Xlf.ca Home Samurai Code of Honor Courage Samuri Religion - History of Buddism

Buddhism

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

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

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

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists maintain that there are on earth ma...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

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




Zen In The Dark Age








The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms and
bloodshed. Every day the sun shone on the glittering armour of
marching soldiers. Every wind sighed over the lifeless remains of
the brave. Everywhere the din of battle resounded. Out of these
fighting feudal lords stood two champions. Each of them
distinguished himself as a veteran soldier and tactician. Each of
them was known as an experienced practiser of Zen. One was
Haru-nobu (Take-da, died in 1573), better known by his
Buddhist name, Shin-gen. The other was Teru-tora (Uye-sugi,
died in 1578), better known by his Buddhist name, Ken-shin. The
character of Shin-gen can be imagined from the fact that he never
built any castle or citadel or fortress to guard himself against his
enemy, but relied on his faithful vassals and people; while that of
Ken-shin, from the fact that he provided his enemy, Shin-gen, with
salt when the latter suffered from want of it, owing to the cowardly
stratagem of a rival lord. The heroic battles waged by these two
great generals against each other are the flowers of the Japanese
war-history. Tradition has it that when Shin-gen's army was put to
rout by the furious attacks of Ken-shin's troops, and a single
warrior mounted on a huge charger rode swiftly as a sweeping wind
into Shin-gen's head-quarters, down came a blow of the heavy sword
aimed at Shin-gen's forehead, with a question expressed in the
technical terms of Zen: "What shalt thou do in such a state at such a
moment?" Having no time to draw his sword, Shin-gen parried it with
his war-fan, answering simultaneously in Zen words: "A flake of snow
on the red-hot furnace!" Had not his attendants come to the rescue
Shin-gen's life might have gone as 'a flake of snow on the red-hot
furnace.' Afterwards the horseman was known to have been Ken-shin
himself. This tradition shows us how Zen was practically lived by
the Samurais of the Dark Age.


Shin-gen practised Zen under the instruction of Kwai-sen,
who was burned to death by Nobu-naga (O-da) in 1582. See
Hon-cho-ko-so-den.

Ken-shin learned Zen under Shu-ken, a So Ta master. See
To-jo-ren-to-roku.


Although the priests of other Buddhist sects had their share in these
bloody affairs, as was natural at such a time, yet Zen monks stood
aloof and simply cultivated their literature. Consequently, when all
the people grew entirely ignorant at the end of the Dark Age, the Zen
monks were the only men of letters. None can deny this merit of
their having preserved learning and prepared for its revival in the
following period.


After the introduction of Zen into Japan many important
books were written, and the following are chief doctrinal works:
Ko-zen-go-koku-ron, by Ei-sai; Sho bo-gen-zo; Gaku-do-yo-zin-shu;
Fu-kwan-za-zen-gi; Ei-hei-ko-roku, by Do-gen; Za-zen-yo-zin-ki; and
Den-ko-roku, by Kei-zan.






Next: Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate

Previous: Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency



Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
ADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 1496