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

Buddhism

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

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

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

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

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

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...

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

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...




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 1764