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Buddhism

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

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

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

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

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

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

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

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

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that sur...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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 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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