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Buddhism

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

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

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 ...

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

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

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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...

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

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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

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




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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