The Great Compassion


In Shin Buddhism, one of our texts is the Larger Pure Land Sutra, in which there’s a story about Dharmakara Bodhisattva. He makes vows, as all bodhisattvas do, and he has to fulfill them in order to become a buddha. The most important one is the 18th vow, which we call the Primal Vow. In the story, Dharmakara refuses to become a buddha unless all other beings can be liberated along with him, no matter how evil or attached or ignorant they may be. He stakes his own freedom on our freedom. This is the central point of Shin Buddhism.