The Mahā-parinirvāna Sūtra
Venerable Seongcheol [+]
The Mahā-parinirvāna Sūtra makes some of the most detailed and frequent references to the middle path of all the many Mahāyāna sμutras. The principal theory presented in the Mahā-parinirvāna Sūtra is that every living being has the Buddha nature. But what is the meaning of the Buddha nature? The Buddha nature in every living being is the middle path, since it tends neither to existence nor non-existence, neither to permanence nor annihilation. The content of the middle path is the truth of the twelve links of dependent origination as rightly understood by the Buddha on the eve of his awakening. It is the middle path since it abandons views of both annihilation and permanence. I will quote three passages from the Mahā-parinirvāna Sūtra which relate to the Buddha nature and the middle path.