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Buddhism

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

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

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

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

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

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 ...

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

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

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

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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...

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




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

Previous: The Great Person And Small Person



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