Buddhism There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...
The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...
Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...
An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...
Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...
The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...
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...
All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...
The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the
Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...
Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions high or
low, occupations spiritual or temporal, work rough or gentle,
education perfect or imperfect, circumstances needy or opulent, each
has its own advantage as well as disadvantage. The higher the
position the graver the responsibilities, the lower the rank the
lighter the obligation. The director of a large bank can never be so
careless as his errand-boy who may stop on the street to throw a
stone at a sparrow; nor can the manager of a large plantation have as
good a time on a rainy day as his day-labourers who spend it in
gambling. The accumulation of wealth is always accompanied by its
evils; no Rothschild nor Rockefeller can be happier than a poor
A mother of many children may be troubled by her noisy little ones
and envy her sterile friend, who in turn may complain of her
loneliness; but if they balance what they gain with what they lose,
they will find the both sides are equal. The law of balance strictly
forbids one's monopoly of happiness. It applies its scorpion whip to
anyone who is given to pleasures. Joy in extremity lives next door
to exceeding sorrow. "Where there is much light," says Goethe,
"shadow is deep." Age, withered and disconsolate, lurks under the
skirts of blooming youth. The celebration of birthday is followed by
the commemoration of death. Marriage might be supposed to be the
luckiest event in one's life, but the widow's tears and the orphan's
sufferings also might be its outcome. But for the former the latter
can never be. The death of parents is indeed the unluckiest event in
the son's life, but it may result in the latter's inheritance of an
estate, which is by no means unlucky. The disease of a child may
cause its parents grief, but it is a matter of course that it lessens
the burden of their livelihood. Life has its pleasures, but also its
pains. Death has no pleasure of life, but also none of its pain. So
that if we balance their smiles and tears, life and death are equal.
It is not wise for us, therefore, to commit suicide while the terms
of our life still remain, nor to fear death when there is no way of
Again, the law of balance does not allow anyone to take the lion's
share of nature's gifts. Beauty in face is accompanied by deformity
in character. Intelligence is often uncombined with virtue. "Fair
girls are destined to be unfortunate," says a Japanese proverb, "and
men of ability to be sickly." "He makes no friend who never makes a
foe." "Honesty is next to idiocy." "Men of genius," says
Longfellow, "are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing
meteor when it descends to earth is only a stone." Honour and shame
go hand in hand. Knowledge and virtue live in poverty, while ill
health and disease are inmates of luxury.
Every misfortune begets some sort of fortune, while every good luck
gives birth to some sort of bad luck. Every prosperity never fails
to sow seeds of adversity, while every fall never fails to bring
about some kind of rise. We must not, then, despair in days of frost
and snow, reminding ourselves of sunshine and flowers that follow
them; nor must we be thoughtless in days of youth and health, keeping
in mind old age and ill health that are in the rear of them. In
brief, all, from crowns and coronets down to rags and begging bowls,
have their own happiness and share heavenly grace alike.
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