An element in karma-yoga is independence of the pairs of opposites

The third element in karma-yoga is independence of the pairs of opposites, heat and cold, pleasure and pain, and so on. The Gita verse (2.14) says that sense-contacts cause heat and cold, pleasure and pain; they come and go, being impermanent. They are to be endured bravely. And the next verse says, ‘The wise man …

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Outline of the Commentary on the Chapter of the Self

First, it is necessary to have a rough idea of certain technical terms : Self (Atman) universal consciousness, which with human beings is felt to be limited and imprisoned in a particular body or mind. Brahman universal consciousness, generally with reference to its projection, maintenance and withdrawal of this apparent world. Brahman and Atman are …

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Meditations slowly make the mind clear and steady

This chapter comes in the part of the Apastamba Law-book concerned with atonement for sins committed. The doctrine of karma (literally ‘action’) was that the consequences of an action extend into the moral and psychological realms, according to a law of cause and effect, as fixed and predictable as that in the physical realm. Actions …

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Sacred texts which give instructions on how to leap out of individuality

The Vedas are sacred revelations to the Aryans of India, some of them at least 5,000 years old and traditionally much more. They contain hymns to gods and to the universal spirit, prayers and sacrifices for the individual’s success and happiness in this world and the next, ethical instructions like ‘speak the truth’ and ‘let …

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The commentary on the Chapter of the Self in the Apastamba Law-book

Texts on Self-realization, God-realization and yoga, aim at a radical and permanent change of the individual consciousness, which as it stands is limited by a sort of illusion. It is the kind of illusion experienced by a man dreaming of a terrifying lion whose roars are in fact his own snoring, or by people who …

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Two poems

EARLY in the sixth century A.D., Bodhidharma carried Zen to China, where he became the First Patriarch. His successors handed it on to chosen disciples. There is a tradition, not found before the time of Shumitsu, that the Fifth Patriarch invited his hundreds of disciples to submit poems from which he could judge their attainment. …

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Categories Zen

True Sportsmanship

The true spirit of sportsmanship is appreciation of the game itself. The game must not be a means of national or group superiority. In the English soccer, the teams were generally representative of a particular town. Soccer originally did not have a strong tradition of sportsmanship; it was the sport of the masses. So the …

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Yasenkanna an autobiographical narrative by Zen Master Hakuin

HAKUIN (1685-1768) was the greatest light of Rinzai Zen in Japan. He universalized it and brought its flavour into the lives of ordinary people, and all the present lines of transmission run through him. The pattern of his spiritual life is thus of great importance in understanding Rinzai Zen. Yasenkanna (which can mean literally ‘idle …

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Zen has a totally unrestricted and universal outlook

As Zen has a totally unrestricted and universal outlook, among the “cases” or koan, reputedly seventeen hundred in number, there are stories about kittens and dogs, about turtles, and about water buffaloes. The fifty-sixth case of the Chinese anthology of Abbot Wanshi, the Shoyoroku, is the story called “The White Hare of Master Misshi.” In …

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Categories Zen

The Original Face

“THE ORIGINAL FACE” is a sermon delivered to the Empress Hanazono by Zen master Myocho, who is best known under the name bestowed upon him by the emperor: Daito Koku- shi. Kokushi means literally ” teacher of the nation ”. Daito (1281-1337) was one of the great lights of the Rinzai sect in Japan. He …

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Categories Zen

Hearts of Religion

There is a heart but the heart is not visible. We know about the heart from the pulse. And if religion doesn’t have a pulse, doesn’t have a throb, in our lives, the form may be perfect but it will be like a marble statue – without a living heart.

In Christianity, we can see the inspiration of service in its full glory

In Christianity, we can see the inspiration of service in its full glory. There is service in Buddhism, there is service in Islam, but there is nothing like the great orders of service that Christianity produced. I had never noticed it but a foreigner from the Far East said to me, “Your hospitals have the …

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