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The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

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

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

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

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

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

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

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

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

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...




Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life








Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that survives

body (as shown in the preceding chapter), who will receive the

retributions of our actions in the present life? To answer this

question, we have to restate our conviction that life is one and the

same; in other words, the human beings form one life or one

self--that is to say, our ancestors in the past formed man's past

life. We ourselves now form man's present life, and our posterity

will form the future life. Beyond all doubt, all actions of man in

the past have brought their fruits on the present conditions of man,

and all actions of the present man are sure to influence the

conditions of the future man. To put it in another way, we now reap

the fruits of what we sowed in our past life (or when we lived as our

fathers), and again shall reap the fruits of what we now sow in our

future life (or when we shall live as our posterity).



There is no exception to this rigorous law of retribution, and we

take it as the will of Buddha to leave no action without being

retributed. Thus it is Buddha himself who kindles our inward fire to

save ourselves from sin and crimes. We must purge out all the stains

in our hearts, obeying Buddha's command audible in the innermost self

of ours. It is the great mercy of His that, however sinful,

superstitious, wayward, and thoughtless, we have still a light within

us which is divine in its nature. When that light shines forth, all

sorts of sin are destroyed at once. What is our sin, after all? It

is nothing but illusion or error originating in ignorance and folly.

How true it is, as an Indian Mahayanist declares, that 'all frost and

the dewdrops of sin disappear in the sunshine of wisdom!'[FN#221]

Even if we might be imprisoned in the bottomless bell, yet let once

the Light of Buddha shine upon us, it would be changed into heaven.

Therefore the author of Mahakarunika-sutra[FN#222] says: When I

climb the mountain planted with swords, they would break under my

tread. When I sail on the sea of blood, it will be dried up. When I

arrive at Hades, they will be ruined at once.





[FN#220] The retribution cannot be explained by the doctrine of the

transmigration of the soul, for it is incompatible with the

fundamental doctrine of non-soul. See Abhidharmamahavibhasa-castra,

vol. cxiv.



[FN#221] Samantabhadra-dhyana-sutra.



[FN#222] Nanjo's Catalogue, No. 117.





Next: The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg

Previous: The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals



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