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

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

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

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

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

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

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

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

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

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...

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

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

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

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

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




The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon








The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,
3,000 in number, or rather countless, and also of
Bodhisattvas no less than Buddhas. Nowadays, however, in every
church of Mahayanism one Buddha or another together with some
Bodhisattvas reigns supreme as the sole object of worship, while
other supernatural beings sink in oblivion. These Enlightened
Beings, regardless of their positions in the pantheon, were generally
regarded as persons who in their past lives cultivated virtues,
underwent austerities, and various sorts of penance, and at length
attained to a complete Enlightenment, by virtue of which they secured
not only peace and eternal bliss, but acquired divers supernatural
powers, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, all-knowledge, and what
not. Therefore, it is natural that some Mahayanists came to
believe that, if they should go through the same course of discipline
and study, they could attain to the same Enlightenment and Bliss, or
the same Buddhahood, while other Mahayanists came to believe
in the doctrine that the believer is saved and led up to the eternal
state of bliss, without undergoing these hard disciplines, by the
power of a Buddha known as having boundless mercy and fathomless
wisdom whom he invokes.


Trikalpa-trisahasra-buddhanrama-sutra gives the names of
3,000 Buddhas, and Buddhabhisita-buddhanama-sutra enumerates Buddhas
and Bodhisattvas 11,093 in number. See Nanjo's Catalogue, Nos. 404,
405, 406, 407.

Those who believe in the doctrine of Holy Path. See 'A
History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects,' pp. 109-111.

Those who believe in the doctrine of the Pure Land.





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