CASE #32: The Buddha’s Mission
A sutra teaches:

As long as selfish and defiled minds create their own worlds and circumstances, there will be no end to the Buddha’s mission.

Their own worlds and circumstances     A core teaching of Buddhism, found in numerous Mahayana sutras, states: “If a person’s mind becomes pure, his surroundings will also become pure.” Naturally, the obverse is also true: If a person’s mind is impure, his surroundings will be, too. That seems to be the meaning here.

Why does a buddha appear in the world? Because deluded beings create their own world, separate from all that is. And not just one world. Around each deluded thought another and another world appears, until eventually there is a multiplicity of worlds. Flowers go unnoticed. Species come and go. Whole epochs pass while we wander from one world to another, looking for the one that is real.

Into this situation steps the Tathagata, or “Thus Come One.” Where does he come from? It’s the wrong question. The world of Nature doesn’t come or go.

Buddha once held up
A flower for all to see.
Who knew a blossom
Could contain every being
Ever born into this world?


Read all the Green Koans

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