What does it mean to attain enlightenment in this very life?
“Sokushin Jobutsu” is the Japanese term for becoming a Buddha in this very physical body. This term is one of the main theories of Shingon Buddhism and distinguishes it from the other branches. Other doctrines of Buddhism require endless efforts over many lifetimes in order to attain enlightenment. Moreover, it is necessary to be reborn again and again in order to attain enlightenment. On the contrary, the teachings of Shingon Mikkyo preach that followers have the ability to become a Buddha in this real body in this life.
Kobo Daishi teaches that it is possible for anyone to attain enlightenment. Worldly desires often prevent people from realizing this ability to achieve Buddha-hood, and although it is up to the abilities of the individual practitioner to find their own way, the potential exists for everyone. Shingon Mikkyo teaches that we all have the ability to be free from concerns and isolate ourselves from any trouble by achieving enlightenment in this very life.