What does it mean by the ordinary human being as the Buddha, defilement as bodhi?


The said verse originates from Chapter on Prajna, 2, in Alter Sutra

of the Sixth Patriarch. Verses with similar meaning are also found in

other sutras.

Each and every life possesses the Buddha-nature, the Tathagata

treasury. In saying the ordinary human being as the Buddha and all

things as void, defilement indeed is bodhi. The ordinary human being

On expounding the meanings of names and appearances

and the Buddha pertain to two extremities; defilement and bodhi

are unrelated. Why put the two alongside each other as equals?

There in Buddhism are the real dogma and ordinary dogma. Even

amid the ordinary dogma, as we have come to see, phenomena can

be contradictory: virtue and evil, the ordinary human being and the

Buddha, defilement and bodhi. On realization of the real dogma,

all things are void, all methods nil, and all phenomena, habits,

knowledge, and impressions laid down such that, in the mind of

the practitioner attaining bhutatathata—the suchness of existents,

the states of inner quiet and harmony, of the ordinary human being,

of the Buddha, of defilement, and of bodhi cease to exist. All are

immaterial. There is neither the ordinary human being nor the

Buddha. Defilement and bodhi are absolute, whole as are.