fruty destiara posted an update 5 years, 3 months ago
THE FUNDAMENTAL TEACHINGS OF BUDDHISM
The Buddha opened the Avatamsaka Sutra, which is the doc trine of the sure and speedy means by which all men may attain to Tathagata’s wisdom and virtues, which are latent in themselves. But this deep doctrine was understood only by the Bodhisatvas of the highest degree : the rest of the Buddhist Brotherhood (Sravakas * and Pacceka-Buddhasf) did not, any more than deaf-mutes, under stand it. Hence He turned the Wheel of the Law of the Four No ble TruthsJ (which contain elementary teachings), of the Twelve Chains of Causation?, and of the Six Perfections. || And these con stitute the Three Vehicles, or means of salvation. But they are im perfect, and their aims and works slight, when compared with the One Vehicle. Hence it is that the Buddha preached the doctrine Vaipulyalf : in which He criticised and rejected their aims and works, and in which He signally worsted them ; comparing them with lepers.
For years our Lord, the Buddha, worked at this ; and when the hour came that His work was perfected, He put before the world the sure and speedy means of salvation (the ” True State of Things”). Hence it is, that men of every kind of disposition (those of the Three Vehicles: Sravakas, Bodhisatvas, and Pacceka-Buddhas, and Tchandhi) are here led into the One Vehicle, the Saddharmapunda rika Sutra, (the Lotus-of-the Good-Law Scripture). In short, the Buddha’s object was, according to the Saddharmapundarika Sutra, to cause all men to enter into the deep secret of “opening and en tering into the wisdom and perception of the Buddha the Buddha.
Let it be understood that the Law which the Buddha perceived innermost, is not communicable by words or signs, but only by thought. And this communication is termed, the “impression of the Buddha’s spirit/’ When a man gets this impression he attains, among other things, to great powers, and becomes active and free. As this thought-transference is common within the Buddhist Bro therhood, whereby the Buddha’s spirit is transmitted from teacher to teacher, it has come to pass, that the Buddha-doctrine is exceed ingly prosperous among men ; that its future is bright ; and that it promises to become universal in influence. The Tripitakas were compiled after the Master’s death. When the Buddhist Scriptures were brought from India to China by scholars who were deeply versed both in doctrine and in linguis tic science, they were faithfully translated into the Chinese language; and the emperors of those times encouraged the work by liberal con tributions. The translation of the Saddharmapundarika * Sutra by Kumaragiva f in the Tsing dynasty of the Yo family, and of the Ma hapragnaparamita Sutra by Hiouen Tsang, in the Tang dynasty of the Li family, were made by imperial orders ; and many of the fore most scholars were commissioned to assist in the work. Thus the emperors reverenced the Sacred Doctrines ; and the translations were scholarly and perfect, in harmony with the spirit of the Buddha ; and shone like bright jewels in the literary sky. As the first gate of initiation into the genuine Buddha-doctrine, and the degrees of progress therein, are plainly and fully stated in the Tendai scriptures, and in the works on Secrecy,” “Contem plation,” and ” Moral Precepts,” I shall omit them here, and confine myself to the general spirit of it. The Law of our Lord, the Buddha, is not a natural science or a religion but a doctrine of enlightenment : and the object of it is to give rest to the restless ; to point out the Master (the Inmost Man) to those that are blind and do not perceive their Original State.
We should not say that the objects about us, be they small or large, are within or without our mind. All living beings about us are equal from eternity, let them differ ever so much in sex, station, and knowledge : not one should be loved or hated above another ; and no distinction should be made between self and neighbor.
The actions apparent in the Six Roots are the various lights from the One Mind, and the objects of the Six Roots are Its images. He who is free from every outside state and bond, such as supersti tion, priest, church, saviour, and god, and who, therefore, enjoys real freedom of mind, is a Great Man, for he has attained unto the wisdom and perception of Buddhahood ; he has, to use the words of the Swedish mystic, Swedenborg, 11 inwardly in himself seen his Divine Being,” which is the Buddha in man. And he that aims at the attainment of this onement with that Inmost Mind is called a disciple of the Buddha. But he whose thoughts are not centered for this aim is ignorant. The chief end in view of the Buddha-teach ing is the dispersion of the darkness of ignorance and the attain ment of enlightenment.
The Saddharmapundarika Sutra teaches us how to obtain that desirable knowledge of the Mind as it is in itself. M?ny other scrip tures teach the same ; but as they are interspersed with various teachings, temporal and eternal, lesser and greater, partial and full, they create confusion, and so fail in the main. The sutras preached before the Saddharmapundarika contain more of the nature of the temporal than of the eternal law. Hence it is said, in the Amitartha Sutra, that the Truth is not yet made manifest during the past forty years. But in the study of the Saddharmapundarika Sutra, the scholar has to rise above the mere literal or exoteric sense, the yellow or red pages ; otherwise its spirit will elude him, and he will remain a stranger to its secrets. All scriptures are images of the One Mind : so that if we take these images for the realities which they represent, we remain for ever in the dark ; and no matter how soul-stirring and blessing the}’ may be in themselves, they are to us practically inert and unbless ing ; and not only so, but also positive fetters that impede spiritual.
It is laudable to count the rosary, wear the yellow robes, and
read sutras before images of the Buddha ; but this is formal, not
essential, discipleship. Essential discipleship requires a perception
of the divine meaning of the Buddha, and thought, speech, and
action in accordance with it. The disciple must not, in any atti
tude, be it walking, sitting, or lying down, take his mind from the
divine sense of the Buddha. An unswerving adherence to this sense
makes him a follower of the Mahay?na doctrine and a true Buddhist.