Death Be Not Final

Came across this. Food for contemplation. Imagine one’s “consciousness” being transported to “the Cloud” for all eternity? What’s to become of rebirth? Death soon may not be so final, thanks to these creepy technologies By Corey S. Powell Every day, it seems, our lives become a bit less tangible. We’ve grown accustomed to photos, music and movies as things that exist only in digital form. But death? Strange as it sounds, the human corpse could be the next physical object Read more [...]
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Having Faith in the Tathāgata-garbha

Within this series we have encountered the seven Vajra-points that essentially constitutes the main leitmotiv of the Ratnagotravibhāgaśāstra, which is the core make-up and teachings of the Tathāgata-garbha: Takasaki: § 1. The Superiority of Faith over Other Virtues in Regard to Their Merits. The Essence of Buddhahood, the Enlightenment of the Buddha, The Buddha's Properties, and the Buddha's Acts, They are inconceivable even to those of the pure mind*, Being the exclusive Read more [...]
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The Acts of the Buddha

In this fourth chapter we have arrived at the seventh and last Vajra-point—Kṛtya-kriyās, or the acts/functions of the Tathāgata. Kṛtya literally means ‘what should or ought to be done, ‘right and proper’. Kriyā means ‘performance, doing or act’. Thus Tathāgata’s Kṛtya-kriyās would mean ‘the right and proper acts of the Tathāgata (Buddha) which he performs spontaneously for the welfare of all sentient beings.’ These are the activities of the Buddha or the “active Read more [...]
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The Powers of the Buddha

The Ten Powers (daśa-balāni) of the Buddha: Sthānāsthāna: Perfect Buddhagnosis of drawing right conclusions, of what is appropriate and inappropriate. A Buddha, unlike common worldlings, makes firm resolutions that are never broken, based on former Bodhisattvic vows that are reinforced through bodhicitta. Karmavipāka: This second power is knowing the fruition of proper [actions], thus having a firm grasp of the workings of karma. Nānādhimukti: Knowing full-well Read more [...]
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Buddha-Guṇa

Chapter Three of the Ratnagotra involves the Buddha-Guṇa (sixth vajra-point), or the properties and/or characteristics of Buddhahood. This is based on the term Guṇādhikāra—or the make-up of the favorable qualities of the Buddhakāya. Takasaki: (Kārikā 1) The aim of one's own and that of others, [Consists in] the Body of the Highest Truth And the Worldly Emanations based upon it; Representing the state of Liberation and Maturation, The result is endowed with Properties, Read more [...]
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The Magnificent Eight

Bodhi itself is bracketed by Eight-Points or essential-qualities. The Eight Points are: Purity (svabhāva), Cause (hetu), Result (phala), Functions (karman), Union (yoga), Manifestations (vṛtti), Permanence (nitya), and Inconceivability (acintya). These “terms” should be familiar as they mostly were covered earlier in the series. Now they are associated in terms of Pure and Immaculate qualities of the Absolute Staturehood. Svabhāva: Obermiller: Now, (first of all) we have a Read more [...]
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Bodhi: The Essence of Realization

We have completed the first four Vajra-points. Now is time to describe in Chapter Two the fifth Vajra-point, Bodhi: 提/ 覺). In Sanskrit and Pāli, “awakening,” “enlightenment”; the consummate knowledge that catalyzes the experience of liberation (VIMOKṢA) from the cycle rebirth. Buswell  Jr., Robert E.; Donald S., Jr. Lopez. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Kindle Locations 10443-10446). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition. Another good definition is: Enlightenment Read more [...]
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The Three Svabhāvas of the Tathagata-garbha

The Tathagata-garbha is three-fold in nature (Svabhāva): Dharma-kāya, Tathatā and Tathāgata-gotra. They are seen in correspondence with the nine sheathes reinforced with a purity aspect. Firstly, though, we would be remiss if neglecting to indicate the Concordance between the 9 Illustrations and the 9 Defilements. Obermiller succinctly indicates them as follows: The water-born lotus flower At the first appearance causes delight, But later on (when it withers) it no more excites joy, Read more [...]
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The Nine-Sheaths

Even though the Tathagata-garbha is “within” all sentient beings, it is still plagued by a series of kleśas that soil and keep it dormant until efficacious Buddha-qualities peel-away the damning-sheathes. The Ratna gives nine-examples of these defilements that are by their very nature adventitious. Once un-sheathed, the unadulterated Buddhadhātu shines through. The nine are taken directly from the Tathagata-garbha Sutra. This is a prime example of how the Ratnagotravibhāgaśāstra is compiled Read more [...]
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The Top-Ten Qualities of the Ratnagotra

We have arrived at the core-teaching of the Ratna: all sentient beings are endowed with the Buddhagarbha, or the transcendent seed (gotra) of Bodhi. It is taught as Vajra-point four--the Dhātu, or the essence of the Buddha-Element—Tathagata-garbha. As essence, the Dhātu as the inner-most nature is still best serviced by the Gotra, or the [Germ] bodhi-seed enlivening one with the spirit of Bodhi. Obermiller’s translation of the forthcoming is “And the Germ of Buddhahood exists in every Read more [...]
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