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The Essence of Mahayana Buddhism

In Mahayana Buddhism, it is said that all sentient beings have Buddha Nature, and thus are buddhas.

To me, the term "buddha" means "one who helps and is of service to the Buddhist practitioner on the journey to enlightenment (nirvana)".

Within the context of Buddhism then, all sentient beings the practitioner encounters in life are buddhas who teach the Buddhadharma through validation of the the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Noble Path, and dependent arising.

However, so that the practitioner is not led astray, the Buddhist teachings are still required to be studied.

IMHO this is how the direct experience of all Buddhists teach the validity of Buddhism.

Indeed, even the illiterate who cannot read scripture would still have learned about Buddhism from a Buddhist scholar by listening to him talk about the Buddhadharma.

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