Category Archives: The Ratnagotravibhāgaśāstra

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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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The Family Jewels

If asked to sum-up one of the prominent qualities of the Ratnagotra-vibhāgaśāstra it would zero-in on a “family”, in particular the “Tathata-family”, and the nature of the three-jewels that constitutes the essence of this family. The Tathagata-garbha is the womb … Continue reading

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