The Third Karmapa's treatise on buddha-nature written in verse, which is essentially a synopsis of the Uttaratantra
. According to Schaeffer, "This verse text (De bzhin gshegs pa'i snying po gtan la dbab pa
, or De bzhin gshegs pa'i snying po bstan pa
) blends scriptural quotations from both sūtra
with Rang byung's own words, creating an evocative picture of the relation between the primordially pure enlightened state- symbolized by the Enlightened Heart (snying po
)- human existence, and Buddhahood. While Rang byung has relied heavily on the Ratnagotravibhāgaśāstra
, (known in Tibet as the Uttaratantra
, or Rgyud bla ma
), the syncretism of various strands of Mahāyāna
apparent in the text is particular to Tibet. Tathāgatagarbha, Madhyamaka, Yogācāra, Mahāmudrā,
all coalesce in this work, which is a testament to the hundreds of years of appropriation and synthesis of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist thought that preceded it. - Kurtis Schaeffer
, from the introduction to The Enlightened Heart of Buddhahood
Read the text:
Relevance to Buddha-nature
Though the text is a brief overview of issues discussed in the Uttaratantra, the Third Karmapa clearly views the treatise as not merely a sūtra work. As he states in the closing of the text, "This completes the determination of the buddha heart, the essence of the vajrayāna." (sangs rgyas kyi snying po gtan la dbab pa rdo rje theg pa'i snying po rdzogs so). The authors presents a theory of buddha-nature which is the base of all existence and endowed with the qualities of the Buddha and not empty of these transcendent qualities. He integrates many well known verses from the sūtras and tantras in his text.
Is buddha-nature considered definitive or provisional?
Does this text belong to definitive or provisional meaning?
Do all beings have buddha-nature?
To which "turning of the wheel" do the buddha-nature teachings belong?
Is buddha-nature equated with emptiness or alayavijnana?
Do buddha-nature teachings belong to the zhentong or rangtong view of emptiness?
Are there one or three vehicles on the path to buddhahood?
Do the author's writings belong to the analytic or meditative tradition of Uttaratantra exegesis?
What is Buddha-nature?
Tathāgatagarbha as the Latent State of Buddhahood that is Obscured in Sentient Beings