From Buddha-Nature

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Sanskrit Noun



Basic Meaning

Buddha-nature, literally the "womb/essence of those who have gone (to suchness)."

Read It in the Scriptures

Son of good family, the True Nature (dharmatā) of the dharmas is this:
~ Ratnagotravibhāgavyākhyā 73.11-12. As translated in Zimmerman, A Buddha Within, 2002, p 40.
On this topic
Term Variations
Key Term tathāgatagarbha
Topic Variation tathāgatagarbha
Tibetan དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པའི་སྙིང་པོ་
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration de bzhin gshegs pa'i snying po
Devanagari Sanskrit तथागतगर्भ  ( tatagatagarbha)
Romanized Sanskrit tathāgatagarbha  ( tatagatagarbha)
Chinese 如来藏
Chinese Pinyin rúláizàng
Buddha-nature Site Standard English buddha-nature
Karl Brunnhölzl's English Term Heart of the Thus Gone One
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term Tathāgata essence, matrix of a One-Gone-Thus
Alternate Spellings buddha-nature, buddha nature
Term Information
Usage Example Zimmerman, A Buddha Within, 2002, p 40:
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning Buddha-nature, literally the "womb/essence of those who have gone (to suchness)."
Did you know? "Buddha nature" is an English translation not of Tathāgatagarbha but of buddhadhātu, as well as of buddatā, tathatā, prakṛtivyadadāna, and other possible Sanskrit originals.
Related Terms sugatagarbha, Buddhadhātu, tathatā
Term Type Noun
Karl Brunnhölzl Read more about Different Ways of Explaining the Meaning of Tathāgatagarbha by Karl Brunnhölzl.
Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism See page 897: In Sanskrit, variously translated as “womb of the tathāgatas,” “matrix of the tathāgatas,” “embryo of the tathāgatas,” “essence of the tathāgatas”; the term probably means “containing a tathāgatha.” It is more imprecisely interpreted as the “buddha-nature,” viz., the potential to achieve buddhahood that, according to some Mahāyāna schools, is inherent in all sentient beings.
Tshig mdzod Chen mo [1370] sems can thams cad kyi rgyud la ye nas gnas pa'i gzhi rgyud bde bar gshegs pa'i snying po ngo bo stong pa rang bzhin gsal ba thugs rje kun khyab kyi bdag nyid can...
Wikipedia wikipedia:Buddha-nature
RigpaWiki rigpa:Buddha_nature
Synonyms Buddha-dhatu “The inherent potential of all sentient beings to achieve buddhahood.” - Princeton Dictionary, p. 151 Ch: 如来藏 J: busshō
Grammatical / Etymological Analysis “As for the meaning of the Sanskrit compound tathāgatagarbha, its first part (tathā) can be taken as either the adverb “thus” or the noun “thusness/suchness” (as a term for ultimate reality; many texts, among them the Uttaratantra, gloss tathāgatagarbha as “suchness”). The second part can be read either as gata (“gone”), or āgata (“come, arrived”; the Tibetan gshegs pa can mean both). However, in the term tathāgata, both meanings more or less come down to the same. Thus, the main difference lies in whether one understands a tathāgata as (a) a “thus-gone/thus-come one” or (b) “one gone/ come to thusness,” with the former emphasizing the aspect of the path and the latter the result. The final part of the compound—garbha—literally and originally means “embryo,” “germ,” “womb,” “the interior or middle of anything,” “any interior chamber or sanctuary of a temple,” “calyx” (as of a lotus), “having in the interior,” “containing,” or “being filled with.” At some point, the term also assumed the meanings of “core,” “heart,” “pith,” and “essence” (which is also the meaning of its usual Tibetan translation snying po).” - Karl Brunnhölzl, When the Clouds Part