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Buddhism

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

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

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

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...

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

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

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

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

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

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

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

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




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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