Esoteric Library - A View of Bankei
Esoteric Library
Articles

-- 2925 articles here --

Search our entire article base




Esoteric Dictionary Definitions
Search our dictionary.

2925
Article Count

Return to our index page
Review all comments made by readers on articles, in the library
Get notified when there are new articles in a category of interest
Search our complete article base for all your answer
Contact Esoteric Library
Help Esoteric Library
About Pieter Heydenrych
Some Causes worth considering
Return to our Dictionary index page
Create your own author account, and submit articles free

Category : Biographies and Interviews - - - - Previous Page

--> Notify Me when there is an article of interest in a specific category FREE <--

A View of Bankei

{written by : Colin Oliver}

Article word count : 939 -- Article Id : 1342
Article active date : 2008-12-28 -- Article views : 1963


Link to this article
Esoteric Library Publishers
Send to a friend
Add to Favourites
Print Article
Notify me of new articles in this category

Rate this article

Current rating : 2.43
Why rate an article?
Putting down your mark helps us to ensure that we are able to get the best to everyone. So please help others to help yourself.

To vote, click on the star of your choice.

Thanks...
?
Article is about :
Bankei Zenji (1622-1693) was a great Japanese religious teacher who spoke to the people directly rather than from the sutras. He adhered to no particular school and his teaching was remarkably individual and raw, of the essence of Zen.





Search our entire article base






Esoteric Dictionary Definitions
Search our dictionary.




Custom Search



Bankei Zenji (1622-1693) was a great Japanese religious teacher who spoke to the people directly rather than from the sutras. He adhered to no particular school and his teaching was remarkably individual and raw, of the essence of Zen. His concern was with the truth as an immediate experience, not with a systematic approach to a distant goal.

An account of Bankei"s life reveals his great character. He was born into a Samurai family. His father, a Confucian, died when Bankei was young. At an early age he became concerned about death and his tantrums could be quietened by mention of it. He disliked school so he often played truant. When the ferryman was instructed not to take him across the river on the way home until school was ended, Bankei plunged in and swam across. He was unruly and a gang leader. Frequent quarrels with his elder brother caused him to be so frustrated and depressed that he attempted suicide. He swallowed a large number of spiders which he thought to be poisonous and sat in a shrine waiting for death. When nothing happened he changed his mind.

As a young adolescent Bankei was sent to a teacher of Chinese. While studying a Confucian classic he was forcibly struck by a passage stating that the Way of Great Learning was to make clear the Bright Virtue. Puzzled and wishing to understand the teaching he questioned a number of Confucian scholars. They admitted that they possessed no deep knowledge and disappointed Bankei. He next approached the Buddhists, attending sermons and discourses, and reported back to his mother. He was determined to enlighten her as to the meaning of Bright Virtue before she died. With the Buddhists too he was disappointed.

At last he decided to search for a Zen master. When he found one he was instructed to practise zazen in order to gain direct knowledge of Bright Virtue. Bankei approached zazen with characteristic determination. He sat cross-legged in a cave for hours on end and did not eat for a week. Apart from his falling over with exhaustion, nothing happened. In a hut in his village he tried reciting the Nembutsu. Despite the appearance of sores he refused to relax but remained sitting with pads beneath him. He continued his life of meditation for a long time and eventually became a sick man. Bankei"s friends were concerned and provided a servant to care for him. He thought he was going to die and his one regret was that the problem of the Bright Virtue remained unsolved.

Then, on the verge of death, Bankei came to the realisation that he had never been born. He saw into the illuminating source of all things, by which all things are well managed. Bankei was convinced that he could live from the Unborn. It was a totally life-changing insight. He felt immediately revitalised and asked his astonished servant to prepare a meal.

When he was fully recovered Bankei told his mother of his discovery so that she died happy. He was disconcerted by the difficulty he then experienced in finding a master who could confirm his insight. Eventually he found one who encouraged him and he decided to devote his life to helping others, to sharing the truth.

Bankei became a man of the people. He preached to large audiences composed of ordinary country folk as well as Zen students. His language was simple and direct. People were impressed by his sincerity. One of the stories told of him illustrates his winning way. A priest was angered when many of his own sect went to hear about Zen. So he attended a meeting himself with the intention of debating with Bankei.

"A man like myself does not respect you," he informed Bankei. "Can you make me obey you?" Bankei asked the priest to come to the front and he proudly pushed through the crowd. Bankei asked him to sit by him and he obeyed, then to change places and he stepped over. "You see, " observed Bankei, "you are obeying me and I think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen".

Another story relates how Bankei was approached by a priest who boasted that his master possessed miraculous powers. This master could take a brush and write Amida in the air and the word would appear on a sheet of paper in the distance. Challenged to equal this, Bankei replied, "My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel thirsty I drink."

Bankei"s teaching was altogether different from the Zen koan system. Meditation on the koan produces a prolonged build-up of tension and subsequent release in satori. The truth is hard-won and therefore profoundly valued. Bankei relied entirely on his own conviction, exhorting his followers to experience the simple truth directly and naturally and be persuaded of its worth.

It might be argued that Bankei"s own long and difficult path was necessary for him to discover and value the truth. Bankei denied that such a course was necessary. He maintained that the truth was readily available. Life lived from the Unborn would bring experiences to deepen the appreciation and inspire one-pointedness.

Some followers felt that meditation was appropriate to focus the attention. It was enough, Bankei said, to sit on the floor and be a living Buddha. His great emphasis was on meditation in action, in day to day living. His general precept was beautifully simple: "Only sit up with the Buddha-heart, be only with the Buddha-heart, sleep and arise only with the Buddha-heart, and live only with the Buddha-heart."

Author Bio :
Written by Colin Oliver . For more from this author goto http://www.headless.org The Headless Way is a site dedicated to awakening to who we all really are, using the experimental method of Douglas Harding.

Add a comment to this article
Number of comments for this article : 0
View all comments to this article
View all comments in the Comments Blog


Other reads from the same category

The Holographic Brain with Karl Pribram, Ph.D. {by James Traverse}
Madame Blavatsky: a brief biography {by Harvey Tordoff}
A tribute to the TM Guru {by G Kumar }
The Tony Samara Interview - Questions and Answers {by Tony Samara}
Barry Long : Life and Work {by Clive Tempest}
Mr Ian Ross Barlow {by Ian Ross Barlow }
Proofs of the Afterlife - Helen Duncan {by Victor Zammit}
What Is Kryonschool - The Spiritual Course of Awakening? An Interview with its Founder, Sabine Sangitar Wenig {by Sabine Sangitar Wenig}
Nicholas & Helena Roerich, The Spiritual Journey of Two Great Artists and Peacemakers. {by Ruth Abrams Drayer}
Interview with Reverend Maria Lupita Martinez {by Rev. Maria Lupita Martinez }
Other reads by Colin Oliver

Thought-Bees
Seeing who you are
10 Poems to Inspire
Cold Mountain


This Page is Sponsored by : From A Blimp To A Racecar