, all his strength and effort were
focussed on that single aim, which was to bring the prodigal son to
his rich mansion of Buddha-nature. He taught not only by words, but
by his own actual example, that man has Buddha-nature, by the
unfoldment of which he can save himself from the miseries of life and
death, and bring himself to a higher realm than gods. When we are
Enlightened, or when Universal Spirit awakens within us, we open the
inexhaustible store of virtues and excellencies, and can freely make
use of them at our will.


See 'Sacred Books of the East,' vol. xxi., chap. iv., pp.
98-118.






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