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Buddhism

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

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

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

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

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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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