This article aims at providing an outlook on the possible origin of tathāgatagarbha theory with a special reference to its relation to the soteriological and formal solutions found in the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra and Avataṃsaka-sūtra. Through comparative textual analysis, the first work of this tradition, Tathāgatagarbha-sūtra, is shown as a text providing a metaphysical foundation for the postulate of universal Buddhahood posited by the Lotus Sutra. The realization of this postulate was possible through the implementation of 'Buddha-wisdom' (tathāgatajñāna) — a quality intrinsic to all living beings, which comes from the Tathāgata's all-encompassing compassion — taken from the "Manifestation of the Tathāgata" chapter of Avataṃsaka. By combining these influences the Tathāgatagarbha-sūtra is presented as a culmination of an important soteriological trend of the early Mahāyāna, and at the same time the starting point for an influential 'buddha-nature' tradition. (Source accessed June 26, 2020)
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