What is Buddha nature?

nichiren-123
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:07 pm

What is Buddha nature?

Post by nichiren-123 »

As I understand it, Buddha nature is the most important feature of nichiren Buddhism.
I've heard various definitions of it but I can't say I understand what it is.
I've heard it is simply the potential to achieve buddhahood (which all beings, sentient and insentient, possess).
I've heard it is what is left when delusion is removed, that it is at work even when deluded in a covert sort of way.
I've heard that is a Buddha is one who has maximised their potential for wisdom and compassion, so Buddha nature is existent in all beings who possess even a tiny bit of both wisdom and compassion.

Are these definitions right? What is everyone else's understanding of Buddha nature?
markatex
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by markatex »

It’s a translation of the term “tathagatagarbha” (a more literal translation might be Buddha Matrix or Buddha Womb) and refers to one’s ability to become a Buddha. Different schools historically had different ideas about who possessed it and who didn’t.

In Nichiren Buddhism, all beings are said to have Buddha Nature, and I think most of modern East Asian Mahayana generally holds this view.

It’s sometimes spoken of in the same breath as the teachings of Original Enlightenment, particularly in Soto Zen (of which I’m a former practitioner/believer), which has a large following in the US. But they are really two separate things.
illarraza
Posts: 836
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:30 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by illarraza »

nichiren-123 wrote: Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:06 pm As I understand it, Buddha nature is the most important feature of nichiren Buddhism.
I've heard various definitions of it but I can't say I understand what it is.
I've heard it is simply the potential to achieve buddhahood (which all beings, sentient and insentient, possess).
I've heard it is what is left when delusion is removed, that it is at work even when deluded in a covert sort of way.
I've heard that is a Buddha is one who has maximised their potential for wisdom and compassion, so Buddha nature is existent in all beings who possess even a tiny bit of both wisdom and compassion.

Are these definitions right? What is everyone else's understanding of Buddha nature?
Question: Why did Nichiren say, "Shakyamuni Buddha" who resides in our mind and not "Amida, Buddha", "Dainichi Buddha", "Yakuchi Buddha", "I Nichiren", "Joe the Plumber" "Daisaku Ikeda", nor "Buddha-nature"?
Answer: According to Nichiren, some of us received the seed of Buddhahood (Namu Myoho renge kyo) from Shakyamuni Buddha in the remote past and others for the first time in this very life. Either way, we are emanations of Shakyamuni Buddha and this Buddha alone.

Buddha-nature is the field of Buddhahood. We are all fertile fields but without the seed of Buddhahood, the field of our Buddha-nature lay barren. Without the continuous water of the Law (practice and faith in the Gohonzon) the seed lays dormant. Shakyamuni Buddha states,

"My Law is subtle and inscrutible." - Lotus Sutra Chapter 2

Nichiren Daishonin states:

"In fact Sakyamuni began to preach, planting the seed of Buddhahood in the eternal past... Sakyamuni Buddha continued to guide His disciples until they were all sure to attain Buddhahood during the preaching of the Lotus Sutra in His present life, completing the series of His preaching which began in the eternal past." -- Kanjin Honzon-Sho (NOPPA) page 56:

and

"Demonstrating ten great mystic powers the Buddha (Shakyamuni) transferred Namu Myoho renge Kyo to the four great bodhisattvas" (Ibid Kanjin Honzon Sho)

There are dozens more such passages. SGI confuses Buddha-nature [which even men of the Two Vehicles and those of incorrigeable disbelief possess] with Buddhahood. It is thanks to Shakyamuni Buddha that we can obtain Buddhahood. Nichiren's is not a new age philosophy, "we are Buddha's as we are." It is thanks to Shakyamuni Buddha that we can, through a correct faith and practice, develop the seed of Buddhahood into the great tree of Buddhahood.

“The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field.” — The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood.

“Now in the two thousand years of the True and Counterfeit [Dharmas] when they kept and relied upon the Lesser Vehicle and Provisional Great Vehicle, and practices putting one’s merit [effort] into them, in general there was benefit. Even so, although everyone who practiced those various sutras thought that they obtained the benefit by the various sutras upon which they relied, when we inquire on the meaning by the Hokekyo, they had not one bit of benefit. What is the reason why? It being when the Buddha was in the world they formed a connecting condition with the Hokekyo but it depended upon whether or not there was maturation or not in their capacities. Those whose capacities of the Perfect Teaching are pure and matured in the time [when the Buddha] was in the world attained Buddhahood. Those whose faculties and capacities were faint and inferior [or not yet mature] backslid to the True Dharma [era] and took their realization from the Jomyo [Vimalakirti], Shiyaku, Kan[muryoju]kyo, Ninno hannya kyo and so on, just as when [the Buddha] was in the world. And so in the True Dharma [era] was jointly possessed together of the three, teaching, practice and realization.

“In the Counterfeit Dharma [era] there was teaching and practice but no realization. Now on entering the Latter Dharma there are the teachings, but there is no practice or realization. There is not one person of those who formed the connecting condition when the Buddha was in the world. The two capacities of the Provisional and Real [Teachings] are all gone. At this time for the two [types] of people who are of the rebellious [sins] and blasphemy of the present era for the first time one takes Namu Myoho renge kyo of the ‘Chapter of the Measure of Life’, the Essence of the Hommon as the laying down of the seed (or, as the Buddha Seed). “‘This good, excellent medicine now I leave here. You should take and swallow it. Do not worry that you will not be cured’” refers to this.

It is as when long ago in the Counterfeit Dharma [era] of the past Buddha Ionno when there was not one person who knew the Great Vehicle, the Bodhisattva Fukyo came forth and chanted the Twenty-four Characters which the Master of Teachings had preached. Those who heard those Twenty-four Characters not lacking one person also [later] encountered the Great Being (Mahasattva) Fukyo and obtained benefit. This then was because they made the previous hearing of the Dharma the laying down of the seed (geshu).

Now it is also like this. That was the Counterfeit Dharma; this is the polluted evil Latter Dharma. That was a practicer of the First (Elementary) Following Joy [level]; this is a worldling of the Name [Identity]. That was the laying down of seed of the Twenty-four Characters; this is only the Five Characters [of the Daimoku]. Although the times of obtaining the Way (tokudo: Buddhahood) are different, their ultimate meaning of Attaining Buddhahood would be completely the same.” (STN, v. 2, 1479-1480) Kyogyosho Gosho

“Though the people who say the Nembutsu, keep the precepts and so on are many, the persons who rely upon the Hokekyo are few. The stars are many but they do not illuminate the great sea. Grasses are many but they do not form the pillars of the Imperial Palace. Though Nembutsus are many, they are not the Way to become a Buddha. Though one keeps the precepts they do not form the seed for going to the Pure Land. It is only the Seven Characters ‘Namu Myoho renge kyo’ that are the seed for becoming a Buddha. Though, when I said this, people were jealous and did not adopt it, the late Lord Ueno by his believing it has become a Buddha.” (STN, v. 2, 1603) — Gosho unknown by me

There are two processes and two general types of people, according to Nichiren Daishonin: Those who received the seeds of Buddhahood in the past, those in the Higher Six Worlds; and those who never received the seeds, those in the Lower Four Worlds. For those who have already received the seeds, the Daimoku functions to water the seeds. For those who never received the seeds, hearing the Daimoku [Law] is the seed and practicing the Daimoku is the water. He states, “But many who neither received the seeds of Buddhahood nor formed ties with the Buddha in past existences…” and further along, “The sutra explains that all bodhisattvas, persons of the two vehicles, and human and heavenly beings received the seeds of Buddhahood numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago.” Therefore, when he asserts, “If people do not possess innate Buddha wisdom, how could the Buddha say he wanted to open it? One must understand that Buddha wisdom is inherent in all human beings.” [Even in those in the Four Lower Worlds who do not possess the Buddha seeds]. How do we reconcile these seemingly diverse teachings? Buddha-nature is the FIELD of good fortune synonymous with Buddha wisdom in all beings but without the Buddha seeds and water of Myoho renge kyo, the field will lie fallow and Buddhahood will never open [manifest].

The biggest slander of the Lotus Sutra, at this time and in this place, is the Soka Gakkai's claim that only through one's relationship with Daisaku Ikeda can one become enlightened, thus causing the believers to doubt the beneficense and efficacy of the Law of Myoho renge kyo. This is what I mean, referring to "destroying the seeds of Buddhahood." As a corrolary, because of the behavior and false teachings of the Gakkai, in the US for example, many hundreds of thousands of people have come to doubt the Lotus Sutra and they will never again chant the Daimoku in this very life.
narhwal90
Posts: 1048
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by narhwal90 »

illarraza wrote: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:46 am
The biggest slander of the Lotus Sutra, at this time and in this place, is the Soka Gakkai's claim that only through one's relationship with Daisaku Ikeda can one become enlightened, thus causing the believers to doubt the beneficense and efficacy of the Law of Myoho renge kyo. This is what I mean, referring to "destroying the seeds of Buddhahood." As a corrolary, because of the behavior and false teachings of the Gakkai, in the US for example, many hundreds of thousands of people have come to doubt the Lotus Sutra and they will never again chant the Daimoku in this very life.
SGI does not claim enlightenment thru Mr Ikeda. It is definitely the case that a substantial (and IMHO a too-often reinforced) cult of personality exists around him but such beliefs are not canonical SGI. Accepting all the downsides of his significance, it is also through Mr Ikeda's work and example that so many millions of people worldwide have heard of Nichiren Daishonin and have community centers of various kinds where they can practice together.
markatex
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by markatex »

According to Nichiren, some of us received the seed of Buddhahood (Namu Myoho renge kyo) from Shakyamuni Buddha in the remote past and others for the first time in this very life. Either way, we are emanations of Shakyamuni Buddha and this Buddha alone.

Buddha-nature is the field of Buddhahood. We are all fertile fields but without the seed of Buddhahood, the field of our Buddha-nature lay barren. Without the continuous water of the Law (practice and faith in the Gohonzon) the seed lays dormant.
This is an important distinction. Buddha Womb/Matrix makes more sense as a translation of tathagathagarbha in this light. Having Buddha Nature doesn't mean that we are "Buddhas just as we are," as some would say. We must receive the seed of Buddhahood (the Odaimoku) and cultivate it through practice. This is why Nichiren Buddhism is called the Buddhism of Sowing.
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 11020
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by Queequeg »

I've never been able to resolve the tension between the assertion that the people who appear in Mappo never received the seed and the assertion that the BoE, who have been the Buddha's disciples since kuon jitsujo and were empowered with the propagation of the seed in Mappo, appear in Mappo. Clearly, the latter are not receiving the seed for the first time in Mappo.

Also, it may help to understand Buddhanature through the teaching of the Threefold Buddhanature taught by Zhiyi - the Direct Cause, the Complete Cause, and the Conditional Cause. The Direct Cause refers to the real aspect which also explains the universality of Buddhanature. The Complete Cause pertains to the capacity to know the real aspect (wisdom) as well as the spontaneous and dynamic expression of wisdom in response to nescience - ie. the Buddha revealing wisdom to ordinary beings. The Conditional Cause pertains to the efforts and activity one undertakes to open wisdom. I think the correct understanding of these three causes is not to see them as distinct aspects, but rather three mutually inclusive aspects of Buddhanature.

The Seed planted for the first time seems to relate primarily to the Complete Cause. The capacity to receive the seed seems to relate primarily to the Direct Cause.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
User avatar
Caoimhghín
Posts: 2815
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by Caoimhghín »

The dharmakāya is like this axe.

This axe is my grandfather’s axe, I tell you, handed down to me through my father’s line. I got this axe when my father died when I was 21.

I used it all my life to make a living.

Over time, the head had to be replaced, of course. And at one point, the handle got a chip in it, and that had to get replaced too.

But this is my grandfather’s axe, I tell you.

My grandfather’s axe, permanent throughout all time, never the same for a moment.

Me. You. The ascetic Gautama.

This is called Buddha-nature.

IMO.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by LastLegend »

Buddha nature is not a part from your mind right now.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
ronnymarsh
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:52 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by ronnymarsh »

Question: Why do people who are born in Mappo not have the seed of Buddhahood?

Answer: Our Western knowledge of Buddhism is greatly influenced by information from the various schools spread throughout the hemisphere, especially the Theravada and Zen schools, and in order to understand the teaching of schools other than these two, we need to empty ourselves of these preconceived knowledge .

The Theravada and Zen schools differ in many ways, but one that is of interest to our understanding of the case of the seed of enlightenment and Mappo. Zen recognizes and teaches that in order to achieve enlightenment, a master-disciple relationship is necessary, whereas the Theravada school does not recognize this. The difference between these conceptions is due to the environment in which the two developed, Zen, like all Mahayana, originates from the Sarvastivada school in northern India, which has preserved the master-disciple transmission since Shakyamuni, Mahakashyapa, Ananda, etc. The Theravada school, on the other hand, is derived from a branch developed in southern India at the time of the fourth patriarch of the Shakyamuni lineage, separated from them, and followed an independent path. Thus, our understanding either conceives of the need for a lineage as Zen teaches, or rejects as Theravada teaches.

As part of Northern Buddhism, originating in the Sarvastivadins, the Lotus school (Tientai-Tendai-Hokke) recognizes the Shakyamuni lineage, but at the same time it denounces the forgery that Zen masters performed, starting with Bodaidaruma, creating non-existent names to forge an unbroken lineage between Shakyamuni and the other later Zen masters. The Lotus school recognizes all patriarchs of Buddhism beginning with Shakyamuni and ending with Shishibodai, the Buddha's 24th successor.

Shishibodai inherited the Buddhist Law and directed the sangha until his assassination in India, which made it impossible for the law to be passed on to Buddhist generations. Thus, the relationship between master-disciple of Shakyamuni's teaching has ceased.

In Buddhism, there must always be the three treasures, the Buddha, the Law and the Sangha, however, without a direct successor to Shakyamuni, the sangha became stagnant, and came to exist only in the external form divided into several sects.

This is the meaning of the division into three periods: the time when the Law came into force, that is, the period when there was the Shakyamuni lineage, and with that there was teaching, practice and realization; the period of the formality of the Law, that is, the period that arises after the lineage has been interrupted when Buddhism came to exist only in the external form, with teaching and practice, but without their capacity, led to its realization; and the time of the end of dharma, which is the final result of the disappearance of the lineage, in which there is teaching, but no one practices and there is no realization.

However, at the time of formality, there were still some who achieved achievement through practice. The reason for this is because these are the people who obtained the seed of enlightenment through lineage in a later life during the era of validity, and who were reborn to develop it during the era of formality, when there was still practice.

The beings who are born today in the era of the end of Dharma, are people who in their past lives were born in periods without the validity of the Law of the Buddha, who did not practice in past lives the means and did not earn the merit of being born during the time of a Buddha, people who slandered the Law or who practiced various forms of bad karma. That is why these people do not have the seeds of Enlightenment, and it is about them that Nichiren speaks in Kyogyosho.

People who are born today, in the era of the end of Dharma, do not have the ability to establish a relationship with Buddha Shakyamuni, and if it were not for the Buddha's compassion, they would be condemned to never escape samsara. Their karmas would cause them to always be born in environments without the law, in which people have no virtues, and thus, they would continue to fall in the wrong ways forever, and when they were born as humans they would again commit bad actions that would take them back to the lower ways. , in an endless cycle. This is what is called icchantika in the sutras.

In Chi-i's shinkan method, the great master Tendai, there are ten gates of contemplation. The first consists of complete contemplation for beings of higher capacity, who have already obtained the seed in their past lives and who would appear during the period of formality to develop it, the other nine portals are for those with inferior capacities who had not yet had the planted seed. The eighth portal is very conducive for us, who were born in this era, it is called "contemplating to know where you really are". We have to reflect on ourselves and know that we do not have the capacity to attain enlightenment alone at that time, and that none of the teachings exposed in Shakyamuni's life can help us. They are like chests full of treasures from which we do not have the ability to open them.
ronnymarsh
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:52 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by ronnymarsh »

Question: Do several sutras and teachings talk about the Buddha Nature and the Womb of the Tathagata, to which they refer precisely?

Answer: The Nirvana Sutra (mayahana) compares the Buddha Nature / Womb of the Tathagata to the Gee production process.

When milk is applied to certain causes and conditions, it becomes curd.
When curd is applied to certain causes and conditions, it becomes butter.
Butter, when certain causes and conditions are applied to it, becomes Gee.

This is what Buddha Nature means, when we, ordinary mortals, are related to certain causes and conditions, we advance on the gradual path until we reach Buddhahood.

These causes and conditions are of three types:

1. The exact cause of the enlightenment. That is, the very capacity and innate nature that a person has to become Buddha, just as milk has the capacity to become gee, a piece of wood on which to turn paper, paint to become painting, and so on.

2. The cause of enlightenment by the relationship. Just as it takes fire and a good cook to turn butter into gee, it takes a good master and good practice to start the accumulation process that ends with enlightenment of a person. The good teacher is the Buddha, and good practice is his teachings. Without a Buddha that we can relate to, there is no way to achieve enlightenment.

3. The cause of enlightenment through the process. As well as having fire and a good companion, if the latter does not start the process and develop all its stages, the milk will never become gee, in the same way it is necessary that the relationship with the good master and the practice be carried out through each one. to achieve enlightenment, otherwise there is no way to do it.

It is only because of our own innate ability, our relationship with the Buddha and the Law, and the application we make of the practice in our lives, that we can achieve enlightenment and attain Buddhahood. This is called "Buddha nature" or "Womb of the Tathagata".
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 4063
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Yes, all your definitions are correct
Be kindness
tatpurusa
Posts: 616
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:17 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by tatpurusa »

ronnymarsh wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:29 pm Question: Do several sutras and teachings talk about the Buddha Nature and the Womb of the Tathagata, to which they refer precisely?

Answer: The Nirvana Sutra (mayahana) compares the Buddha Nature / Womb of the Tathagata to the Gee production process.

When milk is applied to certain causes and conditions, it becomes curd.
When curd is applied to certain causes and conditions, it becomes butter.
Butter, when certain causes and conditions are applied to it, becomes Gee.

This is what Buddha Nature means, when we, ordinary mortals, are related to certain causes and conditions, we advance on the gradual path until we reach Buddhahood.

These causes and conditions are of three types:

1. The exact cause of the enlightenment. That is, the very capacity and innate nature that a person has to become Buddha, just as milk has the capacity to become gee, a piece of wood on which to turn paper, paint to become painting, and so on.

2. The cause of enlightenment by the relationship. Just as it takes fire and a good cook to turn butter into gee, it takes a good master and good practice to start the accumulation process that ends with enlightenment of a person. The good teacher is the Buddha, and good practice is his teachings. Without a Buddha that we can relate to, there is no way to achieve enlightenment.

3. The cause of enlightenment through the process. As well as having fire and a good companion, if the latter does not start the process and develop all its stages, the milk will never become gee, in the same way it is necessary that the relationship with the good master and the practice be carried out through each one. to achieve enlightenment, otherwise there is no way to do it.

It is only because of our own innate ability, our relationship with the Buddha and the Law, and the application we make of the practice in our lives, that we can achieve enlightenment and attain Buddhahood. This is called "Buddha nature" or "Womb of the Tathagata".
If enlightenment is a result of causes and conditions it is not enlightenment at all, just some kind of a subtile form of self cheating.
Bodhi is not something created. It is the real nature, the reality that is there wether avidya thinners and vanishes or remains and continues.
It is not caused or created by the condition of vanishing avidya.
Nirvana is not a condition created or caused by samsara.
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 11020
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by Queequeg »

tatpurusa wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:29 pm
ronnymarsh wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:29 pm Question: Do several sutras and teachings talk about the Buddha Nature and the Womb of the Tathagata, to which they refer precisely?

Answer: The Nirvana Sutra (mayahana) compares the Buddha Nature / Womb of the Tathagata to the Gee production process.

When milk is applied to certain causes and conditions, it becomes curd.
When curd is applied to certain causes and conditions, it becomes butter.
Butter, when certain causes and conditions are applied to it, becomes Gee.

This is what Buddha Nature means, when we, ordinary mortals, are related to certain causes and conditions, we advance on the gradual path until we reach Buddhahood.

These causes and conditions are of three types:

1. The exact cause of the enlightenment. That is, the very capacity and innate nature that a person has to become Buddha, just as milk has the capacity to become gee, a piece of wood on which to turn paper, paint to become painting, and so on.

2. The cause of enlightenment by the relationship. Just as it takes fire and a good cook to turn butter into gee, it takes a good master and good practice to start the accumulation process that ends with enlightenment of a person. The good teacher is the Buddha, and good practice is his teachings. Without a Buddha that we can relate to, there is no way to achieve enlightenment.

3. The cause of enlightenment through the process. As well as having fire and a good companion, if the latter does not start the process and develop all its stages, the milk will never become gee, in the same way it is necessary that the relationship with the good master and the practice be carried out through each one. to achieve enlightenment, otherwise there is no way to do it.

It is only because of our own innate ability, our relationship with the Buddha and the Law, and the application we make of the practice in our lives, that we can achieve enlightenment and attain Buddhahood. This is called "Buddha nature" or "Womb of the Tathagata".
If enlightenment is a result of causes and conditions it is not enlightenment at all, just some kind of a subtile form of self cheating.
Bodhi is not something created. It is the real nature, the reality that is there wether avidya thinners and vanishes or remains and continues.
It is not caused or created by the condition of vanishing avidya.
Nirvana is not a condition created or caused by samsara.
This is not what this teaching says at all. It does not propose Buddhahood as something created.

Buddhanature is explained in terms of three causes - the following English renderings differ from the above. These are my own renderings, but correspond to the numbered paragraphs above.

1. Buddhanature as the cause proper - This is our real nature. If our real nature were not Buddhahood, then there would not be, to put it in your terms, anything to uncover. It appears to us as a cause because it is not initially perceived due to our ignorance, and therefore is nothing but a potential that can manifest, remaining hidden to our samsaric, grasping mind. It resembles a seed in certain respects because when certain causes and conditions arise, it germinates and eventually blossoms as Buddhahood.

2. Buddhanature as the awareness of our real nature - this is the function of wisdom. This is related to "Hearing the Name" or hearing the teaching. Our real nature is shown to us by the Buddha, the embodiment of wisdom. Without this teaching, we will never fully realize it. If we do not hear the name, we continue in the spin cycle of samsara indefinitely. Once it is shown to us, we find peace. If we did not have the inherent capacity to understand, then we would never understand; alternatively, we understand the Buddha, because the Buddha is naturally who we are; the wisdom is already our own. That capacity is not created, but realizing the full capacity does appear to us as a progression. From the timeless view, the seed, germination, growth and blossoming are as though instantaneous - The Buddha is seen in its full scope, (in the metaphor of a plant) from germination to fruit, or like conception in the womb (in the remote past) to bodhi under the Tree.

3. Buddhanature as the perfection of awakening - these are the practices we carry out to perfect our understanding. Our awareness of our real nature progresses in profundity through practicing. But in light of the insight that Buddhahood is continuous from seed to fruit, these practices are revealed to be the display of Buddhahood. The Buddha displayed birth, renunciation, practice, and awakening just as we display the gradual process of attaining Buddhahood. But graduated progress is not the case - having the seed of Buddhahood is a continuity with the fruit of Buddhahood. So the practices are the practice of Buddhahood. It appears as a gradual process because from our limited view, we just see our immediate causes and conditions and fail to see how this is intimately an aspect of Buddhahood.

From the Buddha's side, Buddhahood is without cause, from the unawakened side, it appears to be the the unfolding progression of causes and conditions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 3207
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by Minobu »

Buddha nature is simply put as what the Buddha imbued into Samsaric existence.
Now you can intellectualize the bejeebers out of it.

Or,because at this time Buddhism morphed into what has become known as Lotus Buddhism, you can do what is expected of you as a Buddhist at this time;
Practice the final stage of this progression , which are the teachings of Nichiren Shonin.

EDIT: "Wrong views abound in Mappo."

It's all predicted.

thats completely out of sync with being a Bodhisattva and sticking around in Samsara until the work of liberating all sentients is done.

Now people knock Nichiren Shonin who studied all of what was available to him in japan.

He came to a conclusion.

Thats what it is all about.

Buddha Nature brought you Nichiren and the Lotus School of Buddhism .

Buddha nature allows people to realize this.

all other Buddhist schools lead to wrong thinking and wrong action.

hatred abounds...people rewarded who hurt the most.

and they say they are Buddhists..

All who practice some form of Lotus Buddhism as put down by Nichiren Shonin , come off compassionate on this site.

it turns people towards their True Nature ....

As for Tien Tai Buddhism, there has to be a reason Nichiren only took from it and did not become some Tendai priest.

So be proud that you able to practice Nichiren's teachings...it's the only way to Buddhahood for those in Mappo.
mansurhirbi87
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:14 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by mansurhirbi87 »

i guess that as you said it is the potential to achieve buddhahood . And buddhahood is the fruition of indestructible hapiness, wisdom and compassion

_/\_
tkp67
Posts: 2048
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by tkp67 »

Minobu wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:30 pm As for Tien Tai Buddhism, there has to be a reason Nichiren only took from it and did not become some Tendai priest.

So be proud that you able to practice Nichiren's teachings...it's the only way to Buddhahood for those in Mappo.
In regards to propagation in the latter day of the law No daimoku = no bueno

Nichiren spells it out when he says "they knew it in their hearts"

What this means is they had achieved enlightenment but did not understand all minds well enough to condense the meaning of shakamuni's enlightenment into something every human could hold in their mind completely.

The daimoku is the lotus sutra and the lotus sutra is whole of the cause and effect of Shakamuni's enlightenment for sentient beings and the buddha of the ten directions and three times.

Anything less denies Shakyamuni's wish that all sentient beings be liberated.

There is no other teaching that facilitates this in this way. Thus the superiority because it is the dharma that contains all dharmas and is presented in a wish granting jewel that any mind can hold.

The ultimate expression of pure, boundless, compassionate equanimity.

I think the hardest part is teaching it "as it is in the sutra" which means one must be as compassionate as the world honored one was in the assembly and we should approach all in attendance with the same compassionate equanimity.

even during the sharpest of corrections.

I can't imagine looking into the eyes of Nichiren and hearing him speak that his correction came at the cost of compassion. I think the compassion in the correction was so tangible it simply couldn't be dismissed. It had to have jarred people to the root of their being for them to question the nature of their own belief in light of his presentation.

I imagine it was the same compassion that had him endure the suffering he endured. Just so he could share what he became enlightened to. Something so profound most people cannot understand it directly. He directly understood the sutra that represented the perfect mind of buddha and has been able to lead people to it.

Yes we should be proud and grateful because we are lucky indeed.

If Nichiren can endure such suffering to share such a teaching what can't we endure in gratitude?
User avatar
WesleyP
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 10:20 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by WesleyP »

Complete and total understanding of the Self? . . .
User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 3207
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by Minobu »

tkp67 wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:56 pm
Minobu wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:30 pm As for Tien Tai Buddhism, there has to be a reason Nichiren only took from it and did not become some Tendai priest.

So be proud that you able to practice Nichiren's teachings...it's the only way to Buddhahood for those in Mappo.

Nichiren spells it out when he says "they knew it in their hearts"

What this means is they had achieved enlightenment but did not understand all minds well enough to condense the meaning of shakamuni's enlightenment into something every human could hold in their mind completely.
utter crappolla

it's nothing to do with understanding...

as you can see my post has been edited...so why like use any of it ?..for it's context is lost.

Buddhahood ends up being a physiological development .

Now the practice Nichiren sets out does not seem to lead to such..But "IT" does...thats why it is a door opener..

when the time is ripe ...it happens...

but trying to understand Buddhahood and Buddha Nature in a derivative sense from a practice ?....


EDIT!!!

the edit was justified , i went against the TOS big time...., but thats besides the point...
tkp67
Posts: 2048
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by tkp67 »

Minobu wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:14 pm utter crappolla

it's nothing to do with understanding...
Then why did Nichiren state as much? Why did he present the Daimoku while they did not? That is th e context here. Why is Nichiren's application of Daimoku so unique in this sense and in relation to the traditions and masters he references?

The doors of buddhahood where opened to all in a time when that wasn't the case and a resource given that no other teacher before had given to propagate the Lotus Sutra. If that is crappolla I would like to hear the reasoning in context from which the teaching referenced.
Nichiren Daishonin was the first person ever to reveal that "the true entity of all phenomena" taught in the Hoben chapter
and the ceremony in the air that takes place in the essential teaching both express Myoho-renge-kyo. However, since the true aim of
the Lotus Sutra is to reveal Myoho-renge-kyo, T'ien-t'ai, Miao-lo and Dengyo, who so thoroughly mastered the Lotus Sutra, must have
known this truth in their hearts. This is why the Daishonin was able to say, "T'ien-t'ai, Miao-lo and Dengyo knew in their hearts
but did not declare them aloud."
---> http://nichiren.info/buddhism/library/S ... enty02.htm
Question:Do the scholars Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu say anything about the Great Pure Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?
Answer: Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu knew about it in their hearts, but they did not expound it in words
---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/SelectionTime.htm
Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu knew of it in their hearts but did not speak to others about it. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai
Chih-che7 also knew of it, but, as he was a bodhisattva of the theoretical teaching,8 though he taught it in part, he did not
expound its true meaning.
---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/4Boddhisattv ... orship.htm
Thus, the entire realm of phenomena is no different than the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo.Even the two
Buddhas, Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, in performing the function of the benefit of the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo,
manifestedthemselves as the two Buddhas, andseated together in the treasure tower,nodded in mutual agreement.No one but
Nichiren has ever revealed teachings like these. Though T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, and Dengyo knew about them in their
hearts, they never put them into words. They went about their lives keeping this knowledge to themselves. And there was good
reason for this. The Buddha had not entrusted them with the task, the time had not yet come, and they had not been
the Buddha’s disciples from the distant past.
Only Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, and the other foremost leaders and
guiding teachers among the Bodhisattvas of the Earth can not only appear during the first five hundred years of the
Latter Day of the Law and spread the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the essence of all phenomena, but also give concrete form to the ceremony of the two Buddhas seated side by side in the treasure tower. The reason is that what they are to spread and give concrete form to is none other than the teaching of the actual three thousand realms in
a single moment of life in the “Life Span” chapte of the essential teaching
---> http://nichiren.info/wnd/040_0383.pdf

:anjali: I hope this finds you well
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 11020
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: What is Buddha nature?

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:56 pm What this means is they had achieved enlightenment but did not understand all minds well enough to condense the meaning of shakamuni's enlightenment into something every human could hold in their mind completely.
No. It has to do with the time, not that they lacked understanding in any way.

Nichiren on the other hand admits he did not personally understand but rather was following the sutra as instructed. He admits that his understanding does not compare to the previous teachers, but he surpassed them in the practice of faith. Its why he could willingly offer his neck to the executioner.
Finally we came to a place that I knew must be the site of my execution. Indeed, the soldiers stopped and began to mill around in excitement. Saemon-no-jō, in tears, said, “These are your last moments!” I replied, “You don’t understand! What greater joy could there be? Don’t you remember what you have promised?” I had no sooner said this when a brilliant orb as bright as the moon burst forth from the direction of Enoshima, shooting across the sky from southeast to northwest. It was shortly before dawn and still too dark to see anyone’s face, but the radiant object clearly illuminated everyone like bright moonlight. The executioner fell on his face, his eyes blinded. The soldiers were filled with panic. Some ran off into the distance, some jumped down from their horses and huddled on the ground, while others crouched in their saddles. I called out, “Here, why do you shrink from this vile prisoner? Come closer! Come closer!” But no one would approach me. “What if the dawn should come? You must hurry up and execute me—once the day breaks, it will be too ugly a job.” I urged them on, but they made no response.
https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... nt/93#p767
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
Post Reply

Return to “Nichiren”