What is the Buddhanature

The Buddha-nature is the highest state of human nature. 

It is the state of Enlightenment, inherent within each person as a potential.

The “human nature” - according to Buddhist psychology - is a spectrum of various states, ranging from the Lower Worlds (of sufferings, weaknesses, etc..) to the Higher Worlds (of self-improvement and compassion). The highest of all states of this spectrum is that of Enlightenment or Buddhanature.

Another name given to this enlightened nature of the individual – is Buddhability : the ability of the individual to experience the highest state of life. 

In essence, Buddhanature expresses the three aspects of the state of Buddhahood: Wisdom, Compassion and Courage. 

Revealing one’s highest life state enables the individual to find solutions to emerging problems and overcome all hardships - having power and wisdom to transform reality towards creating value and benefit (for self and others). It is the source of wisdom, compassion and ability to live a happy meaningful life.

Revealing the Buddhanature

Various Mahayana schools teach that it is possible to activate the field of one’s Buddhanature through the practice of meditation, but that it would take many lifetimes of gradual practice to achieve this goal.  For example, Tibetan nun, Tenzin Palmo mentions in her book Cave in the Snow page 115:

    “The lamas said that if you reach there [Enlightenment] in three lifetimes

    you are moving incredibly quickly” .

Nichiren Buddhism, however, is unique among all branches of Buddhism in its teaching - based on the Lotus Sutra - of attaining enlightenment in this lifetime.   Nichiren argues that as far as Mahayana teaches about the Buddhanature being inherent in one’s body and mind in this lifetime, then nothing should postpone revealing this treasure of Buddhahood in this lifetime (rather than after death). Nothing should prevent the individual from experiencing the benefit of the Buddhanature helping self and others do the same. 

A correct and powerful practice can lead to the direct path to enlightenment.

In his letter On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime  Nichiren defines the Buddhanature as MyohoRengeKyo (the wonderful law of life) - the highest truth of one’s existence :


         “This truth is Myoho-renge-kyo. Chanting Myoho-renge-kyo will therefore

           enable you to grasp the mystic truth innate in all life”.

The life state of the Buddha is encoded within the phrase MyohoRengeKyo, and is available for us to freely benefit from:

        Shakyamuni’s practices and the virtues he consequently attained are all contained 

        within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. If we believe in these five characters,

        we will naturally be granted the same benefits as he wasWND1 p 365

S G I teaching on the meaning of Attaining Enlightenment

(or revealing one’s Buddhanature):

    “ ....Attaining enlightenment is not about embarking on some inconceivably long journey

    to become a resplendent, godlike Buddha,

    it is about accomplishing a transformation in the depths of one’s being . . .

    It is a constant, moment-to-moment, inner struggle between

  revealing our innate Dharma nature or allowing ourselves

  to be ruled by our fundamental darkness and delusion.” 

Daisaku Ikeda Lecture On Attaining Buddhahood, p12


Author: Safwan Zabalawi (Darshams)

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