Bodhi refers to the noblest form of wisdom, which is capable of eliminating afflictions. The literal meaning of the term is “enlightenment” or “awakening.” It refers to the wisdom that can do away with afflictions of all kinds, which hinder the believer’s progress towards his or her ultimate enlightenment. Admittedly, bodhi is the ultimate destination of all Buddhist practices. But different approaches result in different levels of bodhi. Chinese Buddhism is inclined to uphold the idea of “inherent awareness” or “[rediscovered] true enlightenment,” arguing that the result of one’s practice is based on none other than one’s inherent wisdom.
Greed, resentment, and ignorance all take the “essence (of mind)” as their ontological basis. If one fully understands and explores the essence, one can be truly liberated. So, according to the scripture, when a common man has not yet become a buddha, his bodhi appears as his afflictions; when a noble man has become a buddha, his afflictions turn out to be his bodhi. (Huiyuan: A Commentary on The Teaching of Vimalakīrti)