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Sanskrit Noun


naturally present potential

Basic Meaning

The potential for awakening that is inherently present in all beings.

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Term Variations
Key Term prakṛtisthagotra
Topic Variation prakṛtisthagotra
Tibetan རང་བཞིན་གནས་རིགས་  ( rangzhin nerik)
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration rang bzhin gnas rigs  ( rangzhin nerik)
Devanagari Sanskrit प्रकृतिस्थगोत्र
Romanized Sanskrit prakṛtisthagotra
Chinese 本性住種性
Chinese Pinyin běn xìng zhù zhǒng xìng
Japanese Transliteration honshōjūshushō
Buddha-nature Site Standard English naturally present potential
Karl Brunnhölzl's English Term naturally abiding disposition
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term naturally abiding lineage, natural lineage
Ives Waldo's English Term intrinsic potential, legacy abiding within, naturally present affinity
Term Information
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning The potential for awakening that is inherently present in all beings.
Related Terms samudānītagotra
Term Type Noun
Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary Naturally present potential applies to the mind essence present as the unobstructed potential for the qualities of dharmakaya arising from its empty aspect and the qualities of rupakaya arising from its manifest aspect. It is called 'all-ground wisdom' (kun gzhi'i ye shes) because of being the ground from which both samsara and nirvana arise and the 'defiled suchness' (dri bcas de bzhin nyid) because of being combined with defilement at the time of a sentient being.
Tshig mdzod Chen mo sems can thams cad 'tshang rgya rung ba'am/ ngo bo nyid skur 'gyur rung ba rang gi rten chos su 'gyur ba'i dri ma dang bcas pa'i sems kyi chos nyid
Further Reading Material In his Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche writes:

The 'naturally present potential' (Skt. prakṛtistha-gotra; Wyl. rang bzhin gnas rigs) is the essence of the tathagatas. In essence, it is naturally arising and uncompounded wisdom, the union of awareness and emptiness, the dharmadhatu which has always been inseparable from the kayas and wisdoms. It is naturally pure, the nature of things, just as it is, pervading all phenomena, beyond any transition or change, like space. Although it is within this context that the ordinary aggregates, elements and faculties of beings are born and die, this nature itself remains beyond birth and death. It is through the realization of this nature that the Three Jewels come into being. This immaculate 'element' (Wyl. khams) is present in all beings without exception as the very nature of their minds, just like the example of a treasure beneath the earth and so on. Nevertheless, for those in whom this nature remains veiled by the four stains, and who have not activated their potential, despite its presence, it does not function in an apparent way [rather like a candle kept inside a jar]. And although they are naturally pure, because they are obscured by temporary veils, this nature is beyond most people's imagination. If the veils that obscure the potential are reduced, it serves to inspire us with a longing to leave samsara behind and attain nirvana.

The four veils that obscure our potential are (1) an antipathy to the Mahayana teachings, (2) the view of self, (3) fear for the sufferings of samsara, and (4) a lack of concern for beings' welfare. The causes for purifying these veils are: (1) an interest in the Mahayana teachings, (2) a high degree of wisdom, (3) meditative concentration (samadhi), and (4) love.

When we possess these four, through the force of awakening our potential, we come to possess the 'developing potential' (Skt. samudānīta-gotra; Wyl. rgyas 'gyur gyi rigs) through which we can properly cultivate the virtues of the Mahayana.

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