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Buddhism

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

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

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

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

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

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

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

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

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




The Parable Of A Drunkard








Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with
Buddha-nature, why have they not come naturally to be Enlightened?
To answer this question, the Indian Mahayanists told the
parable of a drunkard who forgets the precious gems put in his own
pocket by one of his friends. The man is drunk with the poisonous
liquor of selfishness, led astray by the alluring sight of the
sensual objects, and goes mad with anger, lust, and folly. Thus he
is in a state of moral poverty, entirely forgetting the precious gem
of Buddha-nature within him. To be in an honourable position in
society as the owner of that valuable property, he must first get rid
himself of the influence of the liquor of self, and detach himself
from sensual objects, gain control over his passion, restore peace
and sincerity to his mind, and illumine his whole existence by his
inborn divine light. Otherwise he has to remain in the same plight
to all eternity.


Mahaparinirvana-sutra.


Lot us avail ourselves of another figure to explain more clearly the
point at issue. Universal Spirit may fitly be likened to the
universal water, or water circulating through the whole earth. This
universal water exists everywhere. It exists in the tree. It exists
in the grass. It exists in the mountain. It exists in the river.
It exists in the sea. It exists in the air. It exists in the cloud.
Thus man is not only surrounded by water on all sides, but it
penetrates his very body. But be can never appease his thirst
without drinking water. In like manner Universal Spirit exists
everywhere. It exists in the tree. It exists in the grass. It
exists in the ground. It exists in the mountain. It exists in the
river. It exists in the sea. It exists in the bird. It exists in
the beast. Thus man is not merely surrounded by Spirit on all sides,
but it permeates through his whole existence. But he can never be
Enlightened unless he awakens it within him by means of Meditation.
To drink water is to drink the universal water; to awaken
Buddha-nature is to be conscious of Universal Spirit.

Therefore, to get Enlightened we have to believe that all beings are
Buddha-natured--that is, absolutely good-natured in the sense that
transcends the duality of good and bad. "One day," to cite an
example, "Pan Shan (Ban-zan) happened to pass by a meat-shop. He
heard a customer saying: 'Give me a pound of fresh meat.' To which
the shopkeeper, putting down his knife, replied: Certainly, sir.
Could there be any meat that is not fresh in my shop?' Pan Shan,
hearing these remarks, was Enlightened at once."






Next: Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son

Previous: Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals



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