Tathāgatagarbha Influences in the Three Nature (Trisvabhāva) Theory of the Maitreya Works

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Tathāgatagarbha Influences in the Three Nature (Trisvabhāva) Theory of the Maitreya Works
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Citation: Mathes, Klaus-Dieter. "Tathāgatagarbha Influences in the Three Nature (Trisvabhāva) Theory of the Maitreya Works." Journal of Tibetology 20 (2019): 222–44.

Abstract

Retaining the Abhidharma distinction between the "real" (dravyasat) factors of existence (dharma) and the mere nominal existence (prajñaptisat) of false projections, the Yogācāras restricted the emptiness of the Prajñāpāramitāsūtras to the imagined nature (parikalpitasvabhāva). The latter is taken to be a product of dependently arising dharmas, i.e., the dependent nature, which is admitted a higher degree of reality than the one of the imagined nature. Together with the perfect nature (pariniṣpannasvabhāva), defined as the absence of the fictive from the real, the imagined and dependent natures constitute the Yogācāra model of reality. Besides this Yogācāra type of ontological distinction between real and nominal existence there are also, throughout the Maitreya Works, influences of the Ratnagotravibhāga model of an ultimate tathāgatagarbha (once even referred to as such in one of the Yogācāra texts of the Maitreya Works, namely in MSABh on IX.37) that is devoid of adventitious stains. In the present paper it is argued that the integration of the tathāgatagarbha model of reality contributes to remedying the flaws Yogācāra has in the eyes of Mādhyamikas, namely that a considerable group of sentient beings is completely cut off from liberation or that a dependently arising mind exists on the level of ultimate truth.