Jesus said, "Blessings on those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again." (Thomas 49)
○Faith of Atonement and The baptism of The Holy Spirit
The New Testament takes a stand that Jesus did not baptize with the Holy Spirit in his lifetime while it states that only men baptized with The Holy Spirit can obtain eternal life and will enter the kingdom. This is based on the interpretation of saying, "Jesus might not have had baptized with the Holy Spirit before his crucifixion" according to another doctrine, that is, Faith of Atonement, as follows; Only men, who believe and confess Jesus as the Savior who was crucified to atone the sins of mankind, are saved.
Jesus said to a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. (John3:3) Only a man who is born of water and the Spirit can enter the kingdom. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.(John3:5-8)" Thus he revealed that 'the Baptism with the Holy Spirit' was none other than inspiring one's 'spiritual rebirth.'
By contrast, the Gospel of Thomas, one of New Testament apocryphas, seeming to be a 'Saying of Jesus' compiled before establishment of Atonement Faith, even the fact that Jesus was crucified is hardly touched but the figure of Jesus, who is inspiring his disciples' spiritual rebirth through dialogues, is studded through out of the Gospel and the readers of the gospel may infer the activities of Jesus before he suddenly appeared alone on the banks of the Jordan River and was baptized by John the Baptist
Incidentally Jesus himself did not record his teachings. The four Gospels of the New Testament, especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which are called synoptic gospels, are similar in the story they tell about Jesus. Therefore a hypothesis has been made, there was a written collection of sayings of Jesus called "Q source (derived from the German word 'Quelle')" which was commonly referenced by these writers. It is believed that these authors replenished the Q source with folklore about Jesus at that time. Later, The Gospel of Thomas, the content of which is very similar to Q Source, was found in Coptic manuscripts, which had been discovered in Nag Hammadi on the Upper Nile in 1945. Therefore the hypothesis was virtually proved.
The baptism of The Holy Spirit seems to have been transmitted to India by Didymus Thomas, who is honored as the twin of Jesus. (Both Didymus and Thomas mean twin in Greek and in Aramaic respectively.) "The Original Jesus - Buddhist Sources of Christianity" written by Elmer R. Gruber & Holger Kersten says, "While Jesus liked using parables and meshalim, the meshalim used by him in Q Source and parable-like passages in Udanavarga offer an astonishing parallel. Zen Buddhism later brought the tradition of aphoristic teaching to a peak of mastery in riddle-like koans (公案:Koans are subjects which Zen masters give their students in the meditation hall)."
○The Holy One
The central theme of 'The Gospel of Thomas' is none other than 'return to the Holy One.'
Jesus said, "Blessings on those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again." (Thomas 49) According to Mr. Sasagu Arai, author of the Japanese version of The Gospel of Thomas, 'one who is alone and chosen' means 'one who transcends division and recovers the original integration (propator = original Self) in himself.' And the reign of original Self means realization of the kingdom of God.
Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the kingdom is in heaven,' then the birds of heaven will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty, and you are poverty." (Thomas 3)
○God's one and only Son
How then we know ourselves as children of God? If you return to the beginning, where the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1-2), in other words, return to the original face before the parents were born, you can synchronize with Christ who is the Alpha and the Omega and say, "Holy am I alone throughout heaven and earth. Grass, trees and the domains of all living things, all attain buddhahood." It is the ultimate salvation. You can obtain eternal life and know that the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.
While the Greek word "Autogenes (God's one and only Son)" means Self-Generated or Self-Conceived in terms of Gnosticism, The writer of the Gospel of John makes clear that the Word, which was with God and was God in the beginning, and through which all things were made (John 1:1-3), is the entity of Jesus through out of the Gospel. Simon Peter also made a sound like somewhat Gnostic and thus Buddhistic too testimony, saying, "We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." (John 6:68-69
○Walk on Vairocana's head
Time passed to the middle of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, Zen Master NanYang HuiZhong chanshi(南陽慧忠禅師645-775). a disciple of the Sixth Patriarch HuiNeng DaJian chanshi (六祖慧能大鑑禅師), was called by Emperor Suzong (粛宗), the tenth emperor of the Tang dynasty, left his temple located in Tangzigu, Baiyashan, Nanyang of Henan Province where he had lived for about 40 years, went to the capital city, ChangAn (長安) and entered the court in the year 761 AD.
Although Suzong, who had fled from the capital with his father Emperor Xuanzong (玄宗) after An Lushan (安禄山) Rebellion breaking out and had been ascended to the throne by the Imperial army without his father's consent, managed to recapture the capital city ChangAn, the rebel army still held their several strongholds in the country.
At that time, Master HuiZhong lived at Qianfusi Xichanyuan (千福寺西禅院) Temple in ChangAn city, and he also met the former Emperor Xuanzong. However, Xuanzong passed away in 762 AD and Emperor Suzong too died a few days later. Emperor Daizong (代宗), who succeed Emperor Suzong, also honored Master HuiZhong as a national teacher (国師) and gave another temple called Guangzhaisi (光宅寺).
It may be mentioned here that Yuquan Shenxiu (玉泉神秀 606?-706), who had been received the devotion of Empress Wu ZeTian (武則天) as the founder of Northern Gradualism Chan Sect (北宗禅), recommended Emperor ZhongZong (中宗:the son of Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu) to listen HuiNeng's lecture as the latter was the legitimate successor of the Fifth Patriarch HongRen (五祖弘忍). But HuiNeng is said to have not come up to the court in the capital ChangAn using his illness as an excuse despite ShenXiu's repeated persuasion. HuiZhong, who assumed the offer of national teacher's post, which his master HuiNeng had firmly declined at the heyday of the Tang Dynasty, especially in this period when the remnants of the rebel army still held their own spheres of influence all over the country and court disputes occurred frequently, should have had extraordinary resolution.
As soon as Master HuiZhong entered the main hall of the court, Emperor Suzong, who had been impatient to wait for him, asked immediately, "The Buddha, who is called 'Ten-Body Controller (十身調御)' is said to save sentient beings flexibly according to their abilities and interests. Please show me the secret."
The question of the emperor was extremely serious, because he had to subdue his half-brother who had mobilized the army without his permission and to rebuild the Imperial court finance through various measures such as state monopoly system of salt while the maternal relatives and eunuchs were rampant. Master HuiZhong should have been well aware of that. But his answer was far beyond the emperor's expectation.
After Wu ZeTian (武则天627?-705) had changed the custom in the court, prioritized Buddhism over Taoism (道教) and actively promoted Buddhism, the Tang dynasty set Buddhism as the main axis of both domestic affairs and diplomacy and firmly upheld three treasures (三宝) of Buddhism: Buddha (仏), sutras (法) and priesthood (僧). However Master HuiZhong answered "Trample the head of Vairocana (毘盧遮那) and go!" Vairocana is a name of Buddha symbolizing the universe in Sanskrit. As an embodied truth, it is also called Dharmakaya (法身) in Sanskrit.
Being dumbfounded at this answer, Emperor Suzong honestly replied, "I do not understand what you mean." Then Master HuiZhong said, "Never consider yourself to be or not be the pure Dharma-body (清浄法身)."
○Fighting with real swords
The conversation taking place between Zen Master NanYang HuiZhong and Emperor Suzong is simila to the one between Emperor Wu of Liang Dynasty (梁武帝) and Bodhidharma (菩提達磨). They were fighting with real swords not with bamboo swords. There is no room for explanation from the side. But now I dare try to interpret based on the philosophy of Hua-yan (華厳哲学). If you cannot find solution standing on each of two axes, that is, phenomena of this world which are born of causes and conditions or Shi (事: particularity) and the absolute truth which exists as universality within individual events and things or Li (理: universality), then you may rely on the third axis, Middle Way (中道), which sublates the contradiction between Shi and Li. You may try to practice 'purification from the six roots of evil (六根清浄:the eye, the ear, the tongue, the nose, the body, and the mind)' by worshiping Vairocana. But you may also become Vairocana first and be united with the universe. Then you may see many conflicting axes that are intertwined in complex ways and may find a solution. Even if you can not solve it now, you will understand it will be settled in near or distant future at last. If the universe is yourself, a part of it wins and another part losses, in any case, they are only things of yourself.
Looking at this as a modern day in democratic society today, not only the leaders of the U.S., Russia, EU, China and India etc. but each citizen of each country should try first to become an alien (the Holy One of Universe), in other words, to synchronize to the momentum of the universe and try to find the best solution for the universe and for the earth. Then, everybody may think about what one can do as an American, as a Russian, as a European, as a Chinese, as an Indian to realize the best policy.
Udanavarga(法句経), which is reputed as a well-matched pair with the Q Sayings Gospel, is preaching this theory as follows;
They who do evil go to hell; they who are virtuous go to happiness; they who have observed the right way and are without sin obtain nirvana.(Udanavarga 1:24)
It means that not only hell and heaven, both of which we are going after death, but also the kingdom, where we can go with our flesh, always exists there. However, you have to find yourself, otherwise you can not rest assured. ＜To be continued＞
○What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【Thesis】"A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【Anti-thesis】But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven." (John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【Synthesis】"If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes.
○《The Blue Cliff Record》Case 99: Walk on Vairocana's head
Emperor SuZong asked National Teacher Zhong, "What is the Ten-Body Controller? "
The National Teacher said, "Patron, walk on Vairocana's head."
The emperor said, "I don't understand."
The National Teacher said, "Don't acknowledge your own pure body of reality."
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