The Doctrine of Buddha-Nature in Mahayana Buddhism

Tony Sin-Heng See


The doctrine of Buddha-Nature (Buddhadhātu) is one of the most important
doctrines in Mahayana Buddhism. This doctrine can be found in a number of Mahayana texts that were composed at least by the 3rd to the 5th century C. E. and traces of this doctrine can be found in the development of Chinese, Korean and Japanese Buddhism. The doctrine of Buddha-nature basically teaches that all sentient beings have the Buddha-nature and that they can all attain Buddhahood. The Buddha-nature is described as pure and immaculate, free from emotional and conceptual defilements that plague sentient beings.

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