In the lotus-flower is implicit its emergence from the water. If it does not emerge, its blossoms will not open; in the emergence is implicit the blossoming. If the water is three feet deep, the stalk of the flower will be four or five feet; if the water is seven or eight feet deep, the stalk will be over ten feet tall. That is what is implied by the emergence from the water. The greater the amount of water, the taller the stalk will grow; the potential growth is limitless. Now, all human beings have the lotus of Buddhahood within them. It will rise above the mire and foul water of the Hinayana and Quasi-Mahayana, and then through the stage of the bodhisattvas to open, leaves and blossoms together, in full glory.
– from the writings of Saicho
Saicho (767-822) was a Japanese Buddhist who founded the Tendai school of Buddhism, based on a form of Chinese Buddhism in the Tiantai school, which he visited during a trip to China in 804. He is also credited for having been the first to bring tea to Japan. Basing much of his form of Buddhism on the ancient Sanskrit text known as the Lotus Sutra, Saicho held that all humans have the potential to become the Buddha, that is the divinely enlightened one, and that the Buddha is himself eternal.