Buddha-dhatu ( Buddha-nature)

What is Buddha Dhatu?

Buddha Dhatu or Buddha Nature is a doctrine important for many schools of the Mahayana Buddhism. It is considered to be a real eternal principle, essential for every being to get enlightened and achieve nirvana. The Buddha Dhatu is uncreated, incorruptible, and indestructible, and thereby, has to be created within oneself. The Buddha Dhatu is exempted of what is contingent, painful and impermanent. In the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha has called it the ‘True Self’ which is to distinguish from the false worldly self of the five Skandhas. This Tathagatagarbha or the Buddha Dhatu, inherent in all beings, can never be destroyed or harmed, and yet is concealed from view by a mass of obscuring mental and moral taints within the mind-stream of an individual. Once the Buddha-Dhatu is finally seen and known by a faithful Buddhist practitioner, it has the power to transform that seer into a Buddha. The doctrine of the Tathagatagarbha or the Buddha-Dhatu has been therefore, stated by the Buddha of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra to be the ‘absolutely final culmination’ of his Dharma.

Other Principles and Practices
The concept of Buddhism includes various principles necessary to attain the path of enlightenment or to become a Buddhist. Besides the Eightfold Path, Five Percepts and Four Noble Truths, there are numerous other principles for a Buddhist to follow such as meditation, karma and rebirth.

Meditation or dhyana is a common practice in all the schools of Buddhism, which aims at concentration and freeing the mind from desires.

 

The law of karma is another Buddhist doctrine and practice which happens within the dynamic of dependent organisation, Pratitya-Samutpada. Those actions which give positive result are known as good while those which deliver negative results are considered to be unskillful or bad actions. However, both of them are expressed by the way of mind, body or speech. There are many actions which bring instant retribution though there are others that may not appear until a future lifetime. Therefore, what one should do is to work positively towards elimination of their sufferings.

The third principle of Rebirth is closely related to the second one, the law of karma, which is more or less about as you sow, so shall you reap. In other words, actions of the past life has an effect in the present one, and likewise, actions of the present life would decide your future life, thus making a chain of existence. An action in this life may not give fruit or reaction until the next life time. But, this cycle of birth and death can only be broken by the full realisation of the absence of an eternal self or soul or ‘atman’.

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