Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Sanghamitta
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by Sanghamitta »

Well perhaps we in the Theravada can save you a little time and effort Dan74. I dont see any reason at all to accept that the Buddha taught that there is anything like a " Buddha nature ". So why not leave attachment to "Buddha nature" in the pages of the books where it is found, rather than accepting something that doesnt exist and then later detaching your self from it ? :smile:

You see I suspect that you think that we must somehow have a doctrine of Buddha nature but have somehow mislaid it.. :broke:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Dan74
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by Dan74 »

No, I suspect that the statement Peter quotes above is quite spot on.

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Sanghamitta
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by Sanghamitta »

OK so if we agree that each system has its own paradigm, what is to be gained from attempting to hybridise paradigms ? To what end ? What is lacking ?
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Dhammakid
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by Dhammakid »

Sanghamitta wrote:OK so if we agree that each system has its own paradigm, what is to be gained from attempting to hybridise paradigms ? To what end ? What is lacking ?
Right. Nothing is to be gained. There's no reason why a Theravadin should even think twice about something like "Buddha nature." It's not found in the Canon and Theravadin teachers don't really teach about it unless they're trying to make some skillful comparison to Zen.

So, once again, it comes down to choosing a practice and sticking to it. The hybridizing mind is what we're trying to tame. If one is restless in their current practice, they either aren't practicing rightly or really should change practices.

:anjali:
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BudSas
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by BudSas »

Pannapetar wrote:I have finally listened to the 2-hour talk by Stephen Batchelor (thank you, tiltbillings) on Buddha nature. Batchelor contrasts Buddha nature with Mara nature, saying that these are two sides of the same coin, and that it depends on our effort which one we develop. I think this understanding is helpful in as far as it prevents the most obvious misunderstanding, namely that Buddha nature is a given. Batchelor also mentioned that the English term 'Buddha nature' is a translation accident that occurred earlier last century when Chinese Mahayana sources were translated by people like D.T. Suzuki and others. The more correct translation would be 'Buddha womb'. The proper understanding of this very term would probably have prevented some of the above discussion.
In Chinese, there are 2 different terms: "rúláizàng" = Tathagatha womb/store = Tathagatagarbha ; "fóxìng" = Buddha nature = Buddha-dhatu. I don't think there is any confusion or mis-translation here.

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Macavity
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by Macavity »

BudSas wrote:In Chinese, there are 2 different terms: "rúláizàng" = Tathagatha womb/store = Tathagatagarbha ; "fóxìng" = Buddha nature = Buddha-dhatu. I don't think there is any confusion or mis-translation here
I haven't listened to Batchelor's talk, but usually when scholars speak of a "translation accident" in this matter they mean that tathāgatagarbha and buddhadhātu have become conflated as a result of both of them being translated into English as "Buddha nature".
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by kannada »

Hi Thomas,
if sentient beings have the potential for enlightenment, and if enlightenment does not involve becoming something else altogether, then the logical conclusion must be that we are in some sense already enlightened. In other words, the seeds for enlightenment should be present already.
In brief:

Thought = thing, no thought = no thing.

'Sentient beings' is a product of assertion, there are no 'sentient beings' unless asserted either by (a self asserted) 'self' or (a self asserted) 'other'.

Nirvana = cessation, not cessation of GHD, but 'cessation' pure and simple (but not excluding GHD).

'Self' / 'Other' are conceptual overlays on the skandhas (even 'skandhas' are a product of conceptuality).

'Enlightenment' is woeful terminology , anatta excludes a 'self' to be 'enlightened'. Therefore there are no 'seeds' for enlightenment.

suunya, sunya, shunya, zunya, zuunya (noun) = 'zero' not 'empty'. Sunya-atta (adjective) = 'zero-self', not as usually (and erroneously) translated as 'emptyness'.
See link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_numerals" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Since Sanskrit is an Indo-European language, it is obvious (as also seen from the table) that the words for numerals closely resemble those of Greek and Latin. The word "Shunya" for zero was translated into Arabic as "صفر" "sifr", meaning 'nothing' which became the term "zero" in many European languages from Medieval Latin, zephirum (Arabic: sifr).


All the best

k
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Rui Sousa
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by Rui Sousa »

I see the path to enlightening as a process of letting go imperfections by developing wisdom. In the end there is only the absence of imperfections.

Where is this "Buddha nature"?
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Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Post by Pannapetar »

BudSas wrote:In Chinese, there are 2 different terms: "rúláizàng" = Tathagatha womb/store = Tathagatagarbha ; "fóxìng" = Buddha nature = Buddha-dhatu. I don't think there is any confusion or mis-translation here.
According to Batchelor, D.T. Suzuki translated "Buddha nature" correctly from the Chinese "fóxìng", however, the latter is not an adequate rendering of the Sanskrit word Buddha-dhātu. So the translation accident goes back to the Chinese.

@Kannada,

You are right; we have clarified in this conservation that the metaphor of a "seed" or "inner jewel" which is sometimes found in Mahayana is misleading, because it implies thingness where none is found; in other words Buddha-dhātu needs to be seen as "potential", the development of which depends on conditions.

Cheers, Thomas
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