Verse I.116

From Buddha-Nature
Ratnagotravibhāga Root Verse I.116

Verse I.116 Variations

सत्त्वेष्वविद्या दिफलत्वगन्तः-
कोशावनद्धः शुभधर्मधातुः
उपैति तत्तत्कुशलं प्रतीत्य
क्रमेण तद्वन्मुनिराजभाव
sattveṣvavidyā diphalatvagantaḥ-
kośāvanaddhaḥ śubhadharmadhātuḥ
upaiti tattatkuśalaṃ pratītya
krameṇa tadvanmunirājabhāva
E. H. Johnston as input by the University of the West.[1]
སེམས་ཅན་རྣམས་ཀྱི་མ་རིག་སོགས་འབྲས། །
པགས་སྦུབས་ནང་ཆུད་ཆོས་ཁམས་དགེ་བ་ཡང་། །
དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་བ་དེ་དེ་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས། །
རིམ་གྱིས་ཐུབ་པའི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོར་འགྱུར། །
Similarly, the splendid dharmadhātu in sentient beings, covered
By the sheath of the peel around the fruit of ignorance and so on,
In dependence on such and such virtues
Gradually assumes the state of the king of sages.
一切諸眾生 種種煩惱中

皆有如來性 無明皮所纏
種諸善根地 生彼菩提芽
次第漸增長 成如來樹王

Enfoncée sous la peau du fruit que constituent l’ignorance
et les autres [émotions] qui affectent les êtres,
Il y a aussi l’immensité vertueuse de l’Élément du réel.
De même, avec le concours de telle et telle vertu,
Cet Élément devient peu à peu la substance du roi des sages.

RGVV Commentary on Verse I.116

།ཉོན་མོངས་པ་ནི་ཤུན་པའི་སྦུབས་དང་འདྲ་ལ། དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པའི་ཁམས་ནི་ས་བོན་གྱི་མྱུ་གུ་ལྟ་བུ་སྟེ། ཇི་ལྟར་ཨ་མྲ་ལ་སོགས་{br}ཤིང་འབྲས་ལ། །ཡོད་པའི་ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་འཇིག་མེད་ཆོས། །ས་རྨོས་ཆུ་སོགས་ལྡན་ལས་ལྗོན་ཤིང་གི། །རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོར་རིམ་གྱིས་འགྲུབ་པ་ལྟར། །སེམས་ཅན་རྣམས་ཀྱི་མ་རིག་སོགས་འབྲས་ཀྱི། །ལྤགས་སྦུབས་ནང་ཆུད་ཆོས་ཁམས་དགེ་བ་ཡང་། །དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་བ་དེ་{br}ད་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས། །རིམ་གྱིས་ཐུབ་པའི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོར་འགྱུར། །ཆུ་དང་ཉི་མའི་འོད་དང་རླུང་དང་ས་དུས་ནམ་མཁའི་རྐྱེན་རྣམས་ཀྱིས། །ཏ་ལ་དང་ནི་ཨ་མྲའི་འབྲས་སྦུབས་གསེབ་ནས་ཤིང་སྐྱེས་ཇི་ལྟ་བར། །སེམས་ཅན་ཉོན་མོངས་འབྲས་ལྤགས་ནང་ཆུད་རྫོགས་སངས་

ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་ཡང་། །དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་རྐྱེན་དེ་དང་དེ་ལས་ཆོས་འཐོན་འཕེལ་བར་འགྱུར་བ་ཡིན།

Other English translations[edit]

Obermiller (1931) [6]
In a like way the Sublime Absolute Essence
Is concealed under the coverings of the fruit
Of a living being’s ignorance and the like,
(But) on the foundation of this and that form of virtue,
It gradually assumes the character of the King of Sages.
Takasaki (1966) [7]
In the same way, the pure Absolute Essence, abiding in the living beings,
Covered by the sheath within the bark of the fruit of ignorance and the like,
[Grows] gradually by the help of this and that virtue
And obtains [finally] the state of the king of Sages.
Fuchs (2000) [8]
The fruit consisting of the ignorance and the other defects of beings
contains in the shroud of its peel the virtuous element of the dharma[kaya].
Likewise, through relying on virtue, this [element] also
will gradually turn into the substance of a King of Munis.

Textual sources[edit]

Commentaries on this verse[edit]

Academic notes[edit]

  1. Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
  2. Brunnhölzl, Karl. When the Clouds Part: The Uttaratantra and its Meditative Tradition as a Bridge between Sūtra and Tantra. Boston: Snow Lion Publications, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, 2014.
  3. DP read "virtuous" (dge ba) for śubha, which can also mean "beautiful," "pleasant," "good," "auspicious," "prosperous," "pure," and "eminent."
  4. DP ’thon.
  5. It may seem that this example suggests a growing process of the tathāgata heart, just as a germ or a sprout gradually grows into a tree, which entails the need for supporting conditions such as water and sunlight. However, as Zimmermann (2002, 62–64) shows, the explanation of this example in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra does not understand this to be the primary thrust of the example but rather emphasizes the imperishable nature of the seed and the fact that the result (the tree) is already contained in the seed, both being of the same nature. Also, conditions such as virtue do not produce buddhahood but only serve as conducive factors for its revelation. The same goes for the simile of a cakravartin in the womb of a poor woman. The emphasis is on the nature of a cakravartin’s being unchanging, whether still being in the womb or being a grown-up person, while the growth process of the embryo is not discussed. The stress lies on the stark contrast between the destitute and ugly woman and the glory of the cakravartin king inside her. In addition, the terminology (such as sugatakāya, tathāgata, tathāgatadhātu, and dharmatā) used in the explanation of these two examples is the same as in all the other examples and does not suggest any kind of growing or ripening process. That is, the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra throughout presents the model of the tathāgata heart with its qualities being revealed as opposed to any kind of gradual development. As Zimmermann (2002, 86–87) suggests, the reformulation of the example of the germ growing into a tree in the Uttaratantra could have been due to the concern that the original example’s statement that the result (the tree) is already present in the seed comes too close to the position of satkāryavāda as espoused by the Sāṃkhya School, which is usually rejected by Buddhists as a form of eternalism. That such a concern was definitely present among at least some readers and commentators of the Uttaratantra is evident from the long-lasting and sometimes vicious debates in Tibet about whether a literal understanding of the teachings on buddha nature means falling into a Hinduist view.
  6. Obermiller, E. "The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation Being a Manual of Buddhist Monism." Acta Orientalia IX (1931), pp. 81-306.
  7. Takasaki, Jikido. A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra): Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Serie Orientale Roma 33. Roma: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (ISMEO), 1966.
  8. Fuchs, Rosemarie, trans. Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra. Commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul and explanations by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. Ithaca, N. Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 2000.