People are sentient beings with an intrinsic Buddha-nature, but when they are influenced by their environment, inauspicious causes and conditions cause them accumulate complex and negative habitual tendencies, which can cause them to turn away from their Buddha-nature.
In order for them to return to their pure and wholesome nature, they must follow the right method. This means that they must walk the Bodhisattva-path, putting the teachings into practice and trusting in the karmic law of cause and effect.
By liberating themselves from suffering and working to eliminate negative habitual tendencies, the purity of their Buddha-nature can shine forth again.
“The sutras are a path; this path is a road for us to walk on.” Ordinary people traveling on life’s journey do not realize that one ignorant thought can create subtle afflictions. If we do not clearly recognize karma and its nature, habitual tendencies in thoughts and actions can become deeply rooted and give rise to more karma. Going from the worldly path to the path of the Bodhisattva, we abide by the Four Great Vows in our hearts and practice the Four Infinite Minds and the Six Paramitas in our actions. Only then can we penetrate the essence of the sutras and thus return to our pure nature. Only then will we realize that the mind, the Buddha, and sentient beings are no different in their nature. Everyone has Buddha-nature, and everyone is innately capable of attaining the same virtue as the Buddha!”