I wasn't sure to post this in the Gelugpa or Nyingma section. The quote below is from the book 'Achieving Bodhicitta' by Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin and expresses a Gelugpa POV. I'm a bit confused by it and want to know what is the Nyingma POV. My questions come after the quote:
- Page 155, 'Achieving Bodhichitta' by Sermey Khensur Lobsang TharchinSome scholars of other systems describe a crucial element of sugatagarbha incorrectly. They understand it to mean that sentient beings already have the nature of a buddha and that this nature is temporarily covered or obscured by the stains of bad deeds. They say that once those stains are removed, a sentient being then becomes an actual Buddha.
In the Gelugpa system we have a term bakchak goshi (bag chags bsgo gzhi) , which refers to the subject or individual that is tainted by the traces or imprints left by our good and bad deeds. Karma is collected when a deed is completed. The seeds of those good and bad deeds are then deposited in the mental continuum. The individual who is related to that mental continuum is the subject tainted by those karmic traces. Each being is the subject that holds his or her karmic traces. But a Buddha does not collect bad deeds, nor is a buddha a receptacle or holder of karmic traces or seeds. given that, how could we say that we are already Buddhas? A Buddha cannot be a subject that is tainted by karmic traces. this is actually a subtle point that has serious implications if it is not properly understood.
I'm no scholar especially in subjects related to philosophy so:
I) By 'some scholars of other systems', was he referring to Nyingma system?
2) Surprised because I thought that all Buddhists believe in all beings as having buddha nature. Or does the second sentence 'already have the nature of a buddha' different in meaning to having 'buddha nature'? Confused here. Thought all traditions believed this.
3) The second paragraph talks about karmic traces - this concept is held by all traditions right?
I can't properly formulate my questions but I guess what I don't understand will reveal itself more clearly as you guys give your opinions. Thanks.