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Buddhism

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...

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

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

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

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...

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

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




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 was
introduced into Japan by Ei-sai and Do-gen. Nobilities that had so
long governed the island were nobilities no more. Enervated by their
luxuries, effeminated by their ease, made insipient by their
debauchery, they were entirely powerless. All that they possessed in
reality was the nominal rank and hereditary birth. On the contrary,
despised as the ignorant, sneered at as the upstart, put in contempt
as the vulgar, the Samurai or military class had everything in their
hands. It was the time when Yori-tomo (1148-1199) conquered
all over the empire, and established the Samurai Government at
Kama-kura. It was the time when even the emperors were dethroned or
exiled at will by the Samurai. It was the time when even the
Buddhist monks frequently took up arms to force their will.
It was the time when Japan's independence was endangered by Kublai,
the terror of the world. It was the time when the whole nation was
full of martial spirit. It is beyond doubt that to these rising
Samurais, rude and simple, the philosophical doctrines of Buddhism,
represented by Ten Dai and Shin Gon, were too complicated and too
alien to their nature. But in Zen they could find something
congenial to their nature, something that touched their chord of
sympathy, because Zen was the doctrine of chivalry in a certain sense.


The Samurai Government was first established by Yoritomo, of
the Minamoto family, in 1186, and Japan was under the control of the
military class until 1867, when the political power was finally
restored to the Imperial house.

They were degenerated monks (who were called monk-soldiers),
belonging to great monasteries such as En-ryaku-ji (Hi-yei),
Ko-fuku-ji (at Nara), Mi-i-dera, etc.






Next: The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai

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



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