„If Buddhism is divided generally into the sects that believe in salvation by faith and those that believe in salvation by one's own efforts, then of course there must be such violent utterances in Zen, which insists upon salvation by one's own efforts.“

—  Yasunari Kawabata, Context: "If you meet a Buddha, kill him. If you meet a patriarch of the law, kill him." This is a well-known Zen motto. If Buddhism is divided generally into the sects that believe in salvation by faith and those that believe in salvation by one's own efforts, then of course there must be such violent utterances in Zen, which insists upon salvation by one's own efforts. On the other side, the side of salvation by faith, Shinran, the founder of the Shin sect, once said: "The good shall be reborn in paradise, and how much more shall it be so with the bad." This view of things has something in common with Ikkyu's world of the Buddha and world of the devil, and yet at heart the two have their different inclinations. Shinran also said: "I shall not take a single disciple." "If you meet a Buddha, kill him. If you meet a patriarch of the law, kill him." "I shall not take a single disciple." In these two statements, perhaps, is the rigorous fate of art.
Yasunari Kawabata photo
Yasunari Kawabata
écrivain japonais 1899 - 1972
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