Original Enlightenment

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Key Term Original Enlightenment
Chinese Script 本覺
Chinese Pinyin benjue
Japanese Transliteration honggaku
English Standard original enlightenment
Term Type Noun
Source Language Chinese
Basic Meaning According to East Asian Buddhism, the intrinsic enlightenment of all sentient beings. This is obscured by the many stains present in the ālayavijñāna. When these are purified the natural state of enlightenment is recovered, a status known as "actualized enlightenment."
Has the Sense of The natural state of enlightenment that is obscured through the adventitious stains.
Related Topic Pages The Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna
sutra/śastra quote: The essence of Mind is free from thoughts. The characteristic of that which is free from thoughts is analogous to that of the sphere of empty space that pervades everywhere. The one [without any second, i.e., the absolute] aspect of the world of reality (dharmadhātu) is none other than the undi›erentiated dharmakāya, the “essence body” of the Tathāgata. [Since the essence of Mind is] grounded on the dharmakāya, it is to be called the original enlightenment. Why? Because “original enlightenment” indicates [the essence of Mind (a priori)] in contradistinction to [the essence of Mind in] the process of actualization of enlightenment; the process of actualization of enlightenment is none other than [the process of integrating] the identity with the original enlightenment.
sutra/śastra quote source: The Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna

Enlightenment or awakening. In Tibetan it is translated as "purified" (byang) and "perfected" (chub), which corresponds to Siddhartha Gautama's achievement of purifying all obscurations and perfecting or attaining all qualities associated with a Buddha.

"Truth body" or "true being" - One of the three bodies of a Buddha, in Mahāyāna Buddhism, it often refers to a kind of fundamental principle or the true nature of reality itself.