Buddha Nature

Buddha Nature

Broadly speaking Buddha-nature is concerned with ascertaining what allows sentient beings to become Buddhas. The term, Buddha nature, is a translation of the Sanskrit coinage, ‘Buddha-dhātu’, which seems

first to have appeared in the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, where it refers to ‘a sacred nature that is the basis for [beings’] becoming buddhas.’

The idea of Buddha-nature originated in India, and was further developed in China, due to the different culture Buddhism had to adapt to. It was the result of an interplay between various strands of Buddhist

thought, on the nature of human consciousness and the means of awakening.

When the Buddha became enlightened he realized that all beings without exception have the same nature and potential for enlightenment, and this is known as buddha nature.

Buddha is one who has developed his or her compassion (Tib. tsé) and wisdom (Tib. khyen) to the ultimate level, beyond all limits. Wisdom, in this context, refers not to an accumulation of knowledge but to the

ability to see the true nature of things. what characterizes a buddha therefore is wisdom and compassion.

To determine whether buddha nature exists in all beings, we nee to examine whether they possess the qualities of wisdom and compassion. Without wisdom and compassion, it is impossible to become a buddha, but

if one possesses even an embryonic amount of these qualities, one can them develop them to their ultimate level and become buddha. The most concrete proof of the presence of this nature is that we possess, to

varying degrees, these qualities of wisdom and compassion.

Every sentient being—even insects—have Buddha nature. The seed of Buddha means consciousness, the cognitive power—the seed of enlightenment. That’s from Buddha’s viewpoint. All these destructive things can

be removed from the mind, so therefore there’s no reason to believe some sentient being cannot become Buddha. So every sentient being has that seed.

Buddha in the public eye is still a human being. He acted like a human being. So sometimes he also failed to influence some people. Then sometimes he wants to express his sort of sadness like that or

disappointment. One time, one king takes some action to kill many of the Shakya clan. Buddha belongs to that clan, that tribe. So that day, Buddha, under one dry tree, remained sad, and he sees his kind as the

same as hundreds of other tribes killed. So he shared their sort of sadness. He failed to perform a miracle. So Buddha says, “these things are due to individuals’ karma.” Buddha cannot change their karma like

that. So Buddha can teach them how to change their own karma—show their path. So unless they themselves practice—change emotion, change action—then Buddha cannot do much. Sometimes Tibetans say, “oh,

the Buddha failed to protect us,” but actually according to Buddhism, it’s very clear; unless we carry some certain discipline and create a positive karma, [then] the consequences [we] have to face, have to take.

In order to develop unbiased infinite love, you first need the practice of detach[ment]. But “detach” does not mean to give up desire. Desire must be there. Without desire, how can we live our life? Without desire,

how can we achieve Buddhahood? Strong desire to become Buddha; but desire to be harmful, that’s bad—but desire to self right that also the concept of ego, I, self, itself is nature, and in fact in order to develop

self confidence and willpower, we need a sense of strong self. It’s very necessary in order to tackle all these biological factors of hatred, or anger, these things [for which] you need tremendous sort of will power.

So the self-confidence is very, very important, but the ego which disregards other’s right—that is bad.