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By Sheng Yen

This can be an inspiring consultant to the perform of Chan (Chinese Zen) within the phrases of 4 nice masters of that culture. It comprises teachings from modern masters Xuyun and Sheng Yen, and from Jiexian and Boshan of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). although the texts have been written over a interval of 1000s of years, they're all remarkably lucid and are ideal for novices in addition to extra complex practitioners this present day. all of the details of non secular perform are coated: philosophical foundations, equipment, methods to difficulties and obstacles—all aimed toward assisting the coed reach the best way to enlightenment.

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The first Ceylonese work which shows all qualifications which we would expect from a real ecclesiastical history, was written as late as in the 14th century. It is the Nikayasangrahaya, composed by the Mahathera Dharmaklrti II, the then Sangharaja or head of the Sangha in the Island. Its author has also included earlier material transmitted outside the chroniclers' traditions. Indian Buddhist works give information on the origination of Buddhist sects, but again, the material was arranged in the form of full-fledged historical works only outside India.

It is for this very purpose that a Bodhisatva has to accomplish more good deeds than are necessary for his own salvation. Only in this case the statement of the old texts has its sense, that the doctrine has been announced for the benefit of many people (bahujanahitaya). The laws of connection between the deeds and their results or "fruits of deed", karmaphala, are to be harmonized herewith only on the basis of the assumption that parts of a Buddha's karmic results of his previous efforts as a Bodhisatva pass over to his audience by way of his teaching.

Historically, however, a connection of Asoka with a particular nikaya or sect as claimed by later Theravada tradition and by several modem scholars cannot be established. It can be clearly shown by a careful analysis of historical records and inscriptions that the king was not partial towards any section of the Sangha. (See H. Bechert, Asokas "Schismenedikt" und der Begriff Sanghabheda, Wiener Zeitschrift fuer die Kunde Sued-und Ostasiens 5, 1961, p. 18-52). Furthermore, the records of the Buddhist missions under the patronage of Asoka can be connected with the development of a group of Buddhist sects which is termed "Vinaya sects" by Erich Frauwallner.

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