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    BENEFICENCE AS THE MORAL FOUNDATION IN WON BUDDHISM
     
    [ 作者: Bongkil Chung   来自:期刊原文   已阅:2820   时间:2006-12-4   录入:douyuebo
    49tjf49edf:Article:ArticleID


    ·期刊原文

    BENEFICENCE AS THE MORAL FOUNDATION IN WON BUDDHISM

    Bongkil Chung

    Journal of Chinese Philosophy

    Vol. 23 (1996)

    PP.193-211

    Copyright @ 1996 by Dialogue Publishing Company, Honolulu,

    Hawaii, U.S.A.

     

     


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    .P.193

    Toward a theory of Beneficence

        To ask for the foundation of morality in normative ethics
    is to ask for what makes right acts right.  The foundation of
    morality  lies  in the greatest  happiness  for the  greatest
    number according  to J.S.  Mill and in the universalizability
    of a maxim  to be a universal  moral  law according  to Kant.
    Neither of these theories is free from devastating criticism.
    Seeing the untenability of these theories, W.D. Ross develops
    the  theory  of prima  facie  duty.(2) According  to  Ross, a
    certain action (keeping a promise) is one's prima facie duty,
    which can be one's actual duty or duty proper unless there is
    another kind of morally significant act. Ross lists six kinds
    of  prima  facie  duties:  the  duties  of  (1) fidelity  and
    reparation,  (2) gratitude, (3) justice, (4) beneficence, (5)
    self-improvement, and (6) non-maleficence. By the prima facie
    duty of gratitude  Ross means  that which  rests  on previous
    acts of other men, i.e.  services done by them to me;  and by
    the prima facie duty of beneficence, that which  rests on the
    mere fact that  there  are other  beings  in the world  whose
    condition  we can  make  better  in respect  of virtue, or of
    intelligence,  or  of  pleasure.   How  ever  it  is  not  as
    self-evident  as Ross thinks  it is why we have a prima facie
    duty of beneficence  in the sense of the term he uses though,
    perhaps, we have a prima  facie  duty of gratitude  if we owe
    someone something.  If I owe my life to the beneficence of my
    parents, then it makes sense to say that I have a prima facie
    duty  to requite  it and to be grateful  to them  is a way of
    requiting it.

    P.194

        In  the  ethics  of  Won  Buddhism  the  duty  to requite
    beneficence  is not only a prima facie but actual  duty.  For
    instance one's filial duty is not only a prima facie duty but
    an absolute  duty to one's own parents.  In the ethics of Won
    Buddhism  beneficence  is not  a prima  facie  duty  but  the
    foundation of moral duties to others.
        The  basic  insight  of this  theory  is the self-evident
    truth  that  we  humans   owe  our  life  to  "the  universal
    beneficences  of nature"(3) just as a fish in the ocean  owes
    its life to the ocean. The fish may not know its indebtedness
    to the beneficence of the ocean even after it is taken out of
    it and thrown  to the dry ocean even after it is taken out of
    it and thrown  to the dry beach.  Sot'aesan  (1891-1943), the
    founder  of  Won  Buddhism  as  a  religious  order,  defines
    "beneficence"  as that without  which  our life is impossible
    and identifies the universal beneficences  of nature with the
    beneficences  of Heaven and Earth, Parents, Brethren, and Law
    which  he calls  'the  four  beneficences."(4) The expression
    "four beneficences"  is not new with Sot'aesan as it is found
    in some of the Buddhist scriptures with different items in
    different literature.(5) What is new with Won Buddhism is the
    identification  of the four beneficences with Buddha's cosmic
    body (Dharmakaya  Buddha) and the actual worship  of Buddha's
    cosmic   body,  the  four  beneficences,  is  perforrmed   by
    requiting the beneficences  in daily life in accordance  with
    moral rules which are derived from them.

    Morality as a Means

        Sot'aesan's  motive behind founding  Won Buddhims  was to
    "deliver  sentient  beings"  suffering  in the bitter seas of
    misery  and "cure the world of illness."  These two goals are
    to be realized by faith in a truthful  religion  and training
    in sound morality. Thus morality or moral system is used as a
    means  to the  realization  of  the  religious  goals  of Won
    Buddhism.  In Won Buddhism the object of religious worship is
    the  cosmic  body  of  Buddha  (Dharmakaya  Buddha) which  is
    manifested as the four beneficences  and related to us as the
    four sources of our life.

    P.195

        The moral system of Won Buddhism is compared to a medical
    institution;  if  no  one  is  ever  ill, no  medicine  or  a
    physician will be necessary. If the world is not morally ill,
    no religious institution  will be necessary to cure the moral
    illness  of the world.  In Sot'aesan's  view, one of the main
    factors  which change the world into "bitter  seas of misery"
    is resentment which one harbors in one's heart toward others.
    One  becomes   resentful   when  one  is  unaware   of  one's
    indebtedness to the source of beneficences  to which one owes
    one's life.  In Sot'aesan's  view one can change  a hell to a
    paradise  if one knows how to change resentment  to gratitude
    and one  can  do so only  if one  is aware  of the  universal
    beneficences  of  Buddha's  cosmic  body, namely,  those  of
    Heaven and Earth, Parents, Brethren and Law. Thus, one of the
    platforms  of Won  Buddhism  is  stated  in an imperative: Be
    aware  of  beneficence  and  requite  it.   The  requital  of
    beneficence  as a moral principle  is put into practice  by a
    reformed Buddhist religious practice of reverent offerings to
    Buddha as it is expressed in a motto: Everywhere  is Buddha's
    image, hence do all things as a reverent  offering to Buddha.
    The  actual  way of a reverent  offering  to Buddha  lies  in
    requiting the four beneficences.
        In Sot'aesan's view it is hard to prove that Buddha image
    enshrined  in Buddhist  temples can respond to the prayers of
    the layman either with blessings or punishments;  while it is
    easy  to prove  and  explain  how the four  beneficences  can
    respond  with  blessings  or punishment.  In his  view  it is
    unreasonable  and superstitious  to pray to the Buddha  image
    for blessings  while  offending  any of the four  sources  of
    beneficence.  It  is  irrational, for  instance, to pray  for
    blessings  to the Buddha image enshrined in a Buddhist temple
    when  it is  a matter  of  medical  concern.  Thus  requiting
    beneficence is a new way of reverent offering to Buddha.

    FOUR BENEFICENCES AS THE SOURCE OF MORAL DUTIES

        By beneficence'  Sot'aesan means the relation between two
    agents, one of which cannot exist without  the other.In  this
    sense of the term 'beneficence'  one is indebted  to the four
    beneficences. As a proof of this

    P.196

    truth. he asks us to think, in order to know our indebtedness
    to  the  four  beneficences, whether  we could  preserve  our
    existence without them.  He challenges us to think whether we
    could preserve  our existence  without  Heaven  and Earth,(6)
    whether  we could have brought our bodies into this world and
    nourish  ourselves  without  our parents,(7) whether we could
    survive  alone where there are no other human beings, animals
    and plants,(8) or whether  peace  and order can be maintained
    unless  there are laws of moral cultivation  for individuals,
    of managing a household, of regulating a society, of ruling a
    nation,  and  of  keeping  the  world  in  peace.(9) Even  an
    imbecile  will  understand  that  one's  life  is  impossible
    without  them and nothing can be a greater  beneficence  than
    that without  which  one's life is impossible.  Thus one owes
    one's life to the four beneficences  and no further  argument
    is necessary  for the proof  of our indebtedness  to the four
    beneficences.
        Once  it is  proven  that  one  is indebted  to the  four
    beneficences, no further argument is necessary to prove it is
    one's prima facie duty to requite it.  Sot'aesan  thinks it a
    matter  of necessary  course  to requite  the beneficence  to
    which one owes one's  own life.  Requital  of beneficence  is
    thus a general moral duty in Won Buddhism. From the religious
    aspect   of  the   doctrine,  the   four   beneficences   are
    incarnations of Buddha's cosmic body (Dharmakaya Buddha) with
    the power to bless or punish.  From the moral aspect they are
    the foundation  of moral duty;  our moral duties  are derived
    from the fact that without  them  our life is impossible  and
    that the beneficence ought to be requited.
        Now   the  two  principles,  religious   and  moral,  are
    assimilated to each other by the imperative that one ought to
    requite  beneficence   as  a  way  of  reverent  offering  to
    Buddha.(10) If, for instance,I treat  other  human beings  on
    the basis of fairness as required  by the rule of requital of
    the  beneficence  of  Brethren, I will  be treating  them  as
    Buddhas  and thus be blessed  as they have the power to bless
    or punish.  If, however, I treat them unfairly, violating the
    moral principle  of fairness, I will be punished by them, the
    living Buddhas. In what follows will be explained Sot'aesan's
    views  on how  one  is indebted  to, and  how  one  ought  to
    requite,the four

    P.197

    beneficences as moral duties

    The Beneficence of Heaven and Earth

        Sot'aesan's metaphysical view of Heavcn and Earth is that
    the automatic rotation of the grand framework of the universe
    is in accordance  with the ways of Heaven  and Earth  and the
    result of their rotation is their virtues.(11) The virtues of
    Heaven and Earth are exemplified in the brightness of the sun
    and moon, owing to which we can discern  and know myriads  of
    things  and the favors  of the  wind, clouds, rain  and  dew,
    owing to which myriads  of living beings are nurtured  and we
    are able to survive off their products.(12)
        In the ways of Heaven  and Earth  Sot'aesan  finds  eight
    beneficent characteristics, from which he derives eight moral
    maxims  for humankind.  The ways of Heaven  and Earth are (i)
    extremely  bright,  (ii) extremely  sincere,  (iii) extremely
    fair, (iv) natural, (v) vast and limitless, (vi) eternal,
    (vii) without  good or ill fortunes, and (viii) omnipresently
    responsive  without harboring the idea of having done favors.
    That there  are ways of Heaven  and Earth  in which  the sage
    finds  the moral standard  is not new with Sot'aesan;  we can
    find the same  view in the Confucian  tradition.  Chou  Tun-i
    (1017-1073), who quotes  from  the  I-Ching  or the  Book  of
    Changes,(13) and commented on by Chu Hsi(1130-1200), says:

        ..  Thus  (the  sage)  establishes  himself  as  the
        ultimate standard for man.  Hence, the character  of
        the sage is identical with that of Heaven and Earth;
        his brilliance is identical with that of the sun and
        the moon;his  order  is identical  with  that of the
        seasons and his good and evil fortunes are identical
        with those of spiritual beings.(l4)

    Thus the ancient  sages found  their moral standards  in what
    they  thought  was the characteristics  of Heaven  and Earth.
    Sot'aesan  does  the  same  thing;  his originality  lies  in
    deriving moral duties from the fact that we are

    P.198

    indebted to the beneficence of Heaven and Earth.
        The way to requite  the beneficence  of Heaven  and Earth
    lies in one's  moral improvement  by modeling  oneself  after
    their  ways This is like requiting  the beneficence  of one's
    own teacher  by practicing  her teaching.(15) Thus, following
    the moral rules derived from the eight characteristics of the
    ways  of Heaven  and  Earth  one  is to improve  one's  moral
    virtues.  Now the ways of requiting  their  beneficences  are
    stated  in terms of eight maxims, which require  one to model
    oneself after the eight characteristics  of their ways listed
    above.
          (i)     The first maxim requires one to model after the
    brightness  of their ways when one should  investigate  facts
    and  principles.(l6) The  reason  one  must  understand  such
    principles is that one's moral conduct will be based on one's
    view of the world and one's self.  In Sot'aesan's view, moral
    problems  arise  from  foolishness  and lack of knowledge  of
    right and wrong, or what is advantageous  or disadvantageous.
    No one in that state can be a reliable moral agent. Hence one
    must learn  facts and principles  to attain  such wisdom  and
    knowledge, modeling  oneself on the brightness  of Heaven and
    Earth.
          (ii)    The second maxim requires one to model on their
    way of sincerity  and  be consistent  in sincerity  when  one
    tries to accomplish  anything good.  The term 'sincerity"  is
    used not only  with  its usual  meaning  of truthfulness  and
    honesty  but  with  the  meaning  of  wholehearted  devotion.
    According to Sot'aesan, nothing is more sincere in this sense
    than  Heaven  and  Earth.  This  idea  can  be  found  in the
    Confucian tradition.  "Sincerity is the Way of Heaven and the
    attainment  of sincerity, or attempt to be sincere is the way
    of man."(17) Mencius(c.371-c.  289 B.C.) says, "... Sincerity
    is the way of Heaven.  To think how to be sincere  is the way
    of man.  Never  has  there  been  one  possessed  of complete
    sincerity, who did not move others.  Never has there been one
    who had not sincerity  who was able to move  others."(18) Now
    Sot'aesan suggests that everyone ought to model after the way
    of sincerity as a way of requiting the beneficence  of Heaven
    and Earth.
          (iii)   The third  maxim  requires  one to model  after
    their way of fair-

    P.199

    ness, and  to follow  the  Mean  without  being  affected  by
    remoteness  or closeness, or by  feelings  of joy  or sorrow,
    anger or pleasure, when one handles myriads of things.(19) In
    Sot'aesan's  view Heaven  and Earth are fair to all when they
    rear  living   beings.   The  sun  shines   for  all  without
    discrimination  against  anyone.  When we humans  handle  our
    affairs, however, we are often unfair because we are affected
    by remoteness or closeness, or by joy or anger. Unfairness is
    one of the moral evils which aggravate the human predicament.
    Sot'aesan  suggests  that  we ought  to emulate  the  way  of
    fairness as a way of requiting their beneficence.
          (iv)   The  fourth  maxim  requires  one to do what  is
    reasonable  and  to  forsake  what  is unreasonable, modeling
    oneself  on the  way  of reasonableness  and  naturalness  of
    Heaven and Earth.  There is orderliness  in the succession of
    four seasons  and in the rotation  of day and night.  Seasons
    for sowing and harvesting  are not disorderly.  To the way of
    reasonableness  belongs  the course  of birth, aging, illness
    and death of all sentient  beings.  The purpose of this maxim
    is to help one be free from sufferings caused by unreasonable
    and  unnatural  actions.  In the mundane  world  unreasonable
    desires,  decisions,  programs,  and  plans  are  often  made
    aggravating the human predicament.
         (v)   The fifth  maxim  requires  one, modeling  oneself
    after  the  vastness   of  Heaven   and  Earth,  to  practice
    impartiality  when one handles  all sorts of affairs.(20) The
    virtue  of impartiality  in thought  and deeds is what people
    use as a criterion  of moral integrity.  Moreover, partiality
    in handling human affairs causes unnecessary  sufferings  for
    others.  Sot'aesan  finds  a model  for  impartiality  in the
    vastness  of Heaven  and Earth.  As a way of requiting  their
    beneficence, he suggests  that one ought to model oneself  on
    the way of vastness  of Heaven and Earth.  Impartiality  is a
    necessary  condition  for the most important  moral virtue in
    the   Neo-Confucian   tradition,   namely,   jen   (humanity,
    humaneness).  According  to Chu  Hsi, '...  a man  originally
    possesses  jen.  It comes  with  him from the very beginning.
    Simply  because  he  is partial, his  jen  is obstructed  and
    cannot be expressed.  Therefore, if he is impartial, his jen,
    will operate."(21) Sot'aesan's  ideal is that this virtue  be
    realized by

    P.200

    everyone.
        (vi)The sixth maxim requires one, modeling oneself on the
    way of eternity  of Heaven  and Earth, to emancipate  oneself
    from  the vicissitude  of all things  and from  the cycle  of
    birth,old age, illness  and death.  Things  on the earth  are
    like  transient  waves  while  Heaven  and Earth  are like  a
    permanent ocean. What Sot'aesan suggests by the maxim is that
    one ought to realize  the cosmic  body of Buddha (Dharmakaya)
    which  is free from one's  bodily  birth  and death, modeling
    oneself on the eternity of Heaven and Earth.
        (vii)The seventh maxim requires one to detect misfortune
    in good  fortune  and  good  fortune  in misfortune, modeling
    oneself  on the way of there being no good or ill fortune  in
    Heaven  and Earth  lest  one should  be caught  by either  of
    them.(22) The point of this maxim is that one ought not to be
    blinded  or carried away by either good or ill fortune  since
    'favor or beneficence sometimes arises in harm and harm in
    favor."(23)
         (viii)The eighth maxim requires  one, following  the way
    of Heaven  and Earth  abiding  in no idea  of the favor  they
    bestow, to nourish  the mind  of no false  ideas, viz., there
    should  be no marks and ideas in mind after rendering  favors
    to others.  One ought not to make an enemy out of the one who
    is ungrateful  to one's favor.  The same virtue  is taught in
    the Bible: "But when you give alms, do not let your left hand
    know what your right hand is doing" (Matthew, 6.3). The moral
    virtue  of "harboring  no idea  of self-praising"  is one the
    moral  ideals  for  both  Buddhist  and Confucian  moralists.
    D.T.Suzuki  points  out that the notion  of "non-abiding"  or
      "harboring no false idea" is a central one in the whole
    philosophy  of Mahayana  Buddhism.(24) We find in the Diamond
    Sutra the noted advice, 'One should develop a mind which does
    not abide  in anything."(25) The attempt  to find a model  of
    this moral  virtue  in the ways Heaven  and Earth was made by
    Neo-Confucian philosophers. Cheng-i (1033-1107) said, "Heaven
    and Earth create  and transform  without  having  any idea of
    their  own.  The sage has a mind of his own but does not take
    any  (unnatural)  action."(26)  Obviously  the  moral  virtue
    suggested in

    P.201

    the maxim (viii) is a lofty ideal as it requires  one to keep
    oneself from assuming a patronizing  air and from self-praise
    and self-conceit.
        If one practices the eight articles cultivating the eight
    moral virtues, one can form one body with Heaven and Earth in
    virtue,  viz.,  wisdom   (rightness) ,  sincerity,  fairness,
    reasonableness   and   naturalness,  magnanimity   (vastness)
    immortality (eternity), imperturbability in the face of one's
    good or ill fortunes, and benevolence  (harboring no marks of
    false ideas after rendering  favors to others).  Once one has
    perfected  one's  moral  character  with these virtues, one's
    moral influence on other sentient beings will be like that of
    Heaven and Earth, and hence one will be warmly received by
    them.(27) This idea is not so exorbitant as it seems;  for it
    was  quite  prevalent  in  the  morals  of  Neo-Confucianism.
    Cheng-hao  (1032-1085), for instance, said, "the  man  of jen
    regards  Heaven and Earth and all things as one body.  To him
    there is nothing that is not himself. Since he has recognized
    all things  as himself, can there  be any limit  to jen?"(28)
    Chu Hsi reiterates Cheng-hao's  point and Wang Yang-ming does
    the same.(29) Sot'aesan  has not only  revived  the Confucian
    moral  ideals  in Won Buddhism  but  also  provided  a way of
    realizing  them through the eight articles of requital of the
    beneficence of Heaven and Earth.
        If one does  not requite  the beneficence  of Heaven  and
    Earth,  however,  one  will  suffer   the  consequence;   for
    ingratitude    to   Heaven   and   Earth   incurs    heavenly
    punishment.(30) Although  Heaven  and  Earth  are  empty  and
    silent to one's deeds, unexpected hardships and sufferings in
    life  and sufferings  caused  by one's  deeds  are due to the
    ingratitude  to Heaven  and Earth."(31) For one  will  be (i)
    ignorant of facts and principles,(ii) in lack of sincerity in
    whatever  one does, (iii) either excessive  or deficient  and
    (iv) irrational in many cases of handling human affairs.  One
    will be (v) partial, (vi) ignorant  of the transformation  of
    the  phenomenal  world, of  the  principle  of  birth, aging,
    illness  and death, (vii) ignorant  of good and ill fortunes,
    and ups and downs of the world.  When one renders  favors  to
    others, one will be (vii) attached to the idea of having done
    so, covertly praising oneself and overtly boasting.

    P.202

    The Beneficence of parents

        Sot'aesan  lists three articles of one's indebtedness  to
    one's parents. (i) To one's parents one owes one's body which
    is the basis of all facts and principles  of life;  (ii) with
    unlimited  love and sacrifice, one's parents have brought  up
    and protected one until one grows to be self-reliant; and
    (iii)  one's   parents   have   taught   one's   duties   and
    responsibilities to human society.(32)
        The filial duty was the weapon  used by the Neo-Confucian
    moralists to criticize the Buddhist monks who had left their
    parents  for  the  monastery   life.(33)  According   to  the
    Neo-Confucianists, Buddhist  monks were egoists afraid of the
    difficulties  arising in the mundane world.  In the Confucian
    tradition   one's  filial  duty  to  one's  parents   is  the
    fundamental   principle   of  morality.   It  is  noteworthy,
    therefore, to see  how  the moral  duty  of filial  piety  is
    renovated in the moral system of Won Buddhism.
        According to Confucius filial duty is the foundation of
    virtues and root of civilization.(34) Tseng  Tzu, one  of his
    disciples, asked what surpasses filial piety as the virtue of
    a sage.  To this  Confucius  replied, "[m]an  excels  all the
    beings in Heaven and Earth.Of  all man's acts none is greater
    than filial piety.  In the practice  of filial piety, nothing
    is greater than to reverence one's father."(35) He says also,
    "[h]e   who  loves   his  parents   does   not  dare  to  act
    contemptuously toward others."(36)  In   Won   Buddhism   the
    concept of filial piety undergoes a drastic change.
      The central principle  for the requital  of the beneficence
    of parents  lies in modeling  oneself  after the way of being
    indebted to one's parents when helpless and in protecting the
    helpless.(37) Now, Sot'aesan  thinks that the following  four
    maxims  should  be  followed  as  a  way  of  requiting   the
    beneficence   of  parents.   (i)  Follow  the  way  of  moral
    discipline and the ways man qua man ought to follow.(38) (ii)
    Support your parents faithfully  as much as you can when they
    lack  the  ability  to help  themselves, and help  them  have
    spiritual  comfort.  (iii) In accordance  with your  ability,
    protect the helpless parents of others as your own as much as
    you can, during and after the lifetime of your parents.  (iv)
    After your parents

    P.203

    are  deceased,  enshrine   their  pictures  and  biographical
    records and remember them.(39) Thus the main principle of the
    requital of the beneficence of parents, formulated as a moral
    imperative, is  the  article  (iii).  It prohibits  one  from
    harming,  exploiting   or   being   inhumane   to  the   weak
    (individual, family, or nation). One's filial duty is given a
    new meaning by article (i), as it requires  one to be a moral
    being who has attained the three great powers of emancipation
    (Taoist), enlightenment  (Buddhist) and the mean  (Confucian)
    and is capable of requiting  the four beneficences.  Thus, in
    Sot'aesan's  moral  system, the moral  duty  of filial  piety
    requires one to improve one's moral character to the level of
    a sage  since  one must be a sage if one follows  the article
    (i) above.
        Sot'aesan's view on the consequence of ingratitude to the
    beneficence   of  parents   reflects   Confucius's   view  on
    unfiliality.  "So it is that, from  the Son of Heaven  to the
    commoners, if filial piety is not pursued  from the beginning
    to  the  end, disasters  are  sure  to  follow.(40) Sot'aesan
    interprets  the  consequence  of unfiliality  in the Buddhist
    concept of karma.  One's offspring follows one's examples and
    this is an inevitable  course.  Thus, if one is filial, one's
    own offspring  will be.  In accordance  with the law of karma
    one will be helped and protected whenever necessary since one
    protects and helps those in need.(41)
        If one does not requite the beneficence of parents, one's
    own offspring  will follow  one's  example.  One will also be
    condemned  by those  who  believe  in the morality  of filial
    duty.  Moreover, throughout  many lives, one will be deserted
    by other people when in need of help, in accordance  with the
    law of karma, as a result  of ingratitude  to the beneficence
    of parents.

    The Beneficence of Brethren

        The term  "brethren"  here designates  all people, birds,
    beasts, and  plants  as well  as one's  own siblings.(42) But
    what beneficence  does one receive from other people? Did not
    Thomas Hobbes  say that people  in the state of nature are in
    the state of war one against another? Did not

    P.204

    David Hume say that the worst enemy of man is man?
        On Sot'aesan's view, humans are capable of either harming
    or blessing others;  however life is impossible  without help
    from others. People of different occupations help one another
    by exchanging  products on thc principle  of "mutual benefit"
    and thus are indebted to one another.  Sot'aesan does not say
    that there are no crocks and other morally  despicable  ones.
    By the principle  that we are indebted to the beneficence  of
    Brethren, Sot'aesan  means that people  in general, sometimes
    including  crooks, are helped by one another and that without
    depending on others life is impossible.
        Pointing  out the way we are indebted  to the beneficence
    of Brethren, Sot'aesan  spells  out the way of requiting  it.
    The general principle to requite the beneficence  of Brethren
    is:

        Act  in  accordance  with  the  principle  of mutual
        benefit based on fairness  by which you are indebted
        to Brethren, and conduct  the exchange  among people
        of various occupations on the principle of mutual
        benefit based on fairness.(43)

        With  this  general  principle  of  justice(44) Sot'aesan
    spells   out  five  maxims  which  require   men  of  various
    occupations  to exchange  what they can offer with others  on
    the principle of mutual benefit based on fairness.  (45) Thus
    people   of  all  walks  of  life  (scholars,  civil  service
    employees, farmers, artisans  and tradesmen) ought  to follow
    the principle  of mutual benefit when they exchange what they
    have with others.
         As  a  way  of  justifying  the  principle  of  fairness
    Sot'aesan   considers  the  consequences   of  gratitude  and
    ingratitude  to  the  beneficence  of Brethren.  If grateful,
    people  will  be blessed  in  a paradise.  If we requite  the
    beneficence  of Brethren, fellow humans will be influenced by
    the virtue of mutual  benefit  and will bear good will to one
    another.  In  such  a  society  one  will  be  protected  and
    respected;  individuals  will  be  endeared  one  to another;
    families  will promote  mutual friendships  and there will be
    mutual  understanding   among  societies;   and  peace  among
    nations.(46)

    P.205

    This  end in view is the guiding  force  of Won Buddhism, the
    founding  motive of which was to deliver all sentient  beings
    suffering  in  the  bitter  seas  of  misery  to  an  earthly
    paradise.
     Ingratitude  to the beneficence  of Brethren  will drive all
    brethren  to hate and abhor one another  and make them mutual
    enemies, causing quarrels  among individuals, ill-will  among
    families, antagonism  among societies, and war among nations.
    (47) Hence, people should relize the beneficence  of Brethren
    and honor the rule of mutual  benefit  based on the principle
    of fairness.

    The Beneficence of Law

        It sounds  unnatural  to say that we are indebted  to the
    beneficence  of  Law.  However, this  idea  is not  new  with
    Sot'aesan  and it will  be much  less unnatural  if we recall
    what Socrates said in the Crito:

        What charge  do you bring against  us (the laws) and
        the state, that you are trying to destroy us? Did we
        not give you life in the first place?....Are you not
        grateful  to those of laws which are instituted  for
        this  end, for  requiring  your  father  to  give  a
        cultural and physical education?(48)

        By  "Law"  Sot'aesan   means  (i)  religious   and  moral
    teachings  which  sages show for us to follow;  (ii) the laws
    with which scholars, farmers, artisans  and tradesmen  direct
    and  encourage  us  to preserve  our  life  and  advance  our
    knowledge;  and (iii) the judicial  institutions  which  help
    punish  injustice  and serve  justice  and help  discriminate
    right  from wrong  and advantage  from disadvantage.(49) Thus
    the term "law" covers religious  and moral principles, social
    institutions  and legislation, and civil and penal laws.  The
    connotation which Sot'aesan assigns to the term is "the
    principle  of  fairness  for  human  justice."  This  is  the
    principle  by  which,  when  applied,  individuals, families,
    societies, nations, and the whole world can be benefited.(50)

    P.206

        Upon showing  how we are indebted  to the beneficence  of
    Law, Sot'aesan formulates  the general rule for requiting  it
    and then derives five moral duties. The basic moral principle
    that we ought to requite the beneficence of Law is:

        If we are  indebted  to the  prohibition  of certain
        things  by the laws, we ought  not to do them and if
        we are  indebted  to the  things  encouraged  by the
        laws, then we ought to do them.(51)

        Chastisement  of injustice  is like cutting  the top of a
    noxious plant leaving its roots intact.  On Sot'aesan's view,
    a moral agent, in order to be able to realize  justice, needs
    a  much  wider  moral  education  than  being  instructed  of
    rightness  and wrongness  of an action.  The moral  education
    must  include, as  a preparation  for  the  requital  of  the
    beneficence  of Law, learning  and practicing  (i) the way of
    individual  moral  cultivation, (ii) the  way  of  regulating
    one's family, (iii) the way of harmonizing  the society, (iv)
    the way of governing  the  state, and (v) the  way of putting
    the world at peace as an individual person and as a member of
    a family, society, nation and the world respectively.(52)
        Sot'aesan  does  not  specify  in the five  articles  the
    method of cultivating  individual  morality, of regulating  a
    family, of  social  harmony, of statecraft, or  of  obtaining
    world peace. All those methods, however, must be based on the
    principle  of justice  and  must  provide  a way of realizing
    justice  in individuals, families, societies, states  and the
    world.  Sot'aesan's idea here reflects the moral, educational
    and political programs of the Confucian  tradition summarized
    in the Great Learning.(53) The main aim of the Great Learning
    is  to  show  how  to  illustrate   the  illustrious   virtue
    throughout  the world, which starts with the individual moral
    cultivation.  Sot'aesan  does  not  mention  the  illustrious
    virtue; his ideal is that everyone realize human justice.  It
    is not the time for the world  to rely for its well-being  on
    the manifestation  of the ruler's  illustrious  virtue  it is
    time for the mass of people to realize  justice  for the sake
    of their own well-being.  Otherwise the bitter seas of misery
    will get deeper.

    P.207

        Sot'aesan  gives a simple answer  to the question  why we
    should requite  the beneficence  of Law in terms of blessings
    and  punishment.  If  we  are  grateful  to  it, we  will  be
    protected by it;  and if not, we will be punished, bound, and
    restrained.  Further the requital  of the beneficence  of Law
    improves our dignity as a person since we cultivate our moral
    character with the teachings of sages.  The world composed of
    people who do not requite the beneficence of Law will be
    disordered and will drive itself into shambles.(54)

    Closing Remarks

        When  Sot'aesan  established  a new  religious  order, he
    synthesized   the   two  moral   systems   of  Buddhism   and
    Confucianism  by reforming and renovating some of the central
    tenets  of both  systems  so that  the  religious  and  moral
    teachings  of both systems could be relevant  to the new era.
    In Sot'aesan's  view the ills of the world can be cured  only
    if  people   feel   indebted   and  grateful   to  the   four
    beneficences. He explains how we are indebted to them and why
    we should requite them.  He derives moral duties from the way
    we are indebted to them and uses the religious  force to help
    us put our  hearts  into  the  moral  duties, saying  that  a
    reverent offering to Buddha is none other than requiting  the
    four beneficences. Since the moral duties to requite the four
    beneficences are mostly Confucianistic and thus this-worldly,
    and  since  the four  beneficences  are identified  with  the
    cosmic  body  of  Buddha, Sot'aesan  is  suggesting  that  we
    practice  the  two  teachings  in our  daily  life.  And  the
    requital  of  the  four  beneficences  of Heaven  and  Earth,
    Parents, Brethren and Law is summarized  for practice as: (1)
    Harbor no false idea after rendering  favors, (2) Protect the
    helpless, (3) Handle  all  affairs  on the  basis  of  mutual
    benefit;   and   (4)  Do  justice   and   forsake   injustice
    respectively.

    P.208

                         NOTES

    1.    This is an expanded  recast of the section  V Synthesis
          of Moral Duties  of article, in the Journal  of Chinese
          Philosophy.  Thus some of the material  in that article
          can be found repeated in this paper.
    2.    The Right  and the Good(Oxford: Clarendon  Press,1930),
          pp 16-24, 28-41.
    3.    The expression used by R. Niebuhr quoted in The Shorter
          Oxford    English    Dictionary    under    the   entry
          "beneficence."  It is self-evident that we human beings
          cannot exist without the beneficence of the sun.
    4.    Wonbulgyo Kyojon (Scriptures of Won Buddhism) (Iri:
          Wonbulgyo Kyomubu, 1962) p.26. This work is referred to
          as Kyojon hereafter.The four beneficences in Won
          Buddhism are: Chonji un (the beneficence  of Heaven and
          Earth), Pumo un (the  beneficence  of parents), Tongp'o
          un (the beneficence  of brethren), and Pomnyur  un (the
          beneficence of law).
    5.    The  four  beneficences  of  parents, sentient  beings,
          sovereign, and  three  treasures  in Hsin-ti-kuan-ching
          Taisho shinshu daizokyo [T hereafter] (Tokyo:
          Taisho shinshu daizokyo  kanko kai,1914-1922  )no.  159
          Chuan  2;  The  four  beneficences  of  mother, father,
          Tathagata the great teacher, and preacher in Cheng-fa
          nien-ch'u-ching 61 T no.721  in  Vol. 17) ;  The  four
          beneficences of parents, teachers, sovereign, and
          patrons  in  Shih-Shih  yao-lan  Chuan  2 on grace  and
          filial piety (T no.2127, vol.54).
    6.    Kyojon p.26.
    7.    Kyojon p.32.
    8.    Kyojon p.35.
    9.    Kyojon pp.38-39.
    10.   Kyojon  p.9.
    11.   Kyojon  p.27.
    12.   Kyojon pp.27-28.  It is assumed that without the sun no
          living being can exist on the earth.
    13.   James Legge, tr.  The Yi King, The Sacred  Books of the
          East  Vol.16  (Oxford: Clarendon  Press, 1989, 1967  ),
          p.417
    14.   Chu-Hsi  and  Lu Tsu-ch'ien, Reflections  on Things  at
          Hand, tr.Wing-tsit  Chan (New York: Columbia University
          Press, 1967), p.6. "Chu Hsi, Reflections" hereafter.
    15.   Kyojon p.283.

    P.209

    16.    By "facts" are meant rightness and wrongness, good and
           evil  in  human  affairs;   and  by  "principle"  such
           metaphysical   first  principle  of  the  universe  as
           noumena and phenomena, being and non-being. The latter
           includes  rising,  abiding,  decay  and  void  of  the
           universe, the  rotation  of four  seasons, and  birth,
           aging, illness and death of all things.
    17.    James  Legge, tr.  Confucius: Confucian  Analects, The
           Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean (Oxford:
           Clarendon Press, 1893), p.413.
    18.    James  Legge, tr., The Works  of Mencius, The  Chinese
           Classics  vol 2.(0xford: Clarendon  Press, 1895),  p.
           303.
    19.    Kyojon pp.28-29.
    20.    Kyojon p.29.
    21.    Chu Hsi  and  Lu Tsu-ch'ien, Reflections, p.62.
    22.    Kyojon p.29.
    23.    Kyojon p.23.
    24.    D.T.  Suzuki,Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra (London:
           Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1930 )P.95
    25.    Chin-kang po-jo po-lo-mi ching T 235.8.749c.
    26.    Wing-tsit  Chan  tr.  & ed., A Sourcebook  in  Chinese
           Philosophy  (Princeton:  Princeton  University  Press,
           1963), P.643.  This  work  is  referred  to  as  Chan,
           Sourcebook hereafter.
    27.    Kyojon p.30.
    28.    Chan, Sourcebook, p.530.
    29.    Chu  Hsi  and Lu Tsu-ch'ien,Reflections, p.  63;  Wang
           Yang-ming,  Instructions   for  Practical  Living  tr.
           Wing-tsit  Chan,(New York: Columbia University  Press,
           1963). p. 272.
    30.    Kyojon p.30.
    31.    Kyojon p.31
    32.    Kyojon p.32
    33.    Chan, Sourcebook, p.646.
    34.    Mary Lelia  Makra  tr., The Hsiao Ching  (New York: St
           John's  University  Press,  1961), p.3.  "Makra, Hsiao
           Ching" hereafter.
    35.    Ibid p.19.
    36.    Ibid p.5.
    37.    Kyojon p.32.
    38.    The  threefold   moral  disicipline   includes  Mental
           Cultivation, Enquiry into

    P.210

          Facts and Principles and Right Conduct; the way man qua
          man  ought  to follow  is  the  requital  of  the  four
          beneficences.

    39.   Kyojon pp.32-33.
    40.   Makra.  The Hsiao Ching, p.3.
    41.   Kyojon pp.33-34.
    42.   Kyojon pp.34-35.
    43.   Kyojon pp.34-35.
    44.   Sot'aesan seems to have anticipated John Rawls's theory
          of justice as fairness.
    45.   Kyojon pp.36-37.
    46.   Kyojon  p.37.
    47.   Kyojon p.38.
    48.   F. Hamilton  and  H. Ciarns, eds.,  The Collected
          Dialogues  of Plato  (New  York: Bollingen  Foundation,
          1961), pp.35-36.
    49.   Kyojon pp.39-40.
    50.   Kyojon p.39.
    51.   Kyojon P.40.
    52.   Kyojon p.40.
    53.   Legge, Confucius p.357-358.
    54.   Kyojon p.41.

                    Chinese Glossary

    essay in     (C.:Chinese, K.:Korean, J.:Japanese)
      Ch'eng Hao (C) 程颢
      Ch'eng I (C) 程颐
      Cheng-fa nien-ch'u-ching (C) 正法念处经
      Ch'onji-un (K) 天地恩
      Chou Tun-i(C) 周敦颐
      Chu Hsi (C) 朱熹
      Hsiao-ching (C) 孝经
      jen (C) 仁
      Lu Tsu-ch'ien (C) 吕祖谦

      P.211

      Pomnyur-un (K) 法律恩
      Pumo-un (K) 父母恩
      Hsin-ti-kuan-ching (C) 心地观经
      Shih-shih  yao-lan (C) 释氏要览
      Sot'aesan (K) 少太山
      Taisho shinshu daizokyo (J) 大正新修大藏经
      Tseng Tsu (C) 曾子
      Tongp'o-un (K) 同胞恩
      Wonbulgyo kyojon (K) 圆佛教教典
      Yi King (C) 易经


     

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