The present book is an extensive and systematic study of various philosophical systems. These are
Zen, Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism; the book elaborates the following points, (1) Zen is
mysticism. It has all the characterstics of mysticism. Zen is not, God mysticism but it is mysticism of
soul. A Mystic turns inwards in search of reality and he analyzes his soul or self which he finds to be
a non-self which is true self. So Zen can be appropriately be described as ‘analytica1 soul
mysticism’. (2) Zen and Buddhism appear to constitute essential elements of Existential philosophy
and further how Zen awareness is existential in nature, though the two schools of thought belong to
different times and countries. (3) Satori of enlightenment is very close to nirbija samadhi of
asamprajanata samadhi of Patanjali Yoga. As Satori comes in flashes and with efforts and
meditation, it can be prolonged in duration and brought about at will. (4) Zen and modern man; A
modem man is technocrat, a meritocrat, lost in the humdrum and hurly burly of the modem, life, but in
sea rich of inner peace, for himself, and he is not in harmony either with himself or the world.
It gives me pleasure to write these few lines as a foreword to Dr Mrs. S.V. Limaye’s ‘Zen
(Buddhism) and Mysticism". This was written as a thesis for her Ph. D and is now published, with
necessary editing, in the form of a book.
‘Zen Buddhism’ is a relatively new field on which not much work is done in India. Perhaps Mrs
Limaye’s work seems to be the first of its kind in India. Mrs Limaye has traced the roots of Zen to
the Buddha and followed it up by giving a detailed account of the Schools that have contributed to
Zen thought and Practice. She has given an outline of Mahayana Schools of Asvaghosa,
Laknkavatara, Madhyamaka School of Nagarjuna and Yogacara of Asanga and Vasubandhu. She
has also given a broad outline of Native Religions of China that have influenced Zen viz. Taoism and
Confucianism. She has also given a fairly exhaustive account of Patanjal Yoga and has drawn
parallels between these Schools and Zen. She has made a very good attempt to show that Zen is
essentially Buddhism of Laknkavatara with certain elements of Taoism and Yoga, by detailing Zen
Philosophy, Zen discipline and Practice.
The chapter on ‘Satori’ is a luminous chapter. Her treatment of ‘Ox Herding in Zen’ is exhaustive
and the explanation of the Ten Sutras is illuminating and shows that she has a good grip over her
Her treatment of Zen, Yoga, Mysticism and the parallels she has drawn and the differences she has
shown between existentialism and Zen shows her insight in the subject which is thorough.
She has successfully pointed out how Dr Suzuki’s claim that Zen is not mysticism, is not borne out by
facts. Incidentally, she has taken care to distinguish between types of mysticism and has correctly
pointed out how Zen can be called ‘Soul Mysticism’ and has also made it clear that Dr Suzuki seems
to be, all the time, comparing Zen with ‘Christain God Mysticism which of course it is not.
This book is interesting both to the Scholars and lay readers. It gives me great pleasure
to commend this book to the readers.
Language & Literature (440)
Sacred Sites (102)
Tantric Buddhism (87)
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