Buddahood: The Fruition
we will move on to fruition which is Buddhahood. The word for Buddha in Tibetan
has two syllables, sang gey. These show the two main qualities or principle aspects
of this highest goal of Buddhahood. The first is the aspect of purity which means
one is free from all the impurities of the defilements, from ignorance, and from
all the obscurations.
The syllable sang means "awakened," "awakened
from that sleep of ignorance," or "purified from that ignorance."
The second syllable gey means "blossomed" because being free from impurities,
all of the deep wisdom of the Buddha becomes present and this clarity and knowledge
has completely blossomed and is completely free from obscurations. So Buddhahood
is the complete blossoming of the highest wisdom and purity.
Now, the teachings
of the Buddha can be divided into three main levels or vehicles which are the
Hinayana, the Mahayana, and the Vajrayana. Another way of analyzing them is to
look at them in terms of the sutra and the tantra level of teaching.
word sutra was translated into Tibetan as do which means "teachings"
or "explanation." Generally, the sutra level of teachings contains all
of the explanations, all the ways of presenting the vast meaning that the Buddha
gave in his life of teachings. So the sutra tradition is a way of presentation
of the Buddha's teachings.
The other aspect is the tantra. When this Sanskrit
word was translated into Tibetan, it became ju which means "continuum."
Sometimes it is called mantra which in Tibetan is nga.
This word tantra or
"continuum" shows that there is this presence of Buddha-nature or Buddha-essence
in all sentient beings that they had have from the very beginning of existence
and will possess until they reach Buddhahood. So, by gradually working on the
path, step by step, one develops one's full potential and reaches Buddhahood.
This constant or continuous presence within us is what is worked with in the tantric
teachings. (The Tantra path is also called the Vajrayana)