A Buddha within: The Tathagatagarbhasutra: The earliest by Michael Zimmerman

By Michael Zimmerman

1. A research and translation of the Tathagatagarbhasutra; 2. severe and diplomatic versions of the Tathagatagarbhasutra ; The variations [Tibetan and chinese language] contains broad biliographical references and index.

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Extra info for A Buddha within: The Tathagatagarbhasutra: The earliest exposition of the Buddha-nature teaching in India

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Wie") ausdriickl. aufeinauder bezogen, sie decken sich aber nicht wie in der Allegorie in mebreren Einzelziigen, vielmebr konzentrieren sich die einander entsprecheuden Ziige beider Sphiiren in einem ejnzigen, fUr die Aussage wesentlichen Vergleichsrnoment, dern Tertium comparalionis, in dem die beiden Seiten sich beriihren. Das Gleichnis ist yom blollen Vergleich 34 with the description of a situation or process in the material sphere (upamiina; ''Bildsphare'') to which the assumed factual situation (upameya; "Sachsphare"), namely the existence of buddhahood in all living beings, is then compared.

The description of merit arising from the propagation of the siitra (10) is a common theme in Mahayana literature. Though other methods of attaining merit, with which the siitra-related activities are contrasted, can differ according to the text/ 7 the propagation of the siitra by preserving, reciting, copying and teaching it is very common. First, the TGS announces in a general way the positive result for one's merit from applying oneself to the propagation of the siitra (lOA). It goes on to illustrate this fact impressively by contrasting it with the meaningless production and donation of myriads of pavilions to myriads of buddhas and bodhisattvas or the bestowal of hundreds of thousands of flowers upon them for a hundred thousand kalpas (lOBe).

Nothing that would substantiate such an idea occurs in the description of the spiritual sphere. This description serves rather to underscore the surprise and complete unexpectedness arising the moment the burned and ugly mold is replaced by a golden image from inside. The simile describes accurately and in detail this method of casting, which is still practiced among artisans in India and Nepa1. 1 The Term tathiigatagarbha As the summary of the similes above has revealed, the idea that all living beings have the buddha-nature is not illustrated in a completely homogeneous way.

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