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The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

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

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

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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

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

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...

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 ...

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




The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai








Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, with
unflinching courage. He would never turn back from, but fight till
his last with his enemy. To be called a coward was for him the
dishonour worse than death itself. An incident about Tsu Yuen
(So-gen), who came over to Japan in 1280, being invited by
Toki-mune (Ho-jo), the Regent General, well illustrates how
much Zen monks resembled our Samurais. The event happened when he
was in China, where the invading army of Yuen spread terror all over
the country. Some of the barbarians, who crossed the border of the
State of Wan, broke into the monastery of Tsu Yuen, and threatened to
behead him. Then calmly sitting down, ready to meet his fate, he
composed the following verses

"The heaven and earth afford me no shelter at all;
I'm glad, unreal are body and soul.
Welcome thy weapon, O warrior of Yuen! Thy trusty steel,
That flashes lightning, cuts the wind of Spring, I feel."


A bold statesman and soldier, who was the real ruler of
Japan 1264-1283.


This reminds us of Sang Chao (So-jo), who, on the verge of
death by the vagabond's sword, expressed his feelings in the follow
lines:

"In body there exists no soul.
The mind is not real at all.
Now try on me thy flashing steel,
As if it cuts the wind of Spring, I feel."


The man was not a pure Zen master, being a disciple of
Kumarajiva, the founder of the San Ron Sect. This is a most
remarkable evidence that Zen, especially the Rin Zan school, was
influenced by Kumarajiva and his disciples. For the details of the
anecdote, see E-gen.


The barbarians, moved by this calm resolution and dignified air of
Tsu Yuen, rightly supposed him to be no ordinary personage, and left
the monastery, doing no harm to him.






Next: Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period

Previous: The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai



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