Anyone Can Change


This is something I wanted to share for a while. It is a quote from a Buddhist text called the Sutra of Innumerable Meanings (無量義経, muryōgikyō), which is a sutra often found with the more famous Lotus Sutra. It is considered a kind of “prologue” to the Lotus Sutra.

Anyhow, this is from Chapter Three, translation by Bunno Kato:

The Buddha said: “Good sons! First, this sutra makes the unawakened bodhisattva aspire to buddhahood,
makes a merciless one raise the mind of mercy,
makes a homicidal one raise the mind of great compassion,
makes a jealous one raise the mind of joy,
makes an attached one raise the mind of detachment,
makes a miserly one raise the mind of donation,
makes an arrogant one raise the mind of keeping the commandments,
makes an irascible one raise the mind of perseverance,
makes an indolent one raise the mind of assuiduity,
makes a distracted one raise the mind of meditation,
makes an ignorant one raise the mind of wisdom,
makes one who lacks concern for saving others raise the mind of saving others,
makes the one who commits the ten evils raise the mind of the ten virtues,

What I like about this quote is that it shows that under the right conditions, anyone can change for the better. They just need the right inspiration, and the right conditions. 🙂

The famous Indian-Buddhist philosopher, Nagarjuna (龍樹, Ryūju), once famously said: “For whom emptiness is possible, everything is possible.”

What this means is that because everything is “empty” (lacking a static, permanent self), everything is possible. Anger can turn to goodwill, craving can turn into forbearance, etc. An alcoholic can turn into a saint when the conditions are right. If not in this life, then perhaps in another life.

Namu myoho renge kyo


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

3 thoughts on “Anyone Can Change”

  1. Hi, Doug. Thanks for your wonderful blog. Congratulations on your new job; I hope it is a company with a humane culture.

    About your post in January about Devadatta, “Eventually, Everyone can become a Buddha,” I just want to correct a small factual point: Mahaprajapati was the sister of Siddhartha Gotama’s mother Maya, and Siddhartha’s foster mother after Maya’s death.


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