佛性 – Chinese philosophy and culture

fóxìng 佛性

Buddhadhātu / Buddha-nature

指众生觉悟的可能性。佛教经典一般承认,一切众生都有觉悟成佛的可能性,此即佛性。从词义上说,佛性指佛的基本因子。而正由于这种基本条件的存在,凡夫才能通过累世累劫的修炼,达到完全觉悟的目标。常见的另一个概念“如来藏”(tathāgatagarbha),在解脱论的意义上与“佛性”几乎等同,只是侧重点有别,它特别指出众生自性本来清净、有待彰显的本质特性。

Buddha-nature is a latent seed or potentiality inherent to the sentient beings that may, once matured, result in the achievement of buddhahood. Buddhanature, or buddha element, is universally present in all sentient beings, thanks to which, those who can withstand the difficult engagement of (Buddhist) practice throughout their lives in samsara, will finally attain the goal of enlightenment. Conceptually, it has a close affinity with another term tathāgatagarbha (literally the womb of the Tathāgata), which emphasizes the nature of purity as being innate in the minds of all sentient beings and capable of being manifested under proper circumstances.

引例 Citation:

◎我常宣说一切众生悉有佛性,乃至一阐提等亦有佛性。一阐提等无有善法,佛性亦善,以未来有故,一阐提等悉有佛性。(《大般涅槃经·师子吼菩萨品第十一》)

(我一直宣说,一切众生都有成佛的可能性,即便是断除了一切善根的人也有佛性。断除善根的人虽然没有善业积累,但其本有的佛性是好的。由于未来仍可能积行善业,所以说这些人也都有佛性。)

I have often proclaimed the universality of the buddha-nature in all sentient beings, including icchantikas (literally one who is subject to great desire, hence according to certain schools should be bereft of all the possibilities to achieve buddhahood). Icchantikas, though devoid of any meritorious deeds accumulated so far throughout their past lives, still possess the buddha-nature and thus will be able to engage in the wholesome activities in the future. (Great Discourse on the Final Nirvana)

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