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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...

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

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

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

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

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

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

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, ...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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

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

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

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




The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon








The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,
3,000 in number, or rather countless, and also of
Bodhisattvas no less than Buddhas. Nowadays, however, in every
church of Mahayanism one Buddha or another together with some
Bodhisattvas reigns supreme as the sole object of worship, while
other supernatural beings sink in oblivion. These Enlightened
Beings, regardless of their positions in the pantheon, were generally
regarded as persons who in their past lives cultivated virtues,
underwent austerities, and various sorts of penance, and at length
attained to a complete Enlightenment, by virtue of which they secured
not only peace and eternal bliss, but acquired divers supernatural
powers, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, all-knowledge, and what
not. Therefore, it is natural that some Mahayanists came to
believe that, if they should go through the same course of discipline
and study, they could attain to the same Enlightenment and Bliss, or
the same Buddhahood, while other Mahayanists came to believe
in the doctrine that the believer is saved and led up to the eternal
state of bliss, without undergoing these hard disciplines, by the
power of a Buddha known as having boundless mercy and fathomless
wisdom whom he invokes.


Trikalpa-trisahasra-buddhanrama-sutra gives the names of
3,000 Buddhas, and Buddhabhisita-buddhanama-sutra enumerates Buddhas
and Bodhisattvas 11,093 in number. See Nanjo's Catalogue, Nos. 404,
405, 406, 407.

Those who believe in the doctrine of Holy Path. See 'A
History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects,' pp. 109-111.

Those who believe in the doctrine of the Pure Land.






Next: Zen Is Iconoclastic

Previous: The Sermon Of The Inanimate



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