Everyone possesses the capacity for great mercy. The saint Vimalakirti and butchers and executioners alike have this capacity. Everywhere in the world can be found the same genuine mood that accords with Nature—be it in a magnificent mansion or a humble cottage. It is just greed that destroys the capacity for great mercy, and fleshly emotions that lock up the genuine mood. Men miss the way to salvation when such an opportunity stares them in the face. A single step in the wrong direction leads them as far from the right path as if a thousand miles intervened.
Everyone is born with Buddha-nature, in which respect, the saint Vimalakirti and butchers and executioners are all the same. Everywhere is a genuine mood, which can be found both in a golden mansion and in a thatched cottage. But it is much to be regretted that Buddha-nature is often obscured by the craving for fame and fortune and the genuine mood always concealed by sensual desires. Should a person let slip Buddha-nature and the genuine mood when coming face to face with them, then this would be the result—a short distance away, yet poles apart.