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Buddhism

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

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

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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

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

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

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

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

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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




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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