Why Should I Attain Buddhahood Too?

Immeasurable Buddhas, including you,
are needed to guide
immeasurable beings, including you,
to Buddhahood.

— Shilashanti

Someone wonders, “Can Buddhas really benefit sentient beings?” Yes, they can, but they can’t help everyone immediately. Only when sentient beings are receptive to the Buddhas’ awakening activity are they able to receive the Buddhas’ help. Their receptivity at any particular moment depends on them — their disposition, interests and aspirations. When sentient beings lack interest in the Dharma and have heavy, destructive karmic imprints, it is difficult for them to receive the Buddhas’ help. We must make ourselves receptive vessels in order for the Buddha’s awakening activity to affect us.

Consider whether you have benefited from the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. If you hadn’t met the Dharma, what would your life be like now? What would you be doing and what kind of karma would you be creating? As you reflect on this, you see that you have definitely benefited from their awakening activities. When you become a Bodhisattva and then a Buddha, you will be able to benefit others in the same way.

Someone now asks, “Since there are already numberless Buddhas, isn’t it useless for me to attain Buddhahood? Why don’t I just take the easy path of ridding myself from all dukkha (i.e. suffering) and become an Arhat instead?’ If you seek to free only yourself from Samsara, when you attain Nirvana, your mind will still be obscured by cognitive obscurations. Becoming an Arhat does not fulfill your potential. Furthermore, you have strong karmic links with some sentient beings that other Buddhas don’t have due to the relationships you developed in cyclic existence. Therefore, you will have a special ability to guide them once you become a Buddha.

Practical Ethics And Profound Emptiness:
A Commentary On Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland
Khensur Jampa Tegchok (Edited By Thubten Chodron)

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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