The Philosophy of the Myōken: The Ethics of the Dead and Bodhisattvas

Fumihiko Sueki, Anton Luis Sevilla

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Today, the modern value systems that once held sway have fallen apart, and people throughout the world are wandering in an aimless state. Amidst this, we are pressed to ask, What kind of a new ethics might we construct? We need to consider the possibility of an ethics that focuses on the religious view of humankind (previously ignored by modernity), that goes beyond this life, and includes the next life. In this article, I examine the way of being of bodhisattvas in Mahāyāna Buddhism via the Lotus Sutra. According to the Lotus Sutra, human existence is one that necessarily relates with the other, and this relationship is not confined to this life, but continues from past lives to future lives. Here, I refer to this as bodhisattva as existence. On this basis, it is possible to think of an ethics of bodhisattva as praxis that considers the benefit of others even after death. This view of bodhisattvas in the Lotus Sutra lives on in Japanese Buddhism and can be said to point to a new possibility for ethics today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Asian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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