Nehangyō kyōtengun ni okeru kū to jitsuzai

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Nehangyō kyōtengun ni okeru kū to jitsuzai
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Citation: Suzuki, Takayasu. "Nehangyō kyōtengun ni okeru kū to jitsuzai" (The Non-emptiness of the Tathāgata in the Mahāparinirvānasūtra-Group). Tōyō bunka kenkyūsho kiyō (Bulletin of Institute of Oriental Culture) 139 (2000): 109–46.

Abstract

Thanks to several previous studies, the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra (MPNS) has been proved to shift its central thought from the buddhakāya idea to the tathāgatagarbha/buddhadhātu idea. The present author has shown in another paper (Suzuki [1999]) that the movement between the buddhakāya idea and the tathāgatagarbha/buddhadhātu idea appears in the larger context including the MPNS, and has extracted this context from the various Mahāyāna sūtras under the name of the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra-Group (MPNS-G), which consists of the Mahāmeghasūtra (MMS), the MPNS, the Aṅgulimālīyasūtra (AMS) and the Mahābherisūtra (MBhS). While the AMS is a direct successor of the MPNS, the MBhS succeeds the MPNS critically and shifts back its central thought from the tathāgatagarbha/buddhadhātu idea to the buddhakāya idea again.
      The MPNS-G declares or suggests the non-emptiness of the tathāgata. This is reinterpretation of the pratītyasamutpāda and the śūnyatā idea, and follows the rule of the historical Buddhist hermeneutics. It is especially worthwhile to note that the MBhS, like the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra in the Vijñāptimātra idea, devaluates the śūnyatā idea as imperfect. This quite negative attitude toward the śūnyatā idea does not appear in any other Indian texts on the tathāgatagarbha idea including the MPNS and the AMS. Aiming at establishing the theory that every sentient being is able to perform religious efforts and become buddha on account of the nonemptiness and the eternalness of the tathāgata, the MBhS must reject any sūtra concerning the śūnyatā idea as imperfect. Though the MPNS is a pioneer in reinterpretation of the the śúnyatā idea, the MPNS cannot devaluate it perfectly because the śūnyatā idea is one of the main backgrounds to the MPNS. The MBhS's decisive attitude toward the śūnyatā idea devaluation becomes possible by having the MPNS as its basis. (Source: UTokyo Repository)