Buddha Nature Talks

In Buddhist philosophy, Buddha-nature (Chinese: fóxìng (佛性, Japanese: busshō, Sanskrit: buddhatā, buddha-svabhāva) is the innate potential for all sentient beings to become a Buddha or the fact that all beings already have a pure buddha-essence within. "Buddha-nature" is the common English translation for several related Mahayana Buddhist terms, most notably tathāgatagarbha and buddhadhātu, but also sugatagarbha, and buddhagarbha. Tathāgatagarbha can mean "the womb" or "embryo" (garbha) of the "thus-gone one" (tathāgata), and can also mean "containing a tathāgata". Buddhadhātu can mean "buddha-element," "buddha-realm" or "buddha-substrate".

Buddha-nature has a wide range of (sometimes conflicting) meanings in Indian and later East Asian and Tibetan Buddhist literature. Broadly speaking, it refers to the belief that the luminous mind, "the natural and true state of the mind," which is pure (visuddhi) mind undefiled by kleshas, is inherently present in every sentient being, and is eternal and unchanging. It will shine forth when it is cleansed of the defilements, that is, when the nature of mind is recognised for what it is.

The Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra (written 2nd century CE), which was very influential in the Chinese reception of these teachings, linked the concept of tathāgatagarbha with the buddhadhātu. The term buddhadhātu originally referred to buddha relics. In the Mahāparinirvāṇa, it came to be used in place of the concept of tathāgatagārbha, reshaping the worship of physical buddha relics of the Buddha into worship of the inner Buddha as a principle of salvation.

The primordial or undefiled mind, the tathagatagarbha, is also often equated with emptiness; with the alayavijñana ("storehouse-consciousness", a yogacara concept); and with the interpenetration of all dharmas (in East Asian traditions like Huayan). Buddha nature ideas are central to East Asian Buddhism, which relies on key buddha-nature sources like the Mahāparinirvāṇa. In Tibetan Buddhism, buddha-nature ideas are also important, and are often studied through the key Indian treatise on buddha-nature, the Ratnagotravibhāga.

From Buddha-nature on Wikipedia

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