Buddha Nature as Myth

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Buddha Nature as Myth
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Citation: Grosnick, William. "Buddha Nature as Myth." In Buddha Nature: A Festschrift in Honor of Minoru Kiyota, edited by Paul J. Griffiths and John P. Keenan, 65–74. Tokyo: Buddhist Books International, 1990.

Article Summary

William G. Grosnick, in his essay "Buddha Nature as Myth", makes a distinction between "empirically verifiable propositions", statements that make claims about the nature of reality whose truth both is and is expected to be capable of clear articulation and demonstration, and "mythic views of reality" that provide a nonverifiable framework of great religious power for the expression of fundamentally important religious orientations. He then argues that Buddha Nature thought—at least as expressed in the early Indic sūtras devoted to it—is of the latter kind. Its function, he suggests, is to provide a mythic orientation toward the world and the religious potential of the individual Buddhist, and so to make the practice of Buddhism possible. It is just because "all beings universally possess Buddha Nature" that the practice of the path is possible. (Griffiths and Keenan, introduction to Buddha Nature, 4)