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"Buddha Nature is not something that comes to an end. Though wicked men should be born beasts or hungry demons, or fall into hell, they never lose their Buddha Nature." However, buried in the defilement of flesh or concealed at the root of worldly desires and forgotten it may be, the human affinity for Buddhahood is never completely extinguished." - p.144, Teaching of the Buddha - Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra

Thus, Buddha Nature does not come to an end, nor can any living being lose it.

"Affinity" means "a natural attraction or feeling of kinship" and "a close connection marked by similarity in nature". This is similar yet not the same as the Christian sentiment that people are created in God's image.

Indeed, Buddhahood is not godhood because it is a universal and innate goal, for the journey there is as incomprehensible as knowing God.

For people have a natural tendency to perfect themselves, and thus have "affinity for Buddhahood".

In each of us is Buddha Nature, yet only by letting go of, and not clinging to, desire are we able to uncover Buddha Nature.

"Defilement of flesh" means "temporary mental states resulting from the feelings arising from each of the six senses of sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch, and the mind which bring forth unskillful actions" and also "mental and behavioral negativities".

Despite having ego, and all the mental and behavioral negativities that entails, the human desire for perfection is strong. Therefore, Buddhahood is a worthy goal that the truly dedicated will seek.

Why? Because one's affinity for Buddhahood never completely goes away.


Teaching of the Buddha:, page 144
Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra:
defilement of the flesh:
skillful actions:

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