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Buddhism

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

The Betterment Of Life
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Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
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Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
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The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
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There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
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The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
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There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
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Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
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The Law Of Balance
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Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

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

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
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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...




The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai








Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of both
the Zen monk and the Samurai. To get rich by an ignoble means is
against the rules of Japanese chivalry or Bushido. The Samurai would
rather starve than to live by some expedient unworthy of his dignity.
There are many instances, in the Japanese history, of Samurais who
were really starved to death in spite of their having a hundred
pieces of gold carefully preserved to meet the expenses at the time
of an emergency; hence the proverb: "The falcon would not feed on the
ear of corn, even if he should starve." Similarly, we know of no
case of Zen monks, ancient and modern, who got rich by any ignoble
means. They would rather face poverty with gladness of heart.
Fu-gai, one of the most distinguished Zen masters just before the
Restoration, supported many student monks in his monastery. They
were often too numerous to be supported by his scant means. This
troubled his disciple much whose duty it was to look after the
food-supply, as there was no other means to meet the increased demand
than to supply with worse stuff. Accordingly, one day the disciple
advised Fu-gai not to admit new students any more into the monastery.
Then the master, making no reply, lolled out his tongue and said:
"Now look into my mouth, and tell if there be any tongue in it." The
perplexed disciple answered affirmatively. "Then don't bother
yourself about it. If there be any tongue, I can taste any sort of
food." Honest poverty may, without exaggeration, be called one of
the characteristics of the Samurais and of the Zen monks; hence a
proverb: "The Zen monk has no money, moneyed Monto knows
nothing."


The priest belonging to Shin Shu, who are generally rich.






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

Previous: The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai



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