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Buddhism

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

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

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

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

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

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

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

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

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

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

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

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...




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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