Primordially pure ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Buddhanature is pure and free from all kinds of compounded phenomena, right from the beginning.

The ultimate true nature is always devoid of anything compounded, so it is said that defilements, karma, and their full ripening are like a cloud, etc. (Uttaratantra Shastra, Stanza 158)

Therefore, buddhanature is free from the three kinds of emotions: desire, aggression, and jealousy. It is free from the emotions of karmic formation, such as virtuous actions and non-virtuous actions. And it is free from the result of emotion, the five aggregates. Therefore, the emotions are like clouds.

The defilements are said to be like clouds, karma is likened to the experience in dreams, and the full ripening of karma and defilements—the aggregates—are likened to conjurations. (Uttaratantra Shastra, Stanza 159)

The nature of beings is primordially pure; that’s why we call it buddhanature. Although emotions are seemingly apparent and seemingly stubborn, seemingly like a second nature, they are never a second nature. They are like clouds—they are adventitious, and not a true part of you. This point is quite important. In Buddhism we always come to the conclusion that these emotions and defilements are temporary. When we’re looking at a gray cloudy sky, we might call it a cloudy sky, but it’s not really a cloudy sky. The clouds are never the sky. The clouds are temporary or adventitious.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche


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