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Buddhism

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

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

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

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

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

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

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

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

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

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

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

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 ...

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

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...




The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen








This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an eminent
disciple of the Sixth Patriarch, and completed by Tsing Shan (To-zan).


Although the Rin Zai school was, as mentioned above, established by
Ei-sai, yet he himself was not a pure Zen teacher, being a Ten Dai
scholar as well as an experienced practiser of Mantra. The first
establishment of Zen in its purest form was done by Do-gen, now known
as Jo Yo Dai Shi. Like Ei-sai, he was admitted into the Hi-yei
Monastery at an early age, and devoted himself to the study of the
Canon. As his scriptural knowledge increased, he was troubled by
inexpressible doubts and fears, as is usual with great religious
teachers. Consequently, one day he consulted his uncle, Ko-in, a
distinguished Ten Dai scholar, about his troubles. The latter, being
unable to satisfy him, recommended him Ei-sai, the founder of the new
faith. But as Ei-sai died soon afterwards, he felt that he had no
competent teacher left, and crossed the sea for China, at the age of
twenty-four, in 1223. There he was admitted into the monastery of
Tien Tung Shan (Ten-do-san), and assigned the lowest seat in the
hall, simply because be was a foreigner. Against this affront he
strongly protested. In the Buddhist community, he said, all were
brothers, and there was no difference of nationality. The only way
to rank the brethren was by seniority, and he therefore claimed to
occupy his proper rank. Nobody, however, lent an ear to the poor
new-comer's protest, so he appealed twice to the Chinese Emperor Ning
Tsung (1195-1224), and by the Imperial order he gained his object.

After four years' study and discipline, he was Enlightened and
acknowledged as the successor by his master Ju Tsing (Nyo-jo died in
1228), who belonged to the Tsao Tung (So To) school. He came home in
1227, bringing with him three important Zen books. Some three
years he did what Bodhidharma, the Wall-gazing Brahmin, had done
seven hundred years before him, retiring to a hermitage at Fuka-kusa,
not very far from Kyo-to. Just like Bodhidharma, denouncing all
worldly fame and gain, his attitude toward the world was
diametrically opposed to that of Ei-sai. As we have seen above,
Ei-sai never shunned, but rather sought the society of the powerful
and the rich, and made for his goal by every means. But to the Sage
of Fuka-kusa, as Do-gen was called at that time, pomp and power was
the most disgusting thing in the world. Judging from his poems, be
seems to have spent these years chiefly in meditation; dwelling now
on the transitoriness of life, now on the eternal peace of Nirvana;
now on the vanities and miseries of the world; now listening to the
voices of Nature amongst the hills; now gazing into the brooklet that
was, as he thought, carrying away his image reflected on it into the
world.


(1) Pao King San Mei (Ho-kyo-san-mai, 'Precious Mirror
Samadhi'), a metrical exposition of Zen, by Tung Shan (To-zan,
806-869), one of the founders of the So To school. (2) Wu Wei Hien
Hueh (Go-i-ken-ketsu. 'Explanation of the Five Categories'), by Tung
Shan and his disciple Tsao Shan (So-zan). This book shows us how Zen
was systematically taught by the authors. (3) Pih Yen Tsih
(Heki-gan-shu, 'A Collection and Critical Treatment of Dialogues'),
by Yuen Wu.






Next: The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect

Previous: The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan



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