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Buddhism

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

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that sur...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

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

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

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

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

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

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...

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

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

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

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

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

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




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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