The Gosho often references eradicating our earthly desires, but it also says that earthly desires equal enlightenment. How can both be true?

According to the Hinayana teachings, since illusions and earthly desires generally work to obscure the Buddha nature and hinder Buddhist practice, one must eradicate them in order to attain enlightenment. In the viewpoint of the Lotus Sutra, however, earthly desires and enlightenment are not different in their fundamental essence. It follows that enlightenment is not the eradication of desires, but a state in which the true entity of all phenomena can be experienced by transforming one’s innate desires. The Bodhisattva Universally Worthy Sutra (Fugen-gyō), which is the epilogue to the Lotus Sutra, states:

Even without extinguishing their earthly desires or denying their five desires, they can purify all of their senses and eradicate all their misdeeds.
(Hokekyo, p. 674)

The Daishonin taught that chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon is the specific practice for manifesting Buddhahood and thereby transforming earthly desires into enlightenment. The “Orally Transmitted Teachings” (“Ongi-kuden”) states:

Now, Nichiren and others who chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo burn the firewood of earthly desires and behold the fire of enlightened wisdom before their eyes.
(Gosho, p. 1721)

He also stated:

Those persons who honestly discard the expedient teachings, put faith only in the Lotus Sutra, and chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo will transform the three paths of earthly desires, karma, and suffering into the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom and emancipation. The threefold contemplation and the three truths will immediately manifest in their minds. The place where they dwell will become the land of eternally tranquil light.
(Gosho, p. 694)
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