The Buddha's mind is wisdom and compassion.
Wisdom and compassion are not to be divided. It is to look carefully at the other person's side and understand it. This is the wisdom that Buddhism teaches. Therefore, if you put yourself in the other person's place, you will love and care for his or her life. You will stop taking the other living things's life. Buddhism teaches this kind of compassion and wisdom. This is the basis of Buddhism.
After Shakyamuni awaken to enlightenment at the age of 35, he wanted to share this enlightenment he had attained with others.
But he thought, "Even if I tell people about this undiscriminating wisdom and compassion, they will not understand.
Even if I tell them this, they will not listen to me," he thought in despair.
That was two thousand five hundred years ago, but it would still be true today.
If you were to say to someone now, "Let us act with understanding of the other side," he would say back to you, 'What do you say? All that matters is what's good for me, and I don't care what happens to others."
Shakamuni felt the same way.
But the Buddha overcame his despair and began to preach to the people. That was when he was 35 years old. For the next 45 years, until his death at the age of 80, he traveled all over India, telling people about his awakened wisdom and compassion.
I can awaken me to the truth. I can make me profitable. It is to benefit others. I can make others benefit, because it is to awaken them to the truth. Because that person who is awakened will benefit greatly. Therefore, my happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. That is what Buddha Shakyamuni said.
That is the basis of Buddhism.
Yet, after the death of Shakyamuni, Buddhist monks were transformed to talk about their own awakening. They became so intent on their own act of seeking enlightenment that they stopped caring about others. They thought that they alone should be as enlightened as Shakyamuni.
However, around the first century A.D., about 400 years after Shakyamuni's death, the Buddhists started a new Buddhist movement.
The practitioners of this movement claimed, "Shakyamuni Buddha said that to be happy is to be happy for oneself and for everyone else at the same time". This is called Mahayana Buddhism.
In this way, Buddhism underwent a major change. This new movement, Mahayana Buddhism, spread to Tibet, China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.
Mahayana practitioners are called Bodhisattvas.
They strive for their own enlightenment. At the same time, they strive to enlighten others without stopping there. That is why they insist on "living without a safe home.
Awakening without a safe home means "homelessness.
Mahayana Buddhism says that true nirvana means to leave the world of wandering, but not to leave it for the world of ease and comfort once awakened.
Because enlightenment is the attainment of wisdom that does not discriminate, those who attain it become people who understand not only themselves but also the other person's side and act accordingly. Therefore, they are so concerned about those who are lost that they go out of their way to be close to them.
To be awakened is not to enter nirvana. So those who are truly awakened are not in this world of suffering. Not only that, they do not even rest in the world of nirvana.
In other words, he or she is a "homeless person without a home to rest in".
That, Mahayana Buddhists teach, is nirvana.
There are those who think, "I am already happy, so it does not matter to me if others are in trouble; as long as I am happy, that is all that matters. The Bodhisattva criticizes such thinking as being "Hinayana Buddhism".
Let's all be happy together, they say.
That is what Buddhism teaches. The more we learn, the more we care about those who are lost. I think we must somehow rescue those who are in trouble, those who are lost. That feeling is compassion. Being able to understand the other side is called wisdom.
The Mahayana Buddhists insist that a life in which we practice compassion and wisdom is Buddhism.