Buddha-nature

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Buddha-nature

"Thereupon the Lord touched the ground of this billion-world galactic universe with his big toe, and suddenly it was transformed into a huge mass of precious jewels, a magnificent array of many hundreds of thousands of clusters of precious gems, until it resembled the universe of the Tathagata Ratnavyuha, called Ananta-guna-ratna-vyuha.

Everyone in the entire assembly was filled with wonder, each perceiving himself seated on a throne of jeweled lotuses.

Then, the Buddha said to the venerable Shariputra, 'Shariputra, do you see this splendor of the virtues of the buddha-field?'

Shariputra replied, 'I see it, Lord! Here before me is a display of splendour such as I never before heard of or beheld!'

The Buddha said, 'Shariputra, this buddha-field is always thus pure, but the Tathagata makes it appear to be spoiled by many faults in order to bring about the maturity of  inferior living beings. 

For example, Shariputra, the gods of the Trayastrimsa heaven all take their food from a single precious vessel, yet the nectar which nourishes each one differs according to the differences of the merits each has accumulated.

Just so, Shariputra, living beings born in the same buddha-field see the splendor of the virtues of the buddha-fields of the Buddhas according to their own degrees of purity.'

When this splendor of the beauty of the virtues of the buddha-field shone forth, eighty-four thousand beings conceived the spirit of unexcelled perfect enlightenment, and the five hundred Licchavi youths who had accompanied the young Licchavi Ratnakara all attained the conformative tolerance of ultimate birthless-ness.

Then, the Lord withdrew his miraculous power and at once the buddha-field was restored to its usual appearance. Then, both men and gods who subscribed to the disciple-vehicle  thought, 'Alas! All constructed things are impermanent.' "

~ part of the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra.  Vimalakirta (Spotless Reputation) was one of the Licchavi brothers, a "householder" and married man.

If we are already possessed of Buddha-nature, why do we need to practice Buddhism (or any other methods, for that matter)?

In our current form as gods, men, animals or whatever, the answer is given here above: We are "constructed things."  As such, we are impermanent by this very nature -- eventually to come apart, and due to factors including karma and each individual's obscurations, due to take form again and again endlessly, unless we do something to put an end to the cycle.

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