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Buddhism

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

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...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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




Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief








One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of students on
his famous doctrine that all human beings are endowed with
Conscience, a thief broke into the house and hid himself in
the darkest corner. Then Wang declared aloud that every human being
is born with Conscience, and that even the thief who had got into the
house had Conscience just as the sages of old. The burglar,
overhearing these remarks, came out to ask the forgiveness of the
master; since there was no way of escape for him, and he was
half-naked, he crouched behind the students. Wang's willing
forgiveness and cordial treatment encouraged the man to ask the
question how the teacher could know such a poor wretch as he was
endowed with Conscience as the sages of old. Wang replied: "It is
your Conscience that makes you ashamed of your nakedness. You
yourself are a sage, if you abstain from everything that will put
shame on you." We firmly believe that Wang is perfectly right in
telling the thief that he was not different in nature from the sages
of old. It is no exaggeration. It is a saving truth. It is also a
most effective way of saving men out of darkness of sin. Any thief
ceases to be a thief the moment he believes in his own Conscience, or
Buddha-nature. You can never correct criminals by your severe
reproach or punishment. You can save them only through your sympathy
and love, by which you call forth their inborn Buddha-nature.
Nothing can produce more pernicious effects on criminals than to
treat them as if they were a different sort of people and confirm
them in their conviction that they are bad-natured. We greatly
regret that even in a civilized society authorities neglecting this
saving truth are driving to perdition those criminals under their
care, whom it is their duty to save.

It is not conscience in the ordinary sense of the term. It
is 'moral' principle, according to Wang, pervading through the
Universe. 'It expresses itself as Providence in Heaven, as moral
nature in man, and as mechanical laws in things.' The reader will
notice that Wang's Conscience is the nearest approach to
Buddha-nature.






Next: The Bad Are The Good In The Egg

Previous: The Parable Of The Robber Kih



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