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Buddhism

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

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

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

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

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

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

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...




Zen And Nirvana








The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sense of the
term, but in the sense peculiar to the faith. Nirvana literally
means extinction or annihilation; hence the extinction of life or the
annihilation of individuality. To Zen, however, it means the state
of extinction of pain and the annihilation of sin. Zen never looks
for the realization of its beatitude in a place like heaven, nor
believes in the realm of Reality transcendental of the phenomenal
universe, nor gives countenance to the superstition of Immortality,
nor does it hold the world is the best of all possible worlds, nor
conceives life simply as blessing. It is in this life, full of
shortcomings, misery, and sufferings, that Zen hopes to realize its
beatitude. It is in this world, imperfect, changing, and moving,
that Zen finds the Divine Light it worships. It is in this
phenomenal universe of limitation and relativity that Zen aims to
attain to highest Nirvana. "We speak," says the author of
Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra, "of the transitoriness of body, but not
of the desire of the Nirvana or destruction of it." "Paranirvana,"
according to the author of Lankavatarasutra, "is neither death nor
destruction, but bliss, freedom, and purity." "Nirvana," says Kiai
Hwan, "means the extinction of pain or the crossing over of
the sea of life and death. It denotes the real permanent state of
spiritual attainment. It does not signify destruction or
annihilation. It denotes the belief in the great root of life and
spirit." It is Nirvana of Zen to enjoy bliss for all sufferings of
life. It is Nirvana of Zen to be serene in mind for all disturbances
of actual existence. It is Nirvana of Zen to be in the conscious
union with Universal Life or Buddha through Enlightenment.


A commentator of Saddharma-pundarika-sutra.






Next: Nature And Her Lesson

Previous: The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd



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