Buddha-Nature (2): We Are Children of the Buddha

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Buddha-Nature (2): We Are Children of the Buddha
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Citation: Scarangello, Dominick. "Buddha-Nature (2): We Are Children of the Buddha." Dharma World 46 (2019): 35–41. https://rk-world.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/DW19_Spring.pdf.

Abstract

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In the last installment of this column we explored the concept of buddha-nature—its meaning, the Lotus Sutra's teaching of revering buddha-nature, and how Buddhists can reveal the buddha-nature of themselves and others by demonstrating respect for people and discovering their goodness. This time we will consider another way of realizing buddha-nature that is inspired by the stories of the Lotus Sutra. Rissho Kosei-kai members speak of awakening to buddha-nature as attaining the conviction that both oneself and others are, in the allegorical language of the Lotus Sutra, "children of the Buddha." Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, held that feelings of worthlessness thwarted people's ability to improve their own lives and brought them much suffering, and for this reason he employed the sutra's allegory of the parent-child relationship to help people see themselves as future buddhas and heirs to all the qualities that the Buddha Shakyamuni possessed. The belief that living beings are children of the Buddha also encourages the appreciation of all human life. As members of the human family, all people are our brothers and sisters, possessing the same inherent dignity and human potential as the Buddha. Today some people may not be entirely comfortable with the gendered language of the Lotus Sutra's allegory, but a close reading of the text can open pathways to an understanding appropriate to contemporary society and twenty-first century social norms. (Scarangello, "Buddha-Nature (2)," 35) (Read the entire article here)

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