Inclusion of Buddhahood in the nine worlds
inclusion of Buddhahood in the nine worlds
九界即仏界・九界所具の仏界 (Jpn kukai-soku-bukkai or kukai-shogu-no-bukkai )
The principle that the World of Buddhahood is inherent in the nine worlds. That is, all beings of the nine worlds possess the potential for Buddhahood (i.e., the Buddha nature). The nine worlds refer to the realms of Hell, hungry spirits, Animals, Asuras, human beings, heavenly beings, voice-hearers, cause-Awakened ones, and Bodhisattvas. These realms also sig-nify inherent conditions or states of Life that beings manifest at any given moment. The nine worlds are contrasted with the World of Buddhahood in that they are realms or states of Illusion and Suffering, while Buddhahood is a state of Enlightenment free from Illusion and Suffering. The principle of Buddhahood as a potential within the nine worlds means that the beings of the nine worlds, i.e., those who are deluded, inherently possess the state of Buddhahood and can manifest Buddhahood from within their lives. This concept is derived from the Lotus Sutra, particularly the "Expedient means" (second) chapter. Together with the inclusion of the nine worlds within Buddhahood, it explains T'ient'ai's concept of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds. The chapter reads, "The Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones, wish to open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings." Nichiren says, "This refers to the World of Buddhahood inherent in the nine worlds" (356). That is, Buddhahood is inherent in all living beings. See also "Expedient means" chapter.