Buddha Nature
Love, Part 1 of 2013 Buddhist-Christian Dialogue

Awakening and Buddhahood

Part four of my 2013 conversation with Lama Marut focused on Awakening and Buddhahood.  The Buddhist texts we discuss can be found below the video.  


From the Uttara Tantra:

Because they have seen reality as it is, they are freed from birth (sickness, old age and death).  But because they are the very essence of compassion, they display birth, death, old age, and sickness.  Just as the lotus grows in water but is not tainted by the water, so too is such a person born in the world but is not tainted by the things of the world. . . . Due to the power of his previous virtue and because all self-consciousness has been destroyed, he exerts no effort in bringing living beings to spiritual ripening.  He knows exactly what is to be taught, and which teaching, appearance, body, conduct, and method to use.  The one with unimpeded intelligence thus always acts effortlessly for the benefit of living beings as limitless as space itself.  A bodhisattva who has reached this level acts in the world in a way equal to the way Buddhas take living beings to liberation.  But the difference between a bodhisattva and a Buddha is like that of an atom compared to the whole earth, or the puddle of water in a cow’s footprint compared to the ocean. (1.68, 72, 74-78)

 Buddhahood has been declared to be the natural lucid clarity which is covered by the incidental mental afflictions and obscurations to wisdom,  just as the sun and sky are covered by a blanket of  thick fog.  It possesses all the qualities that come with being a Buddha and is stainless, permanent, fixed, and eternal.  It is attained on the basis of both nonconceptual and analytical wisdom.  Buddhahood, although undifferentiated, appears with pure qualities.  It has the two-fold characteristic of wisdom and removal (of incidental defilments), like the sun and space.  It is endowed with uncreated lucid clarity.  It manifests in an undifferentiated way with all the properties of a Buddha, greater than the sands on the banks of the Ganges river. (2.3-5)

 Buddhahood is a state which is unafflicted, with a nature that is all-pervading and indestructible, fixed, at peace, eternal, and imperishable.  It is like empty space, the arena in which the experience of objects of the six sense takes place for those who have found reality.  It is the condition of possibility for perpetually seeing amazing visible objects, for hearing pure and beautiful sounds, for smelling the pure morality of the Buddhas, and for tasting the supreme flavor of the true Dharma among the great realized ones.  (It is the condition of possibility) for perceiving the blissful feeling of samadhi, for the realization of the profound structure of one’s self-nature.  When considered in a very subtle, deep, and ultimate way, Buddhahood and space are without cause. . . . Buddhahood, like space, is inconceivable, permanent, fixed, at peace, eternal, tranquil, pervasive, free of conceptual thought.  Unattached, it is perpetually unobstructed and free from all coarse sensations.  It cannot be seen nor grasped.  And it is virtuous and immaculate. (2.18-20, 29)