On Attaining Buddhahood In This Lifetime
When deluded, one is called an ordinary being, but when enlightened, one is called a Buddha. This is similar to a tarnished mirror that will shine like a jewel when polished. A mind now clouded by the illusions of the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror , but when polished, it is sure to become like a clear mirror, reflecting the essential nature of phenomena and the true aspect of reality. Arouse deep faith, diligently polish your mirror day and night. How should you polish it? Only by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
“On Attaining Buddhahood In This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1 p. 4
“Of course, not only humans but also all living beings possess the Buddha nature and have the potential to attain Buddhahood in their present form, but Nichiren’s focus is always first and foremost on the happiness of human beings.
The human heart is sensitive, multifaceted and rich; it has the capacity for magnificent achievement. For that very reason, the heart often undergoes great suffering and torment, and can become trapped in an endless, downward spiral.
Attaining enlightenment is a constant, moment-to-moment, inner struggle between revealing our innate Buddha nature or allowing ourselves to be ruled by our fundamental darkness and delusion. This unceasing effort to polish our lives is the essence of Buddhist practice.
The only way for human beings to change is for them to conquer their inner darkness and rediscover the eternal dignity within their own lives. Attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime thus becomes the fundamental purpose of an individual’s life.
“On Attaining Buddhahood In This Lifetime” SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, 2011