Nature Favours Nothing In Particular


There is another point of view of life, which gave the present writer

no small contentment, and which he believes would cure one of

pessimistic complaint. Buddha, or Universal Life conceived by Zen,

is not like a capricious despot, who acts not seldom against his own

laws. His manifestation as shown in the Enlightened Consciousness is

lawful, impartial, and rational. Buddhists believe that even Shakya

Muni himself w
s not free from the law of retribution, which

includes, in our opinion, the law of balance and that of causation.

Now let us briefly examine how the law of balance holds its sway over

life and the world. When the Cakravartin, according to an Indian

legend, the universal monarch, would come to govern the earth, a

wheel would also appear as one of his treasures, and go on rolling

all over the world, making everything level and smooth. Buddha is

the spiritual Cakravartin, whose wheel is the wheel of the law of

balance, with which he governs all things equally and impartially.

First let us observe the simplest cases where the law of balance

holds good. Four men can finish in three days the same amount of

work as is done by three men in four days. The increase in the

number of men causes the decrease in that of days, the decrease in

the number of men causes the increase in that of days, the result

being always the same. Similarly the increase in the sharpness of a

knife is always accompanied by a decrease in its durability, and the

increase of durability by a decrease of sharpness. The more

beautiful flowers grow, the uglier their fruits become; the prettier

the fruits grow, the simpler become their flowers. 'A strong soldier

is ready to die; a strong tree is easy to be broken; hard leather is

easy to be torn. But the soft tongue survives the hard teeth.'

Horned creatures are destitute of tusks, the sharp-tusked creatures

lack horns. Winged animals are not endowed with paws, and handed

animals are provided with no wings. Birds of beautiful plumage have

no sweet voice, and sweet-voiced songsters no feathers of bright

colours. The finer in quality, the smaller in quantity, and bulkier

in size, the coarser in nature.

Nature favours nothing in particular. So everything has its

advantage and disadvantage as well. What one gains on the one hand

one loses on the other. The ox is competent in drawing a heavy cart,

but he is absolutely incompetent in catching mice. A shovel is fit

for digging, but not for ear-picking. Aeroplanes are good for

aviation, but not for navigation. Silkworms feed on mulberry leaves

and make silk from it, but they can do nothing with other leaves.

Thus everything has its own use or a mission appointed by Nature; and

if we take advantage of it, nothing is useless, but if not, all are

useless. 'The neck of the crane may seem too long to some idle

on-lookers, but there is no surplus in it. The limbs of the tortoise

may appear too short, but there is no shortcoming in them.' The

centipede, having a hundred limbs, can find no useless feet; the

serpent, having no foot, feels no want.