Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby viniketa » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:19 pm

If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:13 pm

That's an interesting thread. This just struck me - if form is emptiness and emptiness is form then the end of dukkha is the same as dukkha. So whether or not enlightenment is permanent or not becomes irrelevant.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby zerwe » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:16 pm

Wouldn't establishing anything as permanent be it an aspect of cessation, emptiness, or buddha nature be yet another object for the mind to become attached to?
If so, then such a view would yet be another cause of suffering.

Shaun :namaste:
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:47 pm

I wish Nagarjuna were alive today :)
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby Astus » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:23 pm

First, buddha-nature is meant to be misunderstood as a real permanent self. Why else would it be appealing to those who have not yet taken refuge in the Three Jewels? Second, buddha-nature is a convenient explanation of the unborn nature of the qualities of a buddha. Third, buddha-nature points to the fact that the path is about removing the obscurations and not about generating some imagined enlightenment. Fourth, buddha-nature requires neither purification nor realisation, therefore resting the mind without contriving anything is all that is needed.

"[And finally] by two reasons the Supreme Eternity is to be known: 1) Because he does not fall into the Nihilistic Extremity through his not diminishing, neglecting the non-eternal Phenomenal Life; 2) nor does he fall into the Eternalistic Extremity through his not intensifying the eternal Nirvāṇa.
It is said as follows: "If someone would perceive that all the Phenomenal Worlds are non-eternal, O Lord, this view would be a Nihilistic Perception. It would never be the true perception at all. If someone would perceive that the Nirvāṇa is eternal, O Lord, this view would be an Eternalistic Perception. And it would never be the True Perception at all"."

(Ratnagotravibhaga, v. 38, tr. Jikido Takasaki)

"Thinking that permanent and blissful nirvana is transformed into the characteristics of suffering, they rush seeking after it all the time. Taking pity on such [people], the Buddha indicated the true blissfulness of nirvana: if [even] for an instant there is no characteristic of generation and if [even] for an instant there is no characteristic of extinction, then there will be no generation and extinction that can be extinguished. This is to have quiescence right there. But if when it is right there, one does not have the thought of it being right there, this is called permanent and blissful. This bliss is not experienced and it is not not experienced. How can there be the categories of one essence and five functions? And how could one possibly speak of nirvana contravening the myriad dharmas and rendering them permanently ungenerated? This is to revile the Buddha and destroy the Dharma."
(Platform Sutra, ch. 7, tr. John R. McRae)

"I expound the dharma of mind-ground, which enters the secular and the sacred, the pure and the defi led, the real and the temporal. But your ‘real and temporal,’ your ‘secular and sacred,’ cannot attach labels to all that is real and temporal, secular and sacred. Th e real and the temporal, the secular and the sacred, cannot attach a name to this person. Followers of the Way, grasp and use, but never name this is called the ‘mysterious principle’."
(Record of Linji, ch. 11, tr. Ruth Fuller Sasaki)

"Therefore, that the grasses, trees, thickets and groves are impermanent is the buddha nature; that humans and things, body and mind are impermanent — this is because they are the buddha nature. That the lands, mountains, and rivers are impermanent — this is the buddha nature. Annuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi, because it is the buddha nature, is impermanent; the great parinirvāṇa, because it is impermanent, is the buddha nature."
(Shobogenzo, Buddha Nature, tr. Carl Bielefeldt)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby seeker242 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:47 pm

The fact that there will never be any permanent thing that can be called Buddha Nature is evidence of the fact that Buddha Nature is permanent? :rolling:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby dorjeshonnu » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:59 pm

It is accurate that permanence implies some extension throughout a span of definite time. If you like, instead of permanence, you can say that buddha-nature is not dependent on time, and is not subject to decay. There may remain the problem of attributing a buddha-nature to some particular jiva, and the problem of making buddha-nature into an object of cognition.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:27 pm

Buddha nature will never become an object of recognition.

The point you recognize your Buddha nature as an object is the point you "lost" your Buddha nature.

Unobjectification cannot be permanent nor impermanent.

It is simply illogical.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby Queequeg » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:19 pm

Hello Folks,

Please don't take offense at what I'm about to write -

I think one of the problems with this discussion, and many discussions in forums like this where the most subtle aspects of Buddhist thought are discussed, we depart from the tried and true texts and instead proceed with our own interpretations, bouncing them off one another in a didactic pattern until we are all painted into the corner of the idiosyncrasies of our respective views. I was surprised it took until Astus on the second page of this discussion to ground the discussion in actual textual teachings.

With that said - someone early in this thread mentioned that Tathagatagarbha Sutras say some really provoking things - like this passage from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra that is pertinent to the title of this thread:

From Chapter 3 of the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra. If you have never been exposed to this sutra before, you may experience some gaskets popping in your head:

tl;dr version: Buddha says "I taught you Anatman because you guys had all kinds of crazy ideas about Atman, and rather than try to point out the myriad ways you screwed it up, I just taught you Anatman. Now, since you have learned Anatman and all those crazy ideas have been purged from your mind, I'm going to teach you about the True Atman."

O you Bhiksus! Do not abide in the thought of the non-Eternal, Suffering, non-Self, and the not-Pure and be in the situation of those people who take stones, bits of wood, and gravel to be the true gem. You must study well the Way, how to act, wherever you go, and "meditate on the Self, the Eternal, Bliss, and the Pure". Know that the outer forms of the four items which you have learnt up to now are inversions and that anyone who desires to practise the Way should act like the wise man who deftly gets hold of the gem. This refers to the so-called thought of Self, and that of the Eternal, Bliss, and Pure."
Then all the bhiksus said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You, the Buddha, said before that all things have no Self, that we should practise this and that, when practised, the thought of Self goes away, and that once the thought of Self is done away with, one does away with arrogance and that, arrogance once done away with, one gains Nirvana. Thus did you say "How might we understand this?"
The Buddha said to all the bhiksus: "Well said, well said! You ask this question and intend to dispel your doubt. Imagine: there is a king, who is dull-witted. He has little wisdom. And there is a doctor, who is obstinate. But the King does not know this and pays him a salary. This doctor uses the products of milk to cure all illnesses. Also, he does not know where the illnesses come from. He may be versed in the medicine of milk, but for him there exists no difference between a cold and a fever. He prescribes milk for all illnesses. This King was unaware that this doctor was ignorant of the pleasing and non-pleasing, the good and bad aspects of milk. But there was a Doctor who knew eight different treatments for illnesses and who was able to cure all diseases. This Doctor was versed in prescription and medicines and had come from a far-off place. And the King's doctor did not know how to ask and learn. He was rash and haughty. So the learned Doctor cordially invited the King's doctor and looked up to him [as an expedient] as his master and asked of him the secret of treatment. He said to the King's doctor: "I now invite you and make you my teacher. Please be good enough to teach me." The King's doctor said: "If you serve me for 48 years, I will teach you the art of medicine. " Then, at these words, the learned Doctor said: "I shall do as you tell me. I shall do my best and run errands." Then the King's doctor, taking the learned Doctor along with him, went to see the King. At this, the visiting Doctor explained to the King the various ways of treatment and even other things. He said: "Please know, O great King! Know well! This Dharma is like this and you will well cure illnesses." On hearing this, the King recognised the ignorance and lack of knowledge of his own doctor. He at once drove him out of the country. And he respected the new Doctor all the more. Then the new Doctor said to himself: "It is now time to teach the King." He said to the King: "O great King! If you truly love me, please make me a promise!" The King replied: "I shall give you, should you desire it, even my right hand or any part of my body." The new Doctor said: "You may give me all statuses, but I myself do not wish to have much. What I desire you to do for me is to proclaim to the people of every corner of your land that henceforth they are not to use the milk medicine, which the former doctor told them to use. Why not? Because much harm and poisonous results arise [from it]. Any person who still takes this medicine should be beheaded. If the milk medicine is not used, there will be no untimely deaths; all will go in peace. That is why I ask this of you." Then the King said: "What you ask me to do is a trifle. I shall at once issue an order and see to it that anyone who is ill does no take milk as a medicine. Any person who does will be beheaded." At this, the learned Doctor made several kinds of medicine, which tasted pungent, butter, salty, sweet, and sour. With these, treatment was given, and there was no case in which illness could not be cured.
"After some time, the King himself became ill, and the Doctor was called in. The King said: "I am now ill. How am I to be cured?" The Doctor thought about the illness of the King and saw that the milk medicine was good [here]. So he said to the King: "What you are now suffering from can very well be cured by milk. What I said before about the milk medicine was not true. If you take it now, you will be cured. You are now suffering from a fever. It is right that you should take milk." Then the King said to the Doctor: "Are you mad? Is it a fever? And you say that if I take milk, it will cure me? Before, you said it was poison. Now you tell me to take it. How is this? Do you mean to cheat me? What the former doctor said was good, [yet] you despised it and said that it was poison, and you made me drive him away. Now you say that it well cures illness. From you you say, the former doctor ought to excel you."
"Then the learned Doctor said to the King: "O King! Do not say this, please. A worm eats on [a piece of] wood and [the shape of] a letter comes out. This worm does not know anything of letters. A wise person sees this. But he does not say that this worm understands letters. And he is not overcome by surprise. O great King! Please know: so was it also with the former doctor. To all illnesses he gave medicine made from milk. This is as in the case of the worm that eats on wood, as a result of which a form like a letter emerges. The former doctor did not know how to distinguish between the pleasing and non-pleasing aspects, the good and the bad." Then the King wanted to know: "What do you mean he did not know?" The guest Doctor answered the King: "This milk medicine is harmful, but it is also a manna." "How can you say that this milk is manna?" "If you milking cow has not taken the lees, the slippery grass and the wheat refuse, and if the calf fares well, and if the cow was not grazed too high up on the land or in a low and wet place, if the cow is given pure water and not made to run or made to live among the bulls, and if feeding is done regularly, and if the place it lives in is fit, the milk gained from such a cow well does away with all illnesses. This can well be called the manna of medicine. Any other milk is poison."
"On hearing this, the King praised the great Doctor: "Well said, well said, O great Doctor! Today, for the first time in my life, I know of the pleasing and non-pleasing, that which is good and not good in the milk medicine. Taking this, I am now well. I shall at once proclaim to the people that they may well take the milk medicine." On hearing this, the people of the country, angry and resentful, said: "The great King is now caught by a devil. Is he mad? He cheats us and makes us take milk." All the people, angry and resentful, came to the King. The King said to them: "Be not angry, and have no resentment. To take milk or not to take it all comes from the science of medicine. I am not to blame." At this, the great King and the people all jumped for joy. They all the more respected and honoured the Doctor, and made offerings to him. That is how all the people took the milk medicine and regained their health.
"Know, O you Bhiksus! The same is the case with the Tathagata, the Alms-deserving, the All-Enlightened-One, the Unsurpassed Best Trainer, the Teacher-of-Heaven-and-Earth, the Buddha-World-Honoured One. He comes as a great Doctor and subdues all tirthikas and bad doctors. In the presence of kings and all people, he says: "I shall become the King of doctors and subdue tirthikas." Thus we say: "There is no self, no man, no being, no life, no nurturing, no knowing, none that does, and none that receives." O Bhiksus! Know that what the tirthikas say is like the case of a worm that eats upon [a piece of] wood, from which, by chance, there appears what looks like a letter. Because of this, the Tathagata teaches and says no-self. This is to adjust beings and because he is aware of the occasion. Such non-self is, as occasion arises, spoken of, and it is [also] said that there is the Self. This is as in the case of the learned Doctor, who knows well the medicinal and non-medicinal qualities of milk. It is not as with common mortals, who might measure the size of their own self. Common mortals and the ignorant may measure the size of their own self and say, 'It is like the size of a thumb, like a mustard seed, or like the size of a mote.' When the Tathagata speaks of Self, in no case are things thus. That is why he says: 'All things have no Self.'
Even though he has said that all phenomena [dharmas] are devoid of the Self, it is not that they are completely/ truly devoid of the Self. What is this Self? Any phenomenon [dharma] that is true [satya], real [tattva], eternal [nitya], sovereign/ autonomous/ self-governing [aisvarya], and whose ground/ foundation is unchanging [asraya-aviparinama], is termed 'the Self' [atman]. This is as in the case of the great Doctor who well understands the milk medicine. The same is the case with the Tathagata. For the sake of beings, he says "there is the Self in all things" O you the four classes! Learn Dharma thus!"


http://www.nirvanasutra.net/nirvanasutraa3.htm

Now, to ameliorate some of the frustration some of you may be experiencing at this moment, this passage has been interpreted, at least in the East Asian Lotus Tradition founded by Zhiyi, a Tathagatagarbha school of Buddhism, through the lens of Nagarjuna's Tetralemma -

There is X
There is no X
There both is X and no X
There is neither X nor no X
(x=whatever dharma you need to understand)

True Self (one way to describe the Eternal Buddha's achievement)(or Tathagatagarbha, or Buddha Nature) is neither Atman (in the conventional, ignorant sense) nor Anatman.

What we are dealing with is that technically ungraspable remainder after Nagarjuna's sunyata analysis has been fully performed - it is not nothing - it stubbornly won't go away and just let us dissolve into nihilism, but defies us by being impervious to any conception, let alone name, we try to put to it, necessarily falling short of equating with it. It is non-arising; it is imperishable also. What do?

In my take, Tathagatagarbha Buddhism basically said, "OK. Taking this Sunyata thing so far leaves us a bunch of mutes, staring at each other, or often just staring into Sunyata, with nothing to say. Anytime someone says something, there is a chorus of 'SUNYATA!' 'ANATMAN' 'MUUUUUUUUUUUU!' We need to be able to talk to further explore the implications of this teaching. We will posit a conventional name for this empty, ineffable, inexpressible, inconceivable 'full-middle' so that we can continue examination of what it means to be enlightened. Agreed? OK, now..." Permanent, Eternal, Tathagatagarbha, BuddhaNature, 諸法実相 (True Apect of all Dharmas)... etc.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby dorjeshonnu » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:51 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:Buddha nature will never become an object of recognition.

The point you recognize your Buddha nature as an object is the point you "lost" your Buddha nature.\
To be aware that you have the capacity to wake up is to lose that capacity to wake up? How terrible.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby Jinzang » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:52 pm

In the Tibetan tradition Buddha Nature is understood mostly according to the UttaraTantra Shastra (literally, the Higher Continuum.) My understanding of buddha nature is that it is the capacity we have for recognizing the truth. Because it is a capacity, it is dependent on the mind, but neither permanent or impermanent, as it is not a thing.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:53 am

DarwidHalim wrote:From: Re: Why is dependent origination so important?

Jyoti wrote:....
showing the dharma of permanance of the buddha nature.

Jyoti


This is not right.

Buddha nature is not permanent. If Buddha nature is permanent, that is atman.

We should know that Buddha nature is just a name for the sake of communication referring to the baseless and rootless.

And in that, the word permanent and impermanent are not valid.

We need to be careful when we discuss Buddha nature because permanent lead to atman. Impermanence lead to changing, which again changing implies something unexplainable must be changing.

Hey Friend
The Mahaparinivana sutra says the Tathagatagarbha(Buddha Nature)
Is Permenant,Self,Bliss,Pure

So the Buddha Nature is Both Permenant and atman
Now the atman it discribes is the True self(Alayajnana)

The the false anatman is the 5 aggregates/skandalas
Search for the topic Mahaparinirva sutra on this forum there is plenty of info provided on this topic wlready.
(sorry for spelling and qoutation problems im on mt phone)
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby viniketa » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:16 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:Buddha nature is not permanent. If Buddha nature is permanent, that is atman.


We've come full-circle!

Image


We now return control of your mind to you... ;)

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby oushi » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:16 pm

It would be good to find out what permanent means. I am curious myself.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby dorjeshonnu » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:39 pm

oushi wrote:It would be good to find out what permanent means. I am curious myself.
From the Latin, it is the combination of "through" and "stay," thus having a meaning something like "staying through" or "through staying." It is not quite so inappropriate as "eternal" or "singular" or "unchanging" (the attributes of atman) but would have to be applied particularly to the result-body (or also enjoyment-body, when divided into three) of a Buddha. There is capacity for change, but not decay as such. There is a limitation of individuality, but not singularity as such. There is no dependence on time (per se) determining some range of possible appearances, but not an eternal (etymologically, "lasting for an age") duration as such (although there is some relativism of quality of result attributed between some traditions).
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby oushi » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:52 pm

So we have a concept, which is build out of dozen concepts. Even Buddha is among them. Should we now analyze all those, or we admit that truth is ungraspable by concepts?
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby dorjeshonnu » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:41 pm

oushi wrote:So we have a concept, which is build out of dozen concepts. Even Buddha is among them. Should we now analyze all those, or we admit that truth is ungraspable by concepts?
I don't know what you mean by truth. Concepts shape the views from which traditions extract appropriate methods, which seem to produce results. Thinking about some "truth" (belief in some doctrine - even if it is skillful) does not reveal naked wakefulness, does not integrate what is signified by the concept of naked wakefulness into what is signified by the concept of regular awareness, but does help to utilize that naked wakefulness (when it has been effectively recognized and integrated, through the use of Buddhist methods appropriate to a given Buddhist view) most effectively.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby oushi » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:55 pm

Concepts shape the views from which traditions extract appropriate methods, which seem to produce results.

And what doesn't produce results? Even dog shit produces results, so your statement is meaningless.
Which concepts is absolutely solid, so you can build views upon it? (trying to move back to the topic)
dorjeshonnu wrote:Thinking about some "truth" (belief in some doctrine - even if it is skillful) does not reveal naked wakefulness

Thinking is naked wakefulness, how could it reveal itself? If you think that you can think out wakefulness, then wouldn't it be an idea?
does not integrate what is signified by the concept of naked wakefulness into what is signified by the concept of regular awareness, but does help to utilize that naked wakefulness (when it has been effectively recognized and integrated, through the use of Buddhist methods appropriate to a given Buddhist view) most effectively.

What does effective utilization of naked wakefulness mean? You feed the hungry with it? Is is a magic ball that one poses, and can use do good with it?
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby dorjeshonnu » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:45 pm

oushi wrote:
Concepts shape the views from which traditions extract appropriate methods, which seem to produce results.

And what doesn't produce results? Even dog shit produces results, so your statement is meaningless.
When suffering has ended, no more results are obtained.
Which concepts is absolutely solid, so you can build views upon it?
Which view requires an absolute solid?
dorjeshonnu wrote:Thinking is naked wakefulness, how could it reveal itself?
By previously hiding itself.
If you think that you can think out wakefulness, then wouldn't it be an idea?
This seems to be what you are advocating.
What does effective utilization of naked wakefulness mean?
Ending suffering.
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Re: Buddha nature misunderstood as atman.

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:23 am

viniketa wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:Buddha nature is not permanent. If Buddha nature is permanent, that is atman.


We've come full-circle!

Image


We now return control of your mind to you... ;)

:namaste:




MY REPLY:sorry my quotations on my phone were messed up,BUT the topic is "BUDDHA NATURE MISUNDERSTOOD AS ATMAN"
okay to answer this what does the sutras say about this subject??

(NIRVANA SUTRA)Moreover, emancipation is termed that which severs all conditioned phenomena [samskrta-dharmas], gives rise to all untainted [anasrava], wholseome qualities / phenomena and eliminates the various paths/ approaches, that is to say, Self, non-Self, not-Self and not non-Self. It merely severs attachment and does not sever the view of the Self/ the seeing of the Self/ the vision of the Self [atma-drsti]. The view of the Self is termed the 'Buddha-dhatu' [Buddha-Nature]. The Buddha-dhatu is true emancipation, and true emancipation is the Tathagata.

the view of self is the Buddha nature(this is the true self not the tainted ego self)
and the Buddha nature is Permenant,Bliss,Self,Pure

so it is not a Misunderstanding to view the Buddha Nature as Atman(again true self not the tainted ego self)for the sutra itself states thats what it is.

so to say other wise is simply to disagree with the very sutras the Buddha nature is taught in.
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