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Buddhism

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

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

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

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

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

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 ...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

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

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

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...




The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man








This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight into the
origin of morality. The first awakening of Buddha-nature within man
is the very beginning of morality, and man's ethical progress is the
gradually widening expression of that nature in conduct. But for it
morality is impossible for man. But for it not only moral culture or
discipline, but education and social improvement must be futile.
Again, the theory adequately explains the ethical facts that the
standard of morality undergoes change in different times and places,
that good and bad are so inseparably knit together, and that the bad
at times become good all on a sudden, and the good grow bad quite
unexpectedly. First, it goes without saying that the standard of
morality is raised just in proportion as Buddha-nature or real self
extends and amplifies itself in different times and places.
Secondly, since good is Buddha-nature actualized to a large extent,
and bad is also Buddha-nature actualized to a small extent, the
existence of the former presupposes that of the latter, and the mess
of duality can never be got rid of. Thirdly, the fact that the bad
become good under certain circumstances, and the good also become bad
often unexpectedly, can hardly be explained by the dualistic theory,
because if good nature be so arbitrarily turned into bad and bad
nature into good, the distinction of good and bad nature has no
meaning whatever. According to the theory of Buddha-nature, the fact
that the good become bad or the bad become good, does not imply in
the least a change of nature, but the widening or the narrowing of
its actualization. So that no matter how morally degenerated one may
be, he can uplift himself to a high ethical plane by the widening of
his self, and at the same time no matter how morally exalted one may
be, he can descend to the level of the brute by the narrowing of his
self. To be an angel or to be a devil rests with one's degrees of
enlightenment and free choice. This is why such infinite varieties
exist both among the good and the bad. This is why the higher the
peak of enlightenment the people climb, the more widely the vista of
moral possibilities open before them.






Next: Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals

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