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Buddhadharma : Winter 2008
25 winter 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly would be no joy in breaking the mold. But when we know, the desire to find the statue inside is so strong that we don’t even notice the process of breaking the mold, which is generating enlightened mind. Secondly, as bodhisattvas we have to benefit all sentient beings. If we don’t know that buddhanature resides within everybody, then we might not respect other sentient beings. Rather, we might think we’re great because we’re bodhisatt- vas, and then despise other sentient beings. This could become a big obstacle, hindering us in benefiting other beings. Imagine that you think you’re a bodhisattva who has bud- dhanature and that other sentient beings don’t have buddha- nature and therefore require your help. You think you have to somehow insert the buddha inside them. That’s a very big mistake. It’s what we call exaggeration or imputation. The Buddhist view is that everybody has buddhanature. It will not change. No one, no guru, no Buddha can insert it. All anyone can do is become some kind of path to enable people to realize it themselves. The third reason buddhanature is taught is to dispel the obstacles that obstruct us from having prajna. There are two such obstacles. The first one is imputation. Even though there is no buddhanature, we impute or imagine its existence by thinking that all these buddha qualities exist, such as the ushnisha, the protuberance on top of the Buddha’s head, sym- bolizing his great wisdom and enlightenment. But in reality, they don’t. We also need to overcome the second obstacle to wisdom, namely thinking that the buddha qualities do not exist, or that there are no buddha qualities within us, which is like some kind of criticism. This is the fourth reason buddhana- ture is taught. Finally, the fifth reason is to dispel the obstacle that pre- vents us from understanding that we are equal to others. If we don’t know that buddhanature exists equally within all beings, then we might have more attachment to ourselves and more aversion toward others. So those are the five reasons why buddhanature is taught. Buddhanature is pure and free from all kinds of com- pounded phenomena, right from the beginning. 158 The ultimate true nature is always devoid of anything compounded, so it is said that defilements, karma, and their full ripening are like a cloud, etc. Therefore, buddhanature is free from the three kinds of emo- tions: desire, aggression, and jealousy. It is free from the emotions of karmic formation, such as virtuous actions and bjartealvestadclaudIacHender