Myōe 明恵 (1173–1232) has his own views on the Practice of the Path, which holds that people spend an immeasurably long time becoming Buddha. Keeping this in mind, he remarks on “Attaining Buddhahood in this very body” referring to both “Exoteric” and “Esoteric” Teachings. Based on this view of the Practice of the Path, I consider his understanding of “Exoteric Buddhism,” “Esoteric Buddhism” and “Attaining Buddhahood in this very body,” and examine his “View on Attaining Buddhahood.”
Myōe’s comprehension of Buddhahood is as follows: his “View of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism” is the teaching that practitioners themselves see and hear along their way of life. In his “View of the Attainment of Buddhahood in this very body,” practitioners of Buddhism who preach the teaching become “Buddha” for those who hear it, while they, who were preached to, may become “Buddha” when they preach to others. This process finally enables all to become Buddha, and reach a state in which their bodies and experiences and the universe fuse together.
I conclude that Myōe’s “View on Attaining Buddhahood” shows that practitioners go first through the stages of the Bodhisattva understanding each teaching suitable for themselves, and then attain the Tathagata’s jūsan ryōtōshin 十三量等身”—sammitsu kajishin 三密加持身 in Esoteric Buddhism― or “total equality”: they seek to overcome any inequality in the world.