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Samurai Books: Samurai on bravery and action

The family a man is born into is not accidental. By inheriting the traditional occupation or cause of his ancestors, a samurai fulfills his karma. By following The Way he settles his fate.

Knowledge and action should not be separated. 
Wang Yangming

Knowing and not acting is the equivalent of not knowing!
If a man understands something, he can only act accordingly. This is the philosophy of action. Just as the body is dead without the spirit, so are deeds lacking faith. This is masculine life psychology. If you are not satisfied with the present, you must boldly stride forward. It’s the only escape from the past which is intent on pulling you back.

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“Precisely. You would not run. You would not pray. You would fight. Few are inherently brave, and from the day you were born, it has been your destiny to be a warrior. You are fearless and fight to the bitter end. You cannot run away, you act like a proper warrior. All your years of training and discipline led you here. This is your essence. It is in every fiber of your being, it is your religion. This is what you have been preparing for your entire life. It is your destiny. Do not renounce the world, for mere mortals cannot grasp the divine plan of Providence. You do not start wars. The world is complicated and full of contradictions, and life requires you to balance incompatible things. You are a Warrior, so this is what God wants. This is your mission, your inescapable duty. Following another’s way is dangerous. Let others sit under a tree and watch it grow. They need it, not you. True religion sprouts from the depths of the heart, and being a Warrior is your religion. Walk that path to the end.”
(from Being a Warrior is your Religion)

The consciousness of the Warrior is always awake and on a spiritual quest. Being a fearless person, he braves to venture wherever his well-considered Way calls. In fact, he cannot resist it.

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The inner law transcends conventions. Even if he needs to hide behind a mask, a samurai’s moral foundation does not allow him to humiliate himself by lying, which is considered a weakness. Keeping silent is acceptable, but not lying. Likewise, it is advisable to remove yourself from a situation rather than act if acting leads to error.

A samurai knows when to attack and when to retreat. Either way, he is calm, conscious, and courageous.

In battle, it is extremely important to keep one’s composure and a focused spirit.

Intuitive perception allows a warrior to react to surrounding threats without ego, without thoughts of victory and defeat, life and death. His consciousness is free of intentions and fully absorbed in the moment.
Calm water mirrors everything. But when in the wind even the smallest ripples make the reflection unrecognizable. Likewise, when a man succumbs to anger, worry, or fear, he is unable to foresee and react to his opponent and he is rendered defenseless in the face of danger. Remember, ‘you’ do not exist. You are a mirror instantly reflecting the world; nothing is concrete. A warrior’s reaction is like a mirror’s reflection, immediate and perfect.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo portrait

Lord Naoshige said, “The Way of the Samurai is in desperateness.
Ten men or more cannot kill such a man. Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate”. 
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

The Way to find courage is to seek it on the field of conflict.
And the sure way to victory is willingness to risk one's own life.
Masutatsu Oyama

A person who does not want to be struck by
the enemy's arrows will have no divine protection.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Go to the battlefield firmly confident of victory and
you will come home with no wounds whatsoever.
Samurai general Uesugi Kenshin

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No matter where you hide, death will find you when your time has come. While cowardice attracts misfortune, courage despises danger, thus shieling the brave. The lives of legendary warriors prove this, for they rarely died in battle. Always remember that your spirit is your most powerful and reliable protection. Dive into battle convinced of victory, and you will come out unscathed. This unyielding readiness to die will keep you alive.

The article contains quotes from the book
Samurai. Spirit of the Warrior
by A. R. Basov

It is avaliable as an e-book (for Windows, Android, iOS, PCs, phones and tablets).

 





I will not get lost...
The North Star is shining in the darkness...
The road to Valhalla, straight like a sword, is always in front of me!

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