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Buddhism

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

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

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

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

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

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

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

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

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

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

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




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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