Saturday, May 06, 2006

Do inanimate objects have Buddha-nature?

A Buddhist Poet once wrote:

"The green bamboo droves are the Dhammakaya;
The fragant yellow flowers are none other than Panna."

Taking this kind of expression literally, many later generation practitioners were misled to think that because the Buddha-nature encompasses all things, even inanimate objects possess such a nature. If Panna is the same as flowers, then doesn't that makes it non-sentient? If the Dhammakaya is the same as bamboo, then doesn't it becomes inanimate? So when we cook and eat bamboo shoots, are't we chewing on the Dhammakaya? What worth is there in seeking to attain these things if that is the case?

The scriptures say:

"Able to well distinguish all phenomena,
Yet remaining unmoved in the utmost meaning."

Understand that the Dhammakaya is the result of eons spent in perfecting our Sila, Samadhi, Panna & the rest of the Paramitas. It is the true body of all Buddhas, timeless, unchanging, omnipresent & all-knowing. How can such an unequalled attainment be inanimate & non-sentient? If inanimate objects have Buddha-nature, then how come none of them ever attain Buddhahood? According to such theory, then it is better for all of us to die now & become corpses; because corpses are inanimate objects; wouldn't that make us closer to becoming Buddhas?

The Buddha is right in front of you, yet you spend kalpas looking for him. Your whole being is the Dhamma, yet you seek the Dhamma outside of yourself. How foolish that is!

Contemplate on the 5th patriach Hong Ren's katha:

"With sentience we come to plant our seeds,
From fertile ground we are born;
Without sentience we have no seeds,
Neither will there be nature or growth."

Therein lies the true location of our Buddha-nature.

2 comments:

Void said...
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Void said...

Hello Wayne. Would buddha nature be equivalent to Brahman (that which underlies ALL)?

Kindly reply to cktam@pd.jaring.my

Thank you.