Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals


Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of love and

the nucleus of sincerity, forms the warp and woof of all moral

actions. He is an obedient son who serves his parents with sincerity

and love. He is a loyal subject who serves his master with sincerity

and love. A virtuous wife is she who loves her husband with her

sincere heart. A trustworthy friend is he who keeps company with

others with sincerit
and love. A man of righteousness is he who

leads a life of sincerity and love. Generous and humane is he who

sympathizes with his fellow-men with his sincere heart. Veracity,

chastity, filial piety, loyalty, righteousness, generosity, humanity,

and what not-all-this is no other than Buddha-nature applied to

various relationships of human brotherhood. This is the common

source, ever fresh and inexhaustible, of morality that fosters and

furthers the interests of all. To-ju[FN#170] expresses the similar

idea as follows:

There exists the Inexhaustible Source (of morality) within me.

It is an invaluable treasure.

It is called Bright Nature of man.

It is peerless and surpasses all jewels.

The aim of learning is to bring out this Bright Nature.

This is the best thing in the world.

Real happiness can only be secured by it.

Thus, in the first place, moral conduct, which is nothing but the

expression of Buddha-nature in action, implies the assertion of self

and the furtherance of one's interests. On this point is based the

half-truth of the Egoistic theory. Secondly, it is invariably

accompanied by a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction when it fulfils

its end. This accidental concomitance is mistaken for its essence by

superficial observers who adhere to the Hedonistic theory. Thirdly,

it conduces to the furtherance of the material and spiritual

interests of man, and it led the Utilitarians to the confusion of the

result with the cause of morality. Fourthly, it involves the control

or sacrifice of the lower and ignoble self of an individual in order

to realize his higher and nobler self. This gave rise to the

half-truth of the Ascetic theory of morality.

[FN#170] To-ju Naka-e (died A.D. 1649), the founder of the Japanese

Wang School of Confucianism, known as the Sage of Omi.