Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Three Dimensions (2) 三つの次元(2)

Buddhahood in Three Dimensions
By Thich Nhat Hanh

We also need to establish a third dimension of the Lotus Sutra to reveal its function, its action. How can we help people of the historical dimension get in touch with their ultimate nature so that they can live joyfully in peace and freedom? How can we help those who suffer to open the door of the ultimate dimension so that the suffering brought about by fear, despair and anxiety can be alleviated? I have gathered all of the chapters of the Lotus Sutra on the great bodhisattvas into this third, action dimension, the bodhisattva’s sphere of engaged practice.

Practicing the path and liberating beings from suffering is the action of the bodhisattvas. --- The action taken up by these bodhisattvas is to help living beings in the historical dimension recognize that they are manifestations from the ground of the ultimate. Without this kind of revelation we cannot see our true nature. Following the bodhisattva path, we recognize the ground of our being, our essential nature, in the ultimate dimension of no birth and no death. This is the realm of nirvana—complete liberation, freedom, peace and joy.

In chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra, we are introduced to a beautiful bodhisattva called Sadaparibhuta, “Never Disparaging.” The name of this bodhisattva can also be translated as “Never Despising.” This bodhisattva never underestimates living beings or doubts their capacity for buddhahood. His message is, “I know you possess buddhanature and you have the capacity to become a buddha,” and this is exactly the message of the Lotus Sutra—you are already a buddha in the ultimate dimension, and you can become a buddha in the historical dimension. Buddhanature, the nature of enlightenment and love, is already within you; all you need is to get in touch with it and manifest it. Never Disparaging Bodhisattva is there to remind us of the essence of our true nature.

This bodhisattva removes the feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem in people. “How can I become a buddha? How can I attain enlightenment? There is nothing in me except suffering, and I don’t know how to get free of my own suffering, much less help others. I am worthless.” Many people have these kinds of feelings, and they suffer more because of them. Never Disparaging Bodhisattva works to encourage and empower people who feel this way, to remind them that they too have buddhanature, they too are a wonder of life, and they too can achieve what a buddha achieves. This is a great message of hope and confidence. This is the practice of a bodhisattva in the action dimension.








Thich Nhat Hanh ティク・ナット・ハン