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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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 of impressions, both pure and impure, that go-into the makeup of this family and bears both soiled sensorial and immaculate transcendent qualities. This next section of the Ratna is a form of systematic analysis highlighting Read more [...]
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The Buddha as Absolute Refuge

When we consider the “three refuges” one can do so in a conventional sense, an empirical sense, and an absolute sense. This blog will reveal the ultimate realization of the three refuges. The Absolute Buddha is the Dharmakaya, or the Source-Principle that Illuminates the Buddhadharma. Absolute Dharma is the Doctrine of Illumination itself. The Absolute Sangha are those Self-realized Ones (Noble Ariyans) who partake in the mystical-union of the One That Illuminates and the Doctrine that is Read more [...]
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The Jewel of the Sangha

The Third Vajra-point pays homage to the Noble (Ārya) Bodhisattvas. There are two types of sangha—one bearing the features of ordinary beings the other bearing the auspicious mark of the Tathagatas—or self-realized beings. Ordinary beings, i.e., worldlings or the puthujjana are blinded by obscurations that prevent them from entering the path of the Self-realized Noble Ones. The Ratna in this Vajra-point is describing the latter whose mind is blessed with discerning the true import of the Read more [...]
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The Jewel of the Dharma

We next turn to the Dharma as the Second Vajra-point. “From the Jewel of the Buddha comes the Jewel of the Doctrine.” This is presented with the same structure: a direct homage to the Blessed Teaching of the Tathagata by highlighting its prominent aspects. Then it enumerates the eight qualities of the Dharma. Takasaki: (Kārikā 2). I bow before the sun of-the Doctrine, Which is neither non-being nor being, Nor both being and non-being together, And neither different from being Read more [...]
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