From Buddha-Nature


sangs rgyas phal po che zhes bya ba shin tu rgyas pa chen po'i mdo
Dà fāng guǎng fó huá yán jīng
Scripture of the Garland of Buddhas
D44   ·  T278,279
One of the longest works in the entire Buddhist canon, the Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra is widely considered to be a compilation of independent scriptures, which was expanded upon over the course of time. It was extremely influential in East Asia, where it was preserved in an eighty-scroll recension. The Tibetan translation of this work fills four volumes in the Derge Kangyur. Though only two sections—namely, the Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra and the Daśabhūmikasūtra—have survived in Sanskrit, both of which have also circulated as independent works.
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Relevance to Buddha-nature

The Uttaratantra cites a verse from the Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra that appears in the section titled the Daśabhūmikasūtra.

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Description from When the Clouds Part

Apart from the above-mentioned example of a canvas with the universe painted on it (quoted in RGVV), in the context of the gradual purification of the tathāgata heart, RGVV briefly refers to the example of gold’s being progressively purified, which refers to the process of the ten bhūmis.[1] This example is found in the Daśabhūmikasūtra within the Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra,[2] though without being related in any way to buddha nature.

Once, the Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra[3] uses the term tathāgatagarbha with its typical meaning of buddha nature, speaking of "possessing the tathāgata heart, which will be freed from the cocoons of the five doors of ignorance of all sentient beings."[4] In addition, the text uses tathāgatagarbha several times as an epithet of buddhahood and also says once that certain bodhisattvas are one with the body of the tathāgata heart. Once, a bodhisattva with the name Tathāgatagarbha is mentioned. (pp. 41-42)

  1. J5
  2. The corresponding passage (Daśabhūmikasūtra, edited by Johannes Rahder [Leuven: J.B. Istas, 1926], 20.14–18) says: "O sons of the victors, it is as follows. For example, to whichever extent pure gold is heated in a fire by a skilled goldsmith, to that extent it becomes refined, pure, and pliable as he pleases. O sons of the victors, likewise, to the extent that bodhisattvas make offerings to the buddha bhagavāns, make efforts in maturing sentient beings, and are in a state of adopting these kinds of dharmas that purify the bhūmis, to that extent their roots of virtue that they dedicate to omniscience will become refined, pure, and pliable as they please."
  3. D44 (four vols.) and Taishō 278. For an English translation from the Chinese, see Cleary 1993.
  4. Narthang Kangyur, vol. ca, fol. 312a.5–6.

Text Metadata

Text exists in ~ Tibetan
~ Chinese
Canonical Genre ~ Kangyur · Sūtra · phal chen · Avataṃsaka
Literary Genre ~ Sūtras - mdo

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