Dorji Wangchuk at the 2019 Tathāgatagarbha Symposium

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Dorji Wangchuk at the 2019 Tathāgatagarbha Symposium
Dorji Wangchuk discusses critiques of Buddha-nature theory as non-Buddhist and as opposed to the Buddha's teaching on dependent arising. In particular, he looks at how Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo interprets the tathāgatagarbha theory in relation to the pratītyasamutpāda theory.

Abstract from the Author

Rong-zom-pa on the Tathāgatagarbha and Pratītyasamutpāda Theories
The critique of the tathāgatagarbha doctrine by the two Japanese scholars Shirō Matsumoto and Noriaki Hakamaya has compelled scholars engaged in the study of Buddhism to reflect on the Buddhist status of the doctrine. While the agenda and the underlying motives of these two scholars may be different, their dismissal of the tathāgatagarbha doctrine as non-Buddhist may have been inspired by some position found in Tibetan Buddhism. To my knowledge, however, Tibetan Buddhist scholars have never gone to the extent of apodictically rejecting the theory as non-Buddhist, while some Tibetan Buddhist (e.g. Dol-po-pa’s or Jo-nang-pa’s) interpretations thereof have certainly been. One of the most significant criticisms of the tathāgatagarbha doctrine is that it contradicts or disregards the doctrine of dependent arising (pratītyasamutpāda), which has often been eulogized as the quintessence of the teachings of the Buddha. In this paper, I wish to (re)examine how the eleventh-century rNying-ma scholar Rong-zom Chos-kyi-bzang-po interprets the tathāgatagarbha theory particularly in relation to the pratītyasamutpāda theory and whether or not he viewed the tathāgatagarbha and pratītyasamutpāda theories to be mutually contradictory.

Sources Mentioned

People Mentioned

Matsumoto Shirō
Hakamaya Noriaki
Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo
1042 ~ 1136
ca. 2nd century
c. 570 ~ c. 640
8th century
Longchen Rabjam
1308 ~ 1364
Mipam Gyatso
1846 ~ 1912
Erich Frauwallner
1898 ~ 1974
Dölpopa Sherab Gyaltsen
1292 ~ 1361
Featuring Dorji Wangchuk
Creator University of Vienna, Tsadra Foundation
Event Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia (19 July 2019, University of Vienna, Austria)
Related Website Buddha-Nature Project
Video Web Location Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia
Creation Date 19 July 2019
Citation Wangchuk, Dorji. "Rong-zom-pa on the Tathāgatagarbha and Pratītyasamutpāda Theories." Paper presented at the University of Vienna Symposium, Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia, Vienna, Austria, July 2019. Video, 45:33.