Essay 4 - Tosui - Anil Kanungo ANS 301R Dr. Stalker...

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Anil Kanungo ANS 301R Dr. Stalker 11/19/2008 The Charitable Zen Master Tosui During the spread of Zen Buddhism in Japan, government officials found it beneficial to use the influence of the monks to “police” their people (Haskel 14). Likewise, Buddhist monks, having the support of the citizens and the need of the government, began to expect certain privileges and charities to be granted such as land and food without having to work for them. This type of behavior was detrimental to the people and economy of Japan. Rinzai Master Shido Mu’nan criticized these priests as “the worst sort of evil there is, thieves who get by without having to work” (Haskel 17). In a time when such corruption and decay plagued Zen Buddhism, the Master Tosui stood out among his peers as an abbot of true virtue. Throughout the tale of Master Tosui’s travels, there are various examples of charitable acts both for and from Master Tosui. His conduct towards these charities not only contradict the norm for other Buddhist monks at the time, but they also offer a criticism against the monks and institutions of which they represent. In “The Nun and the Master Meet Again,” Master Tosui directly refuses the charities offered to him by the nun, Chiho. When Chiho tries to offer him bedding things and money for a
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Essay 4 - Tosui - Anil Kanungo ANS 301R Dr. Stalker...

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