You are not your stains
– Disket Angmo, MA student from India
In the Uttaratantra Shastra class at Rangjung Yeshe, we learnt about the concept of Buddha Nature. This shastra holds that everyone is capable of becoming a buddha. Everyone contains the buddha element in them. At first, such knowledge is hard to digest. It is extremely hard to digest if you are only familiar with adventitious stains. Our mental poisons, afflictive emotions pervade us everywhere, every day. We go through an emotional rollercoaster. However, the buddha nature teaching holds that these stains are not real. They are not truly inherent but temporary and can be eliminated through Buddhist practice. This made me contemplate further because I cannot fathom what I would be without my adventitious stains. I cannot imagine what I would be with my trauma, without my diseases, relationship challenges, birth, death and so on. It really is hard to understand the possibility of a mode of existence without all these stains. And that is why, it is mentioned in the shastra that the buddha nature is inconceivable. It is inconceivable to our dualistic, conceptual mind. It is beyond language, signs and symbols. One will only see the truth of it after engaging in the Buddhist path and gaining enlightenment. Though the path to enlightenment seems distant, having a knowledge of one’s true nature as buddha is such a blessing. It enables good confidence in beings who suffer from low self-esteem. It provides beings with a basis that reminds them of their inner goodness even when the turmoil created by stains is colossal.