bodhigarbha

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Glossarybodhigarbha

Tibetan Noun

bodhigarbha

quintessence of awakening
बोधिगर्भ
བྱང་ཆུབ་སྙིང་པོ་

Basic Meaning

An alternative term for tathāgatagarbha found in early Nyingma sources. Though it is back-translated as bodhigarbha, this term does not seem to be found in Sanskrit sources. However, in other contexts, the Tibetan byang chub snying po is often used to translate the Sanskrit term bodhimaṇḍa, which is often translated as the "seat of enlightenment."

Has the Sense of

Buddha-nature in its ultimate sense as the primordially existing essence of buddhahood present in all beings. It is treated as a Tantric/Dzogchen equivalent of the more Sūtra based terms tathāgatagarbha and sugatagarbha.

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Term Variations
Key Term bodhigarbha
Topic Variation bodhigarbha
Tibetan བྱང་ཆུབ་སྙིང་པོ་  ( jangchub nyingpo)
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration byang chub snying po  ( jangchub nyingpo)
Devanagari Sanskrit बोधिगर्भ
Romanized Sanskrit bodhigarbha
Buddha-nature Site Standard English quintessence of awakening
Dan Martin's English Term bodhi heart
Ives Waldo's English Term essence of enlightenment
Alternate Spellings snying po byang chub
Term Information
Usage Example Rongzompa states in his commentary on the Guhyagarbha Tantra,

དེ་ལ་བདེ་བར་གཤེགས་པའི་སྙིང་པོ་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་ནི། །ཐུན་མོང་དུ་གྲགས་པ་སེམས་ཅན་རྣམས་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་རྒྱུ་ཅན་ཟག་མེད་ཀྱི་ས་བོན་དང་ལྡན་པ་འོ།་།ཞེས་འདོད་དོ། །ཟབ་མོ་ལྟར་ན་སེམས་ཀྱི་རང་བཞིན་ཉིད་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཡིན་པས་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་སྙིང་པོའོ།

"The term *sugatagarbha is widely known in ordinary [scriptures] which claim that all sentient beings possess the cause of awakening [and] are endowed with the seed of incorruptibility. According to the profound [scriptures], it is called the ‘quintessence of awakening’ (*bodhigarbha) because the very nature of mind is awakening."

-Translated in David Higgins. The Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs chen in Tibet: Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind (sems) and Primordial Knowing (ye shes). Wien: Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien, 2013, p. 177.
Source Language Tibetan
Basic Meaning An alternative term for tathāgatagarbha found in early Nyingma sources. Though it is back-translated as bodhigarbha, this term does not seem to be found in Sanskrit sources. However, in other contexts, the Tibetan byang chub snying po is often used to translate the Sanskrit term bodhimaṇḍa, which is often translated as the "seat of enlightenment."
Has the Sense of Buddha-nature in its ultimate sense as the primordially existing essence of buddhahood present in all beings. It is treated as a Tantric/Dzogchen equivalent of the more Sūtra based terms tathāgatagarbha and sugatagarbha.
Term Type Noun
Definitions