If so, the conditioned is one thing and the unconditioned is another. But such a view cannot go with the view that samsara and nirvana are inseparable.retrofuturist wrote:The answer is yes.Sherab wrote:If buddhahood is unconditioned, can the removal of conditioned things/phenomena mean that the leftover is the unconditioned?
Here's a quote from the Samdhinirmocana sutra:
The Bodhisattva Gambhlrarthasamdhinirmocana answered the Bodhisattva Vidhivatpariprcchaka and said: "Good son, in sum, all things are of two kinds, conditioned and unconditioned. Herein conditioned things are neither conditioned nor unconditioned, and unconditioned things are neither unconditioned nor conditioned."
The Bodhisattva Vidhivatpariprcchaka again questioned the Bodhisattva Gambhlrarthasamdhinirmocana and said: "Son of the Victor, what does it mean to say that conditioned things are neither conditioned nor unconditioned or that unconditioned things are neither unconditioned nor conditioned?" Gambhlrarthasamdhinirmocana addressed the Bodhisattva Vidhivatpariprcchaka and said: "Good son, the term 'conditioned' is a provisional word invented by the First Teacher. Now, if it is a provisional word invented by the First Teacher, then it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination. And if it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination, then, in the final analysis, such an imagined description does not validate a real thing. Therefore, the conditioned does not exist. Good son, the term 'unconditioned' is also invented from language [and it also validates nothing real].
"Furthermore, besides the conditioned and the unconditioned, any other expression that exists in language is the same. But, it might be objected, is it not true that there are no expressions without some [corresponding] reality? What, then, is the reality here? I would reply that it is that reality apart from language and realized in the perfect awakening of the saints through their holy wisdom and insight apart from all names and words. It is because they desire to lead others to realize perfect awakening that they provisionally establish [such expressions] as 'the conditioned' as verbal descriptions.
The other usual way to look at Buddhanature is to say that it is a potential. This then implies that Buddhahood is something to be developed. But this contradicts the Buddha's teaching where in attaining Buddhahood, nothing is attained.